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Side Dishes: Politico cook-off; Rustico's closes


They determine the state’s political fate, but can they cook? That question will be answered at the first annual “Capital Cook-Off” at the Vermont Farm Show’s Consumer Night on January 25. The show takes place at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction for the first time this year, moving from the Barre Civic Center to accommodate more vendors.

That evening, four team members each from the Vermont House, Senate and Agency of Agriculture will gather for an “Iron Chef”-style mystery-box challenge. In 45 minutes, teams must prepare a dish using at least three ingredients purchased from some of the 42 local farmers selling their wares at the event’s first Buy Local Market. A panel of local judges will vote on the best bites, which will be announced on WCAX just before 7 p.m.


Rustico’s in the Essex Shoppes & Cinema has closed, 18 months after its opening. The owners were not available for comment.