This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Friday, March 23
The Iron Chef Cook-Off, a fundraiser to support its housing crisis fund. This is always a fun event -- expect multiple, ingredient-driven, inventive apps and courageous cooks in fierce but good-natured culinary battle. This year's chef-offs are between: Beth Zeier vs. Heidi Konkel; Joanne Brown vs. Cecillia Gillhouse; Roberto Yáñez vs. Michael Jacob; Sara and Michelle Richards vs. Kyle Richmond; and Michael Quieto and Kate Golden vs. Brian Solomon. Brink Lounge, 701 E. Washington Ave., Ste. 105, 5 p.m., $25. Call 257-0143 for more info.
Saturday, March 24
While the outdoor "Taste of the Market" breakfast continues every week, and this is one not to miss. Chef Tory Miller of L'Etoile and Graze, plus chefs Lisa Jacobson and David McKercher from the Mermaid Cafe will be joined by team of students from the Chefs in the Classroom programs at Sherman Middle and East High Schools to prepare a feast with local ingredients. The menu features: chili braised pork or spinach and mushroom crepes, pickled vegetables, sweet potato roesti, fried egg, and a "famous" Graze croissant. Proceeds from this breakfast will to to support these culinary programs in Madison schools, which are organized by the Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., 8:30-11 a.m., $15 adults and $8 kids and smaller portions. Call 455-1999 for more info.
Walking to obtain chocolate is a time-honored tradition -- many Americans start this practice as children on Halloween. The Monroe Street Chocolate Walk is more for grown-ups, though. Participants in this third annual benefit to benefit the Maple Syrup Fest, an annual family celebration held early each spring at the festival. The fun continues with crafts, cooking demos, and ice cream sundaes topped with pure maple. Guaranteed you'll never return to "pancake syrup." Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 300 Femrite Dr., 1-3 p.m., $6 per person or $20 per family for Center members and $7 per person or $25 per family for non-members. See Iron Cupcake challenge and fundraiser. The theme is chocolate. While the 22 cupcake chefs view for top honors, the voting public gets to test mini-cupcake versions. Proceeds benefit the East Side Club, 3735 Monona Dr., 3:30 p.m., $10. See Kitchen Chemist, a session for kids to make ice cream and learn about the science of freezing and melting. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., noon, free with $8 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 4:30-6 p.m., $10. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Wednesday, March 21
Rooftop Farmers, a weekly session for kids to explore gardening, raising animals, harvesting, and cooking. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., 3:30 p.m., free with $8 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
Six Spices with Neeta Saluja class, with the chef preparing a menu of shrimp curry in creamy coconut sauce, hot and spicy tomato soup, saffron rice, and seviyan kheer. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 6-8:30 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
The Urban Gardener Part I: Laying the Groundwork for a Productive Year class, with instructors from Madison FarmWorks at Troy Community Farm covering intermediate and advanced gardening skills, including design and layout, planting schedules, crop rotation, cover cropping, and succession planting. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $20 owners and $30 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Thursday, March 22
One Ingredient, Many Flavors class, with chef Angela Trentadue demonstrating how to use a single seasonal ingredient to prepare multiple unique dishes utilizing Latin, Asian, Indian, and Mediterranean flavors. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
preparing a menu of blondie bars with butterscotch frosting, cinnamon buns, and cranberry cream cheese bundt cakes. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6:30-8:30 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Friday, March 23
Saturday, March 24
Lebanese Lunch, a meal and film festival presented by UW-Madison Lebanese Student Association, with guest chef Carole Mouawad preparing a menu of fattoush salad, lahm bi ajeen, manoucheh zaatar, moussaka with couscous, and osmalieh. The Crossing, 1127 University Ave., 1 p.m., $8. RSVP online, and call 257-1039 for more info.
Sunday, March 25
Seed Starting with Charles Dykman class, with the instructor detailing how to start tomato plants from seed, as well as seed selection and saving, watering and artificial light, and transplantations. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 9 a.m.-noon, $10 owners and $20 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Home Cheesemaking: A Lost Art class, with instructor Linda Conroy covering the basics of how to make several varieties of cheeses and other dairy products, including feta, mozzarella, kefir and derivative cheeses and condiments, cultured butter, and whey, with samples and a starter culture provided. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 2-3:30 p.m., $15. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Monday, March 26
Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-7 p.m., $5. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Growing Blueberries in Dane County class, with instructor Eric Johnson covering the basics of cultivating blueberries, including plant selection, cuttings and transplantation, soil and water pH, pruning, and more. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Save the date
Wednedsay, April 4
Reds of Tuscany, a wine tasting in the L'Etolie Oenophile series, with wine director Michael Kwas focusing on Sangiovese, presenting samples of two Chiantis and a Riserva from the same producer, as well as Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino, all accompanied by Wisconsin artisan cheese. L'Etoile, 1 S. Pinckney St., 6:30 p.m., $75. Call 251-0500 for more info.
Sunday, April 15