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Foodie Fun

Indulge in a fresh-baked blueberry shortcake — for a good cause.

Through Aug. 31, McCormick & Kuleto’s in San Francisco is featuring that special dessert for $4.95. For every one sold, the restaurant will make a donation to the American Heart Association.

The shortcake is filled with orange-marinated blueberries and topped with a cloud of whipped cream and creme fraiche.

Enjoy brunch every Saturday and Sunday now at Palo Alto’s Shokolaat.

The new seasonal breakfast offerings, available 11:30a.m. to 2 p.m., include such delights as organic buttermilk pancakes served with chocolate or fresh berries; and vegetable omelet with Boursin and caramelized onions. Entrees are priced from $7 to $19.

Brunch with a musical flair is on the menu at 1300 on Fillmore in San Francisco. Every first and third Sundays of the month there, enjoy a gospel brunch.

House band, Future Perfect, features a father-daughter team who performs for an hour at each of two sittings: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The three-course brunch is $39 per person. It includes a bellini or mimosa, plus coffee or tea. The brunch features an assorted bread basket, a choice of entree, and a choice of dessert.

An a` la carte brunch is offered on the other Sundays of each month.

A jazz brunch is now being offered Sundays at Left Bank Menlo Park.

Enjoy the sounds of French singer Laurent Fourgo and his combo, while nibbling “Pain Perdu” (French toast with whipped cream and berries, $10.50) or “Salmon Crepes” (with poached salmon, poached eggs, leeks, and hollandaise sauce, $13.50).

Additionally, during Sunday brunch hours, noon to 3 p.m., and during Saturday lunch hours, the restaurant will offer a dessert buffet ($7) stocked with profiteroles, creme brulee, and a chocolate fountain.

Still another musical brunch can be enjoyed at Cetrella in Half Moon Bay from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 26, when members of Opera San Jose belt out arias from well-known operas.

Sunday brunch is $35 for prix fixe; a` la carte options also are available. Reservations are required.

Free Ben & Jerry’s, anyone?

Thought that would get your attention.  On four upcoming days in San Francisco, the gourmet ice cream purveyor will be handing out samples of its new Flipped Out ice cream treat. This new concoction is fudge sauce, ice cream and brownies, all contained in a cup that you flip over onto a serving plate to enjoy.

Just find your way to these locations for a sample:

July 18, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m, Union Square.

July 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Golden Gate Park.

July 21, 11 a.m., Justin Herman Plaza.

July 22, 3 p.m., Justin Herman Plaza.

And you apparently have to RSVP at the Ben & Jerry’s link above.

Oooh, the pungent aroma is already in the air for the 31st annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, July 24-16, at Christmas Hill Park.

“Top Chef” fanatics will be happy to know that fan-favorite Chef Fabio Vivani will be host the July 26 “Garlic Showdown,” in which four Bay Area culinary professionals will compete in an “Iron Chef”-like competition.

Vivani already knows one of the contestants — fellow “Top Chef” contestant, Chef Jamie Lauren of Absinthe in San Francisco. She will go up against Brian Christensen of Stokes Adobe in Monterey; Bruce Paton “The Beer Chef” from Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco; and Ryan Scott  of ryanscott2go.com in San Francisco, who coincidentally is yet another former “Top Chef” contestant.

July 25, the amateur cooks will battle it out in the “Great Garlic Cookoff.”  Eight finalists from across the country will cook their garlic-laced dishes on stage, then present them to a panel of judges.

Gourmet Alley will be up and running each day, with an array of food booths serving up all things garlicky.

If that weren’t enough, the goofy, yet irresistible Foster Farms “Foster Imposter Chickens” will be on hand for photo ops, and to hand out tote bags, hats, T-shirts, and coupons for Foster Farms chicken. If the pudgy, 5-foot-tall chickens look even plumper, it’s because they’re there to raise awareness about saltwater-injected chicken on the market, which adds significant sodium to poultry and makes consumers pay more in weight for the added liquid. Foster Farms, of course, does not inject its chicken with saltwater.

Tickets for the festival are $12 for general admission; $6 for seniors and children ages 6-12; and free for children under age 6.

Coi’s Daniel Patterson and Delfina’s Lauren Kiino have teamed up to open Cane Rosso at the San Francisco Ferry Building. The casual, quick-serve eatery is a bakery, sandwich shop and rotisserie all in one, with an emphasis on local ingredients.

Every Sunday, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., all A.G. Ferrari shops in the Bay Area will feature tastes of specialty Italian cheeses.

This coming July 19, and July 26, sample cheeses from Emilia Romagna, Lombardia, and Liguria.

Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food Restaurant in Berkeley is feeling especially good with its first anniversary coming up on July 25.

On that day, visitors to the restaurant, which specializes in organic and nutritious food, will receive complimentary organic cookies until 2 p.m., complimentary baked fries from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and free organic apple fries from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Additionally, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., freshly made sodas will be on the house.

If wine’s more your thing, you’ll want to head to the Palm Event Center in Pleasanton, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 23, for the Taste of Terroir.

Professional wine judges, along with members of the public, will get to choose their favorites of the 16 food-wine pairings that will be offered. A decadent dessert sampling paired with Livermore Valley ports will follow.

Tickets are $75 per person. Proceeds benefit the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association.

For more wine fun, mark your calendar for July 26, 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., when the first Jewish Vintners Wine Trail event is held in the Napa Valley.

More than a dozen wineries, including Frank Family Vineyard, and Honig Vineyard, will be offering food pairings, barrel tastings, tours, and special discounts on wine purchased that day. A light al fresco supper at Judd’s Hill Winery will end the day.

Advance tickets are $75 per person, and $35 for designated drivers (who get to enjoy the food, but no wine). The event is sponsored by L’Chaim, Jewish Vintners Celebration, a charitable organization that has benefited Jewish organizations in the valley.

In St. Helena, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen continues its Wednesday Supper Club dinners.

You don’t need your passport to experience special dishes from around the globe. The Supper Club dinners celebrate Chef Cindy Pawlcyn’s love of travel and culture.

July 22, the restaurant will spotlight Hawaii with dishes such as pork katsu, and guava chiffon cake. July 29, it’s all about Arabia, with a menu that features roasted eggplant and peppers with yogurt and pine nuts; and lamb kifta tagine with eggs.

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