The first classes kick off over the next week, so it's definitely time to check your calendar to see if you have space to squeeze in at least a couple of these fun seminars. I've taken a few classes from Chef Darryl Dinning of Panache Catering in the past, and I can promise that anything that he's involved with will be entertaining and filling. Bring Tupperware.
His class, "The Social Table," will be held on Friday, Feb. 7, at his business address, 1016 Jefferson St. From 6 to 9 p.m., attendees will receive hands-on instruction in kitchen basics and the art of planning a dinner party. The creative menu will include a salad of fried ginger, purple potato and yellow tomato, lamb chili in a bread bowl, The Storm and the Chicken, and an avocado, mango and guava parfait. If this piques your interest, register for class No. 416 at eveningclasses.org.
How is Sarah Souther's class not full yet? If you've ever met the winsome and charming proprietress of the Bang Candy Co. or enjoyed any of her delectable artisan marshmallows or flavored syrups, you're probably asking the same question. This Wednesday, Jan. 29, Sarah will invite students into Bang Candy at 1300 Clinton St. for her class "Fancy Moon Pies and RC Cocktails." I mean, look at that title! I can't believe you haven't signed up for class No. 425 yet to "learn how to create the perfect moon pie and feel good about it, mixing triple-smoke whiskey, marshmallow and salted caramel. Add pecan cookies smothered in dark chocolate and wash it down with a RC Cola cocktail." Get on it!
A restaurant that probably doesn't get enough attention because it's hard to find and almost impossible to park at is Grins Vegetarian Cafe on Vanderbilt's campus. I've also taken a class in the past from their chef Rusty Johnston, and he genuinely convinced me that the vegan lifestyle can be fun. Of course, I've also taken a lamb butchering class with him and watched Chef Rusty giggle as he sauteed the lamb fries, so I know he's a member of Team Carnivore.
Class No. 412 is called "Vegan Comfort Food for All" and will be held on Thursday, Feb. 20, in a private home. Chef Johnston will prepare vegan versions of comfort foods like creamy tomato soup, tofu buffalo wings, BLT sandwiches with shiitake bacon, and chocolate chip cookies, and all attendees will go home with recipes and a full tummy.
Finally, if you're a dedicated Vodka Yonic reader in the print edition of the Scene, you've recently learned that a certain Foxy Carrington has developed an almost unhealthy obsession with kombucha tea. If you're interested in following Mrs. Fox down the fermented tea rabbit hole, then class No. 309 is for you.
USN parent Cameron Simmons is teaching "Learn to Make Kombucha Tea" on Tuesday, Feb. 4, in another private home. Simmons will extol the probiotic virtues of fermented foods and teach you how to save a bucket of money over buying those exotic kombuchas at your local health food store. Since I've apparently been on a 30-year quest to pickle myself from the inside out, I'll leave this one up to y'all.