This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Friday, February 10
Rev up for Valentine's Day in the best way with A Divine Evening, a chocolate tasting and silent auction to benefit The Road Home and YWCA Madison, organizations that both support women in transition. The chocolate is the fairly traded Divine brand, courtesy of SERRV. What do you wear to an event like this? "Sequins encouraged." Of course. They are, however, optional. SERRV Store, 2701 Monroe St., 6:30-8:30 p.m. Please register online and call 233-4438 for more info.
Saturday, February 11
The Vegantines Dinner and Dance hosted by Alliance or Animals is always a good time. Awards are given to folks who do good for area animals, vegan food to win over even hearty meat eaters is served, and there's a post-dinner DJ. For this fourth annual fundraiser, Bunky's Café will cater a Mediterranean menu, with hummus and baba ghanouj, vegan pizza, Moroccan stew served over couscous, Moroccan vegetable dishes and beet salad, vegan baklava, and more. The evening's speaker is Dr. Malanie Joy, author of "Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows." East Side Club, 3735 Monona Dr., 6-10:30 p.m., $38. Please RSVP by February 7, and call 257-6333 for more info.
Sunday, February 12
Valentine's libations and sweets are on the menu at Beer and Chocolate, an annual benefit tasting for Breast Cancer Recovery. Over 30 creations from 19 local breweries, wineries, and distilleries will be served in a commemorative glass, along with sweet samples from entries in a chocolate competition. All proceeds go to benefit Infinite Boundaries, a wellness retreat for breast cancer survivors. Dexter's Pub, 301 North St., noon-4 p.m., $20 or $15 with chocolate entry. Call 244-3535 for more info.
More chocolate? Bring it on. An chocolate-themed Valentine's Day Extravaganza will support the Madison Infoshop. A chocolate potluck (please bring a cocoa dish to share) will be accompanied by Xocolatl (a traditional chocolate beverage), a chocolate tasting and contest, an informational talk on chocolate by John Peck of Family Farm Defenders, and a screening of the film Chocolat. Syntropy Co-op, 812 Jenifer St., 6-11 p.m., donations accepted. Call 262-9036 for more info.
More events this week
Tuesday, February 7
Southern Wisconsin Vegetable Workshop, the second annual all-day series of sessions taught by UW Extension specialists about crop production methods, weed control, safe handling practices, and marketing, with both breakfast and lunch served. Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Way, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., $40. Call 224-3706 for more info.
Youth Cooking School: Family Dinner, for kids ages 6-12, with instructors preparing a menu of baked chicken tenders, zucchini "pizza" bites, and brown rice marshmallow treats. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 4:30-6 p.m., $10. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Southern Cuisine Beer Dinner, with chef AJ Hurst preparing a Dixie-inspired menu of Carolinas/Kentucky beef carpaccio with sweet corn and crab salad, Floribbean shrimp ceviche with spice and fruit over grits, Appalachian (Hilly Billy) biscuits and gravy with braised collard greens, Alabama crawfish boil bisque, Georgia chicken and waffles with peach syrup, and Louisiana King's Cake, accompanied by a special edition of "Dedication" Abbey-style Dubbel infused with peach. Vintage Brewing Company, 674 Whitney Way, 6-8 p.m. Call 204-2739 for more info.
Wednesday, February 8
Wednesday Nite at the Lab, with this latest edition of the weekly lecture series featuring Assistant Prof. Chris Todd Hittinger of the UW Genetics Dept. discussing his research in a talk titled "Tracking the Origins of the Lager Beer Yeast." UW Biotechnology Center Auditorium, 425 Henry Mall, 7 p.m., free. Call 265-2420 for more info.
Southern Cuisine Beer Dinner, with chef AJ Hurst preparing a Dixie-inspired menu of Carolinas/Kentucky beef carpaccio with sweet corn and crab salad, Floribbean shrimp ceviche with spice and fruit over grits, Appalachian (Hilly Billy) biscuits and gravy with braised collard greens, Alabama crawfish boil bisque, Georgia chicken and waffles with peach syrup, and Louisiana King's Cake, accompanied by a special edition of "Dedication" Abbey-style Dubbel infused with peach. Vintage Brewing Company, 674 Whitney Way, 7-9 p.m. Call 204-2739 for more info.
Thursday, February 9
Cooking with Herbs class, with instructor Jennifer Jones covering how to select and use both fresh and dried herbs in the kitchen. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-7:30 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Friday, February 10
Fish & Burger Night, the latest in a series of benefit dinners for the TEENworks program at the Goodman Center and the teen culinary program at Ironworks Café, featuring a menu of fried walleye and beef or vegetable dinners, along with family-style pickled platters, dinner rolls, soup, and a kid's menu. Ironworks Café, 149 Waubesa St., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. seatings, $16 entrees with other items for $3-7. See Facebook and call 241-1574 for more info.
Saturday, February 11
"Taste of the Market" breakfast at the Dane County Farmers' Market, with chef Leah Caplan from Metcalfe's Sentry preparing a menu of apple and cheddar quesadillas, sausage links, chile maple mashed sweet potatoes with hickory nuts, spinach, celeriac and carrot slaw, and Jamie's and Son cashew fingers. Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., 8 a.m.-noon, $8 adults and $4 kids and smaller portions. Call 455-1999 for more info.
Spring Opener for the Badger Fly Fishers, with speakers, workshops, vendors, raffles, and a banquet. Radisson, 517 Grand Canyon Dr., 8 a.m.-5 p.m., $10 or $20 with food. Call 231-3163 for more info. Call 231-3163 for more info.
One Square Fun Run, a recreational benefit for the Heartland Farm Sanctuary, featuring a one-lap run/walk around the Capitol Square and lunch from Subway. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m., $30 adults and $20 ages 3-15. See Facebook and call 395-9741 for more info.
Open House at the Turner Hall of Monroe, an annual celebration featuring food and wine tastings, tours and displays, and drawings. Turner Hall of Monroe, 1217 17th Ave., 11 a.m.-3 p.m., free. See Facebook and call 608-325-3461 for more info.
Dip for Dozer, the seventh annual fundraiser for the Dozer 52 Scholarship in memory of Dustin "Dozer" Zuelsdorf, featuring a polar bear plunge, frozen turkey bowling, ice sculpture carving, a costume contest, live music, more. Lake Ripley Park, 4310 Park Rd., Cambridge, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., $52 per "dip" participant. See Facebook and call 608-423-3241 for more info.
Joan Peterson, Ronnie Hess, Brook Soltvedt book signing, with the authors discussing their work on the Eat Smart culinary travel guidebooks series from Gingko Press and sharing travel tips. Arcadia Brooks, 102 E. Jefferson St., Spring Green, 4 p.m., free. Call 608-588-7638 for more info.
Steak Night, a fundraiser dinner for the Civil Air Patrol at VFW Post 1318, featuring a menu of Black Angus tenderloin and T-bone steaks, salad bar, baked or au gratin potatoes, and dessert. VFW Post 1318, 133 E. Lakeside St., 5-9 p.m., $15-17. Call 255-5955 for more info.
Valentine's Dinner and Dance, a holiday celebration hosted by the West Madison Senior Coalition, featuring a menu of Wisconsin cranberry stuffed chicken breast, Key Largo blend vegetables, brown rice pilaf, and cherry cheesecake, along with dancing and live music. West Madison Senior Center, 602 Sawyer Terr., 5:30 p.m., $6.15 adults and $3 donation for seniors over 60. Please RSVP for the meal by noon on February 10, and call 238-0196 for more info.
Operation Welcome Home Celebration, the second annual fundraiser for homeless aid and affordable housing through Operation Welcome Home, featuring dinner, dance performances, a silent auction, raffle, and live music. East Madison Community Center, 8 Straubel Ct., 6-9 p.m., $15 donation. Purchase tickets online, and call 616-4486 for more info.
Sunday, February 12
African American Cooking, a session for kids to participate in a hands-on cooking demonstration with Betty Singleton. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., 2 p.m., free with $8 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
Monday, February 13
Kids in the Kitchen: Super School Lunch! class for kids 6-12, with instructor Lily Kilfoy demonstrating cooking basics and preparing a menu of spiral sandwiches, fruit kabobs, and homemade dips. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 4-5:30 p.m., $10 owners and $20 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Youth Cooking School: Be My Valentine, for kids ages 6-12, with instructors preparing a menu of chocolate lava cakes, sugar cookies, and heart shaped pizza. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 4:30-6 p.m., $10. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Save the date
Saturday, February 18
Celebrity Banquet & Auction, the 25th annual benefit for United Cerebal Palsy of Greater Dane County, featuring a cocktail reception, dinner, a silent auction, and games. Blackhawk Country Club, 3606 Blackhawk Dr., 5:30 p.m., $95. Please RSVP by February 10 and call 237-8541 for more info.
Monday, February 20
Sprouting Sprouts and Growing Micro-Greens class, with instructor Roger Reynolds of Infiltrating Landscapes covering how to plant, maintain, and harvest an indoor winter garden of sprouts and micro-greens for salads. Olbrich Gardens, 3330 Atwood Ave., 6:30 p.m., $38. Please RSVP by February 13 and call 246-4550 for more info.
Saturday, March 3
Putting on the Ritz, a fundraiser for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and The Mary Kay Foundation, featuring dinner, dancing, a silent auction, and raffle. Inn on the Park, 22 S. Carroll St., 5-11 p.m, $57. Please register online by February 13, and call 712-6098 for more info.
Wednesday, March 7
California vs. France, a wine tasting in the L'Etolie Oenophile series, with wine director Michael Kwas presenting a blind tasting of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabrenet Sauvignon, and Syrah samples from wine-growing regions in California and France. L'Etoile, 1 S. Pinckney St., 6:30 p.m., $75. Call 251-0500 for more info.
Thursday, May 3
Canstruction Madison, the second annual community competition and food drive for Middleton Outreach Ministry, with teams of architects, students, and engineers building structures with donated food items. Keva Sports Center, 8312 Forsythia St., Middleton, 5-8 p.m., free. Teams must register by February 14. Please call 826-3414 for more info.