Pittsburgh abounds with festivals, charity dinners and more

For charity

A Gathering of Chefs: Nine local chefs prepare a fall harvest feast with food stations, cocktails, beer, wine, hayrides, games, music and a silent auction. Courses include vegan pulled “pork” (jackfruit) by chef Christopher Galarza of Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus; pork belly porchetta by chef Tony Verdream of Pines Tavern; Moroccan braised goat meatballs by chef Tom Lonardo of Legume; Spanish chorizo with lima bean puree by chef Norman Hart of the American Academy of Culinary Arts at Pittsburgh Technical College; mushroom tacos by chef Martin Lamarche of Breakneck Tavern; red wine braised beef brisket by chef Martin Thomas of Sewickley Heights Golf Club; roasted peach and chevre cheesecake by chef William Racin of The Duquesne Club; caramel apple pie by chef Annalee DePaoli of Piebird Pastry Kitchen; and chocolate truffles by chef Amanda Wright of A519 Chocolate. Pittsburgh Ice Cream Company is providing local artisan ice creams, and Engine House 25 is curating the wines. 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at The Barn at Soergel Hollow, Evans City. $125; benefits the Bradley Center’s behavioral health care facility and private academic school for children healing from trauma. gatheringofchefs.com.

Freedom Fest: Smoke in the Valley Chili, Wings and Rib Cook-Off, plus the Fire Extinguisher Brew-Off and live music. 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at Leechburg Volunteer Fire Company. $25 in advance; $10 for designated drivers; $35 for VIPs (includes 5 p.m. buffet). Benefits the fire company. Eventbrite.com (search for “Freedom Fest”).

Frontier Dinner: Five-course dinner with beer and wine in a barn setting plus silent and Chinese auctions, wine tasting, dancing, music and a bonfire. 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at Christian W. Klay Winery in Chalk Hill. $75; advance reservations only. Benefits the National Road Heritage Corridor. nationalroadpa.org.

Rocktoberfest Special Olympics Party: Buffet and beers on tap from eight local breweries. 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 13, at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Homestead. $25. rockbottom.com/locations/pittsburgh/events/.


Oktoberfest: Authentic German fare from Atria’s, plus live German music, German brews (extra charge) and aviary admission. 6:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday at the National Aviary, North Side. $37; ages 21 and up only. aviary.org/special-events/Oktoberfest.

Stroll the Strip: Food and beverage pairings served at more than 25 Strip District businesses, plus an after-party at Roland’s Seafood Grill. 4 to 10 p.m. Friday at Strip District businesses. $40 in advance; $55 at the door. showclix.com/event/stroll-the-strip.

Pittsburgh Irish Festival: Irish food, music, step dancing, storytelling and more. 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Riverplex at Sandcastle, West Homestead. $12 in advance; $15 at gate; $10 for seniors, students, military and public safety; free for ages 12 and under; $30 for weekend pass. pghirishfest.org.

Homewood Good Food Festival: Samples from local restaurants and caterers, meet-and-greet with local gardeners and farmers, live music, kids’ activities. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the 7100 block of Kelly Street in Homewood. Free admission. phipps.conservatory.org/calendar/detail/homewood-good-food-festival.

Romanian Food Festival: 21st annual festival features a variety of Romanian dishes. Noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, and 12:30 to 5 p.m., Sunday, at St. Andrew Romanian Orthodox Church, McKees Rocks. standrewpitt.org.


Harvest Home Dinner: Part of the St. Alphonsus Parish Harvest Home Weekend, this dinner features homemade dishes made with farm-to-table produce from Wexford Farms, Soergel Orchards, Shenot Farm & Market and Eichner’s Family Farm Market. Choices include pulled pork, charcoal-grilled half chicken or ham, plus mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, coleslaw, cucumber salad, tomato salad and other sides and desserts. 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday,  in the Ryan Center at Blessed Francis Seelos Academy in Pine. $11; $6 for children; $12 for takeout. saintalphonsuswexford.org/harvesthome.

Free entrees for veterans: PapaGallo Cucina in Collier Town Square is offering free entrees for veterans on Tuesdays throughout September. The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays. Veterans must present identification.

Drink-related events

Zoo Brew: Oktoberfest: Craft beers from more than 60 breweries, food, live music, zoo admission and a tasting mug. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Highland Park. $63; ages 21 and up only. pittzburghzoo.org (click on “Events & Experiences” and then on “Zoo Events”).

Steel City Big Pour: 52 brewers, 25 food and drink vendors, live art and music. Two sessions: noon to 3 p.m. or 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Construction Junction in North Point Breeze. $80; $35 for designated drivers; ages 21 and up only. cjreuse.org/bigpour/.

Explore East Liberty Wine Festival: Wine, entertainment, vendors, prizes and food. 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday along Broad Street from Highland to Centre avenues in East Liberty. eastlibertychamber.org/Wine-Festival.

Wine Time at The Colony: Wine tasting, food, artisan marketplace and live music. 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Penn’s Colony, Saxonburg. $25; $10 for designated drivers. Ages 21 and up only. winetimeatthecolony.com.

How to Write About Beer: Hop Culture magazine editor Kenny Gould teaches food and drink writing. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12, at East End Brewing, Larimer. $25; two for $40. Tickets: creativenonfiction.org/products/how-write-about-beer-other-things.


Party in the Tropics: Sweet and savory bites, cocktails, beer selections, dancing and conservatory admission. 7 to 11 p.m. Friday at Phipps Conservatory, Oakland. Ages 21 and up only; event repeats on Oct. 6 and Nov. 3. Free with Phipps admission. phipps.conservatory.org/calendar/detail/party-in-the-tropics.

Beaglepalooza: Food, adult beverages, raffle baskets and live music. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse, North Side. Benefits Forever Home Beagle Rescue. facebook.com (search for “Beaglepalooza”).

A Taste in Dormont: Wine, beer and food tastings from J&D Winery, Great Lakes Brewery, D&O Wine Cellars, Plum Run, Jose and Tony’s Mexican Restaurant, Giovanni’s Pizzeria and more. 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Dormont Pool parking lot. $25; ages 21 and up only. dormontmainstreet.org.

Chef news

S.Pellegrino Young Chef Competition: Vincent Brady, a former culinary student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, is a semifinalist in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef national competition.

Mr. Brady, who is now employed by The Country Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio, will join nine other semifinalists from around the country to present his signature dish for judging on Oct. 17 in New York City.

Five seasoned chefs will determine the winner, and the U.S. finalist will then move on to global finals in 2018. finedininglovers.com/tag/san-pellegrino-young-chef/.

Rebecca Sodergren: pgfoodevents@hotmail.com; @pgfoodevents.


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