This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Tuesday, March 30
Chef Neeta Saluja brings her culinary skills to the Willy Street Co-op this evening to teach the Six Spices: Classic Indian Cooking class. The menu for the lesson includes: sambhar, a lentil and vegetable southern Indian dish simmered with a seasoning prepared with chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and fresh coconut; a cabbage salad featuring tomatoes and seasoned with mustard seeds, whole chilies, and fresh curry leaves; oothappam, savory pancakes made with a rice flour and cream of wheat batter; and, red pepper chutney. Willy Street Co-op, 1221 Williamson St., 6-8:30 p.m., $15 owners and $25 non-owners. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Wednesday, March 31
Chef Huma Siddiqui of White Jasmine is back at Whole Foods this evening to teach a Pakistani cooking class. The menu for the lesson includes: "exotic" chicken, cooked with spinach, garlic, and ginger; matar pulao, a dish of basmati rice with green peas and spices; a tomato chutney made with cumin, cilantro, and green onions; and, rasmalai, a dessert of baked ricotta cheese with green cardamoms and soaked in creamy milk. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Thursday, April 1
The Wisconsin DNR opened sales a couple of weeks ago for hunting, fishing, trapping and various other licenses and permits for upcoming hunting, fishing, trapping, and various other seasons. New annual licenses are valid for the next year, from today through March 31, 2011. Licenses can be purchased online, and customers can call 877-945-4236 to purchase them over the phone. Additionally, the department started selling those permits for the spring 2010 turkey season that remained after last fall's application process; limited quantities remain in a few zones. Call 888-936-7463 for more info.
Saturday, April 3
Willy Street Co-op kitchen manager Josh Perkins is preparing the penultimate Taste of the Market breakfast as the indoor Dane County Farmers' Market winds down for the season. The menu will include: Pecatonica Valley and Sylvan Meadows poached egg with ham; Tomato Mountain sungold tomato preserves, basil, and hollandaise on brioche toast; Butter Mountain Pommes Anna with Forgotten Valley Gruyere; a Don's Produce petite salade verte with Renaissance Farm lemon basil vinaigrette; an apricot or chocolate mini-croissant; and, organic fair trade Just Coffee and tea, Greens Orchards apple cider, cranberry juice, and milk. Mike Kehl and friends will be performing music during the meal. Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., 8 a.m.-noon, $7.50 adults and $3.75 kids. Call 455-1999 for more info about the market.
Dane County Humane Society is hosting a Easter Bunny Breakfast this morning. A pancake breakfast will be followed by an Easter egg hunt, and kids will also be able to meet and take pictures with the Easter Bunny. Proceeds from the event will go to support Wisconsin wildlife. Dane County Humane Society, 5132 Voges Rd., 9-11 a.m., $10 adults and $7 kids 2-12 and $4 for the egg hunt only. Call 838-0413 for more info.
Families will find another Easter egg hunt at America's Best Flowers Garden Center in Cottage Grove. Kids who are 6-and-under will get to hunt for eggs and get their photo taken with a pink Easter Bunny. America's Best Flowers, 4311 Vilas Hope Rd., Cottage Grove, 10 a.m., free. Call 222-2269 for more info.
The Willy Street Co-op continues to move forward with its plans to open a new west side store, signing a 15-year lease last week for a space near the corner of University Avenue and Park Street in downtown Middleton. This commitment followed a 15-day consultation period, over which the co-op board reports it received "overwhelming support and encouragement" from owners and community members. Now the co-op is working to translate this sentiment into concrete financing for the expansion, looking to sell some $600,000 of bonds during a 60-day drive that ends May 26. To celebrate the project and engage the community in the drive, the co-op is holding a Willy West Welcome open house at its new Middleton location, and invited interested community members to stop by and learn more about its plans for the store. There will also be a $5 meat or vegetarian brat lunch benefit, with all proceeds going to support the Plant-A-Row-For-The-Hungry program at the Bock Community Garden. More informational meetings and events about the new location will be held over the summer, with construction beginning in April and a tentative opening date set for October. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., Middleton, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., free. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Capital Brewery is playing host to a regional first round in the 2010 National Homebrew Competition, and today is the deadline for entries. Brews from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas will be judged in a variety of beer, mead, and cider categories. The best selections will move on to the final round of the National Homebrewers Conference being put on by the American Homebrewers Association in Minneapolis over June 17-19. Gold, silver, and bronze medal winners will be selected in 28 style categories. Capital Brewery, 7734 Terrace Ave., Middleton. Call 836-7100 for more info.
Sunday, April 4
First United Methodist Church is holding its 26th annual free Easter community meal for anybody spending the holiday alone or in need. Anybody who is homebound is encouraged to call 251-4407 to RSVP for a delivery meal between noon and 2 p.m., and those interested in volunteering at the meal should call 249-0540. First United Methodist Church, 203 Wisconsin Ave., 12:30 p.m., free. Call 256-9061 for more info.
Monday, April 5
The Friendly Supper Club welcomes "people of all colors and ages" to join in its monthly community dinner, now in its 23rd season. Wong's Garden, 2044 Atwood Ave., 6:30 p.m. Call 249-5979 for more info.
Upcoming eats events
It's worth knowing about some events that require reservations farther in advance.
Sunday, April 18
UW students who are confident in their casual culinary prowess are invited to submit their best thick crust and flatbread pizza, sandwich, and wrap creations in the Iron Recipe Challenge at the Taste of the Terrace. Appetite-pleasing activities at this annual food festival on the shores of Lake Mendota include plenty of free Wisconsin Union food, more for competitive eating contests, and this challenge. The top recipes will be prepared and served at it, with the audience selecting their favorites. Prizes include a kettle gas grill and a spot on the Union Terrace menu. UW students should submit recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 9 to participate in the challenge. UW Memorial Union Terrace, 800 Langdon St. Call 265-3000 for more info.
Black Market Madison, the new supper club organized by staff at the Weary Traveler, is unveiling its sophomore effort at this evening with its Vintage Dinner. This five-course meal offers a selection of old-school dishes that together evoke classic mid-20th Century fine dinning. The menu features: Kir Royale, with Champagne, blackberries, orange, and vanilla; Oysters Rockefeller, with spinach, bacon, crostini, and Parmesan; Caesar salad with Parmesan and anchovy lemon crouton; duck confit with butter, pasta, peach, and herbs; and, a rice pudding made with horchata, rice noodles, raisins, and crème anglaise. Vegetarian options include: a green bean casserole with onions, morels, and Parmesan for the second course; an anchovy-free third course; and, fire-grilled Buffalo mozarella with tomatoes and bread for the fourth course. The meal is BYOB. There are only 30 seats at this dinner, and tickets are selling fast. The Project Lodge, 817 E. Johnson St., 8 p.m., $40. Tickets are available online. Call 445-0736 for more info.
Thursday, April 22
The Wisconsin Historical Society is commemorating Earth Day and the legacy of its founder Gaylord Nelson with a Taste Traditions of Wisconsin meal this evening. Simply named the Earth Dinner, it was originated by Organic Valley in 2004 as a celebration of local, seasonal, and organic foods and the role they and agriculture play in connecting people to their communities and surrounding environment. This year's dinner will be catered by the Underground Food Collective with its "unique culinary élan and strong ties to sustainable producers." Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N. Carroll St., $6:30 p.m., $35 members and $39 non-members. Tickets are available online, and must be purchased by April 15. Call 264-6563 for more info.
Wednesday, May 5
L'Etoile is offering a special 5-year anniversary dinner today, marking a half-decade since Tory and Traci Miller along with assumed operations of the acclaimed restaurant from founder Odessa Piper. The Millers and co-proprietor Dianne Christensen are celebrating the milestone with a five-course dinner that will feature 2005 vintage wines and cheeses. This is also likely to be one of the restaurant's final major meals in its original home on North Pinckney before it moves a block up Capitol Square to its new location in the glass bank, set to open with a new accompanying gastropub sometime this summer. L'Etoile, 25 N. Pinckney St., $95. Call 251-5000 for reservations.