Dining With Denise Neil

A photographic dispatch from Zoobilee

Among the people I saw at Zoobilee on Saturday:Television host Sierra Scott, local wine expert Beth Bower, Intrust Bank Arena's Sarah Haertl and Mrs. Freddy's Frozen Custard, Betsy Redler. Zoobilee was on Saturday night, and as I’ve previously stated, it’s one of the best foodie events of the year. It’s an annual fundraiser for the Sedgwick County Zoo, and it’s the only day of the year the zoo closes so that restaurant vendors and bans can scatter themselves throughout the grounds and prepare to feed and entertain the masses. There’s always more than enough food, more than enough drink and more than enough music, fun and people watching to go around.

The numbers are in, and this year, the event attracted nearly 5,000 people and raised $500,000 for the zoo. Here’s my photographic report from the event.

The Donut Whole’s Angela Etter and Michael Carmody were there, sharing samples of their colorful confections.

It was very difficult not to grab one of these babies every time I passed by.

Chef Jeremy Wade, right, who’s everywhere with his new catering business, had not one, not two, but THREE spots at Zoobilee. Here he is with local foodie Bill Pearce, who’s a regular commenter on my blog and dining forum.

One of Jeremy Wade’s booths offered this generous and delicious steak taco.

Another of Chef Jeremy’s booths offered jambalaya, enjoyed here by my friend Jaime Green, Eagle photog and drummer in the local band The Mudbugs, which played the event.

Here, local foodie and radio host Guy Bower poses with The Mudbugs. When he wasn’t cheesing, Guy was offering the crowd on education on pinot, cab, sauv blanc and more.

Mike’s Wine Dive also was there, serving pork loin topped with a tropical salsa. When I passed by, general manager Brad Beyer was slice, slice, slicing away as the crowd mobbed his table.

Mmmmm. Pork loin.