National prune breakfast month was in January. National egg salad week was April 12-16. National roast suckling pig day is December 18. Every scrap of kitchen fodder has a day or month devoted to it, from bicarbonate of soda (December 30) to cheese balls (April 17). So why shouldn't Texas get in this process of hijacking the calendar for promotional purposes? The Texas Department of Agriculture has again marked October Texas Wine Month, noting the Lone Star State is the nation's fifth-leading wine producer and is currently home to more than 50 wineries. Texas vintners smashed in excess of 9,000 tons of grapes in 2001 to produce more than 1.4 million gallons of Texas grape swig. So keep your eyes peeled for celebratory shindigs sponsored by Texas retailers, restaurants and wine and food organizations. Also keep your eyes peeled for wines gilded at the 2002 Lone Star Wine International Wine Competition including: Becker Vineyards 1999 cab and 2000 merlot; Fredericksburg 2000 orange muscat; Messina Hof Winery 2001 Johannisburg Riesling, 2000 red proprietary blend and 2001 merlot; Sistercreek Vineyards 2000 chardonnay and 2001 muscat canelli; Ste. Genevieve NV chardonnay and Llano Estacado Winery 2001 chardonnay. October is also Texas Restaurant Month, commemorating an industry that employs some 600,000 and generates an estimated $26 billion in sales, $5.6 billion of that in Dallas. In a fit of psychosis, someone even designated October "Go Nuts Over Texas Peanuts Month," noting that Texas is the No. 2 peanut producer after Jimmy's Georgia and injects $1 billion into the state's economy--a figure that no doubt doesn't take into account the $4 billion in subsidies peanut producers will be siphoning from our wallets via a sop tucked into the latest farm bill. But if peanut welfare gets your goat (July 9 is Goat Mother day), take heart. October 14-20 is national pet peeve week (greeting cards are available), a celebration of pissers that suspiciously coincides with American beer week.
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George Majdalani, former Star Canyon/AquaKnox general manager who was most recently director of operations for Restaurant Life (The Mercury, Mercury Grill, Citizen, Paris Vendôme and Chop House), has taken a position as director of food and beverage for the upcoming Hotel ZaZa...Sources at Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (NASDAQ: SWRG), "the Tiffany's" of steak houses, confirm that the company is completing the purchase of Humperdink's Chophouse on the Dallas North Tollway to convert it to a Smith & Wollensky steak house. Rumors have been floating for years that S&W has been scouting a location in Dallas--and was even said to have its eye on Dale Wamstad's III Forks.