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Feeling Festive



If the food feature on page 44 has whet your appetite, check out the fourth annual New Year Festival presented by the Greater Memphis United Chinese Association Saturday, January 28th, at the University of Memphis.

The event will include two performances showcasing Chinese dance and music at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Rose Theatre. After each show, samples of traditional New Year's fare will be provided at the University Center. There will also be karaoke, ballroom dancing, and Chinese movies. Tickets for the festival are $8 to $15 and include the food. For tickets, call 452-0188 or 462-3084. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

On Sunday, February 19th, at 6:30 p.m., the association will host its annual New Year's banquet fund-raiser at the China Inn Restaurant at 2820 Covington Pike. For $50 per person (or $400 for a table of 10), you get eight courses of Chinese specialties. The meal is served family-style, so if you aren't coming with your own family, be prepared to make new friends. For tickets, call China Inn Restaurant at 383-8211.

Chocolate lovers, this one's for you: the Chocolate Fantasy Weekend, presented by the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee. The three-day event begins at 7 p.m. Friday, January 27th, at Encore with a dinner and auction featuring a special menu created by Jose Gutierrez. Auction items include chocolate gift packages and a private tasting with Chloe Doutre-Roussel, a London-based buyer, taster, and author of The Chocolate Connoisseur. Tickets are $125 per person.

It was Doutre-Roussel who helped recruit other experts for the "Chocolate Academy," a new, daylong event being held at The Peabody on Saturday, January 28th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The academy will feature a demonstration by pastry chef Andre Renard of the Sug'Art Artistic School and lectures by Frederick Schilling, founder of the socially conscious Dagoba Organic Chocolates, and Steve DeVries, owner of DeVries Chocolate, plus much more. Tickets are $125.

Also on Saturday, at Oak Court Mall from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is the Chocolate Fantasy Chocolate Tasting. Now in its 22nd year, the event draws more than 1,000 people and features samples from 31 vendors, including Godiva, Cafe Toscana, and City Bakery. Tickets are $16 in advance and $18 on the day of the event.

Closing out the weekend is a Sunday brunch at Encore at 11 a.m. Tickets are $50.

For more information, call the Kidney Foundation at 683-6185.

On Tuesday, January 31st, from 5 to 9 p.m., it's Celebrity Waiter Night at Boscos Squared, a fund-raiser for the Ronald McDonald House. Among the celebrity waiters are the Memphis Grizzlies dancers, Rock 103's Wake-Up Crew, and Rocky the Redbird. For more information, call 432-2222.

The theme is "Icy Hot" at this month's Tuesday on the Terrace, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Memphis Botanic Garden. The wine tasting will feature gluhwein, a hot wine punch, as well as champagne and iced wines. Tickets are $20 for Botanic Garden members, $30 for nonmembers. Call 685-1566, ext. 107, to make reservations.

Also on Wednesday, February 1st, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Miss Cordelia's, there's a Wine Tasting Showdown. Participants will be given a scorecard and asked to rank a selection of six wines. The cost is $10, which includes samples of breads from local baker Sheri McKelvie and imported cheeses. Call 526-4772 for more information.

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