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This Week's Top Food Events: Casting Calls and Good Gin

Winter Wines
It’s going to be raining all.week.long, but that’s no excuse to become a hermit. Grab some friends and drop in to the winter wine tasting at 18 Reasons on January 21 from 7-9 p.m.. Bi-Rite Market wine buyer Trac Le will guide you through a tasting of various bottles, all for the nominal fee of $10 ($5 for members).

Clay Pot Conversations
This Saturday, January 23, join Moroccan expert Paula Wolfert in conversation with Patricia Unterman at Omnivore Books. The two old friends will talk about slow cooking, Moroccan food and Wolfert’s latest book, Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking. The event runs from 3-4 p.m. and is free, with reserved seating for anyone who drops by or calls in advance to buy a copy of the book.

Amateur Hour
Calling all foodies—now's your chance to prove that you've got the kitchen skills it takes to compete with other talented aspiring chefs. Gordon Ramsay and the producers of The Biggest Loser are currently casting amateur chefs for a new cooking show called MasterChef. Line up at Sur La Table on Maiden Lane between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on January 24, and bring one prepared dish to be served at room temperature. Professional chefs not allowed.

Economics of Eating
We’ve talked about street food a hundred times in the past year, but we’ve never talked about one important detail: the economics of mobile vending. On January 26, La Cocina program director Caleb Zigas, Let’s Be Frank’s Larry Bain and the SF Health Dep’t will be discussing the formalization of illegal food vendors in San Francisco and who stands to benefit from the process. The event is sponsored by the SF Planning and Urban Research Association, tickets are $20 (free for SPUR members) and the talk begins at 6 p.m. Click here for more details.

Distillery Date
Take a tour of San Francisco’s Distillery 209 on January 27 in the company of the good folks behind BoldItalic.com. This intimate one-on-one with the distiller will be followed, naturally, by a sampling of gin cocktails. The price of admission is $25; for more details click here.