Chefs to pick best comfort food Do your friends say that you make the best Apple Brown Betty in Baltimore? Do your meatloaf and mashed potatoes elevate comfort food to a four-star level? If the best things in your culinary life are simple but good, here's your chance to prove it to a panel of 10 of the area's top restaurant chefs. Enter your best shot in the "Comfort Food Cook-Off" scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at Ownings Mills New Town. Categories include: appetizer, entree, side dish and dessert. They will be judged on taste, originality, simplicity and the use of American ingredients. Winner's will receive gift certificates to the area's top restaurants, including the Polo Grill, Linwood's and Pierpoint. Registration deadline is Oct. 9. For more information call Laura Wagner at 837-7100. Food to be worn as well as eaten To S. David Brookes of Darnestown, a peapod isn't just an ingredient in a Chinese stir fry, it's a pendant, earrings, a pin. Welcome to the Brookes fantasy -- the James Beard Collection, a potpourri of sterling silver and 14-karat gold food, beverage and tools of the trade jewelry. His motto: "If it's good enough to eat, it's good enough to wear." He's offering an "It's Always Time to Eat Watch" with knife and fork hands for $24.95, chili pepper earrings for $44.95 and a whisk pendant with onyx handle for $29.95. I'll take the martini pin with jade olive for $29.95. "As a member of the James Beard Foundation, I have always been interested in food and in supporting the foundation," says the retired gem and jewelry expert, who started the mail order catalog two years ago. The pieces were designed and manufactured by Jan Palombo of Paterson, N.J. Prices range from $9.95 for small venison earrings to $299.50 for a 14K gold kitchen equipment pin with agate, onyx, silver and bronze materials. He says 10 percent of the gross sales benefit the James Beard Foundation, an organization founded by Julia Child after Beard's death to maintain his home as a national culinary center. For a catalog, call (301) 869-1725. Wine sale to benefit Baltimore Symphony Many Marylanders have supported the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra by buying tickets to concerts. Now you can support them by lifting a glass of wine in the comfort of your own home. The Baltimore Symphony Associates, the volunteer organization of the BSO, is raising money by selling wine with a commemorative BSO label. Included are a 1989 Chardonnay from the Sokol Blosser vineyard in Oregon and a 1987 J. Wile Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines, selected by national and local wine experts in a blind tasting in July, were chosen for their quality and taste. Orders will be taken through Oct. 15. The chardonnay is $105 per case, and the cabernet sauvignon is $115. All prices include delivery within Maryland. To order, call the Symphony ticket office at 783-8000 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. weekends. Buyers will be notified by mail of the mid-November delivery date and must be home to accept delivery or make arrangements for someone else to accept delivery. The Tidbits column welcomes interesting nuggets of food news -- new products, food-related news events, local cookbooks, great mail order finds, openings and closings of restaurants and food shops. Please send press releases to Tidbits, Attn: Charlyne Varkonyi, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.