A holiday cooking class guide for both sides of the bay

Several cooking events to keep your holiday dishes and more incr-edible this season.

click to enlarge Learn to make chickpea salsa and more. - Nature's Food Patch
Nature's Food Patch
Learn to make chickpea salsa and more.

It's all about the food during the holidays, and luckily, joints around the Bay area are leading local home chefs on a path toward deliciousness. Get in on this working lineup of cooking classes, whether you're looking to sharpen your kitchen skills or learn new recipes.

Holiday Appetizers & Munchies A Nature's Food Patch cooking lesson from natural foods chef and author Debby DeGraaff. The featured dishes — sweet and creamy ginger dip, chickpea salsa and tomato-red pepper mousse — aim to get the party started, and they'll all be dairy- and gluten-free. Free. Dec. 3, 11 a.m. 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater, 727-443-6703.

Holiday Dinner with Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Publix Aprons Cooking School's upcoming class is set to discuss food and wine pairings. Participants will experience stuffed zucchini fritters, grilled lobster, star anise-brined pork and prime rib roast matched with four Stage's Leap wines. Call to reserve a seat. $75. Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m. 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa813-926-4465.

Easy Slow-Cooker Soups & Simple Salads Wallet-friendly soups, homemade vegetable stocks and healthy salad dressings will be the focus at Sweetwater Organic Community Farm. These basics, made with seasonal Florida veggies, will help students enhance their cooking repertoire before the big meal. Instructor Julie Miller will touch on storing and prepping greens for salads, too. Free. Dec. 6, 2-3:30 p.m. 6942 W. Comanche Ave., Tampa, 813-887-4066.

DIY Jams for Gift Giving Create a jam during this canning lesson with Vicki McWhorter from Clearwater Canning Company. Hosted at Nature's Food Patch, the event will allow students to give their concoctions to friends or family members as gifts. Free. Dec. 6, 4 p.m. 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater, 727-443-6703.

Vegan Holiday Sides The Vegabond Chef, Brad Myers, will demonstrate why home chefs need to master a few trusty veggie sides, especially for the holidays, at Nature's Food Patch. Free. Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m. 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater, 727-443-6703.

Holiday Fortified Wine Though its not a cooking class, this holiday wine gathering inside the Epicurean Theatre will feature Melissa Hoffman of Broadbent Selections as she presents port and Madeira from their portfolio. $50. Dec. 14, 7-8:30 p.m. 1207 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-999-8700.

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