Fans of bacon and friendly competition should head to the Tin Whistle Irish Pub at 609 E. Market St. on Monday night for a chef showdown. Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar executive chef Reggie Calhoun and Miso Sweet Ramen + Donut Shop executive chef Frank Paris III will each cook four courses—the common ingredient being bacon—for diners, who will chow down before voting for their favorite chef. Calhoun, who toppled Tastings chef Michael Berry in the most recent showdown, is back to defend his title. The chef showdown was started by Berry, Tin Whistle owner Jacie Dunkle and Fellini’s chef Chris Humphrey. “We all three thought this was a cool concept for this town,” says Dunkle.
Calhoun and Paris will cook for two seatings—at 5:30 and 7:30pm—and it’s $55 for eight courses; or $65 for eight courses plus wine pairings. Diners can call the Tin Whistle at 202-8387 to reserve their spot.
Rally for Allie
On March 27, from 6-8 pm, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards is hosting the Rally for Allie—a food and wine fundraiser for Allie Redshaw, a chef who recently lost her hand in a work accident. Guests will enjoy samples from top area chefs and producers, as well as Pippin Hill wines. There will also be a silent auction featuring unique experiences and donations from local vendors. Online bidding for the auction is already underway for items such as a James Beard dinner—a nine-course meal for 10 people prepared by all three Charlottesville-area chefs who have been named James Beard semi-finalists for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic: Ian Boden, Melissa Close-Hart and Angelo Vangelopoulos. All proceeds from the fundraiser and auction go directly to Redshaw’s recovery fund. Tickets are $50, available at eventbrite.com/e/rally-for-allie-tickets-32847544891. To view the auction items and place your bids, visit charlottesville29.com.—C. Simon Davidson
Open for business
Uncle Maddio’s Pizza opened March 17 at The Shops at Stonefield. Diners can create their own pizza from three crusts, 48 toppings and seven sauces, and the pies are ready to eat in under eight minutes. Maddio’s signature pizzas, such as the Steak & Blue, are available as well.
Six questions for Shane Mitchell
Shane Mitchell, author of Far Afield: Rare Food Encounters from Around the World, is a contributing editor for Saveur. Her writing has appeared in Serious Eats and Bon Appétit, and she was a 2016 James Beard Foundation Journalism Award finalist. But she doesn’t characterize herself as a food writer. “My work focuses on culture. But food is often the gateway in,” says Mitchell. “Almost everyone lights up and opens the door when I ask, ‘What’s for dinner?’” Mitchell is one of the featured food writers who will be reading from and talking about their work at this year’s Virginia Festival of the Book.
C-VILLE Weekly: What is your favorite food?
SM: Probably rice. Goes with almost everything. It appears on the table in all the regions where I travel most.
Least favorite food?
Oatmeal and okra. It’s a texture thing.
What was the first thing you wrote about food?
An ode to wild dandelion greens for Saveur magazine.
What’s the most recent thing you wrote about food?
Apart from Far Afield? Sandwiches called pani ca’ meusa [literally “bread with spleen”], a famous street snack in Palermo, Sicily. And an essay for The Sugarfiles, a Saveur project, about a caste of [silver]smiths who hammer tissue-thin edible silver and gold “vark” to cover traditional sweets in Jaipur.
If you could have any meal, anywhere, where would you go, and what would you eat there?
A modest izakaya [a Japanese gastropub] under the train tracks in Tokyo where the owner grills yakitori chicken wings over charcoal. He’s been doing it for 30 years and will never be rich or famous but has a loyal fan base.
What’s the story you can’t get out of your head/heart?
Sharing cups of tea with Sudanese refugees in a camp called The Jungle on the European migrant route.
Catch Mitchell this week at three panels, all of which are free and open to the public:
Adventures in Eating: Navigating the World for the Perfect Meal
With Jeffrey Greene, author of In Pursuit of Wild Edibles; Thursday, March 23, 10am; Barnes & Noble, Barracks Road Shopping Center
With Sheri Castle, author of Rhubarb; and Ronni Lundy, author of Victuals
Thursday, March 23, noon; The Charlottesville Cooking School, 2041 Barracks Rd.
Food Traditions and Women Chefs
With Ashley Christensen, author of Poole’s, and Ronni Lundy
Thursday, March 23, 4pm; Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, 233 Fourth St. NW