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The Week in Food: Mission YMCA Benefit, DIY Mead, Des Jardins Does Heirloom, and Wine Dinners

Orange blossom mead from baka_san/Flickr

Thursday, March 24

Gather at the third annual Mercedes-Benz Sip and Savor Benefit to nibble on local artisan favorites like TCHO chocolate and Boccalone salumi and a huge selection of top-notch wines, all benefiting the families and programs at the Mission YMCA. The event goes from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature a menu from CHAYA Brasserie and chef Srijith Gopinathan of Campton Place. Regular tickets are $80, but a $140 VIP ticket gets you swag and an etched glass to sample special reserve wines. 500 Eighth St.

Saturday, March 26

Bar Bambino draws their Produttori del Barbaresco week to a close, offering regional vintages from 2004 and 2005 for half price. Reservations are recommended for the Piemontese Alpine-themed a la carte menu with choices between a fonduta, a fricassee of snails and wild mushrooms, and more, all for under $15. 2931 16th St.

Tuesday, March 29

City Bee’s Robert MacKimmie hosts Makin’ Mead: The Nectar of the Gods workshop. Learn how to mix up your own mead honey wine, along with other honey-based concoctions. The 6 p.m. lesson ($54) comes with samples and recipes, as well as a gallon jug to ferment. Women’s Building, 3543 18th St.

Also, Jardiniere’s Tracy Des Jardins will be guest chef at Heirloom Cafe, alongside owner Matt Straus. Expect signature Heirloom dishes cooked by Straus, as well as a menu of Monterey Bay squid, white beans, and spring vegetables, Liberty Farms duck confit, and early spring strawberry shortcake prepared by Des Jardins. 2500 Folsom St.

Wednesday, March 30

Kicking off their monthly wine dinners this week, Local: Mission Eatery has winemakers Hardy Wallace and Kevin Kelley of Natural Process Alliance talking shop and sampling a few hand-selects from 2010. Local’s full menu will be available, along with a few custom chef pairings. 3111 24th St.

Coming up in April

It’s not too soon to buy tickets for Taste of the Nation 2011. Star chefs and mixologists will come together to raise money for Share Our Strength’s fight against hunger for Bay Area children. The event will be held April 7 at the swanky Bently Reserve, and all proceeds from tickets ($95-500) go toward grants for local food organizations. 301 Battery St.