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Wine, Women and Shops Dorignac's Food Center (710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 834-8216; www.dorignacs.com) is organizing a series of wine tastings aimed at women shoppers, hosting the events at local retail stores catering to women's tastes. Titled "Simply Wine: Sipping and Shopping Soiree designed especially for women," the first event will be held Wednesday, July 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Belladonna Day Spa (2900 Magazine St., 891-4393; www.belladonnadayspa.com). It will feature eight sparkling wines and cheeses from Dorignac's and other food prepared by Chef Dominique Macquet of Dominique's Restaurant (1001 Toulouse St., 586-8000; www.dominiquesrestaurant.com). Tickets are $25 and available in advance at Dorignac's Food Center. Future events will be hosted by other local retailers.

Benefit Dinner Reconciled

A team of Louisiana chefs originally scheduled to cook a benefit dinner for CafŽ Reconcile on Aug. 29, 2005, recently held the Katrina-pre-empted dinner at the James Beard House in New York. Anton Schulte of Le Petit Grocery, Bob Iacovone of Cuvee Restaurant, Kristin Essig of the catering company Bean and Chuck Subra of La Cote Brasserie, all from New Orleans, and Holly Goetting of Charley G's Seafood Grill in Lafayette prepared the $155 per person, five-course dinner on July 17. The chefs were selected and the original dinner was organized by Louisiana Cookin' magazine as part of its annual highlight on rising local talent. The Beard House is run by the James Beard Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes excellence in culinary arts. Its recent annual awards dinner also featured and honored New Orleans chefs. CafŽ Reconcile (1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157; www.cafereconcile.com) is a non-profit restaurant and job-training program in Central City.

Kids in the Kitchen

The business-savvy folks behind the Savvy Gourmet (4519 Magazine St., 895-2665; www.savvygourmet.com) are offering novel summertime and after-school activities for children while also perhaps building a future customer base with their Savvy Kids programming. First up is Camp Gumbo, a week-long cooking class with sessions for children ages 6-9 and from 10-13. Tuition for the week is $225 and classes begin Aug. 14. Contact Annie Flettrich at 606-5358 or at kidscooking@savvygourmet.com. When the school year begins, the Uptown culinary center will begin its Savvy After School program, a series of cooking classes designed for children in the sixth through eighth grades. Students attend one after-school class per week on the weekday of their choice, beginning the week of Sept. 18 and running through Nov. 13. The cost is $450 per student for the nine-week program. Call the Savvy Gourmet for registration information.

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