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Noshing Around

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THE (NOT-SO) SECRET INGREDIENT? PUMPKIN

Two former Tucson Iron Chef winners are throwin' down against each other in The Great Pumpkin Challenge at the Williams Sonoma Store in La Encantada on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. Chef Albert Hall from Acacia Real Food & Cocktails is pitted against Chef Ryan Clark from Agustin Kitchen in battle orange gourd. Each chef must use one or more Williams Sonoma seasonal pumpkin products—quick breads, butters, sauces, bisques, etc. in creating their main entrée dish. The public is encouraged to attend, sample both dishes and vote for their favorite. However, if you wear UGGS© and request a pumpkin-spiced, triple-foamed, no-fat latte, you will be asked to leave the premises.

LAST POP OF '14

SANAR pop-up restaurant is throwing their final pop-up dinner of 2014 on Monday, Oct. 6, this time held at Reilly Pizza and Drink. The SANAR team of Dave Valencia of Agustin, Brian Smith of Acacia and Bri Grateron of La Paloma throw down some serious eats at these events! We are talking 10 courses for $100 a person with an option of drink pairings for an additional $30. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. To make reservations, call 302-8400 or head to www.sanarfood.com.

AUTUNNO IS IN THE AIR

North Italia, 2995 E. Skyline Dr., and their ever so talented, Executive Chef Carlos Calderon, have created an enticing menu for the first in a series of fall dinners beginning on Friday, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will feature four courses including such gems as Bucatini alla Carbonara, and Porchetta di Ariccia, (if you do not know what that is, hit up Google ... they are amazing!) plus appropriate wine pairings for $45 per person plus tax and gratuity. Please RSVP in person or call 299-1600.

A THREE HOUR TOUR

No little buddy, you will not get lost at sea, but will see a lot! A new venture has just begun in our re-vitalized downtown hood. Taste of Tucson Downtown, has just started their culinary and cultures tours. They take you on a tour of historical downtown Tucson, a ride on the streetcar, and, most importantly for me, tastings at five great, local, downtown Tucson restaurants and conversations with the chefs and owners. A really cool idea when you have out-of-town guests, but let's be honest, even cool for us locals, because you get five tastings at places like Proper and Miss Saigon, for $59! Check out their website (www.tasteoftucsondowntown.com ) for more details or to book your tour!

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