It's the first weekend of 2014 -- yes, it's going to be cold. But hey, start off the year with a bang. Learn New Orleans-style cooking at the Kitchen Conservatory or celebrate the holiday season the way St. Louis did in 1764 at the Old Courthouse. Check out our food-related recommendations for this weekend after the jump.
Friday (Jan. 3):
Soulard Farmers' Market is still going strong and is without a doubt the largest and most eclectic market in the region -- you can buy everything from a sack of apples to a new pair of sunglasses. This is truly an iconic spot...The days and hours of operation are a bit confusing: Wednesday through Saturday, the Grand Hall, or the central inside shops, are open, along with a smattering of outside vendors (varies daily), from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the afternoon hours usually offering the best options.
Saturday (Jan. 4):
The new locally sourced grocery store is opening in Lafayette Square on Saturday at 7 a.m. (yikes!). Fields Foods will be over 37,000 square feet and the only full-service grocery within two miles. In addition to the freshest meat, seafood and produce available, the shop will also have large selections of organic products, a prepared-food section and even a bar. Possibly the best part about Fields Foods is that you can go in, hand over your shopping list to an employee, then kick back with a beer or a glass of wine. The workers will gather all your stuff for you.
St. Louis Mardi Gras season is already here. Dennis Stroughmatt et L'Esprit Creole will play French holiday music that the early St. Louis settlers would have listened to. Enjoy the most popular dances of the day with Deborah Hyland and refreshments common to St. Louis dinner tables during the 1764 holiday season from food historian Suzanne Corbett. Plus, the king and queen of Mardi Gras will be crowned. From noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
Sunday (Jan. 5):
There are tons of great classes going on this weekend, but this is one of the only ones that isn't already sold out! Learn about New Orleans-style dining with Julie Malloy in this hands-on class. Learn to make Cajun-style barbecue shrimp, mixed greens salad with grits croutons and buttermilk dressing, pan-seared bone-in pork chops on French bread-andouille sausage stuffing with Cajun spices, brown-sugar-glazed carrot bundles tied with a leek strip, bourbon vanilla ice cream with pecan-praline sauce, plus a champagne-bourbon cocktail. From 5 to 7:30 p.m. $125 per couple; register here.
Every Sunday night you can enjoy a feast of local produce and meats at Chaumette Winery in Ste. Genevieve. This week, it's cream of tomato soup, winter greens with boursin croutons and Chambourcin vinaigrette, roasted chicken with a purée of Dempsey Farm winter squash, broccoli gratin and rice and grains . $18 per person, $7.45 for kids twelve and under. Call 573-747-1000 for reservations. From 5 to 8 p.m.
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