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Cooking videos sought

Ready for your close-up? Then you have a busy weekend ahead of you. Feb. 29 is the deadline for submitting a two-minute video that could lead to your own Web series. Create TV launched the Create Cooking Challenge as a national video contest for both professional chefs and home cooks. It airs on almost 230 public TV stations and the challenge is sponsored by American Public Television. Entrants must submit online a short original YouTube video of their best culinary project, recipe or tip. The contest will be judged by Create staff and a panel of public television chefs: Chris Kimball ("America's Test Kitchen" and "Cook's Country"), Pati Jinich ("Pati's Mexican Table"), Jacques Pépin ("Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul"), Sara Moulton ("Sara's Weeknight Meals") and Chef Irie ("Taste the Islands With Chef Irie"). The contest is open to entrants 18 years and older. For a complete list of judging criteria and entry rules, visit

Food & Wine on tap

Winter is on the run (sort of). One clue: the annual Food & Wine Experience sponsored by Minnesota Monthly. This year, it's March 5-6 at the Metropolitan and Legends clubs inside Target Field. Local and national vintners and brewers will share their expertise and samples, along with eats from local chefs. There are several ticket categories, starting at $80 in advance; seminars are an additional charge. To order, visit

The good kind of Spam

The 25th annual Spam recipe contest has a winner! The schnitzel-inspired Gemütlichkeit Spamwich involves slices of Spam that are breaded and fried, then stacked on pretzel buns with a warm and vinegary bacon-laced cabbage slaw. Winner Lisa Dziadulewicz, 49, lives in Sheboygan, Wis., where her creation took honors at the Wisconsin State Fair. She wins a $3,000 expense-paid trip for two to the Spam Jam Waikiki Festival in Hawaii. She's the first winner from Wisconsin. For the recipe and many, many more using the famed spiced ham from Austin, Minn., visit

Vegan chili cook-off

Compassionate Action for Animals hosts its annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota campus. The free event has two categories this year: traditional (must be bean-based, cannot contain vegan meats) and nontraditional (creativity is encouraged). Winners will be determined by popular vote. To learn more about entering or eating, visit

Taco throw-down

Midtown Global Market is hosting its first "Taco of the Town" contest from noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, pitting three of its vendors against one another: Hot Indian Foods with a pork vindaloo with roti taco; Manny's Tortas with carne asada azul taco, and Taco Cat with its bop taco. Guests will sample each taco and vote for their favorite. A $25 ticket gets you one taco from each competitor, two beers from East Lake Craft Brewery and a commemorative pint glass. (Under 21 or nondrinkers have $20 tickets that include one soda or kombucha.) Tickets can be purchased at in the online store or the day of the event at East Lake Craft Brewery, where the contest takes place. The event benefits the Division of Indian Work Horizon Unlimited Food Program.