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Special events and food tastings

Published March 31, 2004

DOMAINE DE JOY AND DINNER: 7 p.m. Thur., Cafe Largo, 12551 Indian Rocks Road, Largo. Pairs wines from Roland Gessler, including Domaine de Joy, Domaine Auzade Rose and St. Chinian, with cooking demonstration by chef Dominique Christini; menu includes medallions of pork and creme brulee; $35 includes tasting, dinner and recipes; tax and gratuity extra. Call (727) 596-6282 to RSVP.

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH SAMPLING: 6-7 p.m. Thur., Amish Country Store, 206 13th St. SW, Largo. "Feinschmecker's Night" features samples of Pennsylvania-Dutch foods; $5, limited tickets, advance RSVP required. Call (727) 587-9657.

TASTE OF CITRUS PARK: noon-7 p.m. Sat., Sickles High School, 7950 Gunn Highway, Tampa. Family festival features tastes from area restaurants, cooking demonstrations that showcase school's culinary arts program, cooking competitions; also carnival, family fun walk, entertainment, silent auction; $1 parking fee, nominal charge for restaurant tastes; proceeds benefit Sickles High School. Call (813) 892-8744 for more information or to enter citrus cooking competition.

FESTA ITALIANA: 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sun., Centennial Park, Eighth Avenue and 18th Street, Ybor City. Italian treats from 35 area restaurants at annual Italian festival, includes appearance by Frankie Avalon. Admission: $3 adults, kids under 12 free, plus nominal charge for food tastes; proceeds benefit Italian Club Restoration Fund. Visit or call 813 342-3630.

HAHN ESTATES WINEMAKER DINNER: 6:30 p.m. April 12, Cafe Ponte, 13505 ICOT Blvd., Clearwater. Chef Chris Ponte's menu includes grilled scallops with citrus and fennel salad, grilled duck breast with lemon confit, balsamic braised short ribs, rack of venison, and upside down chocolate souffle, paired with Hahn Estates wines presented by winemaker Adam Lazarre in benefit dinner; live auction of signed wine bottles, chef dinners, more; $100 per person, inclusive. Proceeds benefit Abilities Foundation. Call (727) 538-7370, ext. 319, to reserve.

BERN'S WINEFEST: April 16-19, SideBern's, 1002 Howard Ave. S, Tampa. Annual wine and food celebration with Classical Wines of Spain dinner, winemaker luncheon and seminars, grand tasting, all paired with chef Jeannie Pierola and Bern's Steak House and SideBern's culinary team's creations. Event prices vary, call 813 253-0358 or visit

FLORIDA WINEFEST: April 15-18, Ritz-Carlton, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive and other Sarasota venues. Annual winefest presents tastings from Sip and Stroll to elegant grand tastings, seminars, winemaker dinners, auction of rare wines; event prices range from $15 to $300. Visit or call toll-free 1-877-352-9463.

Wine and beer tastings/classes

FROM OAKY TO SMOKY: 6:30-9 p.m. today, Vintage Wine Cellars, 3629 Henderson Blvd., Tampa. Learn how to taste and describe a wine's flavor characteristics, $25. Limited seating; call (813) 879-2931 to reserve.

"TASTE OF HOPE": 6-9 p.m. Thur., TECO Atrium, 702 N Franklin St., Tampa. Benefit wine tasting for Everyday Blessings, child-placement organization, features wines from around the world, plus hors d'oeuvres, jazz, silent auction. Tickets: $45 advance, $50 at door. Call (813) 417-9445.

SPRINGTIME IN ITALY: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Got Wine, 662 Main St., Dunedin. Italian wines featured will include 1997 Rufina riserva and primitivo, montelpulciano and valpolicella classico, paired with hors d'oeuvres at free tasting. (727) 736-4077.

WINES THAT ROCK: 7-9:30 p.m. Fri., Jannus Landing, 220 First Ave. N, downtown St. Petersburg. Tampa Bay Uncorked presents outdoor tasting with 20 wines, appetizers and music; $25 advance, $30 at door; proceeds benefit Florida Holocaust Museum. Visit for tickets or more information.

CHILEAN WINES: 6:30 p.m. Fri., Uncorked Fine Wines and Accessories, 2706 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. This week's tasting features award-winning and value-priced wines from Chile; $10, includes souvenir wine glass; proceeds benefit PARC. Call (727) 892-9463.

RENAISSANCE ALES: at Royal Ale Festival at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival at MOSI, Fowler Avenue and N 46th Street, Tampa, includes free beer tastings at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun., home brewing demonstrations by Dunedin Brewer's Guild. Tasting free, but festival admission required: $12.95 adults advance or $14.95 at gate; $11.95 seniors; $4.95 ages 5-12 advance, $6.95 at gate. Call 727 586-5423, toll-free 1-800-779-4910; or

GERMAN DESSERT WINES: 6-8 p.m. Mon., J.D. Ford Fine Wines, 1925 S Osprey Ave., Sarasota. Sample dessert wines from Germany's Rheinpfalz region from Dr. Burklin-Wolf, including the rare Trockenbeerenauslese; $35. Call (941) 362-9463 to reserve.

DELECTABLE DESSERTS: 10 a.m. April 7, Roy's, 4342 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa. Roy's pastry chef Felicia Lacalle creates treats like pina colada creme patisserie, honey tuiles and coconut almond creme brulee in desserts class; $35, plus tax and tip, includes dessert samples and recipes. RSVP required, call (813) 873-7697.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: 6:30-9 p.m. April 7, Vintage Wine Cellars, 3629 Henderson Blvd., Tampa. Wine class shows how the same variety of wine can vary in taste when grown in different locations; $25. Limited seating; call (813) 879-2931 to reserve.

Cooking classes

STRAIGHT FROM THE FARM: 6-8 p.m. April 5, Sunken Gardens 1825 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Join Susan M. Huff from Headfirst Farms for an evening of organic treats and wine; participate in preparing a complete meal from appetizer to dessert using fresh organic foods; $60, includes class materials. Prepayment required; must register by today. Call (727) 521-3102.

GLUTEN FREE, REDUCED CARB MENUS: Sugar Free Desserts, 2660 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin. Gluten Free Cooking class that makes lasagna, squash raviolis, pumpkin pie, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thur., $45; Low Carb Cooking makes fresh soybean and cucumber salad, Manhattan clam chowder, fish with eggplant in spicy hot bean sauce, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sat., $45; RSVP: (727) 738-9525.

LA MAISON CLASSES: La Maison Gourmet, 471 Main St., Dunedin, shows how to make beef tenderloin medallions with cabernet herb sauce, roasted garlic mashed cauliflower, flourless chocolate cake and other low-carbohydrate dishes, 6:30-9 p.m. Thur., $39.50 or $75 per couple; it's men's turn to cook in couples' class with menu that includes lobster bisque, grilled steaks, creme brulee, 6:30-9 p.m. Fri., $45 each or $85 per couple; French Foods daylong workshop menu includes such classics as escargot en croute, salad nicoise, Provencal rack of lamb, mousse au chocolat, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., $125. Call (727) 736-3070 to RSVP.

APRON'S GUEST CHEFS: Apron's Cooking School, Publix Supermarket at Shoppes of Citrus Park, 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa. Pastry chef George Geary, author of Classic Cheesecakes of America: Sweet & Savory, with strawberry desserts, noon Sat., $35; and Richard Bottini, chef of Six Tables Tampa, with European-style menu, 6:30 p.m. Mon., $40. Call (813) 926-4465 to RSVP.

SWEETS FOR SPRING: 6:30 p.m. April 7, Apron's Cooking School, Publix Supermarket at Shoppes of Citrus Park, 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa. Take home an assortment of sweets and breads after making Easter pie, panettone (Italian sweet yeast bread), hazelnut biscotti, linzertorte; $40. Call (813) 926-4465 to RSVP.

"EAT ITALIAN, LEARN ITALIAN": 6-7 p.m. beginning April 13, Castellano & Pizzo Italian Gourmet Foods, 4200 S Henderson Blvd., Tampa. Five-week course immerses participants in the culture, customs, language and foods of Italy, creating a three-course meal at each class. Cost: $175, includes meals and materials. To register, or for more information,

THE ART OF PROFITEROLES: noon April 14, Bon Appetit Restaurant, 150 Marina Plaza, Dunedin. Chef Stephen demonstrates the art of making profiteroles filled with strawberry cream and chocolate sauce, then prepares lunch that includes chilled potato-leek soup, rosemary and sage-rubbed roast game hen, or pork chop with onion sauce; $15, advance purchase required by April 9. To RSVP, please call (727) 733-2151

Send news of coming events at least two weeks in advance of the publication date to Food File, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.

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