No small beer — Did you know that this May 13-20 is designated as American Craft Beer Week? It kicks off Wednesday, with a Craft Beer Expo at Canterbury Village 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 at Canterbury Village (2369 Joslyn Ct., Lake Orion). The event will feature 17 breweries — including six from Michigan — as well as a strolling dinner, and raffle prizes for event guests. Tickets for the event are $15, and each includes eight 3-ounce beer samples and strolling dinner. Additional beer tasting tickets may be purchased at the event. Ticket purchasers and event guests must be of legal drinking age. “Craft beer is exploding in popularity,” says Gary Thompson, chief operating officer of Powers Distributing. “Michigan is the fifth largest craft beer state in the country. Our breweries are experiencing fantastic development and the state offers an amazing selection of both local and national beers to craft beer drinkers.” Participating breweries include Dragonmead Brewing Company, Kuhnhenn Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewery and Brooklyn Brewery. Nine Canterbury Village food stations will provide pasta, chicken and beef cuisine samples. For more information, see craftbeerexpo.net.
Craft craze — The Michigan Brewers Guild says Michigan is now home to more than 130 craft brewers, multiplying rapidly from just a few small brewers in the 1990s. Last year, Michigan craft beer sales grew 16 percent. Craft brewers also credited Michigan’s beer distribution system for helping their sector enjoy rapid growth. If you haven’t had a taste of what’s brewing here in our state, this is the perfect week to dive in.
Quick turnaround — It would appear that the end has come for Detroit’s Cheesecake Bistro. We only ran our review of it May 1, but we walked by it last week and saw work crews blacking out the awning. We hope the backers can salvage something out of it, as it’s a good downtown location that formerly housed the razzle-dazzle of Sweet Georgia Brown.
Fast Food Fast — Fast food isn’t normally on our radar here, but when scores of Detroit fast food workers walked off their jobs last week to protest low wages, it sure got our attention. Organizers say they were able to close five different restaurants due to the May 10 action, which mirrors actions already undertaken in St. Louis and Chicago. Organizers say the actions are pushing for living wages for workers. To learn more about the action, see detroit15.org.
Keep it Halal — In one of the more unusual food items we’ve seen so far this year, the Dearborn Heights Police Department has agree to provide halal food to Muslims detained in their custody. The measure drew praise from members of the Council on American Islamic Relations of Michigan, which had met with Dearborn Heights’ mayor and police chief to discuss the matter. It sounds like a welcome note of cultural respect in an age of increasingly shrill and tedious debates. Congratulations, Dearborn Heights.
Michael Chiarello’s Live Fire: 125 Recipes for Cooking Outdoors
by Michael Chiarello
Chronicle Books, $35
One of summer’s great pleasures is eating food cooked outdoors, preferably over charcoal or hardwood. Using Michael Chiarello’s Live Fire: 125 Recipes for Cooking Outdoors as a guide will kick your grilling proficiency up several notches. In straightforward language, aimed at cooks of all levels, this super-chef describes several tools — from hibachi to fire pit — that will allow you to recreate his remarkable fare. The pictured leg of lamb on a string is intriguing. The grilled crabs with fresh herbs are irresistible. The kids will love the brown-bagged eggs and bacon that they cook on the end of a long stick.
Looking for a good meatball recipe? Grab your iPad with its 4,930,000 meatball recipes. Get the ingredients together and get cookin’. With an olive oil can in one hand and two pounds of ground chuck in the other, grab the iPad to see whether to add the garlic to the oil or mix it into the meat. When you spill the oil on the device, you’ll wish you’d listened when we told you to pick up a set of Chef Sleeve iPad recyclable, touch–sensitive, ultra–clear sleeves that are tailored to fit. Get a set of five for $4.95 for at cooking.com