Thai chef at Golden Valley library

Chef Nongkran Daks bested celeb chef Bobby Flay in a pad thai throwdown on the Food Network, which is a long way from rising at 4 a.m. as a 7-year-old to pound curry paste in her native Thailand. Today, she runs the award-winning Thai Basil restaurant in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Chantilly, Va. She’ll discuss her personal journey and the food regions of Thailand at a free talk from 6:30-8 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Golden Valley Library, 830 Winnetka Av. N. She will also sign copies of her latest cookbook, “Nong’s Thai Kitchen: 84 Classic Recipes That Are Quick, Healthy and Delicious” (Tuttle, $14.95), which will be available for purchase.


NE Market throws a party

The Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market hosts its fifth annual Harvest Gala to raise money for its activities and mission. This year’s event is from 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 21 at Solar Arts by Chowgirls, 711 15th Av. NE., and will feature foods that pair market vendors with local chefs. This year, expect eats by Sen Yai Sen Lek, Chowgirls, Red Stag Supperclub, the Draft Horse and others. Appetizers will be paired with custom cocktails, local beers and wines. Admission to the gala is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available on Sept. 17 at the Northeast Farmers Market and online at and type “northeast farmers market” in the search field.


Linden Hills throws a party

Looking ahead, the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council is hosting its first Taste of Linden Hills fundraiser on Oct. 25, highlighting the considerable talents of Linden Hills chefs to raise money for the council’s grants program. The cocktail-style evening event will be at 2720 W. 43rd St., in the space above Wild Rumpus Bookstore. Participating restaurants will include Tilia, Upton 43, Harriet Brasserie, Naviya’s Thai Brasserie, Kata Organic Cafe, Clancey’s Meats & Fish, Zumbro Cafe, Great Harvest Bakery, Coffee & Tea Ltd. and more. Local musicians will provide live music. General admission tickets are $60 and include one drink ticket (wine/beer) plus tastes from all restaurants. Supporter level tickets are $125, include the previous, plus a pre-event cocktail hour at Upton 43 with a tasting hosted by chef Erick Harcey. All tickets may be purchased at


News from Down Under

From the Wall Street Journal comes word of an Australian town and its (perceived) image problem. The mayor of Eggs And Bacon Bay — honest — thinks that a different, healthier sounding name would boost the Huon Valley town’s image as a source of great produce and seafood. “Considering the high levels of cholesterol and saturated fat in eggs and bacon, the area may well be called ‘Heart Attack Bay,’ ” said a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which supports a name change. Its suggestion: Apple and Cherry Pie Bay. (No lard in the pie crust, we’re guessing.) No one knows how the place got its name, nor is there agreement to change it. As one Facebook post put it: “There’s a lot at steak.”