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Bites: Taste of the Heights

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There are few better events than Five Star Sensation, a benefit for University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center. The biennial event, headlined by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, assembles 35 great chefs and 40 world-class wineries for a matchless night of eating and drinking. In addition to Puck, participating chefs include Gordon Hamersley (Hamersley's Bistro, Boston), Shawn McClain (Spring, Chicago), Charles Phan (the Slanted Door, San Francisco), Susan Spicer (Bayona, New Orleans), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto, New York) and many more. Wineries include some of the best that Napa and Sonoma have to offer, including Girard, Frog's Leap, Patz and Hall, and Alexander Valley Vineyards. Since 1987, the event has raised more than $10 million. This year's Sensation begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at the site of the future University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center at Chagrin Highlands in Beachwood. To purchase tickets, which start at $300, visit uhgiving.org.

Cleveland Heights has become well known for its restaurants. On Wednesday, June 3, 18 of those great restaurants will team up to raise money for the Heights Youth Club, which provides a safe place for kids to hang out. Taste of the Heights will take place from 6-9 p.m. at the HYC building at 2065 Lee Rd. Chefs from Anatolia Café, Marotta's, Lopez, Pacific East, Nighttown and many others will be dishing up tastes of their most popular items. The all-star bar will be tended by Kathy Simkoff (Grog Shop), Declan Synnott (Parnell's Pub) and Jim Brennan (Brennan's Colony). Entertainment will be provided by the kids. Cost is $50. Cash bar.

"You know how many times I've been to the Beachland and had a couple of Maker's Marks and said, 'Man, I could really go for something to eat right now?'" asks Billy "Blitz" Madansky rhetorically. Rather than simply bitch, Madansky is doing something about it. By mid-summer, he intends to open Blitz Barbeque (15710 Waterloo Rd.) in the old I-90 Diner space across from the Beachland Ballroom. The mostly carry-out joint will specialize in slow-smoked pulled pork, baby back ribs and Jamaican jerk chicken. Madansky perfected his craft at home before going commercial at the Waterloo Arts Fest and Coit Road Farmers Market. "The first time I set up a stand in public, I sold out of everything," he says. "I was walking around with the money in shock." Other items will include barbecued grilled meatloaf and burgers topped with pulled pork, fries and slaw.


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