South Charlotte

Farmers market will feature ‘upscale barbecue' Sept. 30

Tickets are on sale for the second annual “upscale barbecue” at the Matthews Community Farmers' Market.

The Sept. 30 event is 5-7 p.m. on the market grounds on North Trade Street in downtown Matthews.

What makes this dinner “upscale”? The 'cue is made with pastured pork from Grateful Growers Farm and cooked by award-winning pit-master Alex Ranucci. Side dishes and desserts donated by other local chefs will be served. And takeout is available.

Tickets are $12 at the Community House, toward the back of the market, 7 a.m.-noon on Saturdays.

Details: www.matthews

Other market news: Johnson & Wales chef Peter Reinhart has lent the market a propane-fired roaster so customers can cook peppers bought there over an open flame.

“After a couple of minutes, there's enough char on the pepper skins to pop the whole batch into a paper bag to steam,” says Pauline Wood, market director. “Then you have freshly roasted peppers whose skins slip right off, leaving a taste treat you can eat right out of the bag or take home and add to a recipe. There's no charge for the roasting and you get to go home with a wonderful treat.”

She said they're planning a special cooking demo on Sept. 13 that focuses on how to use roasted peppers in recipes.

Blakeney Crossing tenants

Blakeney Crossing, an 87,000-square-foot center opposite the Target-anchored Blakeney shopping center, will soon welcome new tenants Bank of America, Manhattan Bagel, Massage Envy and SAS Cupcakes.

SAS Cupcakes (1,615 square feet) will offer treats for special occasions including birthdays, baby showers and weddings. Flavors will include peanut butter, Frangelico hazelnut, Kahlua mocha, white chocolate pretzel and red velvet. The shop will offer delivery service and will open seven days a week at 10 a.m.

Manhattan Bagel (2,072 square feet) is a chain that offers breakfast and lunch. The menus include egg sandwiches, omelet wraps and tostinis, and traditional bagels with cream cheese and other toppings. Lunch includes salads, soups and hot and cold sandwiches. It also will have a specialty coffee bar.

Cooking school Sept. 20

Gallery Restaurant's Cooking School continues Sept. 20 with a class that “elevates comfort food and childhood favorites with an adult panache.”

Executive chef Kirk Gilbert will teach students to make a menu that includes macaroni and cheese made from pastini pasta with Alaskan king crab, boursin and aged white cheddar sauce, scallion pecorino gratin; and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with warm Nutella pound cake with blueberry jam.

Cost is $65 per student. Call 704-248-4100 to reserve a spot.

Gallery is at the Ballantyne Resort, 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway.

Espresso at McDonald's

All McDonald's locations in Southern Mecklenburg are adding espresso-based drinks to their menus.

Offerings will include cappucinos and lattes, and options including flavor syrups and whipped cream. It's part of a test market program McDonald's is doing to measure consumer demand.