A TASTE OF AFRICAN HERITAGE Local food journalist Toni Tipton-Martin offers a free series of cooking classes based on a traditional healthy African diet. Get more information and sign up for the class via email. Through Dec. 13, 6pm Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina, 512/974-4926. email@example.com, www.carvermuseum.org
8TH ANNUAL TEXAS FALL FEST & WINE AUCTION Avoid all the Formula One madness at this two-day event celebrating the wine and culinary delights of the Texas Hill Country. Friday night opens with a sunset stroll and farm-to-market wine fair in the resort's Yacht Club Ballroom from 6-9pm. Saturday offers the Texas Wine & Food Trail along the historic old Main Street in Marble Falls from 2:30-5:30pm. And the weekend concludes with a reception, dinner (prepared by Chef Josh Watkins), and wine auction in the resort ballroom. Complete details and ticket info online. Fri., Nov. 16 - Sat., Nov. 17, (2012) Horseshoe Bay Resort, Horseshoe Bay, 830/598-2511. www.texasfallfest.com
EMPTY BOWL PROJECT PREVIEW PARTY Invest in the opportunity to pick out that one perfect bowl without having to wait in line, and enjoy soup, bread, appetizers, desserts, beer, and wine in the bargain. Silent auction and door prizes. Sat., Nov. 17, 6-9pm. (2012) The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6406 N I-35, 512/454-2000. $75. www.themarchesa.com
NEW ORLEANS-STYLE SUNDAY BRUNCH Chef Paul Hargrove is whipping up a special New Orleans-style jazz brunch for the weekends of the East Side Studio Tour, complete with signature brunch cocktails. After 4pm, the restaurant will also host an extended happy hour. Sun., Nov. 18, 11am-3pm. (2012) East Side Show Room, 1100 E. Sixth, 512/467-4280. www.eastsideshowroom.com
THE AUSTIN EMPTY BOWL PROJECT Pick out a lovely bowl created by a generous local potter and fill it with delicious soup from one of the top Austin restaurants who contribute to this benefit for the Capital Area Food Bank's Kids Cafes and Meals on Wheels & More's Meals for Kids. Live music and a silent auction. Sun., Nov. 18, 11am-3pm. (2012) The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6406 N I-35, 512/454-2000. $20. www.themarchesa.com
THANKSGIVING FEAST FOR THE HOMELESS Jack Gilmore, chef/owner of the two Jack Allen's Kitchen restaurants, will serve a bountiful Thanksgiving feast to the homeless aided by volunteers from his restaurants and Mobile Loaves & Fishes at the First Baptist Church Downtown on Monday evening. Mon., Nov. 19, 5:30-7:30pm. (2012) First Baptist Church of Austin, 901 Trinity, 512/476-2625.
H-E-B'S FEAST OF SHARING Every year, H-E-B serves a free holiday meal to Austin's less fortunate and homeless citizens. This year's meal will feed more than 14,000 people at the Palmer Events Center, and H-E-B will deliver hot food to another 500 house-bound elderly and disabled. There will be live music, a kids' activity center, plus representatives of 15 nonprofit organizations offering social services to guests. Tue., Nov. 20, 4-8pm. (2012) Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd.. www.palmereventscenter.com
PRE-THANKSGIVING DINNER Chefs John Bates and Brandon Martinez continue their fine dining dinner series with a pre-holiday meal. Complete menu online; BYOB. Reserve by phone. Tue., Nov. 20, 7pm. (2012) $65.
BIKINIS SPORTS BAR & OPERATION TURKEY: FEED THE HOMELESS Bikinis once again joins forces with Operation Turkey to serve a free Thanksgiving meal to the homeless at both locations in Austin (214. E. Sixth, 6901 N. I-35) and in San Marcos (1437 N. I-35). Register online to help volunteer. Thu., Nov. 22, 8:30am-noon. (2012) Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill, 214 E. Sixth, 512/469-0001. www.operationturkey.com
THUNDERCLOUD SUBS TURKEY TROT RAFFLE The Turkey Trot raffle is back and the grand prize is a 2013 Honda Accord! Second and third prizes are $1,250 gift packages from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop, including bikes, gear, clothing, and accessories. $25 raffle ticket sales are open whether you register for the race or not, and proceeds benefit Caritas. Register for the race and/or buy tickets online. Thu., Nov. 22, 8am. (2012) www.thundercloud.com/index.php/register
HOLIDAY SHOPPING SPREE Avoid the Black Friday crowds at a relaxed holiday shopping spree in the pavilion where more than 20 artisan vendors will be selling everything from chocolate truffles to jewelry. Make reservations by phone for brunch (11am-1pm) or lunch (1-4pm) in the bistro or call ahead for alfresco dining in the pavilion with wood-fired pizza and salad. Fri., Nov. 23 - Sat., Nov. 24, 11am-5pm, 11am-5pm. (2012) Flat Creek Estate Vineyard & Winery, 24912 Singleton Bend East, Marble Falls, 512/267-6310. www.flatcreekestate.com