Culinary Events

California Cuisine is the topic of Chef Debby DeGraaff's next vegetarian cooking classes. Admission is free. Wednesday, 7-8 p.m., March 13, and 10-11 a.m., Thursday, March 14. Nature's Harvest Market, 1021 N. MacDill Ave., Tampa, 813-873-7428.

Spring Food Fest Samples, wine tastings, prizes and giveaways are featured during the Spring Food Festival. Five percent of the total day's sales go to the Sweetwater Community Farm School Children's Education Fund. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, March 16. Nature's Harvest Market, 1021 N. MacDill Ave., 813-873-7428.

Planet of the Grapes is the theme of this year's Abilities Wine Tasting & Auction, featuring samples from more than 300 California and international wineries, along with gourmet selections from 45 fine restaurants. The proceeds from the event benefit The Abilities Foundation, a private, nonprofit charity that helps people with disabilities become self-sufficient. 6-9:30 p.m., Saturday, March 16, $70 at the door, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg. Call Frank DeLucia at 727-538-7370, ext. 345.

Frou-frou, Smoke-free St. Patty's This no-smoking party features Irish music, sherried oyster bisque; pub salad with soda bread, wild mushroom-stuffed beef tenderloin with port wine cream sauce; Colcannon-mashed potatoes with Napa cabbage; raspberry creme brulee. $39.50 per person, 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 16, La Maison Gourmet, 471 Main St., Dunedin, 727-736-3070,

Best Chef of Tampa Bay Contest The third round of the quarterfinal. Two chefs compete head-to-head, preparing surprise ingredients. You enjoy the results and vote for the winner. $50 per person, a portion of which goes to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. 7-9 p.m., Tuesday, March 19. , La Maison Gourmet, 471 Main St., Dunedin, 727-736-3070,

Godfather Goes Thai Tommy Tang, nicknamed the Godfather of Modern Thai Cuisine, teams with Publix Supermarkets to present a series of live cooking demonstrations exploring Thai tastes and flavors. Tang, author of A Modern Thai Cuisine also hosts a cooking series on PBS television network. Demonstrations cost $50 per class; 4-7 p.m., Thursday, March 21, Publix Shoppes of Citrus Park Store, 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa; 6:30 p.m. (both nights) Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, at the same location. And noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, March 24, at the Publix store at 19034 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa. Reservations requested. 813-926-4465.

They Be Chilean The Blue Gardenia kicks off a series of theme dinners with its Chilean dinner, featuring smoked mussels crowned with avocado and toasted corn salsa; creamy toasted almond and garlic soup; flat leaf spinach salad with roasted artichoke hearts, scallion, red bell pepper, sweet carrot and cilantro; cedar-planked Chilean sea bass and berry and apple flan caramel. $65 per person, credit card or $25 deposit for reservations. 7 p.m., Thursday, March 21, 813-250-1595.

You Choose The Fare Co-chef/proprietor Tom Golden, of the Blue Gardenia, offers classes in whatever culinary subject you choose, from pasta to marinades to vegetables. $40 per person, minimum of two and maximum of four. Dates variable. Blue Gardenia, 1809 W. Platt St., Tampa, 813-250-1595.

Chef Rand Packer teaches a culinary class at Roy's in Tampa. Learn how to prepare some of the unusual, eclectic dishes that are the chef's specialty. Reservations required, $40. 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Tuesday, March 26. Roy's, 4342 W. Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa. 813-873-7697.

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