The Farmer and the Chef Comes to Wilmington

Plus, Ole Tapas in Newark celebrates Spain, Mona Lisa Euro Bistro in Wilmington hosts a special dinner. Taste of Newark celebrates 10 years, Good Earth Market opens in Bethany. Satsuma opens in Wilmington and more

Farmers + Chefs = Good Deeds 

Look for the sixth The Farmer and The Chef North on Sept. 19 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, a dinner to celebrate community and healthy eating while raising money for the important work of The March of Dimes. It goes like this: pair local farmers with local chefs, let them start cooking, then enjoy the fruits of their labors. Because agriculture is still an important industry in Delaware, the MOD believes it is vital to support local farmers and to make sure you know where to buy fresh, local produce. The March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. It focuses on advancing research on maternal and health issues, helping moms have healthy pregnancies and supporting families.

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More from Moro’s DiBianca: Satsuma

Now open: Chef Michael DiBianca’s much anticipated Satsuma Asian Kitchen + Bar at 1707 Delaware Ave. in Wilmington. We like. Satsuma’s modern design includes exposed bricks, a cork floor and high-tech lighting that, DiBianca says, “allows the food to play a starring role at every table.” The entire menu is built for sharing. Starters, listed on the menu as “Raw, Rolled, Street Cart Snacks and Little Plates,” include not-so-traditional sushi such as wild salmon with Asian pear, yuzu, black sea salt and fried basil; butterfish with saffron oil, green apple, caviar and wasabi peas; lump crab with tomato water, chile oil, cilantro and hazelnuts; the Cubano roll of tuna, crispy pork belly, Cuban aioli and red onion; and The Dragonaro of eel, avocado, cucumber and charred mango. “When I opened my first restaurant (Moro, on nearby Scott Street), I wanted a name that would connect the food and design, so I brainstormed names and came up with Moro, which means blood orange in Italian,” says DiBianca, who has often been nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic. “With the opening of my second place I wanted to stay with the citrus theme, so I did some research and found that Satsuma means orange in Japanese.” Street Cart Snacks include chicken wings Yakatori with chiles, soy, scallion and toasted sesame; Berkshire pork banh mi with cilantro mayo and pickled vegetables, and more. Larger Plates include fried chicken thighs with wasabi mayo, wasabi tobiko and daikon; coffee-braised short rib with Japanese eggplant, pickled onion and hazelnuts, and lots of other terrific meals. We extend a warm welcome. Satsuma is open for dinner Tuesdays through Sundays for dinner only. Check it out. 656-3015,


Celebrate Spanish cuisine and libations at the only true tapas restaurant in the state. On Sept.19, Olé Tapas in Newark will honor its motherland with a four-course wine dinner. First up is a variety of traditional Spanish artisan cheeses. The second course will be vieras con Serrano, or pan-seared scallops with crispy Serrano ham. For the main course, enjoy cochinillo, a roasted suckling pig prepared in the Segovian  style. Finally, to satisfy that sweet tooth, there’s tarta de Santiago with housemade Turrón ice cream. Of course, each course will be paired with unique Spanish wines. Enjoy flamenco dancers Carol Basilio and Ines Arribas as well. Attendees will receive double points on their Ole passports. The promotion runs until New Year’s Eve, with the winner receiving a four-day trip for two to Spain’s wine region. The winner will be randomly selected from completed passports during Olé’s New Year’s Eve party. Reservations are required. 224-9378,

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Doing Good by Eating Well

Here are three great local restaurants participating in the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Local Dish Challenge: the outstanding House of William & Merry and Matt Haley’s Catch 54 in Fenwick Island and Bluecoast Seafood Grill in Bethany. The challenge; create dishes that showcase the best of their local food scene. Chef Bill Hoffman of The House of William & Merry will present Scallops and Oysters, a dish with pan-seared Jersey scallops, local corn, butternut squash and oyster mushrooms with a white-truffle vinaigrette. “This event is a perfect opportunity to show off the beauty of our local harvest, and to bring attention to the James Beard Foundation and Meals on Wheels Delaware,” Hoffman says. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence and passion.” Corporate chef Doug Ruley of Haley’s SoDel Concept has created baby beets and Brussels sprouts panzanella with soy, yuzu and truffle. One dollar from every dish sold through Oct. 31 will be donated to the JBF Taste America Education Drive, which supports educational programs including the JBF Food Conference, the JBF Leadership Awards and the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change. When you dine at the restaurants, take your phone and prepare to snap a photo of the dish and post to Instagram. The city with the highest number of Instagram posts with the # of their city wins a $10,000 donation to a local charity. If Hockessin wins, it will donate to Meals on Wheels Delaware. If it is #Rehoboth, the charity will be the Global Delaware Fund. “The Global Delaware Fund works closely with the Delaware Food Bank, Cape Henlopen Food Basket and Good Earth Market to fill the gaps in the social safety net here in Delaware, so the opportunity to do more by supporting the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Education Drive made sense for us,” Haley says. More than 50 top restaurants from around country have joined the challenge, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Perry St. in New York City, Jenn Louis’ Lincoln in Portland and Nate Whiting’s Tristan in Charleston. So eat out often, and don’t forget those special dishes when you do.

A Natural Expansion

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We’re happy to see Good Earth Market & Organic Farm open a second location in Rehoboth. The Clarksville store is a favorite for organic groceries and produce. Find everything from coffees and teas to local eggs and local jams. There are grains, beans, organic milk and butter, sprouted breads, gluten-free items, beauty products and earth-friendly cleaners. Gift items include hand creams, soy candles and body oils. It’s not just about eating—it’s all about living. Hit the original at 34738 Atlantic Ave., Clarksville (also known as 31806 Good Earth Lane, 4.5 miles west of Del. 1 in Bethany Beach). The new store is at 38131 Terrace Road, Rehoboth Beach (behind BIN 66). We think you’ll like it as much as we do.

Why isn’t it Septemberfest?

You know the annual Oktoberfest of the Delaware Sangerbund as a reason to drink, sing and dance. We like it as a reason to eat. Visit the event in Newark Sept. 20-22 for such German specialties include grilled bratwurst (pork sausage), weisswurst (veal sausage), frankfurters, pretzels and rollmops, a marinated herring served with rye bread. Potato salad and sauerkraut—lots and lots and lots of it—are made in the Delaware Saengerbund kitchen by the Ladies organization. A variety of torten and traditional plum cake are the tempting sweet fare. So get in on the shoe slapping, then dig in. 366-9454,

Noshing in Newark

Prepare for the 10th annual Taste of Newark on Sept. 29 on the lawn of the University of Delaware’s Old College Lawn off Main Street. Enjoy food from more than 50 Newark restaurants, accompanied by 30 of the finest wineries and wine distributors in the area. This year the festival will host David Puser, executive chef of the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality. Puser began his lifelong fascination with cooking after his first job as a busboy in California. He spent four years in the Coast Guard aboard an ice breaker before earning enough tuition to fund his studies at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Puser worked and traveled widely until he landed in Switzerland in 1989. He has been director of the Swiss School of Tourism for the past 10 years. He’ll be among the chefs offering cooking demonstrations. Newark chefs will compete in the annual “Iron Chef” style Battle of the Chefs. They include Anthony Carnevale from 16 Mile Taphouse, Jeovany Valle from Caffe Gelato, Mark Chopko from Courtyard Newark, Donny Merrill Jr. from Skipjack and Jeff Matyger from Taverna Rustic Italian. It will be quite a competition, and quite a day. Tickets sell out quickly, so rev up that debit card now. 368-2561,   

From Delaware to California and Back

Here’s a nifty twist: Mona Lisa Euro Bistro in Wilmington welcomes Delaware native Bruce Neyers 
of Neyers Vineyards in Napa Valley for a special dinner with Neyers’ Rhone-style wines and 
wines from the south of France, including Vaucluse and Beaujolais. The five courses and seven wines include: Kermit Lynch VDP Vaucluse Blanc and Kermit Lynch VDP Vaucluse Rouge during the reception, followed by California bruschetta of crawfish, tomatoes and chervil on avocado with white balsamic syrup served with Neyers Chardonnay 304. Next up, vol-au-vent of quail in a mushroom-dijon cream wrapped in puff pastry paired with Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois Beaujolais. Course three: bone-in venison ribeye with venison-Port demi-glace, gratin of Yukon potato, butternut squash Gratin and Beemster Gouda with Pancetta Brussels Sprouts served with Faury VDP Syrah Collins Rhodaniennes. And it just gets better from there. See for yourself. The special dinner with the winemaker happens on Oct. 3. Reserve soon. 888-2201

Looking Forward to Cheesy

“If there is one thing we cannot stand, it is a sandwich that calls itself a grilled cheese when it is actually a panini. Just say ‘no’ to panini-ing.” —Famous Grilled Cheese Judge That You Have Never Heard Of

What’s all the hubbub? Only the event we’ve been waiting for all our lives. Cheesetoberfest, says its organizers, is “an all-out, no holds barred, grilled cheese competition” that will go down at Fordham & Dominion Brewing in Dover Oct. 5. Twenty restaurants from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Philadelphia will battle for top honors while the brew flows and an oompah band toots on. The categories:

HandKrafted Goodness

White bread, butter and either American or cheddar cheese. Just like Mom used to make.

We Will Roquefort You

Any so-called bread and any so-called cheese. No additional ingredients.

Cheeseballs to the Wall

A sandwich that is savory more than anything else. Internal ingredients must be at least 60 percent cheese by weight. Contestants may use any type of bread, butter, cheese and additional ingredients.

Looking for a Gouda Time

A dessert sandwich. Again, internal ingredients must be at least 60 percent cheese by weight. Contestants may use any type of bread, butter, cheese and additional ingredients

Participating restaurants include, among others, The Pickled Pig Pub in Rehoboth, 33 West Ale House and Grill in Dover, Ulysses Gastropub in Wilmington, and more. Book the date now. This one is the cheesiest.

Join the Brunch Bunch

Meals On Wheels Delaware is at it again, hosting the 11th annual Celebrity Chefs’ Beach Brunch at the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach on Oct. 6. Local beach chefs come out each year to support the organization and raise money for Delaware’s homebound seniors. Last year, nearly 600 guests attended the event to sample the food, enjoy the wine and spirits and support a great cause. “We look forward to hosting the Beach Brunch each fall as do our generous sponsors and guests,” says MOW executive director Mari Considine. “As the elderly population grows and the need for meal delivery programs increases, it is very important to have the support of our community to help ensure all seniors throughout our state are fed a hot, nourishing meal each day.” Participating this yeat: a(Muse.), Abbott’s Grill, Baywood Clubhouse & Restaurant, Big Fish Grill Rehoboth, Blue Moon Rehoboth, Cabo Mexican Restaurant, The Cultured Pearl, Eden, Espuma, FINS Fish House & Raw Bar, Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill, Grub Grocery Pub, Henlopen City Oyster House, Hooked Seafood & Martini Bar, Ivy, Jam Bistro, Little Savannah, Nage Restaurant, The Picked Pig Pub, The Pig & Fish Restaurant Company, Salt Air, Shore Break, and Table & Taproom. Wine and spirits will be in the mix as well, with Henlopen City Oyster House preparing a Bloody Mary Bar. 16 Mile Brewery and Dogfish Head will provide assorted craft beers while. Southern Wine & Spirits of Delaware will offers samplings of its wines. Back again: the Battle at the Beach cook-off between favorite beach area chefs. The first round will take place on Sept. 19 at CAMP Rehoboth, where chefs from a(MUSE.), Abbott’s Grille, Eden, Henlopen City Oyster House, and Nage Restaurant will face off to see who moves on to the final round at the Celebrity Chefs’ Beach Brunch. Its go time. 656-3257,

Ciao, Wilmington

It’s almost time for Vendemmia da Vinci, coming Oct. 13 to Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park

 in Wilmington. Your ticket to this celebration of the grape harvest gains you samples of great Italian wines, great Italian food and the 
Italian Beer Garden, not to mention great live entertainment. A highlight: the contest of homemade gravy. Taste the best homestyle sauce local home cooks have to offer. Delicious. Stay tuned for more as the event nears. 877-731-5790,

Home of Beer

Do you believe you have an award-winning beer recipe? Delaware will crown its first homebrew champion on Oct. 20 during the Delaware Wine and Beer Festival at the Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village in Dover from noon till 5 p.m. The event is an American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned competition, meaning the champion will be selected by beer judge certified program judges. Festival-goers who purchase the VIP ticket package will select the semifinalists in five categories, and the certified judges will pick the champion from among those five. The winner, in addition to holding the state title, will earn $250 in cash, at least $250 in prizes from the Delaware Wine and Ale Trail and Cabot Cheese, plus a ribbon. Five finalists will earn ribbons. The competition is sponsored by How Do You Brew, a wine and beer homebrew store in Newark. The five categories will include: IPA (American-imperial), American Ale (pale, amber, and brown), Delaware-grown fruit beer, Belgian-French ale and specialty brews. “We also wanted to announce that the competition rules have changed,” says Charles Gray, who is managing the competition for Kent County Tourism, producers of the festival. “Our Homebrewers let us know that we had originally asked for too much beer per entry,” he says. “And we listened. The new requirement is six to 12 bottles or keg equivalent per entry.” To enter, purchase a $10 Brew Competition ticket online at http://www.eventbrite/delawarehomebrew. Competitors are asked to deliver their entries to the festival grounds in Dover between 11 a.m. and noon on Oct. 20.  Competitors may also purchase a greatly discounted $10 festival ticket with five tastings. The Delaware Wine and Beer Festival, now in its fourth year, is Delaware’s official Wine and Beer Festival, featuring Delaware’s wineries, breweries and distilleries at one great event. This year’s theme is Drink Local, Eat Local and Buy Local. Select Delaware restaurants will serve food, 40 Delaware artists and artisans will display their work, and there will be a corn hole tournament, a keg tossing competition and live reggae music by the Island Boyz. The first 500 ticket buyers will receive their choice of a free wine or beer glass, and VIP ticket holders can sample and judge the semifinalists of the Delaware Homebrew Championship. This year’s event will include expanded free parking adjacent to the festival grounds, the 19th century farm village. 800-233-5368,

More Meals on Wheels: On a Roll

After a sold-out event last November, Meals On Wheels Delaware, Two Stones Pub and Out & About Magazine are bringing back “Giving On Tap” on Nov. 6. Guests will enjoy an exclusive evening of specialty hand-crafted beers and appetizers provided by Two Stones Pub while supporting homebound seniors throughout the community. This year guests can upgrade to a VIP table to enjoy an additional hour of craft brews and food, including a private hour with celebrity bartender Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, samplings of reserved beers, and a family style dinner (at each table) paired with specialty bottles of handcrafted beer at Two Stones Pub on Naamans Road. “After last year’s tremendous success we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Two Stones Pub and Out & About Magazine again,” says executive director Mari Considine. “Giving On Tap is a great opportunity for people who may not be involved with Meals On Wheels Delaware to support the seniors in our community who need it most while enjoying some of the area’s best craft-brews.” Says Two Stones owner Michael Stiglitz, “Last year’s event was so successful that our biggest problem was people wanting to buy tickets after we had already sold out. This year we are getting a little creative to try to increase our charitable tally for MOW—we’ve reached out to our great friend Sam Calagione, who will be beer-tending for the new VIP hour and 2SP is making this our premier event during Wilmington Beer Week.” Stay tuned for more on that. For tickets, hit

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