Far beyond chocolate and Valentine’s Day, February is no slouch when it comes to tempting our taste buds. Check out these events including a Lunar New Year buffet benefit, beer tour, and a big, beefy surprise.

Beer tour

Perk up the new year with a closer look at the making of one of Cleveland’s most popular breweries, Great Lake Brewing Company. The $35 per person fee includes a tour of the facility, explanations of hops and malts, tastings, light snacks and a tee-shirt and tasting glass to take home. Grand tour is 7-9 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 1 at the site, 2516 Market Ave., Cleveland, 44113. More at 216-771-4404.


Stone Soup benefit

An “extravagant” Chinese buffet with several serving stations will anchor a Lunar Year Celebration in this Year of the Rooster at Cuyahoga Community College’s Hospitality Management Center on Public Square, Cleveland 6 p.m. Thursday Feb. 2. Tickets are $30 and include a cocktail, entertainment by the Cleveland Chinese Music Ensemble and parking. Wine tasting tickets can be purchased. Proceeds from the event will benefit Stone Soup CLE, which stocks local soup kitchens with excess food from restaurants, grocery stores and vendors. Go online to purchase tickets.

Gift certificate sale

The first-quarter, discounted gift certificate sale happens Thursday from Cleveland Independents, an association of local independently owned restaurants. More online.

Potato dinner

Love potatoes? Chef Jamie Simpson of Culinary Vegetable Institute will be exploring “every possible iteration of the plant” including seed, root, bulb, stem, leaves, pod and bloom in a Vegetable Showcases Dinner Friday Feb. 3 at CVI, 12304 Mudbrook Road, Milan. Tickets are $90 plus tax, for the 6-course dinner. More online or by calling 419-499-7500. Then come back 2 p.m. Sunday Feb. 5 for a three-hour cooking class on Winter Vegetables with demonstrations and tastings. Cost for that is $80 plus tax.


OSU Extension events

Ohio State University Extension wants you to learn more about producing food, and are sponsoring three key educational events this month: Specialty Crops Conference near Cincinnati on Tuesday Feb. 7; Ohio Grape Growers Conference, Monday Feb. 20 and Tuesday Feb. 21 at Embassy Suites in Dublin, and Ohio Hops Conference and Trade Show, Friday and Saturday Feb. 24 and 25 in Piketon.

Mustard Seed Market

“The Betasus Healing Power of Plants,” film screenings, talks and making of herbal remedies, runs in all three Mustard Seed Market locations in February. See the film 6 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 7 at 3885 West Market St., Montrose; 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at 867 West Market St. (Highland Square) Akron and 6 p.m. Thursday Feb. 9 at 6025 Kruse Dr., Solon. See it again 6:30 p.m. Feb 16 at Sharon Center United Methodist Church, 6407 Ridge Road, 44281, and learn how to make an herbal remedy. Learn more online.

Vitamix class

Did you get a Vitamix for the holidays and need some help using it? The Vitamix Store, 6134 Kruse Dr., Solon, 44139 hosts culinary classes 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday Feb. 7 with others the first and third Tuesday of every month. Basic recipes and core blending techniques will be taught including peanut butter, hummus and salad dressing. Class fee is $49, and others are offered for more specialized techniques. Go online to sign up, or call 440-782-2002.

Brunch with a Farmer

When was the last time you actually talked with a farmer? Ohio Farm Bureau hopes it can happen 9-11 a.m. Saturday Feb. 11 at Lorain County Community College, 1005 North Abbe Road, Elyria. Several farmers will be in attendance and some will speak, including the owners of Red Wagon Farm. Brunch, prepared by the college’s culinary arts students, is $10, with a partial refund at the door, and when you bring a nonperishable food item for Second Harvest Food Bank. Register by Feb. 10 online or by calling 440-877-0706.

Brie the Change

Well Done Catering, 25022 Center Ridge Road, Westlake, hosts a four-course dinner, Brie the Change, to benefit programs that help teens leaving foster care Thursday Feb. 23. Tickets are $65, and you can bring your own wine or beer.

There’s the beef

Chefs from Lola, Warren’s Spirited Kitchen, Momocho, The Plum Cafe & Kitchen, Hook and Hoof, Brim, Willoughby Brewing Company and Sol will cook for Wholey Cow, noon-10 p.m. Sunday Feb. 26 at Sol restaurant, 38257 Glenn Ave., Willoughby. Tickets are $75 and include beef, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free buffet items, musical entertainment, all you can drink Platform beer and a commemorative tee-shirt. No reservation is necessary but you can buy a ticket in advance online or by calling 440-918-1596.

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