Food Talk

Food Talk

<lst>To have food and dining items happening in Fairfax and Loudoun listed free, mail to 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102 or fax to 703-917-0991 or e-mail

Break out your derby hat and enjoy a delicious mint julep at the First Kentucky Derby Party at Lansdowne Resort Saturday, May 4, at 4:30 p.m. Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill, will be the featured guest speaker of the evening. Sandys is an acknowledged expert on Churchill's early life. Her books include “Churchill: Wanted Dead or Alive” and “From Winston with Love and Kisses: The Young Churchill.”

The event, a fund-raiser for The Churchill Center, will include a presentation by Sandys about her grandfather's love of horses and horse racing, live broadcast of the 128th Run for the Roses, Derby Dinner and book-signing. The $100 per person price includes a $25 tax-deductible contribution to The Churchill Center and an autographed copy of Sandys' book.

The event will be held in the Pavilion at Lansdowne Resort, starting at 4:30 p.m., with the live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby at 6 p.m. For reservations, call (703) 729-4015.

Three area Fresh Fields Whole Foods Market stores will donate 5 percent of their total sales from Wednesday, May 8 to Fairfax CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). CASA was chosen by Fresh Fields because of their outstanding advocacy for and commitment to abused and neglected children throughout Fairfax County. Participating stores are located at: 8402 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield; 7611 Leesburg Pike, Tysons; and 143 Maple Ave. East, Vienna. Fairfax County Chairman Kate Hanley will be at the Vienna store at 11:30 a.m. to kick off the event.

Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg is offering a Mother’s Day gift package for $215 that includes one night’s accommodations, choice of one treatment in the spa, and complimentary brunch (when purchased with the family). The overnight package is for Saturday, May 11, and brunch on Sunday, May 12. Spa reservation can be made for either May 11 or 12. Call 703-729-8400 for more information.

A Birth-Mother’s Day Brunch will be held Saturday, May 11, 9:30-11 a.m., at The Falls Church Episcopal, 115 E. Fairfax St., to honor birth mothers who chose to provide for their children through adoptive placement. Adopting parents, adult adopted children and birth mothers will be represented by individual speakers. Call 703-465-8778 for more information.

A Mother’s Day Tea will be held May 12, 1-5 p.m., at Gunston Hall Plantation. Enjoy sandwiches, desserts, scones and teas in Gunston Hall’s festively decorated dining room overlooking the fountain and courtyard. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 703-339-0460. The cost is $22 for adults and children 11 and older, $11 for ages 6-10, and free for children under 6.

A night of mystery and intrigue will be offered at McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant in Reston, Sunday, May 19, and Sunday, June 2. The Sterling Playmakers will serve up the murder mystery, and the audience will decide who did it by dessert. Cocktails are at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and an arrest by 8 p.m. The price per person is $58.50. For reservations, call Christina J. Park at 703-467-0821 or e-mail

The Mount Vernon Wine Festival and Sunset Tour celebrates the history of wine in Virginia with evening tours of the mansion and wine cellar and an appearance by George Washington himself. Visitors may bring a blanket and relax on the lawn as they listen to jazz and sample wines from 16 Virginia wineries; Friday, Saturday and Sunday; May 17-19, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person, and party platters to serve six are available for $45. There is also a Sunday-only cruise package aboard the Miss Christin tour boat. which will travel round-trip from Old Town Alexandria to the Mount Vernon estate.

Tickets may be purchased through TicketMaster at 703-573-7328 or 202-432-7328, or at the Mount Vernon main gate ticket window, which is open seven days a week. For more information, call 703-780-2000

Come to the Reston Community Center's Armenian cooking class and learn to cook healthful, delicious Armenian food. The class will be held on Thursday, May 9 from 7-10 p.m. at the Reston Community Center, Hunters Woods.

Armenia, wedged between Russia, Turkey, and Iran, is a crossroads for many cultures and cuisines.  Wonderful touches of many near-Eastern cultures are intermingled in Armenian cooking.  Armenian cooking has deep roots in antiquity and the influence of Greek, Turkish, Syrian, Persian and Arabic cuisines can be tasted in Armenian dishes.

Participants in the class will prepare and sample two classic Armenian dishes, Lahmajoon (Armenian Pizza) and a traditional bean salad.  A $6 supply fee is due the night of the class.  This class is best suited to people age 14 and older.  The cost of the class is $18 for people who live and work in Reston and $27 for all others.

Register either in person or by faxing a completed RCC Registration

form to (703) 476-8617.

For further information, directions, or to request a reasonable

accommodation, contact the Reston Community Center at (703) 476-4500.

Chef Curtis Ross, who once cooked for movie actor Will Smith and now serves customers throughout Northern Virginia, is offering a series of demonstrations and cooking classes at Whole Foods Markets in Northern Virginia.

His demonstrations will feature the regional cuisines of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, where he has traveled, collecting recipes and local ingredients from chefs, cooks and villagers

The demonstrations are as follows:

Whole Foods Market

143 Maple Avenue E., Vienna

Mondays, May 13 and 20, from 7-8:30 p.m.

Wednesdays, May 1 and 8, from 7-8:30 p.m.

Register at 703-319-2000. Fee, $10 per class.

Whole Foods Market

11660 Plaza America Drive, Reston

Saturdays, May 11 and 25, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Register at 703-736-0600. Fee, $10 per class.

Whole Foods Market

7511 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church

Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.-noon.

Thursday, May 23, 7-8 p.m.

Register at 703-448-1600. Fee, $10 per class