Puerto Rican cooking class: Jose Adorno from Graffiato heads up the first in a new cooking class series at G by Mike Isabella. In this small course, hosted on Monday and Tuesday from 6:30 to 9:30, Adorno will teach participants how to make Puerto Rican dishes such as arroz con pollo and tostones rellenos. Complimentary wine will be served throughout the demonstration, as well as samples of the dishes. Tickets ($75) are available online.
Culinary panel: Industree hosts a Tuesday afternoon discussion from 2 to 5 with chefs and restaurateurs including Ashok Bajaj, Roberto Donna, Ari Gejdenson, and more, focusing on their war stories, trials, and successes. Drinks and small bites are served along with the conversation about how each panelist has developed his or her brand. Tickets ($15-$50) may be purchased online, or at the door.
Seeing stars: The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour returns to Washington with a stop at Del Campo on Wednesday. The cocktail reception and prix-fixe meal is prepared by a host of local and international big-name chefs, including Jamie Bissonnette of Boston’s Coppa and Toro, Erik Bruner-Yang (Toki Underground), Antonio Soriano from Astor Bistro in Buenos Aires, Michael Schlow (Tico), and many more. The event starts at 6:30; tickets ($195 per person) are available online.
Baby in the cake: Ever wondered why it’s customary to put a baby inside of a Mardi Gras king cake? Interested in the history of revelry before Lent? Such questions are answered on Wednesday from 6:45 to 8:45 at the National Museum of African Art by historian Emily Landau. The author speaks about her book, Spectacular Wickedness: Sex, Race, and Memory in Storyville, New Orleans, and discusses the meaning of “global party of food.” King cake will, of course, be served. Smithsonian members receive special pricing at $30; general admission is $42 (available online).
Hone your coffee skills: Coffee fans can head to Tryst Coffeehouse on Thursday night for Thursday Night Throwdown, featuring latte art competitions between local baristas. Enjoy live music from 7 to 9 courtesy of Gramophonic, and bring a date to kick off the Valentine’s weekend with bar specials and $1 coffee from 9 to close.
Visit with a brewer: Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing Company drops into ChurchKey on Thursday from noon to 4 with two new limited-release sour beers: Currant Affair and Monmouth Red. You’ll also find another 12 Allagash brews on tap. Admission is free and open to the public, with beers priced per pour.
Bubbly delight: Righteous Cheese gives couples a new way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with Friday and Saturday evening classes (7 and 8, respectively). Fromager Carolyn Stromberg leads a course (limited to 30 participants) on pairing cheese with Champagne. Besides imbibing, you’ll learn the history and story behind each of the cheeses, as well as try Co Co. Sala chocolates and cocoa-covered figs. Tickets, available online, are $69 for Friday and $78 for Saturday.
Old-school cocktails: Buffalo & Bergen serves an old-fashioned cocktail flight on Friday and Saturday, featuring four beverages designed to tell the story of a couple’s relationship: flavor profiles range from light to fiery and bitter. Served on a preserved wooden board, participants will be given the opportunity to sign their plank and memorialize the experience. Tickets are $40 before tax and gratuity.
Valentine’s Day: The most romantic (or, to some, dreaded) day of the year is here. Valentine’s Day is Saturday, and restaurants and bars are celebrating all weekend long with special menus, themed meals, and more. No reservations yet? Check out what our Top 25 restaurants have planned, which include a number of casual and no-reservations spots for the romance-averse. On the other hand, for those who like excess, there are some insane desserts out there, not to mention a $1,500 catered meal that comes with gold handcuffs.