Cry Uncle! A Lexington family needs your help in being chosen as a finalist in the Uncle Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest. Parents with children in kindergarten through eighth grade were asked to submit a video that showed their time together in the kitchen as well as a rice-based dish they prepared together. The Gray family of Lexington is asking you to go online at www.unclebens.com and vote for their video and Spicy Shrimp and Rice recipe. At stake is a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for New Providence Elementary, $15,000 cash and a chance to appear on “The Rachael Ray Show.” Voting continues through Sunday at www.unclebens.com.
The People’s Choice Bake-Off will be held at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday at The Harvest Whiteford Campus, 501 Whiteford Way in Lexington. Enter to win cash prizes in categories of Appetizer, Breads, Casseroles or Dessert. Contest registration forms available by calling Linda Abrams at (803) 603-9249. Don’t want to bake? Come and sample the entries and vote for your favorite. Tickets $18 per person includes food and talk by inspirational speaker Peggy Beck, owner of The Joyful Palate Catering Co.
Glenforest School’s Chili Cook-Off and Fall Festival is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Enter to win prizes for the best chili in these categories: Professional, Civic Organization or Individual. There will also be awards for People’s Choice, Overall Showmanship and a Grand Champion. Rules, tickets and more information at glenforest.org/fall-fest or call (803) 796-7622, ext. 109. Glenforest School is at 1041 Harbor Drive, West Columbia.
Speaking of chili ... the 27th Annual Five Points Chili Cook-Off is looking for competitors. The event is scheduled 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 9 on the 2100 block of Greene Street and is free and open to the public. Proceeds go to the HOPE Center and Camp Kemo. Competitors will be judged in categories such as Overall Best, Best Vegetarian, Best Edible Hot, Overall Best Set-up, Best Bar/Restaurant and Best Fundraising. Reserve your spot in the competition today at chilicookoffinfivepoints.eventbrite.com or visit www.FivePointsColumbia.com
More than PB&J! Jif launches the Jif Most Creative Sandwich Contest for children; grand prize is a $25,000 college fund. Just incorporate a minimum of two tablespoons of one of Jif’s new flavors (Jif Peanut Butter, Jif Almond and Cashew Butters and Jif Whips Peanut Butter Spreads or Jif Hazelnut Spreads) into a sandwich. Judging is based on creativity, taste, visual appeal and ease of preparation. Ten semifinalists will be chosen to participate in a nationwide online voting contest, and five finalists will be selected to attend an event in New York City, where the grand prize winner will be announced. Deadline for entries is Nov. 8. More information at www.Jif.com
NOT the Beer You Grew Up With, a discussion of the modern beer scene with Marshall White, assistant beverage manager at Baan Sawan Thai Bistro and beer and wine consultant at Morganelli’s, 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday at The Lourie Center. Beer and refreshments available, open to members and the public, $5 suggested donation. The Lourie Center is at 1650 Park Circle, (803) 779-1791, www.louriecentersc.com
Oktoberfest at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 6 p.m. Saturday. Dine in or take out dinner of brats, sauerkraut, red cabbage, German potato salad and desserts. Free childcare available, call Gertie at (803) 240-9311 for more information. Proceeds to benefit LICS and St. Alban’s Mission in Ecuador. St. Alban’s, 403 Park Road, Lexington, (803) 359-2444
BBQ Basics with award-winning pitmaster Chef JT Handy noon-4 p.m. Saturday at The Center for Advanced Technical Studies, 916 Mount Vernon Church Road, Chapin. Learn how to create Southern-style barbeque and sides: Dancing Chicken, BBQ pork spare ribs and tips, creamy cole slaw, BBQ pit beans with peaches and doughnut bread pudding. $40 per person, register by calling (803) 476-8601
September Oaks Vineyards hosts its inaugural wine tasting and literary festival 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. The festival will feature Lowcountry writers and wine tastings throughout the day. September Oaks is located at 893 Grays Highway, Ridgeland, (843) 726-9463, septemberoaks.com
Sustainable Seafood Dinner at Gervais & Vine Monday. Enjoy a multi-course seafood dinner, paired with wine, and learn more about the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative. Gervais & Vine is at 620-A Gervais Street. Call for reservations, (803) 799-8463
Wine tasting at Gourmet Shop 6 p.m. Oct. 30 featuring Chateau de Beaucastel wine and Angela Sanchez. $35 in advance, $45 at door. Call for reservations (803) 799-9463. The Gourmet Shop, 724 Saluda Avenue, Five Points, thegourmetshop.net
Francis Burns United Methodist Women’s Fall Pecan Sale Campaign to benefit church missions is launching, selling 2013 pecan crop from a local South Carolina orchard. Choose gift bags of one-pound bag of large pieces ($11), jumbo halves ($11.50), chocolate covered halves ($12.50), sugar-free chocolate covered halves ($13.75) or 14-ounce boxes of honey roasted halves ($12.50). Deadline for orders, Nov. 2; target delivery date, Nov. 11. To order, or more information, call Doris McNair (803) 754-3384.
Again with the pork ... Make Your Own Bacon workshop at Motor Supply Co. Bistro is Nov. 11. Plan now, ticket sales via Eventbrite. Get on a wait list by calling (803) 256-6687
Inaugural Savannah Food & Wine Festival is Nov. 11-17. This first-time event will feature wine dinners at area restaurants, wine strolls and more throughout the week. Special guest is Rob Mondavi Jr., of Mondavi Family Estate in Napa, Calif. A Celebrity Chef Tour, benefiting the James Beard Foundation and featuring chefs Hugh Acheson, Chris Hastings and Steven Satterfield, will be Nov. 13 at The Mansion on Forsyth Park. See www.savannahfoodandwinefest.com for information, tickets on sale now.
Meet Christy Jordan, author of Southern Plate and Come Home to Supper, 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at Books-A-Million at 164 Forum Drive. Come Home to Supper is Jordan’s latest cookbook featuring more than 200 recipes that are budget-conscious, kid-friendly, quick to make and multi-purpose (ideas for meal plans and what to do with leftovers). More about the Christy Jordan at SouthernPlate.com.
28th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference is Nov. 15-17 in Durham, N.C. Learn about sustainable farming through hands-on workshops covering subjects such as permaculture, bees, livestock, soils and more; Farm-to-Table food policy workshops; farm tours; and special presentations (keynote speaker is Paul Holmbeck, director of Organic Denmark, and Sandor Katz will hold a class on fermentation). Details, registration at carolinafarmstewards.org or call (919) 542-2402.
Bubbie’s Back! Bubbie’s Brisket & Bakery at Beth Shalom Synagogue, the Jewish food extravaganza, is Nov. 17. Feast on such favorites as brisket, challah, corned beef, Kosher dill pickles, matzah ball soup and more. Beth Shalom Synagogue, 5827 N. Trenholm Road. Information: (803) 782-2500
Music to Your Mouth a celebration of fine Southern food and wine and chefs is in its seventh year at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton. This year’s festivities will be Nov. 19-24. Slated for appearances this year are Sean Brock, Julian P. VanWinkle III, John T. Edge, Kevin Gillespie, Mike Lata, Craig Deihl, Edward Lee, Rodney Scott and Anne Quatrano. Event tickets are available now at www.musictoyourmouth.com.
Recycle that cooking oil. You have choices: Richland County will take used fat, oil and grease at the Richland County C&D Landfill at 1070 Caughman Road North and at the county’s Lower Richland Drop-Off Site at 10531 Garners Ferry Road in Eastover. More information, call (803) 929-6000. Or take used cooking oil to the city of Columbia’s Southern Fried Fuel recycling program, open throughout the year, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays at the Public Works Facility, 2910 Colonial Drive. Cooking oil should be free of water, soap suds and food scraps and should be transported in a clean, nonbreakable, leak-proof container with a tight lid.
Columbia’s Cooking! 2nd Friday cooking classes for kids age 9+. Upcoming classes: Nov. 8, reading food labels and healthy choices; Dec. 13, holiday treats; classes 5:30-7:30 p.m., $25 per child. Adult date night 7:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 24, $50 per couple. See http://cpcp.sph.sc.edu/cooking for upcoming classes and information. Register by calling (803) 576-5636 or email email@example.com. 915 Greene Street Suite 101
Tiny TasteBuds cooking classes for children ages 3-5 years at EdVenture are 11 a.m.-noon the first and third Friday of each month now through May 2014. $10 per person, preregistration required. EdVenture is at 211 Gervais Street, (803) 779-3100, edventure.org
Charleston Cooks! at Cross Hill. Thursday, Fall into flavor; Friday, couples Fall entertaining; Saturday, Oct. 26, (10 a.m.) pasta, (2 p.m.) kids’ Halloween treats; Monday, exploring Vietnam; Tuesday, pumpkin; Oct. 30, garlic. For information or to register, call (803) 509-8111 or www.charlestoncooks.com
Chef Francois Fisera hosts cooking classes at Fleur de Lys Home Culinary Institute. Friday, duck with 3-pepper sauce. Fleur de Lys is at 3001 Millwood Ave. (803) 765-9999 or fleurdelyscolumbiasc.com
Let’s Cook Culinary Studio events: Oct. 31, Italian small plates. Detailed listings at letscookculinary.com. Let’s Cook is at 1305 Assembly St. (803) 348-5874
McCutchen House on the USC Horseshoe. Chef du Jour classes: Saturday, holiday cookies; Nov. 9, tapas; Dec. 7, make your own gingerbread house. See complete schedule and sign up for classes at http://webapps .csg.sc.edu/ McCutchen
Forest Acres Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays at Richland Mall, next to Wendy’s along Beltline Boulevard www.facebook.com/ forestacresfarmersmarket
Seeds of Hope at Lourie Center 9 a.m.-noon Wednesdays, 1650 Park Circle Drive, (803) 779-1971
Rosewood Market Farmers Market, 4-7 p.m. second and fourth Thursdays, 2803 Rosewood Drive, (803) 256-6410 www.rosewoodmarket .com
Northeast Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m. Mondays at Doko Meadows in Blythewood and 3-7 p.m. Thursdays at Town Center through Nov. 7.
North Columbia Community Farmers Market, Thursdays beginning at 5 p.m. Corner of North Main and Newman streets
Vista Marketplace Online Farmers Market Orders delivered to downtown offices/locations. http://vista.locallygrown .net or email vista firstname.lastname@example.org
Vista Marketplace at Whaley, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday at 711 Whaley St. Facebook page: Vista Marketplace at Whaley
Soda City Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday at the 1500 block of Main Street www.sodacitysc.com
Irmo Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-noon first and third Saturdays through October. Carlisle Street (between Lexington and Columbia avenues) www.irmofarmersmarket .com
Sandhill Farmers Market, open 2-7 p.m. Tuesdays at 900 Clemson Road through Nov. 26. www.clemson.edu/public /rec/sandhill/programs /market.