Salt Lake City's "Eat Local Challenge" kicks-off this week with a series of events and classes to encourage people to eat food grown or produced within a 150 mile radius of their home. The challenge is sponsored by Wasatch Community Gardens, Slow Food Utah and the Downtown Farmers Market.
Pasta Party and Sauce Swap • Wednesday, Sept. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Viking Cooking School, 2233 S. 300 East, Salt Lake City. Learn how to make your own pasta from local ingredients. Bring a container of your favorite homemade pasta sauce to swap with others. Cost is $10, includes pasta ingredients.
Tomato sandwich kick-off • Saturday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wasatch Community Garden's Grateful Tomato Garden, 800 S. 600 East, Salt Lake City. Kick off a month of eating locally during this free event. Enjoy heirloom tomato sandwiches, live music, children's activities, and a fall plant sale! You can also sign your pledge to Eat Local.
Quick pickles • Tuesday, Sept. 11, 4:30 to 7 p.m. Downtown Harvest Market at Pioneer Park, 300 S. 350 West, Salt Lake City. Learn to make quick pickles using ingredients you purchase from the market. Jars and supplies provided. $10 suggested donation.
First week celebration • Saturday, Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m., Grateful Tomato Garden, 800 S. 600 East, Salt Lake City. Celebrate the first week of the Challenge with a potluck dinner. Bring a favorite dish and share your "Eat Local" stories and challenges. Prizes.
Grand finale • Saturday, Oct. 6, 6:30 p.m. Celebrate a month of eating locally by taking a private tour and tasting at Beehive Cheese Co., in Uintah. Bring a favorite dish to share. Carpooling is encouraged! $10 suggested donation.
Info • Pre-register for the classes and cheese tour at wasatchgardens.org
Casting call for new reality show
Crews from TLC and the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will be in Salt Lake City Sept. 14-16 to cast a new reality TV show involving two well-known Utah food companies. In each episode, "outgoing, opinionated and creative consumers" will be given the chance to help either Mrs. Fields Cookies or TCBY Frozen Yogurt companies that have been struggling in the current economy, explained Scott Goldstein, casting director.
"The show is extremely positive and allows the average everyday customer a chance to work with and help reconfigure one of their favorite companies," he said in a news release announcing the casting call.
Participants must be at least 18 years old; be passionate about one of the Utah-based companies; and be creative enough to come up with ways to improve the brand. There is pay involved if chosen for the show. To apply, email your name, age, occupation and contact information to email@example.com. In your email, include which brand Mrs. Fields or TCBY that you would like to help and what changes you would make if you were the boss.
Utah student a 'Pasta Tales' winner
Chandler Wambach, a first grade student from St. George, was a grade-level winner in Olive Garden's 16th annual "Pasta Tales" essay writing contest. He received a $500 savings bond and a family dinner at Olive Garden. For the contest, students in first through 12th-grade were asked to submit an essay answering the question, "If you were given $5,000 to support education in your local community, how would you use it and why?" Wambach, who is home schooled, said he would give it to his local library. More than 29,000 entries were submitted in this year's contest.
Opa! It's Greek Festival time
Celebrate Greek food and culture during the 2012 Salt Lake Greek Festival. The ethnic festival, now in 37th year, offers a full menu of food and baked goods. Guests can take a church tour, sit in on a cooking demonstration or watch youth dance performances. A portion of all the proceeds is donated to Utah charities.
When • Thursday, Sept. 6, 5 to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday Sept. 7 and 8, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where • Holy Trinity Greek Cathedral, 279 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City.
Admission • $3. Download a coupon for free admission at: zionsbank.com/mp/greek-festival/
Details • http://www.saltlakegreekfestival.com
A taste of Brazil
The Utah Brazilian festival offers food, music and a traditional Samba parade with colorful costumes and fire dancers. This year's event also features Brasil 360, a 20 minute, interactive exhibit that takes you through a complete tour of the country from Rio de Janeiro to the Amazon.
When • Saturday, Sept. 8, 1 to 7 p.m.
Where • Gallivan Center, 250 South Main St., Salt Lake City
Cost • Free admission; cost for food and crafts
Be a sushi master
Learn the art of making sushi during the Sushi 101 class at the Benihanna in Salt Lake City. Attendees will learn to roll sushi, proper dipping techniques and etiquette.
When • Saturday, Sept. 8, 3 to 5 p.m.
Where • Benihanna, 165 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City
Cost • $35, includes appetizer, sample of rolls and photo. Must be 21 or older.
Info • Register at: benihana.com/sushi_101.
Cooking school at Thanksgiving Point
Get new recipes and learn expert cooking techniques during the Taste of Home Cooking School. Culinary specialist, Kristi Larson, will provide step-by-step instructions on seasonal dishes from the Taste of Home's cookbooks, magazine and website, tasteofhome.com. All attendees will receive coupons, samples and a chance to win prizes. Food, clothing, jewelry and craft vendors will be on hand during a pre-show event that also includes a children's Halloween fashion show and a mommy makeover contest.
When • Tuesday, Sept. 11, doors open at 4 p.m.; cooking school 7-9:30 p.m.
Where • The Thanksgiving Point Show Barn, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi.
Cost • $13 for advance, $15 the day of the event. Thanksgiving Point members get a $2 discount on advance tickets.
Info • purchase online at thanksgivingpoint.org; by phone, 801-768-4900; or at the box office, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.