Making the finals, oyster-wiseThis year's National Oyster...

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October 11, 1992|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Making the finals, oyster-wise

This year's National Oyster Cook-Off takes place Saturday in Leonardtown, during the 26th annual St. Mary's County Oyster Festival. Twelve finalists, chosen from a field of more than 130 contestants, will compete for the grand prize of $1,000. Five of the finalists are from Maryland; others are from New Jersey (two), New York, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia. The cook-off begins around 10 a.m.; by noon there will be samples available. Folks attending the oyster festival can take a shuttle bus to the cook-off site, in the middle school across from the festival; people who are interested only in the cook-off can walk in to the school. There will be an awards ceremony at the grandstand on the festival grounds at 3 p.m.

The festival lasts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; admission is $2 per person. There will also be food and entertainment.

Zip-i-de-FOOD-ah!

A party that is absolutely guaranteed to have terrific food is Zip-i-de-FOOD-ah!, the first-ever fund-raising event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Baltimore International Culinary College, to be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 23 at 206 Water St. and 206 E. Redwood St. There will be music, a silent auction for vacation getaways, gourmet delights and more.

But the real treat will surely be the food and the cooking demonstrations.

Cost is $40 per person, and all proceeds benefit the BICC Student Emergency Loan Fund. For reservations or more information, call BICC at (410) 752-1448.

A neighborhood for bagels

She's not sure why, but all her life Baltimore native Julie Cahan has dreamed of owning a bagel shop. So when the chance came to open a place with her friend Carol Gallant, she jumped on it. It must have been fate, because the two have discovered they've done more than open a shop; they've founded an institution. It's called Sam & Noah's, after their sons, who are classmates at Boys' Latin school.

"We wanted it to be a neighborhood kind of place, where people could gather and talk to their friends and exchange gossip," Ms. Gallant says. "That's a very humanizing thing for a city."

The tiny shop, at 500 W. Cold Spring Ave., has become a "gathering place" for everyone on the street, the two women say. "The neat thing," Ms. Cahan says, "is how many people come in here and see somebody they know."

The shop offers more than a dozen different kinds of bagels, including oat bran, cinnamon raisin, chocolate chip, and jalapeno, all baked fresh each morning. They can be topped with cream cheese or a homemade cream cheese spreads, or turned into breakfast sandwiches with eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage or ham, or some combination. There are lunch sandwiches, too, plus muffins, croissants, cookies and beverages.

The shop is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. If you show up on Saturday or Sunday, you can meet the real Sam Gallant and Noah Cahan; the boys each work one weekend day. You can also call ahead for orders; the number is (410) 243-1774.

Helping homebound people ill with AIDS is as simple as dining out at your favorite restaurant. On Thursday, Oct. 22, 27 restaurants around the Baltimore area will donate 20 percent of every bill to Moveable Feast, a non-profit group that delivers nutritious meals to people with AIDS. The group hopes to raise $30,000 to continue five-day-a-week meal service. Among the restaurants participating in the "Dining for Life" event are the Admiral Fell Inn, Bertha's, Bohager's, La Provence, Morning Edition, Orchard Market and Gourmet Deli, Pavilion at the Walters, the Red Star, Regi's, Sisson's, Tabrizi's and Tamber's. For information or a complete list of participating restaurants, call Moveable Feast, (410) 243-4604.

Not Tex-Mex

Fans of Mexican food -- real Mexican food, that is, not Tex-Mex or fast-food versions -- will be delighted to learn that Diana Kennedy, a cookbook author and noted proponent of traditional Mexican cuisine, has begun a series of 26 weekly cable television programs, "The Art of Mexican Cooking." The half-hour programs are on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the Learning Channel, a service of Discovery Networks, which also operates the Discovery Channel. Programs will cover dishes Ms. Kennedy has perfected in her more than 30 years of studying Mexico's cuisine. (The first program aired Sept. 29.)

Here is one of Ms. Kennedy's recipes. It is from the 1978 edition of "Regional Mexican Cooking," published by Harper Collins.

Shrimp in pumpkin-seed sauce

Serves six to eight.

1 1/2 pounds medium-size shrimp, shelled and deveined (shells reserved)

1 1/2 cups cold water

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

freshly ground pepper

1 cup (about 4 ounces) hulled, unroasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds

8 sprigs fresh coriander, leaves only

3 serrano chilies, or any fresh, hot green chilies

1/2 small onion

1 tablespoon sweet butter

2/3 cup sour cream, preferably homemade

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