The Center of Contemporary Arts has added culinary arts to its repertoire. Participants in COCA's new cooking classes range from kindergarteners to kitchen klutzes to bachelors (no one is suggesting that there is any connection here). Students gather in the center's sleek new teaching kitchen to be coached by talented, enthusiastic professional cooks such as Julie Ridlon, a private chef and founder of the Clayton Farmers Market. Here are a few of the upcoming hands-on courses:
Culinary Techniques around the World: Scandinavia (Oct. 29, Renee Deall); Simple and Scrumptious Desserts (Oct. 30, Margi Kahn); Fabulous Food for Faux Vegetarians (Nov. 6, Pat Lintzenich); Gifts from the Kitchen: Candies (Nov. 26, Ridlon); Kids' Kwaanza Celebration (Grades 4-6, Dec. 1, Ada Parker).
Adult classes, open to those 16 and older, cost $55 ($45 for COCA star members). The children's class is $35 ($25 for star members). Call 314-725-6555 to request a catalog, or visit www.cocastl.org.
Harvest keeps innovating in the kitchen, and the restaurant's charismatic all-American wine list is as gutsy as its menu. Now every bottle and glass is half-price on the first Wednesday of each month. This is no bait-and-switch, folks. The discount includes everything in the cellar, from the esoteric Qupe Marsanne '00 (a tidy $15.50) to the trophy-hunter's Opus One '96 ($100 after markdown). Call 314-645-3522 for a reservation.