Have you got the best chili? The Palladium Society is looking for cooks for the 16th Annual Chili Cook-Off on March 1 at the State Fairgrounds. The deadline to enter is Feb. 25. The $20 entry fee covers one chili entry plus two tickets (one for cook, one for guest, a $60 value) to the event. Visit historiccolumbia.org for the entry form. Don’t want to cook, just eat? Advance tickets are on sale: $15 for Palladium Society members, $25 for Historic Columbia members and $30 for general public. All tickets are $30 at the door. Purchase online at historiccolumbia.org, call (803) 252-7742, ext. 11, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Ticket price includes all-you-can-eat chili, wine and beer. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia.
Smokin’ at the Farmers Market Commissioners Cup BBQ Cook Off and Festival returns March 21 and 22 to the State Farmers Market, 3483 Charleston Hwy. Come out 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, March 21, for the Anything Butt (no pork) competition or swing by for the main event 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 22, for pork ribs and Boston butts (tastings both days while supplies last). Sanctioned by the Southern BBQ Network, prizes will be awarded in the following catagories: Grand Champion SC State Champion, Reserve Champion, Pork Butts (1st, 2nd, 3rd), Pork Ribs (1st, 2nd, 3rd), Anything Butt, and new in 2014, Peoples Choice. There will be activities for children and live music. Ticket packages available at ticket booth. More information, contact Jackie Moore at email@example.com. Team entry forms and vendor/food truck information at agriculture.sc.gov. Deadline to enter is March 7.
Columbia Warrior Cook-Off is a new barbeque competition sanctioned and judged by the SC Barbeque Association set to take place May 24 at the State Fairgrounds. Prizes will be awarded to the top five barbeque cooking teams. The competition is open to the first 75 teams to properly complete entry process by May 9 and are accepted. Cock Pit Barbeque, organizer of this event, seeks donations and sponsorships; proceeds from this event will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. More information at www.cockpitbarbeque.com or www.facebook.com/CockPitBarbeque or call Brooks Herring at (803) 269-4167. Downloadable entry and sponsorship forms linked to this article at thestate.com
Edible moments in Southern women’s history is the topic of discussion during the keynote address of USC’s 27th annual Women’s and Gender Studies conference 6 p.m. Thursday in the School of Law auditorium. Marcie Cohen Ferris, an associate professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina, will deliver the address that draws from her research in foodways and material culture of the American South. The talk is free and open to the public. For full conference details, see http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/wgst/2014-wgst-conference. The School of Law auditorium is at 701 Main Street
Sneak Peek: Bourbon Harvest Dinner at City Roots, Part 2: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24, offers a second chance for you to come and meet the team of Bourbon, including Chef Gordon Langston, and enjoy a three-course dinner-plus-dessert menu. Tickets $60 per person and available at http://www.eventbrite.com City Roots is at 1005 Airport Blvd.
Are you ‘Top Chef’ material? Pre-register for Bravo TV’s Season 12 open casting calls NOW go to www.topchefcasting.com. Casting call in New York City, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 24 at Colicchio & Sons, 85 10th Avenue.
Flying Saucer to host Conquest Beer Dinner in collaboration with The Mamas & The Tapas 7-9 p.m. Feb. 27 at 931 Senate St. This four-course meal will highlight seven Conquest brews. $40 per person ($35 for UFO members), available at Flying Saucer or call (803) 933-9997
FARMERS: Want to reach a wider group of buyers? The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is hosting a Retail Ready Workshop Feb. 28 in Charleston. Workshop topics will include Selling to Grocery Stores, Restaurants and Distributors; Post-Harvest Handling-Quality Assurance Food Safety, GAPS and Certifications; Pricing and Packaging; Marketing Strategies and a Buyer Panel (featuring 2 chefs, 2 retailers and 2 distributors). Sign up by emailing R. David Lamie at DLamie@Clemson.edu
Small Plate Crawl in Greenville March 24-26. Sample the best of Greenville’s culinary scene with special small plate menu items ($3-$8 each) from participating restaurants. As a bonus, purchase a small plate at five or more restaurants and enter to win prizes in the Passport contest. Check out GreenvilleSmallPlateCrawl.com for more information, downloadable map and Passport.
SAVE THE DATE(S): Midlands SC Farm Tour is scheduled for 1-5 p.m. April 5 and 6. Featuring 10 local sustainable farms in Richland, Lexington and Kershaw counties, come out and bring the family to see baby farm animals, learn gardening and growing techniques, enjoy a farm-fresh picnic or snack and see where your food comes from. Tickets $25 per vehicle, good for both days, available online now at http://www.carolinafarmstewards.com/mft or at Whole Foods Market and City Roots in Columbia closer to the event date. Want to volunteer? Contact Vanessa Driscoll at (919) 542-2402. The Upstate SC Farm Tour with farms in Greenville, Spartanburg, Oconee, Anderson, Pickens, Laurens and Greenwood counties is June 7-8.
Our Local Catch, specializing in supplying local and sustainable seafood, is now at Rosewood Market twice a week. Find them under the tent every Thursday and Friday 1-7 p.m. 2803 Rosewood Drive, online at ourlocalcatch.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, non-breakable, leak-proof container with a tight lid.
Cooking with Chef Marion focuses on light and quick weeknight meals 10 a.m.-1 p.m. March 8. Register by March 7, $25 includes all supplies. Call (803) 781-2031. Ballentine Park is at 1009 Bickley Road, Ballentine.
Columbia’s Cooking! 2nd Friday cooking classes for kids age 9+. For upcoming classes and information, see http://cpcp.sph.sc.edu/cooking. Register by calling (803) 576-5636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 915 Greene St., 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. $10 per person, preregistration required. EdVenture is at 211 Gervais St., (803) 779-3100, edventure.org
Charleston Cooks! at Cross Hill. Thursday, Feb. 20 one-pot meals; Feb. 24, meatless Monday; Feb. 25, steakhouse favorites; Feb. 27, Go Green!; Feb. 28, That’s Amore (Italian); March 1 (10 a.m.), kids’ brunch class. 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. Wednesday, Feb. 19, French Cooking goes to the Dogs; Friday, Feb. 21, Malbec tasting with quail; Feb. 25 and 28, Jamaican lobster. Fleur de Lys is at 3001 Millwood Ave. (803) 765-9999 or fleurdelyscolumbiasc.com
Let’s Cook Culinary Studio events: Thursday, Feb. 20, hands-on pasta; Feb. 21, couples Italian; Feb. 26, breakfast for supper; Feb. 28, couples Swiss raclette. Detailed listings at letscookculinary.com. Let’s Cook is at 1305 Assembly St. (803) 348-5874
McCutchen House at USC. Chef d’Jour Classes: March 8, jams and jellies; March 29, brunch made easy; April 19, pasta and sauces; May 3, cooking with alcohol. Wine classes: March 4, In-Depth Grape Series: Riesling; April 1, dinner with Conquest Brewery; April 22, In-Depth Grape Series: Pinot Grigio. Details and registration at http://www.hrsm.sc.edu/mccutchen-house or call (803) 777-4450
Rosewood Market Farmers Market, 4-7 p.m. second and fourth Thursdays, 2803 Rosewood Drive, (803) 256-6410 www.rosewoodmarket .com
Vista Marketplace Online Farmers Market Orders delivered to downtown offices/locations. http://vista.locallygrown .net or email vista email@example.com
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