Z’Tejas Chile Festival, The Utah State Fair & Fleming’s Wine Wednesdays 

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Calling all chiliheads! The fifth annual Z’Tejas Chile Festival is in swing at The Gateway, showcasing the art of green chilies. More than 1,000 pounds of Hatch, N.M., green chili peppers will be roasted through Sept. 21 at Z’Tejas and used in a special chili-infused menu of appetizers, entrees and desserts, including an iceberg wedge with green chili-bleu cheese dressing and firecracker green-chili pork taquitos. ZTejas.com.

I must say I’m often in awe (or maybe just aw) of the cooking contests at the Utah State Fair. The theme for 2008 is “Out of the Ordinary,” and the cooking scene is no exception. This year’s Fair Park extravaganza features a Best Spam Appetizer contest, with the winning contestant getting a trip to Spam Jam Waikiki. The Fresh Taste for the Family contest winner will create a family recipe incorporating Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix. Yum. A chocolate champion will be crowned for the best Ghirardelli chocolate-inspired dessert and the Make It With Malt-O-Meal contest features dishes made with Malt-O-Meal cold cereals such as Apple Zings, Coco Roos, Tootie Fruities and Frosted Flakes. On the charitable side, Fleischmann’s Yeast’s Bake for the Cure contest will donate $10 on behalf of each entry to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. UtahStateFair.com.

Fleming’s “Wine Wednesdays” supports local charities. For the month of September, Fleming’s will support No More Homeless Pets with contributions from each Wine Wednesday event. Wine Wednesdays feature hors d’oeuvres ($10) and optional wine pairings ($15) Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. It’s a great way to enjoy good food, wine, and company and to support important charitable community organizations at the same time. 20 S. 400 West, 355-3704.

Quote of the week: We don’t need to be hip foodies or cool cats to eat well. All we need is a little time and a good place to sit. —Pizzeria Seven Twelve

Send Food Matters info to teds@xmission.com.

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