* Salem High School Culinary Arts Director Jeff Shupe was supposed to take over the Chef’s Circle at the Salem Farmers Market tomorrow (Saturday), but something’s come up and he will be unable to do it. In his place, the fantastic Chris Parkhurst of Firefly Fare in the Roanoke City Market Building has agreed to fill in.
Those of you who dine at Firefly Fare know Chris is a master with fresh, local ingredients and makes some killer vegetarian dishes in addition to meats. The Chef’s Circle is free and it begins at 9:30 a.m. It is recommended that you bring a lawn chair if you don’t want to stand the entire time.
* Big changes are afoot at Pomegranate restaurant in Troutville. On July 24, they will start serving lunch and launch a new menu. The lunch menu, which will be available 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, includes a burger, Philly cheesesteak, chicken strips and BBQ, as well as salads and side dishes.
The new dinner menu features small plates such as conch fritters with Caribbean mayonnaise and blood orange barbecued shrimp with margarita-marinated grilled watermelon. Examples from the large plate section include vegetable-crusted salmon and chicken puttanesca.
* Budweiser has announced that it will sample six new beers this summer, all made in a small batches in different zip codes around the country. It’s called “Project 12″ because it started with 12 beers and was narrowed to six by internal taste tests. Consumer feedback on the six sample brews will be used to cut the number to three for the company’s fall sampler.
The closest beer to Roanoke was developed in Williamsburg. Here’s what the Budweiser website says about it:
“Budweiser Small Batch 23185 (Virginia): A light-amber all-malt bourbon cask lager aged on bourbon staves and vanilla beans and with an ABV of 5.5 percent. The beer is brewed by Daniel Westmoreland in Williamsburg and was developed in collaboration with Mike Anderson in Jacksonville and Dan Kahn in Cartersville.
Unfortunately, it appears as if this customer sampling will take place only at private events in each city and at a Budweiser festival in Philadelphia on Labor Day. But it’ll be interesting to see the fall sampler. Looks like the big boys might be trying to catch the microbrew wave?
* It appears a new ethnic market has replaced the Fresh Oriental Market at the corner of Williamson Road and Liberty Road. It’s called Saigon Market. A reader reports that it has been nicely cleaned inside and the shelves are gradually being stocked.
* Finally, just for fun on this summer Friday, I thought I’d share Foodily.com‘s list of the 10 best summer beverage recipes from around the web. Not all of these are alcoholic recipes. Stay cool!
1. Watermelon Margarita – Martha Stewart
2. Old Fashioned Pink Lemonade – Simply Recipes
3. Sriracha Bloody Mary – White on Rice Couple
4. Blended Cherry Mojitos – Food Network
5. Pineapple Mojito – Tyler Florence
6. Megan’s Frozen Watermelon Margaritas – The Kitchn
7. Basil Gimlet – Sunset
8. Mint Julep Iced Tea – Coastal Living
9. LuLu’s Ginger Cocktail – LuLu Powers
10. Pina Colada – My recipes