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CUISINE CALENDAR

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Cooking Class | Broth of Life

Kitchen Fundamentals 1: Stocks and Soups
Mon. April 16
6:30 p.m.
$60
Charleston Cooks!
194 East Bay St.
722-1212
www.charlestoncooks.com

Maverick Southern Kitchens' Charleston Cooks! continues their series of classics exploring the basics of cooking with this week's stocks and soups class, just in time for winter's last gasp. Stocks aren't the basis for just soups, but for sauces, sautéed dishes, slow-cooked meats, and more. The skilled instructors at Charleston Cooks! will teach the small class how to make a wide variety of the building blocks of cooking, including vegetable, beef, fish, and chicken stocks; seafood chowder, and roasted red pepper, Italian meatball, and that perfect dish to give your allergies some of Grandma's favorite alleviation — chicken noodle soup. MONDAY

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Beer Fest | The fifth annual Ballpark Festival of Beers

BallparkFestival of Beers
Sat. April 14
7-10 p.m.
Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park
$20 in advance and $25 at the gate
21 and older only
577-DOGS
www.riverdogs.com

Already in its fifth year, the annual "Ballpark Festival of Beers" provides a wonderful opportunity for sampling beers not normally available at the neighborhood tavern or eatery. This year's event — designed to celebrate the art of the brewer and the strong sense of community good beer can inspire — will be held on the RiverDogs playing field inside the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. The event features over 100 selections of ales and lagers, from familiar commercial domestics to specialty microbrews and hard-to-find imports.

"Our biggest change this year is having it on the field," says the Joe's Mimi Wilborn, a main festival organizer. "In previous years, we held it on the concourse around the stadium. Last year, we had such an overwhelming response, we had to shut the gates at 8 p.m. because we had too many people. We're really excited about having everyone on the field. Additionally, there will be a mechanical bull, a bungee trampoline, great live music from local band Dangermüffin, and 'I Love Beer' T-shirts."

Last year's event proved to be a tough time for beer lovers who arrived fashionably late as most of the beer at the various booths was already consumed by the middle of the evening. Wilborn assures that the suds will be more forthcoming this time around.

Mellow Mushroom, the title sponsor this year, was instrumental in arranging many of the breweries and selections. "They play a big role in it," says Wilborn. "We go after breweries and distributors and invite them to get involved. Mellow Mushroom's beer club really helps us get a lot of great beers out here."

Each booth will offer three to five beers. A five-ounce sampling vessel in a Pilsner-style shape will be available to the first 1,000 attendees. This year's list includes some familiar brand names (Coors, Heineken, Budweiser, Sam Adams) as well as a nice variety of U.S. micros, such as Rogue Ales, Sierra Nevada, Foothills, Brooklyn, Flying Dog, Thomas Creek, Green Mountain, New South, Terrrapin, Abita, Palmettto, Sea Dog, Shipyard, and Red Hook. A nice selection of classic beer styles from major European brewing regions — the UK, Ireland, Bavaria, Bohemia, Belgium, and Holland — will be featured, too. Malt beverages, wine, and liquor will be available as well. Cheers! —T. Ballard Lesemann SATURDAY

Charleston Tea Plantation Tours

America's only tea plantation, now owned by R.C. Bigelow, is open to visitors. Take a narrated, bus tour of the fields and see how tea is made, talk to tea experts, and sample American Classic Tea. Each Sun. 12-4 p.m. and Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Charleston Tea Plantation, 6617 Maybank Hwy. 559-0383. www.charlestonteagardens.com

McCrady's and the CSO

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra collaborates with one of Charleston's finest restaurants to guarantee an evening unlike any other. Enjoy a night of culinary excellence with a complimentary shuttle ride from the restaurant to the Gaillard where the CSO perfect the Pops. The Trolley leaves the Gaillard at 5:30 p.m. and returns at 7:30 for the concert. Sat. April 14, 5:30 p.m. McCrady's, 2 Unity Alley. 577-0025. info@mccradysrestaurant.com

Thoroughbred Club Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea with all the trimmings; reservations strongly suggested. Each Mon.-Sat. 1-4 p.m. $22/Classic Charleston, $27/ South of Broad. Thoroughbred Club, 205 Meeting St. Charleston Place Hotel. 722-4900 x7689.

Beer Dinner

Pop the Cap SC will host a beer dinner, which includes a three-course meal paired with select beers. Only 40 tickets will be sold. RSVP required to Jaime at info@popthecapsc.org. Sun. April 15, 6-8 p.m. $20/person (includes food, wine, cocktails, gratuity and tax). EVO, 1075 Montague Ave.

Wine Wednesdays

Enjoy live music by local performer Eddie Stonaker and half off any bottle from the new wine list. Each Wed. 5:30-8 p.m. Fish, 442 King St. 722-FISH. www.fishrestaurant.net

Wines of the World

The Diamonds of South Africa features a one-hour wine tasting reception followed by a four-course pairing dinner, featuring Fairview, Paarl, and Stellenbosch wines. Tue., April 17, 6:30 p.m. $79. Woodlands Dining Room, 125 Parsons Road. 875-2600.

Arlaana Wine Tastings

Tasting of wines from around the world accompanied by hors d'oeuvres. Each Wed. 6:30-8:30 p.m. $20. Arlaana Restaurant, 259 Seven Farms Dr. 471-2400. www.arlaana.com

Flight Night

Sample varying flights of wine, focusing on Spanish flavors. Tues. $12-$25. Raval, 453 King St. 853-8466.

In Good Tastings

Informal weekly wine event. Each Fri. 5-7 p.m. $1. In Good Taste, 1901 Ashley River Road. 763-5597.

J. Bistro Wine Tasting

asquale Pellicoro hosts a wine tasting of at least four wines accompanied by fun finger foods. Each Tues. 5:30-7 p.m. $10. J. Bistro, 819 Coleman Blvd. 971-7778. www.jbistro.net

Wine Lover's Happy Hour

Wine flights of five different wines of varying themes. Each Tues.-Sat. 5-7 p.m. $5 for 5 (2 oz. pours). Amuse, 1720 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. 573-8778.

Wine Tasting

Grazi's Shoe Cafe and Wine Bar varies the four wines offered each Friday, so stop by for a surprise. Each Fri. 5:30-7:30 p.m. $5. Grazi's, I'on Square. 216-2087.

Wine Tasting at O'Hara and Flynn

Weekly wine tastings and cheese pairings selected by the staff. Each Fri. 5-7 p.m. and Sat. 3-5 p.m. $5 donation. O'Hara & Flynn, 160 E. Bay St. 534-1916.

Charlotte Jenkins Cooking Class

Gullah Cuisine's chef/owner demonstrates her soul food recipes. Wed. April 18, 6:30 p.m. $45. Charleston Cooks!, 194 E. Bay St. 722-1212. www.charlestoncooks.com

Food Preservation Boot Camp

Dr. Libby Hoyle will teach you how to put up fruits and vegetables when they are at their peak. In two four-hour sessions, learn about equipment, food safety, quality of produce, and terminology. Thu., April 12, 5-9 p.m. $119. Culinary Institute of Charleston, 7001 Rivers Ave.

E-mail cuisine calendar items to editor@charlestoncitypaper.com or fax to 576-0380 by the Wed. before the week of the event.

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