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The Weekly Dish
New Farmers Market at the Botanic Gardens
August 1, 2007
By Jennifer Chandler

Botanic garden gives farmers market fans an evening option

By Jennifer Chandler
Special to The Commercial Appeal

August 1, 2007

Well, if you haven't figured out by now, I think farmers markets are the best part of summer. Between the Memphis Farmers Market downtown and the Agricenter Farmers Market, we've been eating well this summer.

Starting today and going through Nov. 14, the Memphis Botanic Garden will host its own weekly farmers market. Open Wednesdays from 2 to 7 p.m., Farmers Market at the Garden will feature locally grown foods and farm products such as a wide variety of fresh produce, flowers, baked goods, herbal teas and botanical products, ice cream and even plants.

Working in conjunction with Slow Food Memphis, the Memphis Botanic Garden has created this market to fit with its mission of striving to enhance lives by connecting people with plants and by increasing awareness and appreciation of our environment.

Kudos to the botanic garden folks for giving us an evening shopping option.

Mid-South Fair cooking contests

The Mid-South Fair is just around the corner (Sept. 21-30) and it's time to register for the cooking contests.

Nothing says "fair food" more than something fried on a stick, so the folks at CanolaInfo have sponsored a new "Stick with Canola Oil, Fry it for the Fair" contest for the best of the best in deep-fried foods.

Other special recipe contests include the Great American SPAM Championship, the Memorable Meals Contest, the Make It With Malt-O-Meal Contest, the Family Friendly Food Contest, the Pie Baking Championship, the "Bake For The Cure" Contest and the Great Baking Bonanza.

For contest details and complete entry guidelines, contact the Mid-South Fair's entry office at 274-8800. The pre-registration deadline for these contests is Aug. 23.

A moveable feast

On Tuesday Felicia Suzanne's, Stella, McEwen's on Monroe and Grill 83 at The Madison Hotel team up for a progressive dinner that features local products from Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Featured ingredients include Bonnie Blue goat cheese, Mississippi striped bass, suckling pig, and Delta pecans. Wines will be provided by importer The Grateful Palate.

The cost is $95 per person. Call Felicia Suzanne's at 523-0877 for reservations.

New grocery delivery service

Halle and Derek Whitlock have started a business, The Shopping Bag, that will grocery shop for you and deliver your order to your front door.

They now deliver daily to Down-town, Harbor Town and select areas of Midtown and East Memphis. Order online, by e-mail, fax or phone. For ordering information, call 484-4054 or visit memphisshoppingbag.com.

Elvis is in the building

Memphis is gearing up for Elvis week and so is the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Tonight from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the monthly First Wednesday celebration will feature Elvis-tini cocktails, fried pickles and fried PB&J sandwiches.

While munching on Elvis' favorite snacks, guests will also enjoy live music by an Elvis impersonator and a sneak peek at the photography exhibit "Elvis is in the Building."

Admission is free for members and $6 for nonmembers.

Tickets are available online at brooksmuseum.org or at the door the night of the event.

Stella's new hours

Stella Restaurant, 39 S. Main, may have stopped serving lunch in June, but it is still open for dinner and hours remain the same: The bar opens at 4 p.m. and the kitchen is open from 5:30 until 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Cake decorating 101

Michaels in Wolfchase, 8035 Giacosa Place, is offering several cake decorating classes beginning next week. Morning and evening sessions are available. For the whole month, receive one-third off the regular tuition price of $30. To register, stop by the store or call 388-9247.

Community cookbook awards

The 18th Annual Tabasco Community Cookbook Awards is accepting submissions for cookbooks published as fundraisers by nonprofit organizations in 2006 and 2007.

The awards were established by the McIlhenny Company 17 years ago to recognize the role these books play in chronicling and preserving local culinary traditions.

The deadline is Sept. 28. For an entry form and further awards details, visit tabasco.com.

Please share your fabulous food finds and restaurant news with me at jennifer@cookwithjennifer.com.

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