Culinary Events

Classes and events that bolster your cuisine expertise and offer tasty experiences.

CATERING CLASS For those interested in catering or becoming home personal chefs; includes basics of buffet presentation, menu planning, safety and sanitation, contract writing, cooking techniques. $550. 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning Jan. 18 through May 17. Pinellas Technical Education Center, 901 34th St. S, St. Petersburg (727-893-2500, ext. 1110).

COOKING WITH CHEF FRED: Chef Fred shows guests how to create a low-fat, low-carb vegetable bean soup, grouper with lemon caper shrimp sauce, cannoli with chocolate raspberry sauce and more in his monthly cooking class; guests may bring wine or beverage. $29.99 (includes dinner). 7 p.m. Wed., Jan. 19. Drew Coffee Shop, 1907 Drew St., Clearwater (727-441-2572).

CONVERSATIONAL CUISINE Learn to speak conversational Italian, plus enjoy a three-course meal at each class of five-week course that immerses students in the language, foods, culture and customs of Italy. $185 for each five-week course, includes meals and all materials. 6-7 p.m. Beginning Wed., Jan. 19 through Feb. 8. Castellano & Pizzo Italian Gourmet Foods, 4200 S Henderson Blvd., Tampa. or 6-7 p.m. Beginning Wed., Jan. 19 through Feb. 9. Bellini Restaurant, 487 Main St., Dunedn. Beginner's Spanish class (with meals) starts 6-7 p.m. Wed., Jan. 19 through Feb. 10. Castellano & Pizzo Itialian Gourmet Foods, 4200 S Henderson Blvd. S., Tampa. Limited enrollment, registration required. (727-866-6892 or www.learnitalian.us)

FRIDAY FRIENDS - A GROUP FOR LADIES Want to start the new year off right? Learn how to lose weight, eat healthier, improve your wardrobe, and organize your closet. Guest speakers include Colleen Sowerby from Tampa Palms Steinmart and Judy Taggart co-author of the best seller, "I don't have a thing to wear...the psychology of your closet." $20 (includes seminar, hors d'oevres buffet, and one Hypnotiq Martini). Menu includes Artichoke & Spinach Dip with French bread, Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta, Tenderloin Tips over Rice, Fried Scallops, and more. 6:30 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 20. Hunter's Green Country Club, 18101 Longwaterrun Dr., Tampa (813-973-1000 or www.tampabay-society.com).

QUICK ASIAN CUISINE, HIGH-HEAT COOKING High Heat Cooking hands-on class shows how heat can intensify flavors: menu includes charred shrimp with tomato-horseradish salsa, steak with rosemary and roasted garlic, grilled pineapple with gin and juniper. $39.50. 6:30-9 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 20. La Maison Gourmet, 471 Main St., Dunedin (727-736-3070 or www.lamaisongourmet.com).

CHILI COOKOFF Heat things up with a bowl of chili at the Chili Appreciation Society International's cookoff; also arts and crafts, car show, live entertainment and flea market; other foods also available for sale. Free admission. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., Jan. 22. Tarpon Springs Boys & Girls Club, 111 W Lime St. (727-937-0320).

BACK TO BASICS Chef MacInnes of television's Kitchen Underground introduces basic cooking courses. Topics include saucemaking, knife skills, honing culinary skills. Bring your own tools. $30. 2-4 p.m. Sat., Jan. 22 & 29. Nature's Harvest Market, 1021 N MacDill Ave., Tampa (813-287-2433). SUNDAY BRUNCH The whole family will enjoy our delicious Brunch Buffet. Join us every Sunday for a variety of breakfast and brunch entrées including made-to-order omelets, assorted breakfast pastries, fresh seasonal fruit and different menu selections every week. $14.95-adults, $6.95-children 5-12, and children under 5-complimentary. 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sun., Jan. 23. Bayou Club, 7979 Bayou Club Blvd., Largo (727-399-1000) or www.tampabay-society.com).

YBOR CITY FRESH MARKET Every saturday yeard round. Tampa. (813)-241-2442.

FREE VEGETARIAN COOKING CLASSES Join Debby DeGraaff as she shows you how to prepare different vegetarian foods every week on Wed. (7-8 p.m.), and Thurs. (10-11 a.m.). Please call for additional information. Nature's Harvest Market, 1021 N. MacDill Ave., Tampa. (813-873-7428).

CHOCOLATE CRAZIES Join premier pastry chef Michael Baugh for classes. Make fabulous dessert creations you take home at the end of each class, and nibble on wine and hors d'oeuvres while you learn. $40 per person. Baking 101: 5-8 p.m. each Tues. Chocolate Sculpture 101: 5-8 p.m. each Wed. Let Them Eat Cake, 3805 S. West Shore Blvd., Tampa (813-837-6888 or www.chocolateismycrayon.com).

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