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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, April 19, 2014

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In Dining

Celebrate the rare, but delicious, Beaver Dam Pepper this month at area restaurants and farmer's markets.

The Weekly Nibble: Celebrate Wisconsin's Beaver Dam pepper


Even if you're paying close attention, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the latest in food news here in Milwaukee. So here's a taste of what's new and notable – including news about Milwaukee's Beaver Dam Pepper celebration, the WMSE Food Slam, 10 Days in Tosa, new hours at Bavette La Boucherie, and the Rock the Tot tater tot eating competition at Bar Louie.

Pepper Celebration
Remember last year, when I told you the story about the legendary Beaver Dam Pepper?

Well, that delicious little morsel is back again. Taste it and see what all the fuss is about during the second annual Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration sponsored by Scrumptious Pantry and Slow Food WiSE.

"The Beaver Dam Pepper is a prime example of Midwestern culinary history, but it's at risk of extinction because it is harder to grow than modern hybrid varieties," says Scrumptious Pantry founder Lee Greene.

"The Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration has been created to introduce people to delicious flavor and complexity of this heirloom pepper. In addition, we want to share the pepper's history and demonstrate the importance of preserving heirloom food traditions."

Celebration events will include:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 11: Friends of Real Food Community potluck at the Urban Ecology Center Riverside Park, 1500 E. Park Pl., featuring Beaver Dam Peppers; includes a cooking demonstration and discussion about the Slow Food Ark of Taste and biodiversity. Get more information at friendsofrealfood.org
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Cooking demonstration with Chef Darrin from Café Lulu and Juniper 61 at the Fondy Farmer's Market, 2200 W Fond Du Lac Ave.
  • Saturday, Sept. 21: Cooking class at Glorioso's Italian Market featuring Beaver Dam Peppers. Call (414) 272-0540 for more information.
  • Satureday, Sept. 21: Experience the Beaver Dam Pepper Tour De Menu as area restaurants serve special dishes using the Beaver Dam Pepper. Participating venues will include Braise, Bavette La Boucherie, Glorioso's Italian Market, Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub, Juniper 61, La Merenda, Meritage and Sanford. Try one or try them all!
  • Sunday, Sept. 22: Great Lakes Distillery will feature a Beaver Dam Pepper cocktail for Milwaukee Cocktail Week's Kickoff party at Horny Goat Hideaway. Tickets for the Kickoff are $30 and can be purchased online at mkecw.eventbrite.com.

It might seem anti-intuitive, but remember: as is the case with all heirloom vegetables, you've got to eat it to save it.

Slam that food for a good cause
Name one event where you can sample delicious dishes from more than 25 Milwaukee area restaurants while helping to support one of your favorite local radio stations.

You got it. It's the WMSE 91.7FM Food Slam. The 2013 event will be held at the Grohmann Museum on MSOE's campus on Friday, Sept. 13 from 6 to 10 p.m.

And this isn't your ordinary restaurant sampling event. Restaurants and food providers run the gamut from spots like Rumpus Room to artisan food makers like Bolzano Artisan Meats and Rocket Baby Bakery to popular spots like Maxies and pizzerias like Times Square Pizza.

Now, eating should be your first priority at an event like this. But, WMSE gives you the opportunity to get cultured as well. Take the time to peruse the historic Grohmann art collection as well as the museum's new exhibit featuring Milwaukee photographer Jim Brozek's striking visual meditation on life and work on an American ranch.

You can also participate in a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, and an all-new live auction headed up by WMSE station manager Tom Crawford. The auction will include a Kauai Hawaiian vacation for two, original artwork from celebrated Milwaukee artist Charlie Dwyer, a Movie Mogul Milwaukee Film Festival package valued at $5000 and more.

Advance tickets for the 12th Annual Food Slam fundraiser are $40 and can be purchased online or at the WMSE studios, 820 N. Milwaukee St. Tickets are $50 at the door.

Over 30 restaurants to try in 10 days
Get ready! For the third year in a row, Wauwatosa will be presenting 10 Days In Tosa, a restaurant-based event featuring $5, $10, and $20 options from 31 participating restaurants, including high-end favorites like Ristorante Bartolotta, Eddie Martini's and Meritage to family favorites like Saz's State House, BelAir Cantina and Leff's Lucky Town.

The official 10 days kicks off today and runs through Wednesday, September 18, 2013. To view restaurant offerings for 10 Days In Tosa, go to 10DaysInTosa.com or contact the Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce at (414) 453-2330 or info@tosachamber.org.

Bavette announces new fall hours
Bavette La Boucherie, 330 E. Menomonee St., will observe new hours beginning next week.

The butcher shop and café will be closed on Sundays, and will be open Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The café will also be offering burger specials every Wednesday evening in September from 5 to 9 p.m. Weather permitting, they setting up an outdoor grill and whipping up half-pound burgers, which will be served with a side and beer pairing. Punch or cocktails will also be available.

This past week's burger was topped with bacon braised kale, goat cheese and pickled radishes and served with potato salad for $11.50. The beer pairing for $5.50 was Ommengang 3 Philosopher, and the cocktail feature was watermelon sangria, also $5.50.

Rock the Tot: tater tot eating contest at Bar Louie
Love your tots? Consider participating in the sixth annual Rock the Tot competition on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. at Bar Louie locations, 1114 N. Water St. and 5750 N. Bayshore Dr.

The contest will include both team relay races and a solo competition. Festivities for guests will include a night of live entertainment and celebration as Bar Louie seeks to set the world record for most tater tots eaten simultaneously across all locations.

The relay race teams will consist of four persons lined up with one pound of tater tots in front them. At the sound of the buzzer, the first team member will eat their pound of tots as fast as they can. The second team member will start their pound when the first team member has finished, and so on. The team to finish their four pounds of tots in the quickest time wins four "Rock the Tot" champions T-shirts and free tots for a year at Bar Louie.

Solo competitors will face off in a challenge to eat as many tater tots possible in three minutes. Contestants are allowed to have any drink of their choice during that time. At the end of the three minutes a winner will be determined and declared the "Rock the Tot" champion. Local solo winners will receive a $250 Bar Louie gift card, champion trophy, T-shirt and free tater tots for one year.

The top five local winners will be awarded airfare and hotel accommodations to Cleveland to attend the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and compete at Bar Louie Cleveland on Saturday, Oct. 5 for the ultimate title of "Rock the Tot" national champion. The grand prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize, free tater tots for life and hold the world record for most tots eaten in three minutes!

Almost 250,000 tater tots were consumed nationwide during last year's competition. The 2012 national champion Jamie McDonald consumed 5 pounds 4 ounces of tater tots in six minutes!

For more information visit rockthetot.com and facebook.com/barlouie.

Cafe One24 closed
Cafe One24, which opened in late 2011 at 3705 N. 124th St. in Brookfield, is closed. A sign on the door reads, "This fully furnished cafe is available to lease."

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