5 Sweet Dates for Your Culinary Calendar: Oct. 20-24

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Where are my fave fat pants? My must-chew calendar is cram-packed with loads of tasty events the next few days and I want to be ready for the inevitable “Fall 5.” (As in lbs., followed by the Winter 10 and the get-ready-for-sleeveless spring season –15.) Here are some sweet and savory dates you might want to check out:

Not satisfied with an apple a day, the geniuses at the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance cooked up AppleLooza. At the U-District Farmers Market this Saturday, shoppers will be able to sample a dozen different heirloom varieties of apples as well as vote for their favorite Honey Crisp from six different growers. There will also be a cooking demo, where tasty tips on novel ways to prepare the perfect autumn apple will be served. Oh, and don’t miss the free samples of Rockridge Orchards hot cider.

James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour is rolling into Kirkland on Saturday (October 20), with Brian Scheehser from Trellis playing the role of host at the handsome restaurant with a fiercely local focus. The all-star lineup collaborating on this five-course feast include Café Juanita’s Holly Smith, Ethan Stowell, Naomi Pomeroy from Beast in Portland and Justin Aprahamian, who wins the prize for chef who will travel the farthest for this shindig. His restaurant, Sanford, is in Milwaukee and is famous for its lamb coppa with pickled fennel and golden raisins, toasted fennel dressing. Yes, please! Tickets are $160, which covers wine pairings, too. Reservations: 425-284-5900.

On Monday (October 22), it’s a treat free-for-all at Dahlia Workshop on Harrison, off Westlake, as the Tom Douglas gang celebrates the release of The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. Da man will be there to sign copies of this gorgeous goodie book the day before it hits the shelf while fans bliss out on bites prepared by the crackerjack pastry department. From 3 to 7 p.m. FREE! (Copies of the book are $35 and will be for sale there.)

There are dozens of wine dinners around the city every month, and, boy, oh, boy, do I wish I could hit them all, but a fete spotlighting the wines of L’Ecole No 41 at Daniel’s Broiler on Wednesday (October 24) promises the kind of meat-tastic pairings that are tough to pass up. Sure, there will be some Dunge crab, too, and a salad showcasing cumin-roasted lamb, but my mouth is already watering just thinking about braised shortribs with L’Ecole’s blockbuster 2009 Perigee, made from Seven Hills Estate Vineyard fruit. Dinner and wine is $125, with service and tax added on when you get the tab. Reservations: 425-990-6310.

Finally, how about three cheers for a free cheese tasting? Especially loud, please, considering the A-list of local talent offering samples at Central Co-op’s Third Annual Cascadia Cheese Festival between 11 and 4 p.m. on Saturday (October 20) at this nifty, truly independent store, 1900 E. Madison St. Go try some Kurtwood Farms, Tieton Farm and Creamery, Mountain Lodge Farm, Mt. Townsend Creamery and more. For more ooey, gooey deets, check out the co-op's groovy Web site.