Food Stuff 

Great Plates State — The Michigan Humanities Council is hosting a yearlong series of exhibits and public programs touring six Michigan communities over the next year, from Chelsea to Cheboygan to Calumet. Key Ingredients is a Smithsonian exhibit depicting American food culture. Michigan Foodways is an exhibit developed at Michigan State University exploring Michigan's food story — its agriculture, its diverse ethnic cuisines and its special culinary traditions.

The Michigan Foodways story focuses on the local and regional fare. Though Michigan lacks a distinct cuisine, the state's local specialties are many, including pasties, cudighi, coneys and paczki, to name a few. Among the events sponsored by Michigan Foodways is a "Chef Challenge" including a strolling dinner, beverages and dessert for guests. Five chefs will compete to craft a thoroughly Michigan meal in the state-of-the-art facility with live video and audio simulcast throughout the reception area. Celebrity judges will discuss and select their favorite plates, and a celebrity emcee will entertain the crowd. The challenge will take place at Schoolcraft College's VisTaTech Center in Livonia, at 7-9:30 p.m., Saturday, April 21; tickets $100 per person, one-half tax-deductible. Proceeds benefit Michigan Foodways and Schoolcraft College.

To see the exhibit's local kickoff, visit the Chelsea District Library (221 S. Main St., Chelsea; 734-475-8732) at 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 26. Exhibit runs until July 8.

 

Eat the Page

In 1971, Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse, a mecca for lovers of fine, organically grown food and the freshest poultry and seafood available, from farmers and fishermen who use ecologically sound methods. She even stopped serving bottled water, concerned about all the fuel spent transporting it. Thomas McNamee's Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution (Penguin Press, $27.95) examines both legends — Alice and the restaurant.

A Tasty Beverage

Are you into preparing your own fresh seafood? Get the pan hot and pour yourself a generous bowl of Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet. It's a crisp and luscious white wine complete with wholesome flavors of citrus and stone that pairs magically with marine meats. The fruit is hand-harvested, it is naturally fermented, and it is minimally filtered. In the right situation it is better than any $12 white that has crossed our lips. Get the head-on impact of its green apple and flower perfume by drinking it slightly warmer than you would most white wines.

It Works

This yellow plastic device looks like something that you'd pick up at the state fair and wonder if it works as well when you get it home as it does during the demo. According to various testimonials, this Smith's Abrasives Jiff V knife sharpener really works. We won't guarantee that it will give you an edge to shave with, but sharpening stones are expensive, and this bad boy can be found for less than $10. Three or four strokes in the V-shaped slot should get you in the game. The replaceable carbide blades can be used for knives and scissors.

Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send materials two weeks in advance to mjackman@metrotimes.com.

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