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Rico Mexican Market celebrated Day of the Dead and the opening of its new USDA-inspected kitchen facility, 545 W. 700 South, on Saturday. Jorge Fierro and Karin Palle opened the company in 1997, specializing in fresh, authentic Mexican burritos, tacos, tamales, enchiladas, chiles relleno, moles, salsa and many other items. Customers can still dine at the market on 779 S. 500 East, pick up a meal to go or order catering for events. The company also launched a new catering menu (533-9923).

Jay and Carol Fuller of Lehi won the 2005 Utah State Championship Dutch Oven Cook Off at Cabela's in Lehi on Saturday. The Fullers prepared Stuffed Beef Tenderloin served with Stromboli Pizza Bread and Heavenly Tropical Pie. They received a Cabela's gift certificate for $300, a nickel-plated mini Camp Chef Dutch oven courtesy of Ogden Chrome and a Camp Chef full-size propane smoker valued at $350. Will and Jen Ward of Layton took second place, and Scott and Amy Clawson of American Fork took third place.

The Singing Cricket Restaurant is sponsoring a "Show Your Gratitude" campaign throughout November. In a letter to customers, owner Lara Kierstead wrote that she is grateful for the past four years, as The Singing Cricket has grown from a deli-style cafe to include full-service lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch and catering. Customers can bring a canned or packaged food item when they come to the restaurant; the items will then be donated to the Utah Food Bank. The letter also mentioned Kierstead's "Save the Cricket" campaign.

"The month of November is the determining factor of whether we will financially be able to keep our doors open," she wrote. "If the Singing Cricket Restaurant is among your favorite places to enjoy great food in a relaxing atmosphere, then 'Save the Cricket.' Help to keep it around by visiting during the month of November, passing this letter along to your network of friends or by booking your holiday catering needs with us."

The Utah Chocolate Show, Nov. 18-19 at the South Towne Expo Center, 9575 S. State, will have displays of everything from chocolate fondue fountains to truffles, chocolate milk, organic chocolates, cookbooks as well as themed signs and T-shirts.

Nine hands-on classes will be offered, including a chocolate body-care class taught by Angel Shannon from KODJ, and a class on professional chocolate tasting by Paul Albright of Guittard Chocolate Co.

Tickets are $7.50 Classes cost extra and require advance registration (www.chocolateshow.com).

Cold Stone Creamery is hosting a free holiday ice-cream-cake-tasting event Friday through Sunday, generally from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (times may vary at individual stores). Ice cream lovers can taste some of the seasonal cakes, such as Candy Cane Wonderland and Dark Peppermint Pleasure (coldstonecreamery.com).

Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley recently added Bruce Papworth, Scott Evans and Jason Berrett to the company's food and beverage team. Papworth is assistant director of food and beverage operations. He worked at Tra Vigne Restaurant in St. Helena, Calif., and Solitude Mountain Resort.

Evans and Berrett became restaurant managers, overseeing day-to-day functions of the Glitretind Restaurant, Troll Hallen Lounge and room-service activities. Evans worked the Garden Cafe and The Gibson Lounge at the Grand America Hotel, Sage's Cafe and the Park Ivy Cafe in Utah. He also produces the Wasatch Front Dining Guide.

Berrett was the lodge's assistant banquet manager from 2001-2005 and has worked at the Carriage Court Restaurant and as the executive sous chef for the Doubletree Hotel in Salt Lake City.

The Grand America, 555 S. Main, is offering a "Holiday Harvest" four-course dinner at the Garden Cafe on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Executive chef Jeffrey Russell's menu includes a warm tartlet of herbed duck confit; seared sea scallops; roasted rabbit tenderloin stuffed with wild turkey; and twice-baked pears. Cost of the dinner is $40; wine pairings an additional $40. Reservations advised (258-6708).

The hotel is also offering a "Grand Finale" dessert presentation in its lobby lounge from 7-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through December. Guests can relax by the fire, enjoy live music and desserts made by pastry chef Kurtis Baguley. Cost is $12.

The hotel also offers live jazz during its Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $35 per person (258-6707).


E-mail: vphillips@desnews.com