Culinary Calendar

The must-eat foodie events this week

Thursday, October 11

Recipes from Chefs' Home Kitchens

Ever wondered what Jonathon Sawyer cooks at home, or what Eric Williams whips up for his family and friends? So did Cleveland writer and longtime foodie Maria Isabella. "Wouldn't it be great to be a fly on the wall when chefs entertain?" she thought way back in 2008. Four years later, that question finds its answer in a 172-page cookbook, In the Kitchen with Cleveland's Favorite Chefs, which features more than 120 home recipes from 35 of the region's top toques. Sawyer and Williams are among the chefs who contributed recipes, as are Zack Bruell, Steve Schimoler, Michael Symon, and Karen Small. Also included are recipes from Heather Haviland, Jonathan Bennett, and the late Sergio Abramoff. "I love 100 percent of the recipes in the book, but the one that made me feel like I was in heaven was Sergio's Shrimp Santos," says Isabella. "It was a recipe from when he was a little boy in Brazil, and it is just so simple and delicious." In the Kitchen with Cleveland's Favorite Chefs makes its debut tonight at Barnes & Noble in Westlake's Crocker Park. Isabella will be sharing stories, answering questions, and signing books; at her side will be chef Karen Small, serving samples of her featured fig scones. It all happens from 7 to 10 p.m. Find more info, including a complete list of upcoming book signings, on Isabella's website.

198 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, 440-250-9233,

Saturday, October 13

Date Night at DJ's Clubhouse Grille

Fans of chef Jeff James, formerly of Reddstone, can find him in Eastlake these days, where he's heading up the kitchen at DJ's Clubhouse Grille. "We're serving upscale food that is really affordable," James says. "The menu is homey but sophisticated — much like what I was doing at Reddstone. But I've kicked it up a bit." Among the promotions James has introduced at the four-month-old eatery is Saturday-night "date night," featuring a three-course dinner for two — a choice of soup or salad, two of the night's special entrées, and a shared dessert, for $22 per couple. The specials change weekly, but previous choices have included selections like grilled swordfish with zucchini and mashed potatoes, and New York strip steak with sautéed mushrooms.

35400 Vine St., Eastlake, 440-951-2582,

Sunday, October 14

Vegan Dinner at Brennan's Party Center

More than 20 restaurants, bakeries, and food vendors will serve up vegan delights today at Brennan's Party Center as part of the inaugural Cleveland VegGala Fundraiser. If you're the type who suspects vegans subsist on twigs and grass, consider this: The spots dishing out tonight's hors d'oeuvre-sized samples include such bastions of good taste as Aladdin's, Deagan's Kitchen & Bar, Grovewood Tavern, Pura Vida, and Root Café. Along with raffles, live music, and a silent auction, guests can rub elbows with Fox 8 news reporter and celebrity vegan Emily Valdez, who will be hosting. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $35 online or $45 at the door; the price includes two complimentary cocktails. Proceeds go to support the programs of the nonprofit Cleveland Vegan Society, including the first-ever Cleveland VegFest, set for June 1, 2013 at Cleveland State University. Details and tickets are on the website.

13000 Triskett Rd.,

Monday, October 15

Dinner in the Dark

This month's edition starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center, near Public Square downtown. The premise is that guests are kept in the dark about menu details until the dinner bell rings. Based on past experience, we'll wager a guess that tonight's dinner will be fun and full of surprises — including the identities of the evening's cadre of six volunteer chefs. Tickets for this evening's bash are $87.05 on the website, fees included; in keeping with the mission, all proceeds go to benefit the charity of the host's choice.

180 Euclid Ave., 646-397-8401,

Wine Tasting at Crop Bistro

Chef Steve Schimoler will be hosting a wine tasting this evening at his Ohio City restaurant, Crop Bistro. The 6:30 event will feature four samples from California's Justin Vineyards, a family-owned estate in Paso Robles. Founded in 1981, the winery specializes in Bordeaux-style blends like the highly rated Isosceles, a full-bodied red featuring flavor notes of black currant and cherry layered with licorice, vanilla, chocolate, and tobacco. "We'll be pairing each wine with small plates from the kitchen," says Schimoler. "It'll be casual, but it will be good." Cost is $25. Make your reservations by phone.

2537 Lorain Ave., 216-696-2767,

Tuesday, October 16

Harvest Bounty in Tremont

Just because the leaves are turning doesn't mean local farmers have thrown in the trowel. Sure, some farmers' markets have closed for the season. But the weekly market in Tremont's Lincoln Park is still going strong. Its booths are filled with local apples, pears, eggs, chicken, beef and cheese. After you fill your shopping bags, you can fill your tummy with treats from vendors like Godmother's Pizza and Scott's Fire & Ice Catering. Outdoor operations continue from 4 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday through Oct. 30.

West 14th St. between Starkweather and Kenilworth ,

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