The Tucson Culinary Festival has added two events: A tequila lunch at Maynards Market and Kitchen (400 N. Toole Ave.) on Friday, Oct. 2, features tastings of six types of Milagro tequila and a paired, two-course meal by chef Addam Buzzalini, all for $50. The other addition, a "Grilling With Sugar and Spice" seminar by chef Alexis Martinez and James Beard-award winning spice expert Jennifer English, takes place on Saturday, Oct. 3, on the patio of the Flying V at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort (7000 N. Resort Road), for $25. Visit www.tucsonculinaryfestival.com for tickets or more information.
Gooch's Grill opened last Friday in the old Belushe's location at 1118 E. Sixth St., right across from the UA campus. I took a look on opening day, and it had a lively feel, with big plasma TV screens all over the place, a standard pub-grub menu and more than 20 beers on tap. I'm not sure what happened to the tapas and wine bar that was supposed to open at the location several months ago, but Gooch's concept seems a better fit for the student-heavy area. Call 903-9039 for more info.
Everyone seems to be talking about jaxKitchen (7286 N. Oracle Road; 219-1235), which celebrated its first anniversary this month. Maybe it's because it won three Tucson Lifestyle Culinary Awards during its first year in operation. Or maybe it's because they serve interesting comfort foods like "adult milk and cookies"—a glass of bourbon-spiked milk and three different cookies made fresh daily by skilled pastry chef Nicole D'Auria. Whatever it is, you can try it at a discount by visiting jaxkitchen.com and printing out the coupon for 20 percent off your bill through the end of August.
Good news for all you desert-dwelling chocoholics: Swiss company Barry Callebaut has created a chocolate bar that stays solid until it reaches 131 degrees Fahrenheit. The confection is called Vulcano, and it might mean the end of those messy midsummer chocolate binges. It could also mean the end of the eternally expanding waistline if it really has 90 percent fewer calories than conventional chocolate, as claimed in various media reports. They're calling it Frankenfood in the blogosphere, but we're suspending judgment until Noshing gives it the full taste test.