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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 1:00 am

Area woman seeking culinary schooling

Kimberly Dupps Truesdell | For The Journal Gazette

A Butler woman is one of several dozen people competing for a culinary scholarship at the Institute of Culinary Education.

Jennifer Godsey, in a 51-second online video, shares that she was “born and raised in the industry and just wants to hone her craft.” She worked in family-owned restaurants when she was young before moving on to senior-living communities.

But Godsey hit a setback when she was diagnosed with Crohn's colitis, a disease that affects the digestive system as well as causes inflammation in other parts of the body.

She wants to use the education to learn valuable skills and create a non-for-profit to teach others how to cook, as well as share with others the effect of food on health.

“I tried very hard to deal with the stress and demands of a job I was very passionate about, but my body was deteriorating, and I had to let my position go,” Godsey told me.

She has since had surgery to help with the symptoms and regain her life. Still, she can't work like she once did.

“So I decided to go after this scholarship,” she says. “It has always been a dream to be trained by experts of my trade. I figure this will give me the validation to call myself a chef.”

To vote, go to https://www.ice.edu/culinaryvoice/vvc15nh. Visitors can vote once a day through Sunday.

Finalists will be announced May 10, and four grand-prize winners will receive a full-tuition scholarship to study at the institute in New York or Los Angeles.

Decuis hosting lunch

“We are waiting with such anticipation of spring this year! Every time it slightly warms up – it turns out that Mother Nature was just fooling us. BUT the grass is beginning to turn green, the trees starting to bud, and we are getting the garden beds ready; ... we know it's coming.”

Joseph Decuis, I could not have said it better myself.

This weekend, the renowned restaurant in Roanoke is celebrating the season with a lunch from noon to 2 p.m.

Participants will start out with an Amuse Bouche of spinach cream soup before moving on to a farm greens salad. The main dish is a spring vegetable pasta with farfalle, roasted chicken, asparagus, fiddle heads, butter and an asiago crisp. For dessert, a lemon meringue pie will be served.

The cost is $40 without wine and $55 with wine. Reservations are required; call 260-672-1715.

And with the promise of warmer weather, Joseph Decuis is also kicking off its Blue Jeans, Burgers & Beer series. Hosted from 5 to 8 p.m. on Fridays, the dinner series will be inside the conservatory this month and then head out to the courtyard in May. The menu for this weekend includes fried oysters, lamb Kofta, the Hungry Farmer burger featuring the farm's Wagyu beef, Oyster Po' Boy and pulled pork nachos.

Reservations are suggested.

Friday 13th deals

The crew at Lucky Moose, 622 E. Dupont Road, is gearing up to bring diners a little good luck this week.

To celebrate Friday the 13th, the restaurant and bar is offering several $13.13 specials, as well as 13 cents-per-ounce draft beer.

Dinners include an 11-ounce choice rib-eye and pistachio-crusted salmon. There will also be an appetizer buffet, featuring royal red shrimp, coconut shrimp, boom boom shrimp and smoked salmon cakes as well as the salad bar.

The appetizer buffet will begin at 5 p.m., but the other meal specials will be available all day. While the tap lineup is always changing, among the selections will be Miller Lite and Blue Moon.

Tax specials

Tax day is right around the corner, and whether you're feeling stressed by the deadline or having to pay the IRS, local food purveyors are trying to take the sting out of filing.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop, 501 Coliseum Blvd. E., is offering an “Early Bird” Tax Day Special. To participate, customers who make a purchase of a sandwich, excluding kid's meals, at the shop between Thursday and Monday and show proof they have already submitted their taxes will receive a bounce-back coupon good for one free Original or Skinny sandwich April 17. Proof of tax payment can include an email confirmation from online tax preparation software, a letter from a tax preparation service company or a canceled check or bank statement.

• On Tuesday, Kona Ice will host its fifth annual National “Chill Out” Day. The island-inspired truck will be parked downtown and at the Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA to hand out free cups of tropical shaved ice to all who stop by. From noon to 2 p.m., the truck will be at 911 S. Calhoun St. and at YMCA (5680 YMCA Park Drive West) from 3 to 5 p.m.

Cheese truck back

After my column last week that highlighted the start of the food truck season, as well as news of Vietnummy going up for sale, Lori Koble reached out to me.

Koble is the former owner of Arnold's Drive-In in Decatur and has been operating the Who Cut the Cheese? food truck since 2015.

She had intended 2017 to be the last season for the truck as she planned to move with her husband to Indianapolis. But things haven't gone as planned and she is still in the area for now. So she has decided to bring out the truck for limited engagements.

The favorite for unique grilled cheese sandwiches will make its way to the rallies at teds market on Coldwater Road – “one of our best gigs,” she says – as well as some of the big-band nights at Country Heritage. They will also be at the Michiana Wine Festival on April 28.

“I'm excited to be here serving up my cheesy goodness again. I never thought it would happen,” Koble says. “It's bittersweet. I would love to be in Indy, yet this is my passion. I love the food truck biz.”

Koble does hope to make the move and has the food truck for sale.

Rock N Brew news

The Rock N Brew is coming back for another year, and the May 12 festival at Parkview Field will feature more than 200 beers from around the world.

General admission tickets are $31.50, which includes unlimited sampling from 5 to 8 p.m. VIP tickets are $66.50 and include an additional hour of unlimited sampling from 4 to 5 p.m., access to the VIP tent, which will have food, and tastings of two to three VIP-exclusive beers.

A complete brewery and brewery list is in the works. For information or to purchase tickets, go to www.rocknbrewindiana.com.

Around town

Ragin Cajun is hosting a seafood boil from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at its restaurant inside the Chapman's Brewing Co. tap room in Columbia City. For $32, John Maxwell will be serving up 2 pounds of crawfish and a half-pound of shrimp along with corn, potatoes and cocktail sauce. Available for dine-in or carry-out. Pre-orders only; call 504-289-5080 or visit the restaurant.

LongHorn Steakhouse is offering a special menu of over-the-top filets. For a limited time, guests can choose to have the Flo Filet topped three ways: Bacon-Bourbon, applewood smoked bacon and housemade bourbon brown sugar glaze; Shiitake Mushroom, crust of roasted shiitake mushrooms and toasted breadcrumbs, finished with a garlic cream sauce; Parmesan-crusted, creamy Parmesan, provolone and garlic cheese crust.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email kdupps@jg.net or call 461-8304.