Springtime always brings a crop of food-related benefits. Here's three to consider:
The Greater Cleveland Chili Cook-Off
from 6 to 9 p.m., April 17, at the Terrace Club at Jacob's Field: This is the second year for the event, which benefits the Autism Society of Greater Cleveland. The draw, of course, is the chance to sample dozens of chilis -- mild to hot, meaty to vegetarian -- cooked up by a crew of both amateur and professional range riders. Among the pros, look for Michael Longo (ML, Bainbridge), Larry Coffman (Blue Canyon Kitchen, Twinsburg), and Nolan Konkoski (Momocho, Ohio City). Among the judges: Nick Kustala (Lure, Willoughby), Shawn Monday (Downtown 140, Hudson), Ben Bebenroth (Spice of Life Catering), Brian Doyle (World's Fare Culinary), and yours truly. The suggested donation of $15 not only gets you plenty of red, but also live entertainment, door prizes, and a chance to win a ride on the Goodyear blimp. Cash bar. Order tickets online
, or by calling 216-556-4937.
An Eggstraordinary Feast
, the North Union Farmers Market's
annual spring fundraiser, will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., April 23, at Eton Chagrin Boulevard in Woodmere. This is a new location for the ever-expanding throw down that helps support the region's family farmers. Among the 25 chefs offering taste-tempting morsels: Karen Small (Flying Fig, Ohio City), Adam Gidlow (On the Rise Bakery, Cleveland Hts.), Matthew Mathlage (Light Bistro, Ohio City), Doug Katz (Fire, Shaker Square), and Luigi Iannuvario (Bice, Tower City). Ticket prices start at $80, and include an open beer-and-wine bar, valet parking, market membership, and live entertainment. To reserve tickets by phone, call 216-751-7695.
Finally, here's early warning for Scene's Tasteful Affair
, 7 to 10 p.m., May 17 at Windows on the River, in the Powerhouse. Now in its fifth year, the food-and-spirits sampling features signature dishes from more than 20 top hotspots. New this year: an Iron Fork competition, starring eight local chefs in a toque-to-toque smackdown. Advance tickets for the 21-and-over event are $30 each, or four for $100; click here
to purchase, or call 216-721-5722 ext. 445. (Tickets at the door are $40.) A portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the Western Reserve Historical Society. Look for more details in Side Dish as the date nears. -- Elaine T. Cicora