NOTE: Since this report was first posted, the Summer of Rum Festival has been canceled due to high winds from Hurricane Hermine. Refunds will be awarded at point of purchase.
CALLING HALF PINTS: CUBAN SANDWICH CHALLENGE
On Sunday, kids ages 4-17 compete in the annual Junior Chefs of America fundraiser to purchase kitchen equipment and utensils. Young chefs, tutored by local chefs that include Chopped contestant Rhonda Taylor DeLoatch, Paola Tazerez and Lauren Fury, square off by age groups to create winning Cuban sandwich recipes and win scholarships to further their culinary experience. The winner of each age group will be named a Top Junior Chef of America, with prize money of $500 and a 12-week scholarship to the Junior Chefs of America Cooking School, which is scheduled to open in September. Guests are invited to cheer on their favorite budding chef in a pet-friendly, outdoor setting with live entertainment, food vendors, kid-friendly vendors, educational learning booths and kids activities. Admission is free, but donations are welcome and will benefit Junior Chefs of America, a nonprofit cooking school. Noon to 5 p.m. Centennial Park, 1800 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 408-1078. juniorchefsofamerica.org.
TOAST SUMMER: RUM FESTIVAL NOW CANCELED
NOTE: Because stormy weather made setup too treacherous on Friday, organizers canceled the Summer of Rum Festival on Friday. What says summertime loud and clear? A slushy drink, preferably Windex blue and named for an embarrassing body part or sexual position, fueled gloriously by rum. Whether its a frozen daiquiri, pina colada, rum runner, Cuba Libre, Dark and Stormy or a Rum-a-Rita, the Summer of Rum Festival will have all your favorite summertime quaffs. This year, the island-inspired celebration of rum, held Saturday, moves to the Channelside Bay Plaza, allowing for more "rum zones" and shacks to serve up more than 50 rums from around the world. The festival includes entertainment with headliner Reel Big Fish and food trucks. And if all this isn't compelling enough, a lucky attendee will win two round-trip tickets to Cuba, a Cuban rum basket and Cuban cigars ($1,500 value). You are automatically entered when you purchase tickets online from summerofrumfest.com and tickets issued from Ticketfly. The drawing will be held live on stage right before Reel Big Fish comes on. You must be present to win. At press time, the festival was still a go for Saturday noon to 11 p.m., but keep an eye on the Summer of Rum Facebook page if the weather turns ugly. $17-$25 general admission, $90-$125 VIP. Channelside Bay Plaza, 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 870-2255.
TOP CHEF: JEFFREY JEW
On Sept. 6, Savory Spice Shop welcomes Stillwaters Tavern executive chef and Top Chef contestant Jeffrey Jew, in an Experience of the Senses cooking demonstration. His adventurous menu features the shop's fresh spices and includes pan-seared hogfish, grilled sirloin with shallot fenugreek butter. Limited tickets; must reserve by Tuesday. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 6. $50. Savory Spice Shop, 400 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 290-9893.
BESPOKE GROCERIES: NUTRITION COUNSELING
In recent years, food allergies and intolerances have been on the rise and more people are becoming aware of what's in their food and how it affects their health. Nature's Food Patch in Clearwater is responding to all this with a novel move: They are allowing customers to have personalized in-store nutrition consultations with registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist and certified health coach Amy Goldweber.
Goldweber specializes in chronic conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes and heart disease and also in nutrition-related conditions from food allergies and intolerances to weight release, exercise and stress reduction. While she will place a strong emphasis on increasing self-awareness and self-acceptance, she says having fun and finding balance also are important in reaching your nutrition goals.
Customers have a chance to meet Goldweber before scheduling an appointment. Nature's Food Patch is hosting "Meet the Nutritionist" Sept. 17 and 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Initial individual consultations are $75 for 60 minutes. Followups are $60 for 60 minutes. Up to one hour of personal shopping is $40 with consultation and $60 without. To make an appointment, call (727) 490-9520.