Upcoming Events: Comfort Food Cooking Class, Austrian Wine-Tasting Seminar & A Thanksgiving Leftover Throwdown

It's getting colder outside, so now's the time to gather up some seasonal recipes perfect for a chilly night. Sur la Table in the River Oaks Shopping Center will hold its "Easy & Delicious Fall Suppers" cooking class on Tuesday, November 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For $79, you will learn how to make pan-seared fish with tomatoes and fennel, chicken, olive and lemon tagine, roasted vegetable pot pie, and chocolate-chunk bread pudding in this hands-on cooking class. After cooking and tasting all of these warm and comforting dishes, you will walk away with the recipes and a ten percent discount coupon to use the following week at Sur la Table.

For those in Galveston, or for those who want to take a trip to Galveston, here's an opportunity to sample food and drinks from more than 100 Galveston restaurants, hotels and food suppliers. The Great Taste of the Gulf Epicurean Evening takes place on Thursday, November 21, at Moody Gardens, beginning at 6 p.m. Purchase tickets in advance for $40, or for $45 at the door (there will be a limited number of tickets sold at the door). The list of participating restaurants and organizations had not been finalized as of press time, but in the past Fleischer Wines, Trinchero Family Estates and Gallo Family Vineyards were in attendance serving drink samples, and Clary's Restaurant, Gumbo Bar, The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference and The Tremont House offered food samples. The night also includes a silent auction, as well as an awards presentation for outstanding Texas Restaurant Association restaurateurs and caterers in the hospitality industry and the best overall hotelier featuring food and beverage services.

Spend the evening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on Thursday, November 21, starting at 6:30 p.m. during the wine-tasting seminar, "Wines of Austria: Riesling, Gruner and More." James King of the Texas Wine School has created this Austria wine tasting to complement the Koloman Moser: Designing Modern Vienna: 1897-1907 exhibit. Guests will enjoy tastings of two Grüner Veltliners, one Riesling, one Zweigelt and one St. Laurent. MFAH members pay $55 to attend and nonmembers pay $65.

Américas in The Woodlands will offer a Chef Pairing Menu on Monday, November 25, featuring wines from Familia Zuccardi. The menu includes four courses, starting with a spicy acorn squash soup with tempura rock shrimp, paired with Zuccardi Torrontes "Serie A" 2011, followed by a tender 72-hour beef short rib with sweet potato purée, spiced toasted pumpkin and an ancho chile demi paired with Zuccardi Malbec "Serie A" 2011. The third course includes smoked poussin (young chicken) with fig saffron rice stuffing, turnip purée and fig gastrique, paired with Zuccardi Bonarda "Serie A" 2011. The meal concludes with a seasonal sweet pecan tart made with an almond flour crust, served with coconut ice cream; the dessert is paired with Lustau Moscatel "Emilin" Sherry. All this can be yours for $69.

The day before Thanksgiving at 2 p.m., Houston chefs will compete in the Falliday Leftover Throwdown at Winter Street Studios to win The Golden Gobbler Turkey Trophy for the best dish made with traditional and commonly served Thanksgiving recipes. Chefs from Bar Boheme, Eatsie Boys, El Big Bad, Beaver's, Prego, Uchi, Underbelly and many more will duke it out for the judge's pick and crowd-favorite awards. Purchase a ticket for $65 to see and taste the creative dishes made with Thanksgiving leftovers (and take some notes!). Proceeds from the throwdown will benefit The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.

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