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A&E >  Food

Sheets tops Fontana for chef title

The 2009 Battle of the Chefs at the Spokane Women’s Show came down to the same two finalists for the second year in a row.

Chef Mercia Sheets of Madeleine’s Cafe and Patisserie in downtown Spokane edged out returning champion Brett Fontana, executive chef from the Hayden Lake County Club, for the $1,000 purse in Saturday’s final cook-off.

The chefs whipped up showpiece plates from a mystery bag of ingredients containing rabbit, golden beets and blackberries for the title. The battle began with eight area chefs and was whittled down to two finalists after three rounds of breakneck butchery, flying sauté pans and precarious plating. (OK. That’s exaggerating, but it was fun to see the chefs in action. I served as a judge during the competition on a panel with eight other volunteer tasters.)

Competitors included Alexa Wilson, Wild Sage Bistro; Debbie Collins, ÇaPear Catering; Adam Hegsted, Coeur d’Alene Casino; Curtis Smith, Bold Eats; Jason Rex, Scratch, and Justina Renoud of the soon-to-open Bordeaux on Broadway. The restaurant is on West Broadway near the Spokane County Courthouse.

A cheap cuppa today

Don’t forget that travel mug on the way out the door.

To celebrate Earth Day, Dutch Bros. Coffee is offering discounted and free drinks to anyone who uses or buys a reusable mug at its drive-through locations today. Pay a buck for drinks if you bring your own mug. Purchase a Dutch Bros. travel mug or a Dutch Press and the drinks are free.

The Dutch Press is a 20-ounce serving of French press coffee that allows drivers to brew, plunge and press in two or three minutes. (And you thought talking on the cell phone while driving was a distraction.) It also becomes a travel mug when the press is removed.

The company, based in Grants Pass, Ore., offers a daily 25 cent discount to anyone who brings a Dutch Bros. travel mug.

Dutch Bros. locations at 402 W. Second Ave., 1010 W. Francis Ave., and 1306 N. Division St. in Spokane are participating. In Coeur d’Alene, there are Dutch Bros. at 118 W. Hanley Ave. and 1680 Northwest Blvd.

‘Good fats’ lecturer

Nutrition researcher and author Udo Erasmus will present a free community lecture Tuesday at Pilgrim’s Market, 1316 N. Fourth St., in Coeur d’Alene.

Erasmus is the author of “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill,” and is recognized for his early research into the health benefits of unrefined, cold pressed flax oil.

The lecture will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and a free ticket is required for admission. Space is limited and tickets can be picked up a one of the market’s check-out registers.

Pilgrim’s Market hosts 10 to 15 events each month at its new Health Education Center. The list of events can be found at The market can be reached at (208) 676-9730.

We’re always looking for fresh food news. Write to: The Fresh Sheet, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Call (509) 459-5446, fax to (509) 459-5098 or send an e-mail to
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