Local chef featured on Food Network, making the most of your tomatoes and other food news

Local chef featured on Food Network, making the most of your tomatoes and other food news
Hector Aizon photo
One Tree Cider House recently celebrated one year downtown, rolling out some new menu and decor changes.

One Tree Cider House Turns One

The downtown tasting room for the local craft cider favorite One Tree Hard Cider recently celebrated its first anniversary by making some updates to its space and food menu. Physical updates to the tasting room include more seating in the form of two-person tables, fresh paint and new artwork. Visitors to One Tree Cider House, which serves 20 ciders on tap, including regional guest taps, can now order a new house pizza, topped with spicy tomato sauce, feta, arugula, pepperoni and a honey drizzle. Also new is a housemade hummus topped with tomato pesto and paired with naan and beet chips. We've also been told that One Tree soon will roll out a customizable sangria option, for which customers can choose a cider and fruit to combine. The cider house is open Monday through Thursday from 4-10 pm, Friday through Saturday from noon-midnight and Sunday from noon-7 pm. (CHEY SCOTT)

Fleur de Sel chef competes on Food Network show

James Beard Award-nominated local chef Laurent Zirotti recently represented France and the Inland Northwest on an episode of Guy Fieri's Guy's Grocery Games. Zirotti faced off against three other chefs, representing Mexico, Italy and Korea, respectively. The show's premise pits four chefs against each other for a grand prize of $20,000, with one chef eliminated per round. For the first round, chefs were challenged to cook a childhood favorite for the judges, but incorporating Fieri's own childhood fave of hash browns. French-born Zirotti recreated his mother's recipe for croque monsieur, adding hash browns to the cheesy exterior and served with a side salad. In round two, chefs were challenged to make a rice dish but using only ingredients they could fit into a small bag. After racing around the show's on-set grocery store, Zirotti made a rice pilaf with a blanquette of scallops. Yet, due to an unfortunately salty sauce, Zirotti was eliminated. Guy's Grocery Games airs Wednesdays on the Food Network. Zirotti's featured episode, "Global Grocery Games," can be streamed online at watch.foodnetwork.com/show/gk/guys-grocery-games. (MICHAELA MULLIGAN)

Pick those green tomatoes now!

While there isn't a sure sign of frost in the forecast just yet, the fall harvest season is fast coming to a close (Sept. 15 is the average first frost date for our region, though it hasn't happened yet). If you're a home gardner like me, pay attention to helpful tips being shared on the Master Gardeners of Spokane County's Facebook page, including insight on getting the most out of this year's tomato plants. The Master Gardeners suggest cutting back on watering this time of year, and picking off the tiniest tomatoes, as well as blossoms, on each plant since there's not enough time for those to mature and ripen before the frost. Pick mature but still green tomatoes and bring them inside to ripen. This lets the plant focus its energy on maturing any remaining fruit before the first frost. For more tips on tomatoes and more, follow the Master Gardeners at facebook.com/mastergardenersofspokane. (CS)

Tickets on sale for Brunchkin's new monthly series

We recently shared that Brunchkin, the Scandinavian-inspired pop-up cafe formerly held weekly at A Small Batch in West Central, was changing its format to a monthly, fixed-price dining experience called A Taste of Brunchkin. We've now seen the menu for its first event, coming up on Sunday, Sept. 23, and it's amazing. Tickets are now on sale for $22 per person, which includes a drink (coffee, tea, chai, sparkling rhubarb lemonade), an æbleskiver with jam and cream, assorted sweet pastries and smorrebrodkin — a Danish open-faced sandwich served family style with toppings like smoked salmon, bacon, cheese, eggs, greens, house pickled vegetables and a side of savory, potato chive waffles. The inaugural Taste of Brunchkin offers seatings between 10 am and 2 pm; get tickets online at squareup.com/store/brunchkin. (CS)