In its five years at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, Blessings in a Backpack has brought world-class chefs to Fort Wayne including Charlie Trotter, of the eponymous Chicago restaurant, and Iron Chef Cat Cora.
This years event, which raises money and awareness for childrens nutrition, features Marcus Samuelsson, the Ethiopian-born chef and restaurateur who was raised in Sweden and has appeared on Bravos Top Chef: Masters and Food Networks Chopped and The Next Iron Chef. Samuelsson has been the executive chef of New Yorks Aquavit and currently runs Red Rooster Harlem in New York. The Red Rooster mixes American comfort food with hints of Samuelssons Swedish and African roots. The chef also owns restaurants in Sweden, Chicago, California and Germany.
The event, which is at 6:15 p.m. Aug. 14, is nearly sold out, and the $750 tickets are available by calling Paul Sauerteig, the local chapter of the charitys treasurer, at 423-2353. Last year, the event raised more than $50,000, Sauerteig says.
This years event is larger still with about 135 people, says Eric Schneider, general manager at Sycamore Hills.
Blessings in a Backpack is a national program that provides a backpack full of food to underprivileged children each weekend during the school year, Schneider says. The golf clubs black-tie event features menu and wine pairings courtesy of Samuelsson.
The event also features a meet-and-greet with Samuelsson and a time for photos before the dinner, Sauerteig says.
When people know there are 33 schools in (Fort Wayne Community Schools) where there are children on the federal free lunch program, people arent aware that there are kids that dont get something to eat on the weekends, so this program provides these school kids with a backpack of food so they have something to eat on the weekend, he says.
Its a tremendous program in regard to how the kids (perform) in school. The teachers comment that their test scores are up, their class participation is up, their attendance is up. One hundred percent of the money we raise goes to feeding the kids.
Blessings in a Backpack, which started in Louisville, Ky., feeds more than 43,000 children in 27 states, as well as Canada and Colombia.
To make a donation to Fort Waynes chapter without buying a ticket to the dinner, go to www.blessings-in.com.
Brava’s Dogs owner to start food truck
The owners of the Fort Wayne favorite Bravas Dogs – perhaps best known for setting up at the Downtown Improvement Districts Lunch on the Square at Calhoun and Wayne streets – will soon do double duty with a Spanish-themed food truck simply called Bravas.
Bravas Dogs co-owner Roberto Gonzalez – or Bo to friends and customers – says he hopes the food truck will be ready to go by the end of August.
The fare will be different from the hot dogs that customers are used to at Bravas Dogs. Instead, the Bravas food truck will feature authentic Spanish sandwiches called bocadillos and tapas.
The name Bravas translates to bold, Gonzalez says, and is the name of his familys favorite tapas in Spain: Patatas bravas are triangular, cubed deep-fried potatoes smothered in bravas sauce, which is a spicy tomato sauce.
Gonzalez is training a friend to run Bravas Dogs so he can work full time on the truck when it is in operation. The hot dog cart will be stationed permanently at Calhoun and Wayne, he says, whereas the Bravas food truck will travel all over the place.
Yogurt On Your Own will open a third location, in the Walb Student Union on IPFW, according to Susan Alderman, marketing specialist for the university. It will hold a grand opening in late August after school begins.
There has been a Coming Soon banner up since at least April at Teppanyaki Grill & Buffet (285 Coliseum Blvd. E.), nestled between Party City and Dicks Sporting Goods.
There is a Coming Soon sign at the El Salvador Restaurant, at 515 E. Jefferson Blvd., just east of Clay Street.
Orange Leaf, a national frozen yogurt chain, is listed as coming soon to 2870 E. Dupont Road on its website. The site lists 70 yogurt flavors (including green tea, hazelnut, pumpkin pie, classic tart) and 35 toppings (including sunflower seeds, coconut, Fruity Pebbles).
Exotic Thai on St. Joe Road appears to have closed. It has been closed during recent lunch and dinner times, and the phone number is disconnected.
The restaurant opened at the beginning of the year in the location that previously housed New China Garden.