Knife fight!

The California State Fair begins next Friday, July 10—and I, for one, am looking forward to washing down unhealthy food (like chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick) with a wine slushie. This year, I'm also looking forward to a handful of cooking challenges that are happening in Exposition Building B at the SMUD Energy Efficient Cooking Theatre and Save Mart Supermarkets California's Kitchen, including: a snack-baking competition (July 11); a postal-service worker cooking challenge (July 12); an MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) cook-off, which incorporates field rations used by the United States military (July 16); a cooking battle between firefighters (July 23); and of course, a battle featuring professional chefs cooking a three-course meal using a “secret” ingredient (July 24 and 26). Head to for the full schedule and more information. Also, returning to the fair this year is The Farm, an area that will have an outdoor grill and information about natural food.