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Taste fest

Three stellar food events

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This week's focus is food and wine -- herbs, Slow Food, a seven-course winemaker's dinner, and the annual fund-raiser Taste of the Springs.

On Saturday, the venerable Craftwood Inn hosts the Taste of the Springs Winemaker's Dinner, pairing with Clos Pegase vineyard and winery of Napa Valley for a feast to benefit Care & Share and Marian House Soup Kitchen. Chef Jeff Knight has planned a stunning menu including Herb and Sesame Seared Sea Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce, Medallions of Wild Boar Tenderloin, Roast Loin of Antelope with Porcini Mushroom Sauce and Grilled Colorado Lamb Chops. Each course is paired with a Clos Pegase wine, to be introduced by winemaker Jan Shrem.

The dinner kicks off the annual taste fest Taste of the Springs on Sunday, featuring signature dishes from 30 Colorado restaurants and 10 beverage distributors. Red wine, white wine, gourmet coffee, beer and bottled water are included in the price of a ticket. Concurrent fund-raising activities are a silent auction, a live auction and the Wheel of Good Taste, a roulette-style wheel that wins you a $25 gift certificate to a participating restaurant for a donation of $15. All funds raised go to Care & Share Food Bank and Marian House Soup Kitchen, so leave your guilt trips at home.

On Tuesday, amid the lush footpaths and flower beds of Hillside Gardens, the local Slow Food convivium hosts an herb tasting with wines from The Wine Seller and The Wine Store. Herb specialist and master gardener Jerald Bridgman will talk about growing and cooking with herbs, and there will be potted and cut herbs for sale. Sunset mountain views, the scent of roses in the air, herb-infused nibbles and a fragrant glass of wine -- sounds like heaven.

-- Kathryn Eastburn

capsule Taste of the Springs Winemaker's Dinner The Craftwood Inn

Saturday, May 22, 6:30 p.m.

$100 per person ($50 tax deductible)

For more, call 389-0973; full menu and ticket info is available at www.TasteOfTheSprings.org.

Taste of the Springs

Sheraton Hotel Main Ballroom

Sunday, May 23, 5:30 p.m.

$65 per person ($45 tax deductible)

For more, call 389-0973 or e-mail info@TasteOfTheSprings.org.

Slow Food Spring Herbs Event at Hillside Gardens

1006 S. Institute St. (one block south of Fountain)

Tuesday, May 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

$20 members, $25 future members in advance; $5 more to show up the day of the event

Contact Pat Radcliffe, 684-8193; for reservations send check with name, telephone number and number of people in your party to Slow Food, c/o Pat Radcliffe, P.O. Box 6236, Colorado Springs CO 80934

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