EXPERIENCES IN EATING Some people love to cook; other people love eating the results. Meg Olsen has made it her mission in life to bring the two together for a good cause—in this case environmental education and the good ship Adventuress. Adventuress is a 100-foot two-masted schooner built in 1913 for a Chicago millionaire with a fancy for Arctic exploration. Recently refurbished to the tune of $600,000, she resides now at Port Townsend, where she serves to introduce people to the romance of wooden boat navigation and promote environmental causes in Puget Sound. And the food part? To help raise money for Sound Experience, operators of Adventuress, Olsen came up with the idea of Adventures in Dining, a series of one-of-a-kind culinary events ranging from the elegant (an al fresco Tuscan banquet in a private North Bend terrace garden, for example) to the downright wild (paraglide to your supper at an Issaquah Alps A-frame). Many events are maritime-themed (three take place during the Port Townsend wooden boat festival Sept. 7 and 8), but there are get-togethers for all tastes: a custom banquet of local products matched with wines, beer and barbecue with live hillbilly music, a hike-in mountaintop picnic, Asian fusion in a Leschi ravine. Costs range from $40 to $125, with group sizes from an intimate six to an easygoing two dozen. All proceeds from the events, professionally catered or labor of love, go to support Sound Experience programs, but for Olsen that's not the only payoff. "Every one of these events is 'outreach' for our cause," she says. "Connections get made. Wonderful things happen when you break bread with people." For information about the 21 Adventures in Dining scheduled for fall 2002, go to www.adventuresindining.keepsimple.com. CANNING WITH COOKS At last Cooks Collaborative is showing signs of local life. The national organization for culinary professionals concerned about the environment, local agriculture, and sustainable fisheries now has an area chapter spearheaded by Baci Catering's K䲥n Jurgensen. As a hands-on source of start-up capital, members have been busy putting up preserves and pickles in pretty pint and half-pint pots. Check them out at the CC booth at the Sunday Ballard Farmers Market. GLUTTONOUS CHOMP OF SEATTLE While a press release titled "Consumption at All Time High at This Year's Bite" reveled in statistical joy, the numbers from this year's Bite of Seattle are actually just scary: 450,000 people gorged themselves on 2,300 pounds of mahi mahi, 30,000 samples of peanut butter, and 220,000 bags of Gardetto snacks, washed down with 250 kegs of Henry's. Oink, oink, Seattle. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at email@example.com.