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Side Dishes: Food event rundown

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Whether it takes a jaunt in a truck or a long boat ride, most of our food travels to get to our plates. As diners become more environmentally aware, restaurants boast of having locally sourced menus and low carbon footprints.

But who can go the lowest? To find out, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain will present “The Food Less Traveled” on Thursday, November 11. Starting at 6:30 p.m., chefs from American Flatbread — Burlington Hearth, Cosmic Bakery & Café, the Farmhouse Tap & Grill, The Skinny Pancake, The Spot and Sugarsnap will engage in a battle to prepare the best-tasting dish with the lowest “food miles.” Fifty percent of each $12 ticket ($10 for ECHO members) goes to the Vermont Foodbank just in time for Turkey Day.

Vermont’s March of Dimes is dedicated to supporting infants’ health. Once a year, food helps meet the goal when the charity presents its Burlington Signature Chefs Auction and Gala. On Tuesday, November 16, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., folks can grab samples from more than a dozen restaurants for a good cause at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center. Dishes will include French Canadian tourtière served with pickles and ketchup aux fruits from Penny Cluse Café; and country pork pâté with Red Hen Baking Company bread and Vermont apple mostarda from The Farmhouse Tap & Grill. Tickets are $75.

The harvest is over at Shelburne Vineyard, which celebrates this Saturday, November 13, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with its Autumn Wine & Food Festival. Along with the winery’s own sips, attendees can taste Eden Ice Cider while they chow down. Small bites will come from local businesses, including Cavendish Game Birds, Vermont Smoke and Cure and Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery. Guests are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to donate to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. One perishable, and generous, donation that would be welcome: a turkey. The charity hopes to provide a Thanksgiving bird to 2700 needy families this year.

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