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Local bakers appear on Food Network, a beefy Apple Cup tribute and more news and notes 

click to enlarge Tune in to see chef Ricky Webster compete on Nov. 26. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Tune in to see chef Ricky Webster compete on Nov. 26.

LOCAL BAKERS ON FOOD NETWORK'S CHRISTMAS COOKIE CHALLENGE

Tune in to the Food Network on Monday, Nov. 26, to see two Spokane bakers compete on the network's ongoing holiday series, Christmas Cookie Challenge. Chef Ricky Webster, corporate chef and business resource manager for Sysco Spokane, and local baker Amber Stout of Flour & Frosting are both featured on the episode, competing against three other contestants for bragging rights and a grand prize of $10,000. The episode, titled "Modern Classics," features head judge Ree Drummond, the "Pioneer Woman," and tasks competitors to ornately decorate and then creatively display their festive, iced sugar cookies, Webster says.

"They reached out to me back in the summer, and referenced the gingerbread house that I had done last year," Webster says. The lifesize cookie creation was made in the lobby of his former employer, Hotel RL (now the Centennial Hotel).

Though Stout and Webster are both from Spokane, neither knew each other before appearing on the show.

"Clearly they did it for a reason," Webster speculates. "They definitely wanted some friendly competition."

"What that tells me is that there is a lot to be celebrated in Spokane right now; the food scene is really blowing up."

The episode is set to air at 10 pm local time, but Webster cautions viewers to check their listings because he's heard that some cable providers are showing a 7 pm air time.

APPLE CUP BURGER RETURNS

Gear up for one of the biggest regional gridiron battles of the year by stopping by the Elk, Moon Time, Geno's, Two Seven Public House and the Porch Public House to fill up on the local restaurant group's annual Apple Cup burger. Available through game day on Friday, Nov. 23, the hyper-local burger ($15.95) features ground beef from Toppenish, Washington, and comes topped with Cougar Gold Cheese, grilled Granny Smith apples from Central Washington and Yakima-grown red onions, along with a side of lentil soup.

TACOS EL SOL FOOD TRUCK OPENS STOREFRONT

The sunshine yellow truck parked near the corner of Sprague and Washington on late weekend nights isn't the only place anymore to get the tasty tacos of Tacos El Sol. The popular mobile vendor put down permanent roots and opened a restaurant at 3422 N. Division earlier this month. The new location has allowed the family business to expand its menu with items like fajitas. The restaurant is open most days starting at 11 am. Find the latest updates, specials and more at facebook.com/TacosElSol.

COEUR D'ALENE MAC & CHEESE FEST RETURNS IN JANUARY

Mac and cheese lovers may want to postpone their healthy eating resolutions for 2019 until about mid-January when the second annual Mac and Cheese Festival returns to downtown Coeur d'Alene. On Saturday, Jan. 19, local chefs converge and compete for the "Golden Noodle Award," serving up creative takes on the classic comfort food favorite. If that's not enough carbs for your liking, the festival again features craft beer pairings ($30; includes eight 4-ounce beer tastings and six mac tasters). Kids 12 and under can get their fill, too, with the "Kiddie Mac" package ($10), offering four tastings. The "Mac Pack," sans beer, includes six tastings for $20. A VIP package is also available for $50, offering unlimited mac samplers, private seating and more. Tickets for the fest are on sale now at cdadowntown.com/mac-cheese-festival. ♦

The original print version of this article was headlined "To-Go Box"

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