By PEGGY ANDERS
© St. Petersburg Times,
Special events and food tastings
CAKEBREAD DINNER: Cakebread Cellars' wine-paired dinner today at Poseidon Restaurant, 3454 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, starts with 6 p.m. reception and hors d'oeuvres, followed at 7 p.m. with dinner courses of seafood paired with Cakebread Cellars varieties like sauvignon blanc: $80 plus tax and gratuity; (941) 383-2500.
CHALK HILL DINNER: 6 p.m. Fri., Westchase Golf Club, 11602 Westchase Golf Dr., Tampa. Grapevine at Westchase's wine "professor" introduces Chalk Hill varieties such as merlot, cabernet and pinot gris in a multicourse dinner pairing: $75, plus tax and gratuity. Limited seating, call: (813) 818-9463.
"DUNEDIN WINES THE BLUES": 5:30-11 p.m. Sat., on Main St. from Louden Ave. to Broadway, downtown Dunedin. Tenth annual event combines live blues music and more than 50 vintages and types of wines and beers, plus cuisine from area restaurants. Charge for wines, food. Call: (727) 733-5886.
"DINE FOR GOODWILL": In light of the tragic events of Sept. 11, Cafe Largo, 12551 Indian Rocks Rd., Largo, donates 10 percent of special menu dinner Fri. and Sat. to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Menu includes: wild mushroom pate with foie gras, roast tenderloin of venison with black currants or salmon with lump crab meat and asparagus, croque en bouche (profiteroles) with raspberries, paired with French wines: $65 plus tax and gratuity. Call: (727) 596-6282 to reserve.
BOOKS AND BARBECUE: Steve Raichlen is at Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa, to sign copies of his new book, How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques from 6-7 p.m. Tues.. Afterward, Raichlen teams with Chef Marty Blitz for tasting menu and demonstration of Raichlen's recipes at Mise en Place, 442 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa (reservations only for this event). Call: Inkwood Books, (813) 253-2638, or Mise en Place, (813) 254-5373, for information, ticket price or to reserve.
CHEFS COMPETE: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 5, St. Petersburg Museum of History, 335 Second Ave., NE, St. Petersburg. Iron Chef-inspired cooking competition challenges area chefs, including Eric Neri, John Pivar and Bill Groen, to create several courses in 11/2 hours from secret ingredients, with judging by panel of celebrity judges. Event celebrates 40th anniversary between St. Petersburg and sister city, Takamatsu, Japan. Tickets: $15; museum members, free. Call: (727) 894-1052.
COSENTINO WINE DINNER: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 4, Roy's 4342 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa. Five-course dinner features selections from Cosentino Winery from heart of Napa Valley; menu includes oak smoked scallop carpaccio; seared tuna and brie polenta; cherry and blackberry risotto tart: $90 plus tax and gratuity. Call: (813) 873-7697.
Wine and Beer tastings/classes
AWESOME AUTUMN ARRIVALS: 7 p.m. apertif, 7:30 p.m. tasting, Fri., Vintage Wine Cellars, 3629 Henderson Blvd., Tampa. Taste the newly released reserve wines for fall such as Caymus Conundrum, Conterno 1996 barolo reserve, Fonseca 1995 vintage port: $25. Call (813) 879-2931 to reserve.
ITALIAN WINE WONDERS: 6-7:30 Fri., Bern's Fine Wine and Spirits, 1002 S Howard Ave., Tampa. Friday night tasting series explores wines of Italy: $15. Call for reservations (required): (813) 250-9463.
BURGUNDY BASICS: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fri., Wines by Morrell, 2009 N 22nd St., Ybor City. Delve into the complex world of Burgundy wines: $50. To RSVP, call: (813) 241-8587.
WEST COAST DISCOVERIES: 6 p.m. Sat., A Taste For Wine, 241 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Taste recent wine finds from the West Coast: $18. Call: (727) 823-3767 to reserve.
GREAT RED VARIETALS: 6:30 p.m. Mon., Bern's Fine Wine and Spirits, 1002 S Howard Ave., Tampa. Learn the basic red grape types and blends, from pinot noir to syrah, sangiovese and nebbiolo, from Bern's wine experts: $25. Limited seating, call: (813) 250-9463 to reserve.
ALL ABOUT APPLES: 7-8 p.m. today, 10-11 a.m. Thur., Nature's Harvest Market, 1021 N MacDill Ave., Tampa. Vegetarian chef Debby DeGraaff makes apples the featured fruit in this free class. Call: (813) 873-7428.
CLASSIC ITALIAN CUISINE: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4, Casa Italia, 2080 Constitution Blvd., Sarasota. Guiliano Hazan, author of The Classic Pasta Cookbook, kicks off a fall series of cooking classes at Italian restaurant with technique tips as he prepares a full meal for sampling. Class includes wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres break, printed recipes: $70. Call: (941) 924-1179 to reserve.
KIDS MAKE FONDUE: 6-8 p.m. Fri., Aprons Cooking School at Publix Supermarket Shoppes of Citrus Park, 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa. kids-only class on fondue: $15. Call: (813) 926-4465.
TANTALIZING THAI: 2:30-5 p.m. Sat., La Maison Gourmet, 471 Main St., Dunedin. Thai menu of: crispy shrimp and pork crepe with cucumber salad; beef panang curry; ginger chicken; bananas in coconut milk: $39.50. Call: (727) 736-3070.
HOLIDAY APPETIZERS: 6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 3, La Maison Gourmet, 471 Main St., Dunedin. New holiday hors d'oeuvres are featured in hands-on class: spicy shrimp fritters; bleu cheese, pear and watercress shortbreads; beef croustades with Bernaise; pecan caramel turtles: $39.50. Call: (727) 736-3070.
SAUCY ADVENTURE: "Signature Sauce" contest asks entrants to submit a sauce made with soy sauce and other ingredients that can be used on different dishes. Grand prize is trip for two to Japan worth $10,000 with Asian culinary expert Elizabeth Andoh. Other prizes include All-Clad cookware sets. Submit recipe to: Kikkoman International, Inc. c/o Signature Sauce, 1050 Battery St., San Francisco, CA 94111, attn: Gina Lipparelli, or online at: www.kikkoman-usa.com no later than Oct. 15.
- Send news of coming events at least two weeks in advance of the publication date to Food File, the St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.
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