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updated: 8/2/2012 3:05 PM

From the Food Editor: Catching up to the RumChata trend

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I try to stay on top of spirits trends, but I admit I've been a little late to the RumChata party.

If you haven't heard of this stuff yet, you now can be considered in the minority. The spirit, a mash up of Caribbean rum, horchata (a milky Spanish beverage) plus cinnamon and other proprietary spices, debuted earlier this year and has sold more than 1 million bottles. (When you recall how long it took McDonald's to sell 1 million burgers you can better appreciate the swiftness of this feat.)

You can enjoy this pleasant cream liqueur on its own over ice, or add a splash to your rum and Coke or caramel latte. Mix it with cake-flavored vodka (yes, there is such a thing) for a sweet sipper.

In the kitchen, RumChata can be added to recipes, like a luscious cheesecake or chocolaty pudding. A 750 mL bottle retails for $19.99.

Farm dinner: Tickets are available for Angelic Organics Learning Center's 5th Annual Peak Harvest Farm Dinner benefit at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the farm near Rockford.

Big Bowl chef Marc Bernard along with Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp of Sunday Dinner and Molly Johnson of Calihan Catering will prepare a five-course meal made from fresh, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients.

The event starts in Chicago with a pre-event reception at Big Bowl (60 E. Ohio St., Chicago), featuring seasonal appetizers and cocktails. For $25 a shuttle bus will take participants from the restaurants to the farm.

Tickets to the dinner cost $150 and proceeds benefit Angelic Organics Learning Center, a nonprofit organization that brings urban and rural people together to build our local food system. Details and tickets at

Golf and grouper: Well, I can't say for sure that grouper will be on the menu, but I can say for sure that the food will be fabulous following the Bob Chinn's 10th Annual Charity Golf Outing at both the Chevy Chase Country Club in Wheeling and The Arboretum Golf Club in Buffalo Grove.

Golfing spots at Chevy Chase are already sold out for the Sept. 10 event, and foursome tee-times are filling quickly at The Arboretum.

The event will be played in a scramble format. The entry fee is $200 per golfer (prior to Aug. 15), $225 per golfer (Aug. 15 to Sept. 5), and $250 per golfer on the day of the event. Entry includes golf, lunch, prizes, golf apparel and dinner catered by Bob Chinn's Crab House in Wheeling. Other fun, including a putting contest and raffle, are on tap.

If you want to skip the links and head straight to dinner, it will cost you $75. Cocktails will be served at 5 p.m.; dinner follows at 6 p.m.

The charitable beneficiary for this year's event is the Wilmette-based Leukemia Research Foundation. Visit or call Steve Jirak at Bob Chinn's (847) 520-3633 or the foundation at (847) 424-0600.

• Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at or (847) 427-4524. Be her friend at or follow her on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram @PankeysPlate.

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