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"Enjoying Wine the Mark Phillips Way," Thursday from 6:30-9 PM at the Stan Mansion (2408 N. Kedzie), features wine, cheese, and "a fun, non-snobby way to enjoy wine" from wine expert and television host Mark Phillips. $40, reservations required.
Patricia Wells signs her book, cowritten with her husband, Walter, We've Always Had Paris . . . and Provence: A Scrapbook of Our Life in France, Thursday from 4-5 PM at a free wine and cheese reception at the Book Cellar. She'll then move on to Kendall College, where she and her husband will read at the American Institute of Wine & Food's four-course benefit dinner from 6 to 9 PM. $100 (includes a signed copy of the book).
Friday at 7:30 PM at Barbara's Bookstore in Oak Park, George Motz discusses Hamburger America: One Man’s Cross-Country Odyssey to Find the Best Burgers in the Nation, his roundup of what he considers the country’s 100 best burger joints. In both the book and his 2005 documentary of the same title, he seeks independents that have survived despite the rise of the fast-food nation. His Chicago picks? The Billy Goat Tavern and Top Notch Beefburger.
On Saturday the National Association of Letter Carriers and the Campbell Soup Company will team up on the country's largest one-day food drive, Stamp Out Hunger. They're asking people to put bags of nonperishable items next to their mailboxes, which mail carriers will pick up and deliver to a local food bank (in Chicago it'll be the Greater Chicago Food Depository). People can also donate online.
As part of the Chicago Public Library’s Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Bert Tan of the Chinese American Culture Foundation gives a lecture, The Art of the Chinese Tea Ceremony, Saturday at 2 PM at the North Austin branch library. (He’ll give the same presentation at the Galewood-Mont Clare branch library on 5/17 and the McKinley Park branch library on 5/31). Other programs coming up this month include Chinese Cooking Dim Sum, a cooking demonstration and tasting of shrimp and pork siu mai, and a Japanese cooking demonstration of sushi rice, California rolls, and teriyaki chicken, both by Andrew Comens.
Chefs Didier Steudler and Christophe Pouy from the Ritz Escoffier school of gastronomy in Paris will do a cooking demonstration at the Alliance Francaise on Wednesday from 6 to 9 PM. On the menu: roasted artichoke veloute with Parmesan Reggiano crisp, chicken supreme with an asparagus risotto and wild mushroom fricassee, and tangerine crepes with orange butter sauce. $75.