Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival President Leon Cikota of Block Distributing announced January 17 that internationally known chef and cookbook author Paul Prudhomme will head up the "Celebrity Chef" line-up for the annual event, which is set for April 11-14 this year. Prud-homme will be joined by the Indian chef, cookbook author, and actress Madhur Jaffrey with the assistance of New York's Dawat Restaurant; seafood chef Mark Militello, chef/owner of Mark's Place in Miami; Horst Pfeifer, executive chef of Bella Luna in New Orleans; chef/owner Douglas Rodriguez of New York's hottest Nuevo Latino restaurant, Patria; and Mark Miller, creator of the Coyote Cafes. For information about registration, participation, or volunteer opportunities, contact new festival director Frances Kurio at 329-0770... Looking for some classes to broaden your horizons in the new year? Green Gourmet vegetarian caterer Diana Welsch is offering a bargain course on Sunday, January 28, 1-4pm at Boggy Creek Farm. The $25 class, Cooking From the Garden, includes the opportunity to pick your own vegetables. Simple winter salad and vegetable recipes will then be prepared in the charming 150-year-old farmhouse. Call 322-9222 for information and reservations. To delight all your senses in February, Herb Bar owner Connie Moore plans to present classes in making fragrant and edible heart-shaped wreaths and Valentine sachets, plus an introduction to aromatherapy and a class on Landscaping With Herbs. Cooking classes at the Herb Bar will include the much-anticipated Cooking con Ruben with Botanitas owner Ruben Rodriguez on February 4 and A Delhi Deli class on Indian vegetarian cooking with Twila Dawn on February 25. Call 444-6251 to sign up. Breed & Co. Cooking School has some tasty classes scheduled for the next two months. Hudson's on the Bend's Jeff Blank will present a Winter Welcome Meal on Jan. 30, a meal to Romance Your Sweetheart will be taught by Marie-Claire Quittelier on Feb. 6, Green Gourmet Diana Welsch offers a Vegan Vegetarian Italian Meal on Feb. 13 and chef Terry Conlan from Lake Austin Spa Resort will present a New Mexico Ski Season Supper on Feb. 20th. Call 328-3960 to get on the mailing list or to make reservations.

Fellow cookbook lovers can check out this event coming up at Borders Books & Music on Wednesday, January 31. Ronna Welsh will host "How to Choose a Cookbook That Is Right for You," a discussion of a range of subjects designed to provide the novice or experienced cookbook buyer with methods for comparing cookbooks. She plans to follow up the event with regular monthly cookbook showcases featuring recipes prepared for in-store tasting. Call Welsh in the afternoons at 795-9553 for more information... The bakers at La Madeleine want to make you feel like "king for a day" with their version of the classic French Galette des Rois or King's Cake. The King's Cake dates back to the middle ages and is traditionally served during Epiphany celebrations. The La Madeleine Galette de Rois, is a flaky pastry with a delicate almond filling, covered with a light glaze... The Whole Foods Farmer's Market has invited a different local purveyor to offer samples of their products each week, 2:30-5:30pm on Wednesday afternoons in the parking lot at 6th & Lamar. On February 7, Classic Tastes will tantalize you with their unusual pestos and salsas, Marta Guzman will dish out sweet samples of her Marta's Flan on Valentine's Day, on February 21 the market will be spiced up with Mamos Garlic Sauce, and the extraordinary Solar Falafel will land on February 28th.

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