Pantry Tasting -- Vanilla Beans
Where: Smitten Ice Cream, 432 Octavia (at Fell), 863-1518
When: Wed., Oct. 10, 8 p.m.
Cost: $25 (purchase via Eventbrite)
The rundown: This small class (25 people) presented by Slow Food San Francisco features a guided tasting of vanilla beans via Smitten's liquid nitrogen-frozen ice cream (which is actually made rather quickly, in about a minute) and shortbread cookies and tasting different international varietals. It's an overview meant to arm amateur chefs with the best way to incorporate it into recipes and an understanding of the complexity of the ingredient.
Where: The Women's Building, 3543 18th St. (at Valencia), 431-1180
When: Thurs., Oct. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Cost: $55 (purchase via Eventbrite)
The rundown: Before there was kombucha and kefir, there was mead, the O.G. of the probiotic beverages. Robert MacKimmie of City Bees leads a hands-on workshop into the art of fermentation and flavor. You'll bring your own gallon home to try fermenting your own honey wine at home, which will clearly make you the hit of the next Renaissance Faire.
Where: 18 Reasons, 3674 18th St. (at Dolores), 241-9760
When: Oct. 14 and 21, 4-8 p.m.
Cost: $125 for each class (purchase via Brown Paper Tickets)
The rundown: Jill Santopietro, who has worked in the research kitchens at New York Times and CHOW, hosts a two-part series focused on getting you to nail the basics. The first session (Oct. 14) hones in on boiling, poaching, and simmering, while the second (Oct. 21) is all about broiling, grilling, brining, and smoking. Santopietro will pass on the mental tools needed to help you develop recipes. It is not necessary to sign up for both, but there is a 10% discount for doing so.
Swiss Chocolate Masters Demonstration Series
Where: Le Cordon Bleu, 350 Rhode Island (at 16th St.), 237-0416
When: Thurs., Oct. 18, 3-5 p.m.
Cost: Free (RSVP via Eventbrite)
The rundown: The Qzina Institute of Chocolate and Pastry hosts a demonstration featuring recipes made with Lindt Swiss chocolate. The class is in honor of Lindt's new premium couverture that's available to U.S. culinary schools, bakeries, and restaurants for the first time. One hitch: The class is geared toward and open to culinary professionals only, and we include this here because a lot of people reading this might qualify.