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  1. I haven't been to or heard of this dairy, but I just signed up for a 3-day cheesemaking course in October at Farmstead Dairy in Warren, VT. They may still have openings (they offer a September class too). You can get the info off of the ShawGuides.com web site.
  2. You're right the dessert menu is short, but unlike most restaurants in town, everything is made from scratch. A lot of places buy pre-made desserts and then all the work is put into plate presentation, but at Bistro they make everything, which is nice, but it is a small kitchen so there's only so much you can do. The old restaurant was called "Madisons". I never ate there but I understand it was very good but prohibitively expensive. Incidentally, the Chef and her husband are Jewish and very involved in the Jewish community here in town. It sounds like you had a nice dinner so I'm glad for that. Next time you'll have to give 223 a try. It is in the restaurant downtown that used to be called "The Elms". I waited tables there when I was just a child (haha). The food is completely different from Bistro Sofia - more like something you'd find in Charleston - nouveau Southern Cuisine. But it is another beautiful restaurant in an old building with tin ceilings and a copper bar.
  3. Chef Beth Kizhnerman is noted for her creativity with "Fusing" of different cuisines. Sometimes the dish may have a South American accent, apparently she is currently experimenting with Asian flavors. Nevertheless, it is one of the things that makes Bistro Sofia such a great restaurant. I know you were concerned about the atmosphere and I trust you weren't disappointed. I think it is one of the most romantic restaurants around. Set in a restored white-washed brick home, it has the distinct feeling of a french country home. When weather permits there is a beautiful patio in back adjacent to the garden where the chef cultivates the fresh herbs and vegetables that are used in her cooking. I've always found the service to be superb at Bistro Sofia too - attentive, but not to the point of being obtrusive. I am looking forward to this Thursday when my Book Club has the upstairs dining room reserved for our annual holiday meeting. It's really too bad you skipped dessert - the homemade ice creams and sorbets are fabulous. Again, the Chef often comes up with innovative flavors such as Earl Grey Tea with Apricots or Cinnamon Pecan Crunch.
  4. What? This is OLD news - I was there in May ...
  5. Malawry, I did my culinary internship at Bistro Sofia and it is indeed a very nice restaurant with great atmosphere. The website is www.bistrosofia.com and their menu is on line. Reservations are a must. Also, 223 South Elm is quickly becoming one of N.C.'s most notable. The Chef de Cuisine, Jason Jones, was recently interviewed by Bon Appetit magazine as one of the best up and coming young chefs. Again, I would recommend reservations. Bon Appetit!
  6. I brought a bottle of Don Julio Blanco back from Mexico last August. I used it in Margaritas with Cointreau. Those were the Smoothest Margs I've ever consumed.
  7. Well, as long as everyone is contributing their own experience....I feel perhaps I missed out on a lot of the commraderie since I didn't arrive until Saturday and by that time many of the relationships and responsibilities had already been established. I did bring my own set of professional knives and 2 chefs along, but the kitchen staff was tightly in place and there was no need for assistance where desserts were concerned as the table was already sagging. I did manage to squeeze in at the bar long enough to pick some rabbit and chicken meat and get to know Aurora and Katie a bit, which was a pleasure, as were my post-pig conversations with Malawry and HJShorter (and her adorable son). Mummer was perhaps the most animated and friendly person there, not to mention highly entertaining with his keyboard and accordian - I'm glad to know he made it safely home. Dean seemed exhausted (no doubt) but he, his family, and in-laws, were extremely gracious hosts. I do wish I'd known how dessert heavy our menu was leaning because we did seem to be lacking in the appetizer and side-dish arenas. I would say the meal highlights were definitely the pork and the portabella mushrooms that =Mark made. I liked the fresh pork better than the smoked, but both were great (extremely rich). I wasn't crazy about the pork skin (too chewy), but I wonder how it would've been if we'd dropped some in the fryer and attempted to make our own rinds? I did not try the chicken or, of course, the Brunswick stew, since I wasn't there on Sunday either. (As an aside...isn't a Brunswick stew made with wild game technically a Burgoo?) The greens were good, but a bit too salty for my taste... I was surprised to learn that there were so few of us there that are actually working in the industry. In light of this, I think it would be a good idea for e-gulleters (including myself) to post more insightful information in their profiles. When I checked the guestlist to see who was coming I noticed most folks just have their place of residence listed, some not even that much information. It would be nice to know if someone is currently cooking professionally, or professionally trained, working in some aspect of food and beverage or hospitality, or just has an avid interest.
  8. Careful there Jaymes, those are adorable children, but think of poor Mrs. Varmint and all she put up with over the past 3 days! The story may sound more like "and then, every October after they put Nana Cella into the white jacket and took her to the Home for the Non-Pork-Eating Criminally Insane ...
  9. Ugh! No state fair for me this year either. In fact, I'm de-toxing this week - nothing but fresh fruits and veggies and lots of water. I feel like someone might pit-cook me before long if I keep this behavior up!!!
  10. Ian is just about the most adorable child I've ever seen. Varmint, if you do eat that bread pudding, heat it up first - it's even better that way. Did Al Dente stay for the pig on Sat.?? Because I didn't get to meet him and there were a few others I was sorry to miss also. The pork was fabulous, but my friend Reid and I ate fish for dinner last night - phew, I think I'm laying off the bbq for a while now. Varmint, I expect we will be seeing an e-gullet commentary on the food at the State Fair this week? I understand they are serving a deep-fried cheeseburger on a stick.
  11. Hello! Actually (referring to previous photo) I DID know what to do with the bunny, in fact, I beleive I was primary bunny-picker - I was merely illustrating the position of the ears for Katie. I thought maybe we'd rent "Watership Downs and Babe" later on. We really enjoyed the party Varmint, thanks so much for having us. As you may have heard, I am nursing a bad back these days and so we had to kind of make it an early night. In fact, my label used to just read "Jo's" until I started on the steroids and now I'm "Jumpin' Jo", (just kidding). Jason Jones WAS featured in the business section of today's Greensboro News and Record. I will try to find the link to the article and pass it on to you all - and of course I'll notify you when he shows up in Bon Appetit. I did pick up the Raleigh paper on the way out of town this morning, but didn't see anything on the event, so please let us know when it prints. It was great meeting everyone. Mummer, thanks for the fabulous entertainment. and =Mark - those mushrooms were great. It's nice to be able to put names with faces...hope to do it again soon!
  12. Varmint.... need me to bring extra coolers? Want us to pick up ice on the way on Sat.??? Thinkin 'bout noon or 1:00 arrival... Spare me the bunny pictures pleeeeese
  13. joler

    Packaged Cookies

    Beanloaf, I think we are soulmates. I love a good chocolate covered graham cracker. Also, those oatmeal girlscout cookies with the peanut butter in the middle. but for cryin out sideways... anything chocolate will do...
  14. I am beside myself with anticipation!
  15. I agree, butter, S&P, no marshmallows... Also, try them thinly sliced, tossed with a little olive oil, salt, cumin, cayenne, and lime zest and then throw them on the grill.
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