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Food News 

Join the Club
Starting a cooking club is the subject of a new cookbook written by six women whose careers are actually in the New York publishing world. You can use The Cooking Club Cookbook: Six Friends Show You How to Bake, Broil and Bond (Villard, $19.95) as a witty step-by-step companion to forming a cooking club, or you can peruse it for the 70 recipes and 50 color photos of stylish women having fun with food (so I've read but not yet seen). The 14 chapters have names like "Spa Go: Cutting calories for vanity and good health, in that order," and "Grills' Night Out: We light our own fire," and they contain recipes from macaroni and cheese to spinach and chorizo empanadas. Author Katherine Fausset and her friends will sign copies at Beaucoup Books (5414 Magazine St., 865-2663) on Friday, June 14, starting at 6:30 p.m. and at Judy's at the Rink (2727 Prytania St., 891-7018) on Saturday, June 15, starting at 4 p.m.

Taste of New Orleans
We're looking at a slew of summer wine tastings and restaurant specials in the upcoming months. There are $30 tickets on sale for Martin Wine Cellar's (3827 Baronne St. only, 899-7411) annual Summer Sippers event, scheduled for June 26. Thursday, June 20, marks the Chardonnay tasting at Midi South of France (614 Canal St., 525-1128) led by sommelier Alain Pirony. Meanwhile, Bull's Corner (316 Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 832-0017) sommelier Brian Perkins is continuing his Toastin' Tuesday wine tastings through the month of June. Drop in between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., pay $5 and sample four summertime red wines this week, New Zealand wines next Tuesday, June 18, and Chardonnay on June 25. Morton's of Chicago (365 Canal St., 566-0221) is coming on even stronger with $3 martinis on Wednesday nights from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nibble on free filet mignon sandwiches in the bar area alongside your happy hour Appletini, chocolate martini or Cosmopolitan. Gautreau's (1728 Soniat St., 899-7397), where the kitchen recently welcomed new Executive Chef Mathias Wolf, is again thanking locals with an incredible summer deal: three appetizers and a glass of wine for $20, any day, anytime. And Begue's (300 Bourbon St., 586-0300) Chef Andre Poirot is offering a three-course, $35 "Fresh From Alaska" menu during June, featuring Alaskan scallops, halibut steaks and baked Alaska desserts.

Big Daddy
In honor of Father's Day, Chef Duke LoCicero of Cafe Giovanni (117 Decatur St., 529-2154) will prepare pizza quesadillas with his children (Crystal, 11, and Nicky, 7) at the Crescent City Farmers Market this Saturday at 10 a.m. (700 Magazine St.).

This week's column powered by a Parasol's roast beef po-boy. -- Roahen

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