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Boscos Squared will kick off the Rock 103 Ronald McDonald House Radiothon with Celebrity Waiters Night on February 1st from 5 to 9 p.m.

Special to the menu for the event are the Wake-Up Crew brew and the cheeseburger pizza.

"We serve a different specialty pizza each day, but we came up with the cheeseburger pizza several years ago especially for the Ronald McDonald House," says Boscos brewmaster Chuck Skypeck. "People liked it so much that we serve it a few times a year now."

Boscos has been hosting the event for five years, and each year the response grows. Skypeck says they plan to cover the patios with tents to provide more space and allow for a faster turnover at the tables.

"We will be able to heat the tents," says Skypeck, "but we're hoping for nice weather."

Radio and television broadcasters will be waiting tables, backing up Boscos' regular staff. There will also be live music. Performers scheduled for the event include Jimmy Davis, Anthony Corder, Hal McCormack, Alicia Merritt, and Carlos Ecos, says radiothon coordinator Paula Davis.

Sales of the special brew and cheeseburger pizza will continue through the Wake-Up Crew's Radiothon, which will be broadcast from the Ronald McDonald House February 10th and 11th. For every cheeseburger pizza sold, $1 will be donated, along with a portion of beer sales. Last year, the Boscos event raised $2,500 from proceeds and donations.

"This is a very special event for Ronald McDonald House," Davis says. "The Wake-Up Crew has raised more than $5 million in the last 13 years."

For more information, call the restaurant at 432-2222 or the Ronald McDonald House at 529-4055.

When Karen Wellford took over the little cottage at 262 S. Highland in 1998, she knew that once she established her shop, Wellford's Antiques, she would open a tearoom. With renovations nearly complete, the tearoom is set to open in February.

Wellford says the tearoom has an English country atmosphere, which is no surprise since she travels to England several times a year in search of merchandise.

"The tearoom will be [have] an area called the snug, where people can have a private dining experience, then a smaller room with a couple of tables and a larger room that will open onto a garden area," says Wellford.

As soon as the tearoom is open, renovations will begin to create a walled garden terrace that should be open for seating later this spring.

Chef Stephen Sciara, formerly with Mantia's and Harrah's, will join Wellford to create a lunch menu to be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

"We're going to start out with some panini sandwiches, a daily soup, and some special salads," says Sciara. "It's hard to say at this point, but I'm going to try to run some special every day, such as an oven-roasted pork loin or oven-roasted chicken with wine sauce."

Those who won't be on Bourbon Street for Fat Tuesday on February 8th can still have a piece of Mardi Gras at home with a traditional king cake.

Although the pastry chef at the French Bakery prepares 30 to 50 king cakes every year for area restaurants and caterers, this is the first year that the cake will be made available to the public.

Orders will be accepted through February 8th at Cafe de France. However, owner Jeanelle Morris recommends placing an order by February 1st or at least three days in advance to ensure availability.

"The recipe that we use is award-winning," says Morris. "We do a caramel-cinnamon pecan center. The brioche is brushed with a coffee syrup. It's topped with white icing and decorated with purple, green, and gold for Mardi Gras. They can be ordered with or without the plastic baby inside."

The king-cake tradition arrived in New Orleans with French settlers in the 19th century. Coins, peas, or sometimes precious jewels were baked inside the cakes. In the mid-1900s, king-cake makers started hiding a small plastic baby in the cakes. Whoever received the piece with the hidden object was crowned "king" or "queen" for the day and designated as next year's Mardi Gras party host.

The cakes cost $30 each and serve 15 to 18 people. For more information, call 725-2212. n

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