Know thy farmer — Slow Food Detroit, the premier local organization promoting alternatives to the fast-food lifestyle, invites you to join a celebration of local agricultural and culinary heritage. The event, SFD's inaugural Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Fundraiser, will take place at Coach Insignia, at the top of Detroit's Renaissance Center. Proceeds will benefit SFD's resource fund helping local farmers and education on sustainable food systems. Guests will be treated to food cooked up by area chefs in a strolling buffet, including locally grown fare, complementary wines, local beers and signature cocktails, with sweeping views of the area. Some of our local farmers will also discuss their work and its value. The fun starts at 6 p.m. Aug. 22, at Coach Insignia, 71st and 72nd floors, GM Global Renaissance Center, Detroit; reservations required; $75, $40 for SFD members; to RSVP, see slowfooddetroit.org.
Siege of Troy — This coming week, Aug. 22-27, restaurants in Troy will likely be mobbed by deal-hunting gourmets, thanks to Fine Dining Restaurant Week. Sixteen restaurants —including The Capital Grille, Charley's Crab, Kona Grill, Kruse & Muer on Wilshire, Mon Jin Lau, Morton's and Tre Monti Ristorante — will offer summer deals to help raise funds for Habitat for Humanity. Diners will be able to get three-course lunch specials for $15 per person, and three-course dinner specials for $30 person. For info, see troyrestaurantweek.com.
Be dazzled — This month, there's more than an impressive lighting scheme at Iridescence, the restaurant atop the MotorCity Casino. On Friday and Saturday evenings for the rest of August, pianist Paul Ventimiglia will provide live music as well. And the spot's award-winning menu doesn't hurt either. Ventimiglia plays 6:30-10:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through Aug. 28, at 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; call for reservations at 313-237-6732.
Addio — A fond farewell to trailblazing restaurateur Mario Lelli, co-founder of Lelli's on Woodward in Detroit, and founder of Mario's Restaurant on Second Avenue in Detroit, who died last week at 97.
City girl Ree Drummond, on her way to Chicago from L.A., met a Marlboro Man in Oklahoma and stayed. In The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl (William Morrow Cookbooks, $27.50), she shares the cowboy recipes that sustain these hardworking ranch folks. The food is hearty, from breakfast burritos to chicken-fried steak and a casserole of beans and cornbread; it's a lot of rib-stickin' grub. The photos of the food and the country images that Ree took could almost tempt you to move out to the prairie.
Lustau Los Arcos dry Amontillado is a fine drink of sherry. With a nose of raisins and dried leaves and a rich, nutty flavor tempered by a bracing acidity, it pairs well with everything from nuts and cheese to root vegetable stew. We could drink a bottle in a sitting — though 17 percent ABV tends to make us feel a little funny. But we generally throw the remainder in the refrigerator for cooking. It makes a fantastic pan sauce and works well in Asian stir-fry gravies and various soups beyond the classic French onion.
Now that the Michigan State Fair is just a memory, how're you gonna satisfy that corn dog jones? Simple. Pick up a Smart Planet CDM-1 Corn Dog Maker. It's sort of a waffle iron with corn dog-shaped trays that bake, rather than fry. Put the dog on a stick and dip it into the batter — recipes included — and pop the whole thing on the tray. That's it. Cook six at a time and enjoy the carnival flavors without the grease. Try wrapping a chunk of cheese or a candy bar in the batter for a little added decadence. It goes for $24.99 at Amazon.
Know of any upcoming food, beer, wine or cooking events? Let us know! We can be reached at 313-202-8043 or at [email protected].