Wine and Art Mecca
There aren't many places in the world where you can drink world-class Riesling and see a piece of art that caused a culture war. A new destination is this $80 million, 64,500-square-foot new art museum, built by gambling mogul David Walsh to house his massive contemporary-art collection. On display are works by Damien Hirst, Sir Sidney Nolan (his Snake, top left, consists of 1,620 paintings) and Chris Ofili, whose elephant dungencrusted portrait of the Virgin Mary was called "sick" by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Located on-site are Walsh's excellent Moorilla winery, brewery, restaurant and eight artist-designed "accommodation pavilions"even more reasons to make the trip. mona.net.au.
The best and most scenic way to reach the MONA complex is a 45-minute ferry ride up the Derwent River from the Tasmanian capital, Hobart.
Culinary Classes: Pasta Crash Course
Food and drink pros teach amateurs how to make fresh pasta, martinis and more.
By Kate Krader
Pasta Crash Course
Flour + Water, San Francisco In the restaurant's Dough Room, chef Thomas McNaughton teaches a three-part pasta curriculum, from beginner (flat noodles) to advanced (stuffed pasta). The fee includes dinner and pasta to take home.
Pasta classes, $220.
Flash Kitchen; Portland, OR With sponsorship from Whole Foods and help from local chefs, food writer Mike Thelin hosts free cooking classes in parks and schools throughout the city.
Free classes; facebook.com/WholeFoodsMarketPortland.
Love Apple Farms; Santa Cruz, CA Blogger Pim Techamuanvivit and famed Manresa chef David Kinch offer tours of his kitchen-garden farm, plus cooking lessons and a meal.
Cooking classes, $145.
Whistler, Chicago On Sunday afternoons at his Logan Square bar, mixologist Paul McGee teaches students the cocktail basicssyrups, garnishes, tools. He also serves them three great drinks and sends them off with a copy of his recipe book.
Cocktail classes, $95
Bookstores for Food Lovers
Heirloom Book Company For people who want to eat their food and read about it too, this new shop has books on food and wine and out-of-print cookbooks, alongside antique kitchen tools and seeds from local chef Sean Brock of McCrady's. After-hours, the homey Heirloom hosts small in-store dinners cooked by chefs from all around the South.
V&A Reading Rooms This stand-alone shop run by the Victoria and Albert Museum lures in readers with its books on design and art. It gets them to stay with a small menu of snacks (olives, lemon almonds) and organic wines chosen by Duncan Ackery to drink while (carefully) perusing the stacks.