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Green Screen 

Green Screen
As the weather gets warmer, it's time to start planting vegetables and herbs. Dan Gill, horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter ( and author of Month-by-Month Gardening in Louisiana, has produced a television special for WYES-TV/Channel 12 ( to help both novice and expert gardeners get the most out of this year's growing season. The three-hour special, Gardening With Dan Gill: Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs, will premiere at noon Saturday, April 16, with a repeat broadcast at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 17. Gill visits gardens around the state to learn what works best in southern Louisiana's climate. The program is a great opportunity to see close-up the French Quarter's Ursuline Convent Herb Garden maintained by Chef Horst Pfeifer of Bella Luna, the historic kitchen garden at Laura Plantation in Vacherie and chef and cooking instructor John Folse's White Oak Plantation garden of edible flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruit.

Bourbon on Bourbon
A wine tasting might be more refined, but a bourbon tasting might be more fun. On Tuesday, April 12, the Bourbon House (144 Bourbon St., 522-0111; hosts a free bourbon tasting led by Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Harlen Davis Wheatley. The Buffalo Trace Distillery (, the first distillery to ship bourbon down the Mississippi to New Orleans, has recently won many awards for its small-batch, single barrel bourbons. Wheatley will show drinkers the finer points of Buffalo Trace, Blanton's, Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 Year and Weller 12 Year bourbons. The tastings, at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., are free, but reservations must be made by calling 521-8311, ext. 490. Bourbon House Chef Jared Tees will serve complimentary hors d'oeuvres before and after the tastings.

Booze to Beef
, local author Poppy Z. Brite's previous novel, told the story of Rickey and G-man's struggle to rise to the top of the New Orleans restaurant world. The novel, part of the growing sub-genre of foodie fiction, followed the young characters on a wild ride through the kitchens of New Orleans as they tried to open Liquor, a restaurant where every dish on the menu had at least a splash of alcohol. With its vivid characters, rapid-fire action and unsentimental recreation of life in New Orleans, Brite's novel drew praise from foodies and non-foodies alike. In Prime, Brite's latest novel, Rickey and G-man have returned. Now celebrated chefs, Rickey takes on a consulting job in Dallas to raise money. When he gets to Texas, though, he finds himself working with an old nemesis from culinary school. Prime, full of rich, crazy Texans, dangerous situations and plenty of delicious food, promises to be as much fun as Brite's last novel.

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