Save the date: Saturday, Aug. 4. It's the fifth annual Louisiana Gold Culinary Classic -- the charity event most likely to ensure our own gastronomic futures. Area cooks and chefs compete for cash prizes while preparing dinner in numerous categories, from soup to seafood to nutria. While bigwig chefs like Paul Prudhomme and Leah Chase buff-out the judging panel, not-yet-famous sous-chefs and rising kitchen stars will do the actual cooking. A portion of the fundraiser's proceeds will go towards the NO/AIDS Food For Friends Program; the remainder will benefit the School-to-Career program, which provides aspiring chefs with scholarships along various paths of their culinary education. See what I mean? Tickets are $65 in advance ($75 at the door). Call the Delgado Culinary School, or visit www.acfno.com, to purchase tickets or for more details.
At 11 a.m. at Tuesday's Crescent City Farmer's Market, catch a cooking demo by Chefs Drago and Tommy Cvitanovich of Drago's (3232 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 888-9254). Then on the Saturday before Father's Day, the market suggests you "celebrate the best ears of your life" with sweet corn. At 10 a.m., Chef (and recent dad) Emanuel Loubier of Dante's Kitchen (736 Dante St., 861-3634) will cook up something corny. Two weeks ago marked the first market appearance of wet, tart and hard-to-find Creole cream cheese. Dairy farmers Henry Mauthe and his son Kenny also are selling their pasteurized -- but not homogenized -- whole fat milk at the market. And don't miss the super-plump, sweet blueberries from Thorburn Farms. I finished off a pint in one sitting. Tuesday's market is located at 200 Broadway St. and is open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday's market is located at 700 Magazine Street and is open 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Call 861-5898, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.loyno.edu/ccfm.
And the Winner Is ...
Win a dinner for two at Vaqueros by creating an original recipe made with any Tequila Sauza product. Winners will be announced at Vaqueros (4938 Prytania St., 891-6441) on June 28 during Tequilapalooza (a long name for a fiesta celebrating roughly 45 Mexican tequilas). For more information visit www.bestofneworleans.com and click on the flashing green square.
Chef Peter Vazquez and his wife Janis of Marisol (437 Esplanade Ave., 943-1912) are hosting two summer Vintner's Dinners. On June 13, sip from bottles produced west of the Rockies (California, Oregon and New Mexico), while Spanish wines take center stage on July 11. Both dinners feature guest wine speakers and more of Chef Pete's edible handiwork. Call for details.