Food and Drinking Events This Weekend: Charity in Chocolate, Adams Morgan Day

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean the fun has to stop.

Become a master of the tailgate after a South American grilling class at Del Campo. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Chances are you’re back from extended Labor Day festivities and facing the reality that August (a.k.a. slacker month) is over. Beat any post-summer blues with a full lineup of weekend events, including a chocolate-centric charity event, cooking classes from two high-profile chefs, and Adams Morgan Day.

All hail the tomato: Jaleo’s Tomatina Festival returns to all three locations Thursday through September 15. (Note that festivities at the Bethesda location, which is under renovation, start later, on September 9.) Head over for summery dishes centered on the fruit, including heirloom tomato salad with Valdeón blue cheese, and seared octopus with caramelized tomatoes. A good drink bet for brunch: white ale mixed with tomato water, lime, and a cumin-salt rim.

Cocoa for a cause: This week’s big ticket event goes down Friday at the Mandarin Oriental: Charity in Chocolate, a benefit for the Heart of America Foundation. You’ll spend the first part of the evening socializing and snacking from tables helmed by more than 50 Washington restaurants, and then watch the chocolate fashion show where models are decked out in cocoa creations. Tickets (starting at $110 per person) are available online.

Wine flows like water: Fancy sipping vino around a fountain? Crystal City launches its annual Wine in the Water Park series on Friday. Drink varietals picked by the Washington Wine Academy, listen to live music, and let the stress of the week wash away.

More wine!: The Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival returns to Reston Town Center on Friday and Saturday. Taste more than 100 kinds of wine in the wine gardens, sample cheeses and olive oil in tasting pavilions, listen to live music and cooking demos, and more. Ticket options vary, starting at $27 per person.

Healthy Chinese cooking class: Ever wish you could replicate dishes from the Source at home? Now you can try after a cooking class at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant led by chef Scott Drewno. The Saturday course runs from 11 to 1, and focuses on the healthier side of Chinese cuisine, due to the chef’s participation in the Fit for Hope challenge. Guests are treated to a glass of sparkling wine during the demos and a family-style lunch after. Call Erica Frank for reservations ($75 per person): 202-637-6106.

Master the grill: Summer may be over, but balmy weather means grilling season is not. Grab one of the few remaining spots for Del Campo’s asado grill class on Saturday at noon, where chef Victor Albisu will guide you through a South American grill menu (perfect for tailgating). After the demos you’ll sit down to a lunch of similar fare, plus wine and cocktails. Reservations are $90, including beverages, tax, and gratuity.

Eat your vegetables: Domenica Marchetti, author of The Glorious Pasta of Italy and other cookbooks, hones in on veggies for her most recent work. She’ll be signing copies of The Glorious Vegetables of Italy at Salt & Sundry on Saturday from 1 to 2:30, where you’ll also be able to buy copies of the book. Admission to the event is free.

Adams Morgan Day: The annual neighborhood festival returns for its 35th year on Sunday from noon until 7. In addition to art vendors and performances on six different stages, look for an array of treats from Sherri’s Crab Cakes, Capital Kettle Corn, Better Than Carolina BBQ, and more. AdMo restaurants are also getting into the spirit, like Cashion’s, which will host drinkers on its patio and offer food and beverage specials all day.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.