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Food File

By PEGGY ANDERS

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 8, 2000


Special events and food tastings

INTERACTIVE DINNER: 6:30 p.m. today, Pattigeorge's Restaurant, 4120 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. With Chef Tommy Klauber leading the way, each table chooses a different "chef" for each course and follows his or her instructions to create a three-course dinner tableside. This month, menu features Asian cuisine, next month, Seafare Feast, paired with different winery each month: $85, includes Pattigeorge's apron. Call (941) 383-5111.

LOIRE VALLEY EVENING: serving 6-10 p.m. Fri., Cafe de France, 15225 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach. Wine tasting dinner focuses on the flavors of the Loire Valley, with menu that includes pate, fish quenelles in butter sauce, pork tenderloin and Tarte Tatin. Wines are paired with each course: $40.95 plus tax and gratuity. To reserve, call (727) 392-8627.

PASTA NIGHT: till 6:30 p.m. Fri., Fancy's Specialty Market, 1003 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Choose a pasta from the pasta bar and watch as Chef Emil prepares it for you. Pair with wine for a quick meal to go. Call (727) 894-5300.

SEAFOOD ALASKA FESTIVAL: through Wed., Fulton's Crab House, Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista. Celebration of seafood with interactive chef's demonstrations on shucking oysters to filleting fish today, Sat. and Wed. at 8 and 9 p.m., ice carving demonstrations, 8 p.m. Fri. and Tues. Event proceeds benefit Second Harvest Food Bank Kid's Cafe. Call (407) 934-8424.

NEW CITY BISTRO WINE DINNER: 7 p.m. reception, 7:30 p.m. dinner, Wed., New City Bistro, 3333 S West Shore Blvd., Tampa. Chateau Ste. Michelle winery provides new varieties such as sparkling wine, a new Reisling, an award-winning sauvignon blanc and merlot, Chef Michael Bishop pairs them with New World cuisine dinner. The Washington winery's culinary director, chef John Sarich, hosts: $50 plus tax and gratuity. Reply required: (813) 805-0250.

"FLORIDA'S FINEST CHEFS" SERIES: 6:30 p.m. June 15, Michael's on East, 1212 East Ave. S in Midtown Plaza, Sarasota. Dinner and wine pairing series showcases a Florida guest chefs' culinary talents, this month featuring Doug Shook of Key West landmark Louie's Backyard. $90. Reply: (941) 365-0543, ext. 247.

Wine and beer tastings

INTERNATIONAL WINE TASTING: 5-8 p.m. June 16, Bluff's Shopping Center, corner Indian Rocks Road and West Bay Drive, Belleair Bluffs. Each participating shop offers wines to sample from different countries, including Spain, Italy and France. Benefits Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Tasting is free, but donations can be made to the Foundation. For more information, call (727) 585-8729.

WINE DOWN: 6-9 p.m. Fri., Grand Cru Wine Cellar, 11724 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Weekly Friday sampling of wines and beers accompanied by a selection of snacks celebrates the end of a work week. $10 (includes $5 coupon toward wine purchase). Call (813) 269-8463 to reserve.

SUMMER WHITES AND ROSE WINES: 6-8 p.m. Fri., the Grapevine at Westchase, Westchase Square, 12125 W Linebaugh Ave (east of Racetrack Road), Tampa. This month's Wine Professor Tasting explores white and rose wines suitable for summer sipping. Course materials are included along with cheeses to accompany the wines. $10 (includes $5 discount on wine purchase). Call (813) 818-9463 to reserve.

BERN'S WINE SEMINAR: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Mon., Bern's Fine Wine and Spirits, 1002 S Howard Ave., Tampa. Weekly summer seminars sessions hosted by Ken Collura, Bern's head sommelier, and David J. Black. They lead tasting, discuss wine's characteristics and answer wine questions. This week, American whites and pinot noir. $25 a class. To reserve, call (813) 250-9463.

BLACKSTONE'S TAPAS CAFE TASTING: 6-8 p.m. Wed., Blackstone's Tapas Cafe, 301 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach. Sample wine varieties and appetizers. Free. Call (727) 517-7778.

PEPE'S TASTINGS: 6-8 p.m. Wed., Pepe's Fine Dining and Tapas, 3665 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. Weekly tasting of four wine selections and appetizers. Free. Call (727) 573-3363.

FINE WINE TASTING: 5-7 p.m. Fri. weekly, Pic-Pac Fine Wine and Spirits, 6609 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free tasting of selection of wines. Call (727) 347-0743.

Cooking classes

TASTY THAI: 10-11 a.m. today, Nature's Harvest Market, 1021 N MacDill Ave., Tampa. Learn to make healthy vegetarian Thai dishes at this free class led by Chef Debby DeGraaff. Call (813) 873-7428.

CLASSIC PASTRY METHODS: 6:30 p.m. June 15, Summerhouse Restaurant, 6101 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key. Summerhouse Cookery School's cooking fundamentals summer series features hands-on cooking with Chef Paul Mattison. This month, bakery basics: classic pastry methods. Limited class size. $95 (includes wine). Call (941) 349-1100 or visit http://www.internationalcookery.com.

CUISINE OF SOUTHEASTERN FRANCE: 11 a.m. June 17, Cafe l'Europe, 431 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota. Indigenous ingredients from regions of Provence, Dauphine and Savoie used in hands-on French cooking class with Chef Jeff Trefry. Menu includes dauphinoise potatoes and sea bass with fennel and tomato. $40 (includes luncheon). Limited class size; reservations required. Call (941) 388-4415, or register online at http://www.neweuropeancuisine.com.

SKILLS COURSE: 6:30-9 p.m. beginning Mon., Home Gourmet Kitchen Emporium, 471 Main St., Dunedin. This nine-week course teaches basic culinary skills including sauces, entrees, bread baking, dessert, using cutlery. Class prepares full meal with surprise ingredients as graduation exercise. $495, includes textbook. Call (727) 736-6400.

Cooking demonstrations

JUST PEACHY: 7-9 p.m. Fri., Home Gourmet Kitchen Emporium, 471 Main St., Dunedin. Each dish in this demonstration class shows off a different way to use peaches: with pork chops, in a wild rice salad and in peach cake. $35. Call (727) 736-6400.

BRING ON THE BARBECUE: 11:30 a.m. Wed., Summerhouse Restaurant, 6101 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key. Enjoy lunch and wine at Summerhouse's Cookery School Summer Sessions demonstration class, this month teaching the basics of barbecue: $40 inclusive. Call (941) 349-1100.

HEART-HEALTHY COOKING: 5:30 p.m. Tues., the Heart Institute of St. Petersburg, 603 Seventh St. S, Suite 480, St. Petersburg. Chef Jerry Boucher and registered dietitians teach how to make smarter decisions on choosing and cooking low-fat foods. Heart-healthy meal prepared, recipes provided along with tips on how to help lower cholesterol and fight heart disease. $15; $25 a couple (includes dinner). Reservations required. Call (727) 329-1615 to reserve.

Worth sending for

"SWEET FUN" SANDCASTLE CAKE: Creative kids can learn to make summer treats such as banana skateboards and sandcastle cake with free brochure from Sugar in the Raw turbinado sugar. The simple food projects help teach basic kitchen skills while fostering creativity. To receive "Sweet Fun . . . Naturally, Just for Kids," send self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to Sweet Fun, Brooklyn Premium Corp., 60 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205.

COWBOY CASSEROLE: For a collection of new recipes using ground beef, such as cowboy casserole, send a self-addressed business-sized envelope with two stamps affixed to Ground Beef Cookbook, P.O. Box 629, Burgin, KY 40310.

Table talk

Does your group or business have special food or wine events of interest to people who like to eat, shop or cook in the Tampa Bay area? 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.

Information from Times wires was used in this column.

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