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On Thursday, April 19th, River Oaks executive chef Ben Vaughn teams up with local chefs for "Ben and Friends Cook for the Cure." Among those "friends" are Erling Jensen and Justin Young (Erling Jensen), Stephen Hassinger (The Inn at Hunt Phelan), Jason Severs (Bari Ristorante), Antony Field (Timbeaux's on the Square), Jackson Kramer (Interim), and Clay Lichterman (Grille 83).

The Cook for the Cure dinner raises money and awareness for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Launched in 2001, Cook for the Cure, a partnership between KitchenAid and the Komen Foundation, has raised more than $3 million to help the fight against breast cancer. For Vaughn, this isn't just about bringing the event to the Mid-South. It's also a meaningful way to mark River Oaks' first anniversary. Tickets for the dinner are $150, and all proceeds will benefit the Memphis affiliate of the Komen Foundation.

For more information and reservations, call River Oaks.

River Oaks, 5871 Poplar (683-9305)

For the second of its First Friday Wine Tasting Series, on Friday, April 13th, at 6:30 p.m., Lulu Grille is offering a "Big Valley"-themed menu and wines from Sonoma County. The three-course meal features smoked- salmon canapés, goat-cheese and chive tartlets, and Serrano ham-wrapped asparagus as appetizers paired with Gloria Ferrer Brut (Sonoma County NV). Grilled mahi filet, roasted pheasant breast, and grilled rack of lamb are the entrée choices, each paired with a different wine. The dinner will be rounded out with imported cheeses and fruit to be paired with Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County 2004). Scott DeLamere is in charge of the food at Lulu Grille and also designed the menu for the dinner; John Adams with Star Distributors selected the wines.

Cost for the dinner on April 13th is $55 per person plus tax and gratuity. Dates for the next Friday Wine Tasting are May 4th and June 1st.

Lulu Grille, 565 Erin (763-3677)

Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of the public-radio series The Splendid Table, will be at Davis-Kidd Booksellers to celebrate WKNO's 35th Birthday Bash on Friday, April 13th. Rossetto Kasper has written for The New York Times, Food & Wine, and Bon Appétit, among other publications, and was named one of the 12 best cooking teachers in America by the James Beard Foundation. The Splendid Table, her first book, is the only book to receive Cookbook of the Year awards from both Julia Child/IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) and the James Beard Foundation. If you miss her at WKNO's birthday party, you can catch her show on Sunday mornings at 10 on WKNO-FM.

Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., are $35 and include a complimentary martini from Swig. Dan Gediman, of the public-radio series This I Believe, will be another special guest for the evening. Party guests will receive a 20 percent discount on most items in the store and can enjoy food by Davis-Kidd's Brontë bistro while mingling and chatting with Rossetto Kasper and Gediman. Tickets can be purchased at Davis-Kidd or by calling 325-6560.

Davis-Kidd Booksellers, 387 Perkins Ext.

(683-9801)

This year, Brooks Uncorked, the museum's annual celebration of wine, food, and culture, is honoring Spain with Viva España. The event, on Friday, April 13th, at 7 p.m., will feature Spanish wine, food, and dance. Tickets are $100 for Brooks members and $125 for nonmembers (a portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible). To purchase tickets, call 544-6209 or visit www.brooksmuseum.org.

If Spain isn't your thing, you might want to stop by the Brushmark for lunch to try the restaurant's new spring menu. Arugula salad with beet "Carpaccio" candied pistachios and creamy goat-cheese dressing, fried green tomato BLT, and root-vegetable tarte Tatin with goat-cheese and black-olive vinaigrette are just a few of the fresh additions.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art,

1934 Poplar (544-6200)

The Peabody's Chez Philippe will present a Taste of Thailand dinner on April 19th from 6 to 10 p.m. Chef Reinaldo Alfonso will introduce diners to the five basic flavors of Thai cuisine — spicy, salty, sweet, sour, and bitter — and its Indian and Chinese influences. The five-course menu will feature such dishes as tom kha gai, som tum, pad ga pow, and the popular pad thai. Cost is $65 plus tax and gratuity.

Chez Philippe, 149 Union (529-4188)

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