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Ya Mama and Dem
Mothers whose idea of being pampered doesn't include the Audubon Zoo might instead carry on another Mother's Day tradition: brunch. Along with the city's favorite brunch haunts -- like Commander's Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221) and Court of Two Sisters (613 Royal St., 522-7261) -- several restaurants will be scrambling up their best eggs and pouring on the bubbly. Mother's Day marks the first brunch at Kelsey's (3923 Magazine St., 897-6722) under its new ownership, while at Midi South of France (614 Canal St., 527-6712), the creations of Chef Phillipe Pinon and Pastry Chef Yvan Lavoue will be only part of the celebration. Guests will also enjoy a live fashion show (proceeds from all sales will benefit the "Make A Wish Foundation") and compete in a hat contest; first prize is a weekend stay for two at Le Meridien Hotel. The fixed price Mother's Day brunch buffet at Bacco (310 Chartres St., 522-2426) includes a flower for all moms and a family photograph in the W Hotel courtyard. Out at the Lakefront, Chef Tom Wolfe at Wolfe's of New Orleans (7224 Pontchartrain Blvd., 284-6004) is making everything from French toast to poached Maine lobster. Wherever you decide to treat the mother-type in your life, stop by the Crescent City Farmers Market (700 Magazine St.) at 10 a.m. for a mother-son cooking demonstration with Lemon Grass and 56 Degrees Chef-owner Minh Bui and his mother, Ngoc Dien Phan, a recent immigrant from Vietnam.

Grape Expectations
The time is drawing near for the 11th annual New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE), which moved to the weekend of May 22-26 this year from its original July slot. Tickets are available for the Grand Tastings, the Royal Street Stroll, the Sunday champagne brunch and the seminars; and reserve a space for the Vintner Dinners offered at more than 30 area restaurants. Among seminars on the Syrah grape, on wines from the Southern Hemisphere and on the vineyards of Alsace, there are also a few food- and restaurant-related discussions scheduled. On Saturday, May 24, chefs Frank Brigtsen, Greg Sonnier and Randy Barlow will gather to talk about their common mentor, Paul Prudhomme. On Sunday, May 25, you can learn from the authors how Palace Cafe: The Flavor of New Orleans came together. During this seminar, you will learn how to prepare and pair wines with three of the cookbook's recipes. Also on Sunday, representatives from Arnaud's, Brennan's, Galatoire's and Pascal's Manale will gather to talk about their most classic dishes. For more information and to register, call 529-WINE or log on at www.nowfe.com.

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