A pair of national academic groups devoted to food issues are coming to town next week for a conference filled with seminars on culinary, agricultural and related issues and field trips to showcase New Orleans restaurants, food producers and markets. Scholars, journalists, filmmakers, chefs and others will gather for the joint annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (www.food-culture.org) and the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society (www.afhvs.org), scheduled for June 4-8 at the Omni Royal Orleans and hosted by the University of New Orleans . Seminar topics run the gamut from rising food costs around the world, moral and ethical issues around food and school lunch nutrition to culinary tourism and the recovery of New Orleans' food culture after Katrina. Registration is open to the general public, and information including conference agendas is available online at www.food-culture.org/conference.html. For additional information, email UNO professor and conference chairman David Beriss at email@example.com.
Corks will be popping for a good cause this Saturday, May 31, in Covington as Etoile Restaurant and Wine Bar (407 N. Columbia St., Covington, 985-892-4578) hosts the second annual Champagne Tasting Celebration to benefit New Orleans public broadcasting station WYES-TV (www.wyes.org). The tasting will feature Champagnes and sparkling wines from around the world courtesy of Glazer's Companies of Louisiana and a sampling of appetizers and desserts from Etoile. The event is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the cost is $50 per person. For reservations call WYES at 486-5511 ext. 200.