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The Weekly Dish
Park & Shop Oriental Center
March 14, 2007
By Jennifer Chandler

The Weekly Dish

By Jennifer Chandler


I first have to disclaim “I have no excuse.” 


I keep hearing about the great international markets we have around town.  I have even eaten some amazing food from these places at my friends’ homes. But I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t been to many of them. 


I have the best intentions but I get in the rut of just going to the same store I have been shopping at pretty much my whole life.  But last week I discovered first hand what everyone has been telling me I have been missing out on.


When I was about to head to my neighborhood supermarket to buy the ingredients to make sushi for a dinner party, my good friend Marcy Tashie looked at me in horror.  “You’re not going to an Asian market?!” she exclaimed. 


So Marcy nicely offered to take me on a shopping adventure on Summer Avenue.  Our destination was the Park & Shop Oriental Center (3664 Summer Avenue).(cq)  This little white building doesn’t look like much on the outside and is easy to miss but boy is it a treasure trove inside.


They had pretty much everything one would need to make an Asian-inspired meal and… even better… at a great price.  For next to nothing, we picked up bags of edamame, scrumptious vegetable dumplings, big bags of sushi rice, nori (the seaweed wrappers used in making sushi) and even a big box of chopsticks.


Now I am determined to take advantage of all the great ethnic delicacies that available in Memphis. If you know of a great international market I need to check out, please let me know.


“The Chef in the Hat” comes to Encore


Encore restaurant chef and owner Jose Gutierrez has invited his good friend and fellow Master Chef Thierry Rautureau, (cq) chef/owner of Rover’s restaurant in Seattle, Washington, to be a guest chef the evening of March 21 at 6:30p.m.  Rautureau, a James Beard winner, will be showcasing recipes from his new cookbook, Rover's: Recipes from Seattle's Chef in the Hat (Ten Speed Press, $40).


Nicknamed “The Chef in the Hat” because he prefers a fedora to a classic chef’s toque, Chef Rautureau was a guest of Chef Gutierrez’s back in 2004 at Chez Philippe. I thoroughly enjoyed his cooking then and am looking forward to enjoying his Pacific Northwest cuisine again. 


The cost of the 4-course dinner is $75 per person exclusive of tax and gratuity.  Call (901)528-1415 for reservations.(cq)

Goings On at Capriccio Grill


Capriccio Grill has a new chef.  Brian Barrow, (cq) a California native who comes to Memphis by way of Florida, has taken the helm at this Italian steakhouse in The Peabody Hotel.


Next week, Chef Barrow is introducing a new series of quarterly wine dinners at Capriccio Grill.


The first event, on March 22 at 6:00p.m., will feature the exquisite, award-winning Oregon wines of Domaine Serene. (cq) Guests will enjoy such wines as the Evenstad Reserve, (cq) which has become the benchmark for Oregon Pinot Noir and was recently named the #1 Oregon wine in Wine & Spirit’s Restaurant Poll. The prix-fix menu is $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations call (901)529-4199. (cq)


Tennessee Black Gold


After reading Molly O’Neill’s story last week’s food section, I was so excited about truffles being grown in our home state that I had to find out more.  I tracked down Dr. Tom Michaels in East Tennessee to find out if we could enjoy this homegrown mushroom delicacy in Memphis. 


Michaels explained to me that the truffle season only runs between December and February.  He went on to add that this year’s crop was pretty small – only 50 or 60 of his 2,500 trees produced truffles.   Next year he hopes to have enough to sell to our end of the state.  Just to make sure, I shared his number with our local native-French chef Jose Gutierrez of Encore.  


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

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