Super Bowl Sunday is one of the defining moments of many a fan's winter -- but it's not all about the game. The 15th annual Taste of the NFL, a food and wine extravaganza, is scheduled Feb. 4 outside Detroit, where on the next day, Super Bowl XL will be played at Ford Field. Chefs from around the country are paired with players representing each National Football League team at the event, which raises money and awareness for hunger relief organizations across the country. Paul O'Connell, chef/owner of Chez Henri, in Cambridge, will be paired with a New England Patriots player. He's planning crisped salt cod cakes with lobster mango salsa and homemade chipotle ketchup.
Cost of the tastings is $400 for a guest ticket up to $6,000 for a corporate table seating 10. For tickets, 952-835-7621; information, www.tasteofthenfl.com.
Oysters taste their best in winter. Mohegan Sun is planning an oyster shuckers face-off Jan. 22 as part of its annual Winefest. In the contest, shuckers will vie to open 24 oysters as rapidly and perfectly as possible in several heats. This is no place for amateurs: To qualify for the contest, shuckers must be able to open 24 oysters in under three minutes. The rewards are big, though: $5,000 in cash, two nights at the Mohegan Sun Hotel, and a lobster and oyster feast at Jasper White's Summer Shack in the resort. The shucker contest is only part of the Winefest. On Jan. 21 and 22, there will be wine tastings and samples of dishes from such chefs as White, Todd English of Olives, Rick Moonen of RM in New York, and Walter Potenza of Aquaviva in Providence. Tastings tickets are $55 for a one-day pass, $85 for the weekend. Proceeds will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
BANGKOK Opens Feb. 1
Bangkok might offer the perfect respite from winter. A new 32-story Millennium Hilton Bangkok opens there Feb. 1, and along with views of the river and the skyline, the 543-room hotel boasts seven eating options. Flow will feature live cooking stations. Yuan is a contemporary Chinese restaurant. Prime is a steakhouse, which no hotel anywhere in the world can be without these days. Zeta Bar, an offshoot of the London hangout, will represent the lounge scene, and ThreeSixty, will be a jazz place with 360-degree views. Along with a poolside eatery called The Beach, The Lantern will serve tea in an al fresco setting.
We all have a yen to be Julia Child and learn to cook in Paris, but we can't all spend the several years it took her to do it. However, L'atelier des Chefs offers classes in three locations that might give the visitor a taste of the Julia experience. Ranging from savory to pastry and back, the classes are offered most weekdays and some evenings and involve tastings as well as some hands-on work. The schedules are listed on the company's website; the classes are at the Rue de Penthièvre, Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, and Printemps Nation. In a sign that, despite all varieties of resistance, Americana still is seeping into French life, there will be a cocktail party Jan. 13 at the Penthièvre location, with instructions on how to mix and shake mojitos, martinis, and more; cost is about $40. The only hitch is that the classes are in French, though the demonstrations are self-explanatory.
Classes are about $18-$160. Call 01-33-1-53-30-05-82 or visit www.atelierdeschefs.com.
Contact Alison Arnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.