Mark off April 28 as the fifth annual Spring Food & Wine Festival at Nage Bistro & Wine Bar in Rehoboth Beach, featuring more than 50 wines from around the world. “I have assembled representatives from multiple different wineries in one place for one evening of food, drink and fun,” says Mark Harrison, general manager of Nage. “Come in and try some terrific wines and, of course, amazing Nage food.” Nage executive chef Ted Deptula will pair these wines with an array of seasonal and freshly prepared foods. “I look forward to this event year after year,” says Deptula. “It truly is a great party. Aside from getting to prepare delicious foods, I get to taste wines that may not be readily available in our area.” “We are so lucky to have a pool of chefs to pull from for this competition,” says Chrissy Sarro, marketing associate for Nage. They include Deptula; Kevin Reading, executive chef and owner of Abbott’s Grill in Milford; James Beard nominee Hari Cameron, owner and executive chef of a(MUSE.) in Rehoboth Beach; Ryan Cunningham, executive chef at Bonz in the Harrington Casino, and chef de’cuisine Brenton Wallace of Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth. “This is a formidable group of â€¨chefs, so it would be quite an accomplishment to win,” Sarro says. “And the trash talking has already begun.” The event benefits Children’s Beach House of Lewes.
We Love Cheesy
Who knew it was National Grilled Cheese Month? And, as it turns out, April is also the second anniversary of World Cafe Live at the Queen. To celebrate, the venue is hosting its monthly grilled cheese-craft beer tastings every week this month. Visit on Mondays through April 29. The monthly events are consistent sellouts, so call ahead. 994-1400, worldcafelive.com
The story goes something like this: Jay Caputo and Greg Plummer, two of the beach area’s most happening business owners, trekked down to Baja and made a life-altering discovery. In Cabo San Lucas, the pair found and subsequently imbibed Clase Azul,na champion tequila of near mythical pedigree. Aged in oak casks and bottled in handmade Talavera carafes, Azul is the Aston Martin of the tequila set. The makers’ top-shelf stuff—its ultra añejo, which is aged for five years in sherry barrels and stored in artisanal 24-karat gold decanters—costs about $500 a shot. As Caputo and Plummer sipped their presumably less expensive variety of Clase Azul, inspiration struck. If the duo could replicate the vibe for the Delaware beach set, success would surely follow. After all, who wouldn’t love a place to relaxingly sip high-grade tequila and to nosh on fresh, inexpensive food when needed? Who wouldn’t love the opportunity to edify the oenophiles and craft beer nuts about the complex flavors and the magical, enlivening powers of tequila? On Cinco de Mayo 2012, Cabo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar opened its doors on Second Street in Rehoboth. Not quite “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” but there you have it. And it’s a darned good place. To find out why, click here.
Say it with Food
By now, some restaurants’ signature foods are so well-known, they’re almost defined by them—pumpkin-mushroom soup at The Back Burner in Hockessin, coconut macaroons at The Green Room of the Hotel du Pont, Seafood a la Nage at Nage in Rehoboth Beach. They are classics, but there are always new classics in the making. Here’s a quick survey. At the Brasserie Grille in the Christiana Hilton, a place best known for steaks, crab has won the diners’ hearts. First, the crab bisque. Start with a traditional mirepoix of onions, carrots and celery and a seafood stock, stir in a roux, then simmer for two or three hours to remove the flavor of the flour. Add lots and lots of lump crab meat and—voila—a soup that sells 25 gallons a week, says executive chef Gary Callahan. Exhibit two: crab cakes. Callahan promises nothing but lump crab meat and imperial sauce. They are pan-seared until crisp and golden outside, then finished in the oven. You get two 3-ouncers per serving. Another impressive number: 250 servings sold each week. No wonder. For more, click here.
This Will Spin Your Wheels
Your Insider will be among the first to trumpet Meals from the Masters to benefit Meals on Wheels Delaware. This year it happens April 19 and April 21, and the deets are trickling in. So far: Evening With The Masters kicks off the weekend on April 19 at The Doubletree Wilmington Downtown. Sample delicious food prepared by top local and regional chefs from Amis in Philadelphia, Caffé Gelato in Newark, Desserts by Dana in New Castle, La Fia, Ulysses American Gastropub in North Wilmington and more. New this year: a tented craft beer garden where you can enjoy hand-crafted brews from Delaware’s 16 Mile Brewery, Dogfish Head Brewery, and Twin Lakes Brewery, as well as regional favorites such as Evolution Craft Brewing Company and Yards Brewing Company—with special surprises provided by the beer connoisseurs at Two Stones Pub and NKS Distributing. “We look forward to this weekend of events every year and know our supporters do as well,” says Mari Considine, executive director for Meals on Wheels Delaware. “A new venue for the brunch and a craft beer garden for the evening are just a few of the exciting changes our guests have to look forward to.” Chaddsford Winery, Standard Distributing in New Castle and United Distributors of Delaware in New Castle are just a few of the vendors providing wine and spirits for the evening. The Ninth annual Cellar Masters’ Wine Auction will also be held on April 19 at the Doubletree Downtown. Moro Restaurant, Moore Brother’s Wine Co. and Prestige Beverage Group will provide premium wines and gourmet hors d’oeuvres. The 16th annual Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch on April 21 at The Hercules Plaza in Downtown Wilmington lets you taste dishes created by international and nationally celebrated chefs, including Norman Aitken from Juniper Restaurant and Wine Bar in Canada, Food Network Canada host, Michael Blackie, “Iron Chef” contestant Kurt Boucher, 2012 James Beard semi-finalist Jay Caputo of Rehoboth’s Espuma and Cabo, Dana Cree from Food Network’s “No Reservations,” Francois Gagnon from “Top Chef Canada,” James Beard Rising Star Rick Gresh of American Cuisine, 2009 James Beard nominee Bruce Moffett, Davide Pugliese from the British Virgin Islands and more. Meals On Wheels Delaware works with five meal-providing agencies and thousands of volunteers from corporations, civic, religious and community groups to provides and deliver meals every day to almost 4,000 homebound seniors. Last year nearly 600,000 meals were delivered throughout the state. You can help just by having fun. Get your tickets soon. Or win a pair from Delaware Today. Go to http://www.delawaretoday.com/Delaware-Today/April-2013/2013-Evening-with-the-Masters-Contest/ and good luck. mealsonwheelsde.org
Sharing is Good
Another event we can’t mention enough: Share Our Strength’s 25th annual Taste of the Nation Dinner April 18 at Harry’s Savoy Ballroom in North Wilmington. This amazing multi-course dinner raises money to combat childhood hunger via the Food Bank of Delaware, the Ministry of Caring and the Claymont Community Center. Guest sommeliers will pour delicious wines while guest chefs from across the country prepare some amazing meals. They include:
Elise Wiggins, executive chef at Panzano, preparing rabbit confit with potato gnocchi, slow-roasted pickled tomato, caramelized leeks and shallots, gorgonzola and fine herbs
Andy Husbands, chef-owner of Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel in Boston, preparing yellow fin tuna two ways—ginger rare sear and tartar—with crunchy sushi rice and green krack sauce
Kirk Avondoglio, executive chef of Perona Farms in New Jersy, serving pastrami squab with Jewish rye crouton
Jeff Buben, chef-owner of Vidalia in Washington, D.C., preparing Shenandoah lamb loin with curry lamb sausage, fava beans, strawberry jam, pickled rhubarb and voudavon jus
Nathan Rich, executive chef at Lake Placid Lodge, a 2012 Relais and Chateaux Rising Chef Award Winner, will prepare a surprise for the Champagne Reception hors d’oeuvre
Jessi Allen, chef and owner of A Sweet Destination in Claymont, will serve a vanilla-pineapple torte with strawberry glaze, white chocolate coconut crunch and buttermilk-mint gelato
We can’t wait. For your reservation, call Harry’s at 475-3000, harrys-savoy.com