Food Column: They're painting the town ... pink


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The fight against breast cancer takes on a spirit of friendly competition next week when the South Side, Oakland and Downtown duke it out to raise the most money for Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh.

All three neighborhoods have planned separate "Drink for Pink" events with pink cocktails served by celebrity bartenders.

The events will be held simultaneously from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, so you'll have to pick which neighborhood to throw your weight behind:

Oakland: The Oakland Business Improvement District started the whole thing; they've been holding "Drink for Pink" events for four years and decided this year to expand beyond Oakland and challenge a couple other neighborhoods to a friendly competition, according to Mary Davidson Williams, marketing and communications coordinator.

The Porch at Schenley Plaza will serve up alcoholic and nonalcoholic pink lemonade with food pairings. Raffle items have been donated by the Hilton Garden Inn, Pitt Athletics and other businesses. Pittsburgh Steeler Charlie Batch tops the list of celebrity bartenders, along with Pitt football coach Paul Chryst, several Pittsburgh City Council members and others.

Downtown: At Andy's at The Fairmont, pink lemonade will get a kick from some Wigle Whiskey, and Andy's will create food pairings and perhaps a second cocktail. A raffle also will be held, featuring items like a pair of Pittsburgh Opera tickets to "La Boheme" and Pittsburgh Passion season tickets. Guest bartenders will include Passion players Janice Masters and Kate Sullivan, Jonny Hartwell of 3WS Radio, the ladies of eatPGH.com, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and more.

South Side: Local Bar + Kitchen hosts this neighborhood's event, with celebrity bartenders to include Post-Gazette columnist Brian O'Neill, radio hosts from WYEP and WXDX, actors, musicians and more.

Regarding the competitive aspect of the events, Leigh White, vice president of marketing and communications for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, said, "It's friendly, but we want to win."

But she refused to trash-talk her competitors: "We're excited about how our communities are coming together, so I think it's too congenial" to offer any fightin' words, she said.

For more information, go to drinkforpink.org, like "Drink for Pink Pittsbur.

Beer & wine

Glass Slipper Ball: Twenty area chefs cook up their signature hors d'oeuvres and desserts. Includes wine and beer samples, music and dancing. 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Four Points Sheraton, Cranberry. $85 benefits local and global women's educational initiatives. glassslipperball.com.

Bacon, Bourbon & Beer Tasting: 5:30 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 27, at The Supper Club, Greensburg. $35. Reservations: 724-691-0536.

Olde Town Winter Wine Walk: Area wineries set up tastings in shops. 1 to 4 or 5 to 8 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 27, in Downtown Grove City. $20. oldetowngrovecity.com.

American Wine Society Pittsburgh Wine Conference & Competition: Twelve wine seminars for novices to experienced winemakers, amateur wine awards and more. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. March 2 at Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center, Ross. awspghwineconference.org.

Fat Tuesday Beer Tasting: Abita beers paired with New Orleans cuisine, such as pan-fried shrimp and crawfish cake, short ribs with foie gras dirty rice, and beignets. 7 p.m. March 4 at the Hartwood Restaurant, Hampton. $50 per person. Reservations: 412-767-3500.

Movie nights

"Greenhorns" film screening: View this 50-minute documentary about America's young farming community at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at East End Food Co-op, Point Breeze. Free, but reserve a spot: 412-242-3598.

"The End of the Line" film screening: View this documentary about the effect of overfishing on the world's fish populations at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at Marty's Market, Strip District. $5 suggested donation; no registration necessary.

Girls' Night Out: Academy Awards Dinner: Bring a friend for a hands-on class where you'll cook an Oscars dinner. 6 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 27, at Giant Eagle Market District in Robinson. $50; registration required. marketdistrict.com.

"Symphony of the Soil" film screening: Filmed on four continents, this documentary features soil scientists, farmers and activists. 6:30 p.m. March 12 at East End Food Co-op, Point Breeze. Free, but reserve a spot: 412-242-3598.

Miscellaneous foodie events

Cherry Pie Hike: Hear a presentation on the area's frontier history, take a hike (your choice of short or long) and enjoy some cherry pie. Choose 9 a.m., 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. start time Saturday, Feb. 22, at Jennings Environmental Education Center in Slippery Rock. Reservations: 724-256-0674 or e-mail stehles@gmail.com.

Turkish Food Night: Lentil soup, Turkish ravioli, lentil kofta, pastries, bean saute with olive oil. 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Turkish Cultural Center Pittsburgh, Banksville. 412-562-9869 or facebook.com/tccpenn.

Contest news

Vote for a recipe: Teena Petrus of Johnstown is a semifinalist in a national chicken recipe contest. Her recipe for Chicken & Mushroom Spanikopitas is one of four semifinalists in the February/March issue of "Taste of Home." Vote for your favorite recipe through March 15 at tysonreadyornot.com.

Pillsbury Bake-Off accepting entries: The 2014 Pillsbury Bake-Off, which offers a grand prize of a million dollars, is accepting entries in the Simply Sweet Treats and Savory Snacks & Sides categories through March 27 at bakeoff.com. There will be an additional prize awarded to gluten-free recipes featuring Pillsbury's gluten-free products.

Olympic chef

As Team USA dukes it out in Sochi, Chef Shawn Culp is preparing to compete in the World Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany, in 2016. Mr. Culp, a culinary instructor at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and a culinary competition veteran, was one of five chefs selected for the U.S. national team.

The team includes Corey Siegel, now a sous chef in California who served as "commis," or sous chef in the 2013 Bocuse d'Or, arguably the king of culinary competitions.

In 2012, Mr. Culp served on the United States' regional team -- a sort of second string to the national team -- at the World Culinary Olympics.


Rebecca Sodergren: pgfoodevents@hotmail.com or on Twitter @pgfoodevents.

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