I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) Mohegan Sun will hold their first annual BBQ Fest from June 1– 3 in their Winter Parking Lot. Host Mike Petit of NESN’s Grillseekers emcees the three day event filled with cooking demonstrations, live bands and BB “QnA” sessions with Pitmaster Troy Black. Guests can also enjoy the beats…and treats from DJ Chef Marc Weiss, shop the Sardilli Farmer’s Market, ride the mechanical bull and watch Joey “Jaws” Chestnut battle in a rib eating contest.
Tickets are $30 per day including 8 food tickets and go on-sale Monday, April 16 at 10am through Ticketmaster.com or at Mohegan Sun’s Box Office. Kids 10 and under get in free (does not include food tickets).
Ever wonder how the pros make it look so easy? Here is your chance to learn. Throughout the weekend, a number of events will be taking place where guests can learn the tricks of the trade right from the professionals. From various cooking demonstrations to special BB’QnA’ with Pitmaster Troy Black, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn their hidden secrets.
With a knack for invention and love of barbecue, Black has gained an impressive reputation as an award-winning, competitive barbecue chef and brand ambassador. His zeal for both barbecue and the industry has taken him on an incredible journey from the Southern Living magazine editorial staff to full-time competitive barbecue chef. In the spring of 2010, Black’s first book, The Big Book of BBQ, hit the national scene.
Guests can also enjoy an appearance by Ray Lampe, otherwise known as Dr. BBQ.
hroughout the weekend, guests can enjoy a number of live bands right on the main stage. Performers include Robert Cray, Jay Dempsey & Highway Call, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Mammoth Jack, Sugar and Shady Creek.
Note: Mohegan Sun requires persons under the age of 18 to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian from opening until the close of the event. Unescorted minors will have their parent/legal guardian contacted to pick them up immediately.
2) The celebration of Buddha’s birth (observed this year on May 28) is a national holiday throughout Asia, marked by joyous parades, communal meals and other cultural rituals. Combining “foo,” the Chinese word for Buddha, with “umami,” the Japanese word for flavor or taste, Foumami loosely translates to “what Buddha finds to be most delicious.” Chinese folklore says that Buddha was so infatuated with the aromas wafting into the monastery from a nearby village that he jumped over the wall for just one taste of the villagers’ food. At Foumami, the food is supposed to entice diners to experience firsthand why Buddha was compelled to jump over the wall.
To honor Buddha’s birthday, from May 29-June 5, Foumami tempts diners to “jump over the wall” with a week of special menu items:
Miso Eggplant Tempura Sandwich: Eggplant tempura stuffed with seasoned beef, drizzled with house-made red sweet miso sauce, served in shao bing bread, topped with romaine and spicy longhorn peppers
Significance: Blends gently fried eggplant and freshly baked shao bing with deep umami flavors to achieve the enticing scent that caught Buddha’s attention.
Amacha: Naturally sweet hydrangea tea brewed yearly in honor of Buddha’s birthday.
Significance: In Japanese tradition, people visit temples to pour amacha on the head of statues depicting Buddha’s birth, as if bathing a newborn.
3) Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer is a sweet and delicious way to raise “dough” for breast cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. During the week leading up to Mother’s Day, May 7 through May 13, more than 250 restaurants, bakeries, cafés, ice cream, and chocolate shops throughout Massachusetts will create unique desserts. Desserts start at $3 and proceeds benefit breast cancer research and care at Dana-Farber and Bakes for Breast Cancer, Inc. a newly formed non-profit breast cancer organization dedicated to making a difference in the fight against breast cancer. For a list of participating establishments or to shop online, please visit Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer.