Oddly, with no culinary background and only enough cooking expertise to make an over-easy egg (on a good day), I've become a nerd for cooking shows. My Netflix and Hulu suggestions are starting to look like the Saturday afternoon scheduling lineup for the Food Network. My accounts are constantly pointing me in the direction of nightmarish kitchen crackdowns with Gordon Ramsay, international food tastings with Anthony Bourdain, and fast-paced showdowns with Bobby Flay.
But even better than these food-based reality shows is raw, unscripted, reality cooking itself! Rather than salivating over the flat-screen TV, actually being able to touch, smell and taste the food being cooked up is a perk, to say the least. The 2013 Bite of Bend competition will provide real chefs with real secret ingredients in a real kitchen stadium for a thrilling timed cook-off between Bend's best chefs. The action takes place during the Bite weekend in downtown Bend Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30. We asked the culinary participants to recommend summertime meals, update us on food trends and tell us their favorite ingredients. Then, we added ways that you—YES YOU DEAR READER—can make these suggestions a reality, with our own suggesitons: restaurants, books to read and spots to food shop. Better than watching "Iron Chef America" from the couch with a microwaved Hungry Man dinner? We sure think so!
Bethlyn Rider, Broken Top Bottle Shop
Favorite summer meal? Sushi
The Source suggests: Have a dinner out. Kanpai, 990 NW Newport Ave.
What's trending? Local exotics. By a farmer or from the forest.
The Source suggests: Grab a permit and go mushroom hunting! In the spring look for morels in the fall, king boletes.
Ingredients to make food pop? Fusion of sweet, sour, salty, spicy. Could be Thai, India, mid-eastern or southwest.
The Source suggests: Read the Fusion Food Cookbook by Hugh Carpenter and learn a few tricks of the fusion trade.
Brian Kerr, Deschutes Brewery and Public House
Favorite summer meal? Anything hot off the grill in the backyard served with a Deschutes beer.
The Source suggests: Drink Deschutes Brewery's lightest and most summery installment yet, River Ale, available pretty much everywhere.
Adam Kapela, Black Butte Ranch
Favorite summer meal?
Grilled and smoked Flintstone beef chops.
The Source suggests: Visit Primal Cuts, 1244 NW Galveston, for premium cut beef chops.
What's trending? Smoked food is trending. It went from bacon, to smoking everything you can. And if you can smoke local products, then you're really trending.
The Source suggests: Buy a smoker and get started! Available at Lowes, 20501 Cooley Rd.
Rudy Garcia, Old Mill Brew Werks
Favorite summer meal? Slow-smoked Barbecue ribs are my favorite bit of summer decadence. The waiting can be excruciating, but the payoff in tender bits of flavor is worth every second.
The Source suggests: Don't wait, just eat. Slicks Que Co., 212 NE Revere Ave.
What's trending? I feel like homemade pasta is an ancient practice, which has really re-emerged lately in the public palate. It is simple to do but very difficult to do well.
The Source suggests: Get rolling! Buy a pasta roller from Ginger's Kitchenware, 375 SW Powerhouse Dr. Ste 120.
Ingredients to make food pop? I've seen a great response from my beer ice cream and Risotto Cakes.
The Source suggests: Use beer in food! Read Cooking With Beer: Taste-Tempting Recipes and Creative Ideas for Matching Beer & Food by Lucy Saunders.
Georgia McNulty, Cascade Culinary Institute
Favorite summer meal? A juicy barbecued rib-eye steak with grilled asparagus and mushrooms and an arugula salad with just a little lemon, feta and sliced strawberries. And of course a cold beverage on the side!
The Source suggests: Pick up fresh, locally grown produce from Locavore, 1216 NE First St.
What's trending? The food style that is trending right now in Bend is really the concept of getting back to basics. Buying local and developing clean good food that is delicious and not making a huge carbon footprint. And, of course, the use of local brew beer in food and for food and beverage pairing
The Source suggests: Grow your own hops. Brew your own beer. Hops starts available at Eastside Gardens, 61780 SE 27th St. Brew Kits available at The Brew Shop, 1203 NE Third St.