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Gettin’ Schooled at Karen Brownlow’s Chop Shop Cooking Class in Westport

11 Aug
Karen operates Chop Shop classes right out of her beautiful kitchen

Karen operates Chop Shop classes right out of her beautiful kitchen

With Fairfield County’s active food scene, it’s no problem trying a new restaurant whenever you want.  But, sometimes you might want more than a meal out.  Maybe you want to take those restaurant-quality dishes home with you to make whenever you want.  Again, there are certainly many cooking classes that you can try out here in the 203, but many are simple meals or involve basic skills.

Some of the steps involved in making a great ceviche

Some of the steps involved in making a great ceviche

So, we were very excited to learn about Karen Brownlow of Chop Shop Cooking.  She loved cooking for friends and at parties so much that she decided to study cooking at The New York Restaurant School in Manhattan.  Seeing her talent, they kept her on in their catering department and became one of their head chefs in charge of the many events that they cater.  From there, she worked at Abigail Kirsch and even started her own catering company.  As her life got busier and she wanted to spend more time with her family, she decided to stop catering, but…and here’s where Chop Shop came in…but, her friends convinced her to start cooking classes.  And, so Chop Shop Cooking was born!

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Nomworthy Bites of CT Food News, Vol. 5: BBQ, Memorial Day, Brews, Tastings + More…

21 May

 

Again, there’s so much going on this week and next week, that we wanted to get a whole slew of events out there for ya.  Don’t ever complain that there’s nothing to do here in Fairfield County!  Also, don’t forget to enter our FB contest to win 2 tickets to The Meatball Challenge of Fairfield County, valued at $120.  The contest ends Friday, so make sure to enter ASAP!  

May 21:  Barcelona Stamford is hosting a new series of events called “The Cocktail Classroom.”  This month’s class is called Whiskey Creations.  Okay, sold!  Check out how to make some great cocktails with whiskey while Executive Chef Scott Quis pairs them with some yummy bites.  Cost is $35 per person.

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15 Food Trucks Roll into Orange Fairgrounds for RBS Food Truck Festival

1 May

Update:  due to the threat of storms, the Food Truck Festival is postponed until May 23, 4-8 pm.  Please spread the word and tell your friends about the new date.  

One of the key benefits of the weather getting nicer (theoretically, look at it outside, bleh) is that it’s food truck season.  Of course, in our minds, any season is food truck season, but we can be realistic and say that a good majority of trux go into hibernation.  Well, shake off those sleepy heads because Race Brook School has put together a monster food truck festival for May 16 23 from 4-8 PM.  

Ditch your fancy restaurant plans and, instead, take a bunch of your friends over to the Orange Fairgrounds.  10% of all sales are being given directly to the Race Brook School that Alex from the newly launched The Buzz Truck (in attendance) went to!

This is seriously the best way to kick off a beautiful weekend with…

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PopShop Market Taking Over New Haven w/ Food Trucks + Shops

2 Apr
PopShop Market April 2014 New Haven

Lots o’ food trucks!

PopShop Market is back for some more awesomeness here in 2014 and their biggest and baddest spot ever:  The Shops at Yale!  This one day free event on 4/27/14 from 11-4 pm is a continuation of a series of events that PopShop Market has held in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, featuring an excellent variety of personally curated vendors.  

Not only will you be able to find whatever you need to get ready for spring, there will also be a ton of food options from some of CT’s best food trucks  for you to make your own lunch/brunch.  And, who doesn’t like to get a bit saucy during the day?  Of course ya do, it’s the weekend and you’ve earned it.  So, get ready for PopShop’s Signature BarCar that will feature spring-inspired cocktails and a CT brewery.  Details on this haven’t been revealed yet, so make sure to like them on FB and follow them on Twitter to get first dibs on the info.    

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Branford, New Haven, and Stratford Restaurant Weeks Hit Mid-April

28 Mar

We told you about the 1st Annual Stratford Restaurant Week at the start of the week, but you’ll be happy to know that there are lots of other options for branching out and trying new spots throughout the middle of April, too.  So, let’s break these restaurant weeks down in order from Branford, to New Haven, and then to Stratford:

April 6-12, 2014

April 6-12, 2014

First up is Branford Restaurant Week, make sure to enter for a $25 gift card good at any of the participating restaurants.  Secondly, check out the selection of restaurants that will feature specials, deals, and prix fixe menus.  Third of all, don’t forget about Stoney Creek and Thimble Island breweries, both in Branford.  Make a day of it!

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Best of the Gold Coast 2014 Voting Is Now Open…Plus, Win Big!

17 Feb

Now open for their 10th year of voting, Moffly Media’s Best of the Gold Coast contest is ready for your votes!  Just login or register if you’re a n00b then you’re ready to pick your favorites in tons of food categories and other categories such as clothing, jewelry, things to do, education, fitness, beauty, bridal, home, kids, pets, music, retail services, and automotive.  Once you get your votes in you can then enter their contest, too, to be one of 5 winners who will win two VIP tix to the Best of the Gold Coast party (we had a blast last year) on July 24? from 7-10 pm at the Hilton Stamford.  Plus, you’ll also win dinner for two one of five previous winners:  Bartaco of Darien or Fairfield, EOS of Stamford, Dinosaur Bar-b-que of Stamford, Rowayton Seafood of Rowayton, or Harvest Wine Bar of Greenwich.

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Beautiful Bites of the Caribbean at Cafe Turnier in Norwalk

22 Jan

Cafe Turnier in Norwalk Sign

Update:  we’re sad to report that Cafe Turnier is now closed, though the plan is to now continue catering. (1/29/14)

We’d be willing to bet many of you have a mental to-eat list of restaurants you want to go to.  And, we’d also be willing to bet that on that list, you don’t have many unsuspecting little hidden gems. Those tiny little, hole-in-the-wall hotspots that not a lot of people realize are amazing. After all, that’s why they’re called hidden gems. Well, our list had one of those spots on it, Cafe Turnier in Norwalk,  and we finally had our chance to hit it up.

Owner and chef Ernst “Ernie” Turnier was kind enough to invite us in to meet up, talk, and try out some dishes.  Who were we to refuse such an invite?  And, who were we to refuse when Ernie asked us if we liked spicy food and if we loved Haitian and Caribbean food?  Duh, duh, and more duh.

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