Mark your calendar—these spring and summer food events will fill you up.
Opens April 4, 7am-noon
Every Saturday through October, head to the parking lot at the corner of Water and First streets to take in all the things that are great about Charlottesville: artisan goods, community and, of course, food. Get there early to grab a taco! charlottesvillecitymarket.com
Tom Tom Festival
April 18, 11:30am-4pm
Main Street Arena (Downtown Mall)
Tom Tom Founders Festival hosts plenty of food-focused events (check out the Farm-to-Table Restaurant Week April 13-16), but we’re most excited about the chili cook-off. Your $10 ticket gets you samples of chili from home cooks and restaurant chefs alike. And what goes better with chili than beer? The event includes a blind local beer battle with area breweries competing for the title of People’s Choice Champion. tomtomfest.com
Men Who Cook
April 25, 6-11pm
Fry’s Spring Beach Club (2512 Jefferson Park Ave.)
$75 general admission (includes food and drink, but no guaranteed seating) or $400 reserved seating for four (includes wine/beer, bite size tasting from each chef and a reserved table for up to four guests)
Fifty amateur chefs serve bite-sized dishes (plus wine and beer!) for the 28th annual event from the Monticello Area Community Action Agency, which serves low-income families in the Charlottesville area. macaa.org/NewsandEvents/MenWhoCook
Montpelier Wine Festival
May 2 (11am-6pm)-May 3 (11am-5pm), Tickets $15 in advance, $25 at the gate; $5 for designated drivers and persons age 12-20; free for kids under 12
Specialty food vendors, live music and “cooking with wine” classes are just a few of the highlights at this annual fest held at the home of fourth president James Madison. montpelierwinefestival.com
Charlottesville Restaurant Week
Everybody likes a deal. And a deal that benefits charity? Even better. Get a taste of more than 20 local restaurants at a discounted price point—three courses for $16, $26 or $36. One dollar of every meal goes to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, which works to alleviate hunger in Western and Central Virginia. charlottesvillerestaurantweek.com
We’ve got class
Want to develop some new skills in the kitchen (or brush up on the few you already have)? Try one of these local classes through cooking schools, wineries and inns in the area.
Charlottesville Cooking School
2041 Barracks Rd., 963-2665
Flavors of Thailand
April 2 at 5:30pm, $75
This three-hour class, led by Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School graduate Ashley Brooks, will teach you to make your own green curry with mortar and pestle, as well as how to incorporate curry in other dishes like Thai hot and sour prawn soup, green mango salad or tropical skewers.
Spring in Virginia
April 12 at 10:30am, $75
Spend three to four hours with CCS owner and instructor Martha Stafford as she guides you through preparing a seasonal meal of creamy asparagus soup; a spring salad with local lettuce and green garlic vinaigrette, light tender omelets filled with fresh herbs, spinach and Caromont goat cheese and made from local farm eggs; sautéed mushrooms with fresh herbs on an Albemarle Baking Company baguette and strawberry soufflé.
April 18 at 6pm, $75
Led by Soledad Liendo, this Italian appetizers class will prep you for your next dinner party—melanzane alla menta (eggplant with mint); pizza a la rucola (pizza with arugula and fresh tomatoes); cozze gratinate (mussels gratin) and apricot panna cotta with red berry sauce.
High Tea for Moms and Their Kids
May 10 at 2pm, $75 for mother and child (age 7 and up) pair ($35 for each additional guest)
Spend a couple hours making English scones, chocolate-covered strawberries and creme puffs together, then enjoy the fruits of your labor with a cup of tea or lemonade.
Charlottesville Wine & Culinary
3164 Watts Passage Rd., 979-7105, wineandculinary.com
Coq au Vin
April 12, 11am-2pm, $68
Learn to prepare frilly root salad (by spiral-slicing beets!), parsleyed potatoes and Black Forest parfaits to accompany the classic French chicken dish.
The Happy Cook
Barracks Road Shopping Center, 977-2665, thehappycook.com
April 24 and July 24 at 6pm, Free
Sharpen your knife skills at this free class led by the shop’s Wüsthof rep.
931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy., 984-9800, monticello.org
July 11, 9:30-11:30am. $24
Gabriele Rausse, the “father of Virginia wine,” leads this two-hour session on wine production. Thomas Jefferson said, “No nation is drunken when wine is cheap.” Learn how to make your own—from harvest to fermentation to bottling —in this hands-on workshop.
Where else might you find classes?
Boar’s Head Inn
The Lorna Sundberg International Center at UVA
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
Red Pump Kitchen
Whole Foods Market