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New restaurants and happenings 

click to enlarge Edward Espe Brown
  • Edward Espe Brown

"Onions and potatoes, apples and lettuces are intimately interconnected with earth and sky, sun and water." This is an excerpt from the introduction of Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings, a book by Edward Espe Brown, also known as the Zen Chef. He is now the centerpiece of a documentary, How to Cook Your Life, by Doris Dörrie, released in Germany, not yet in the United States. If you have similar beliefs, you might want to see him in action. The California-based Zen priest, chef, author and yogi will be in Durham this week spreading the word, and butter on some bread, perhaps?

A cooking class and dinner combining Zen philosophy and a love of food is Wednesday, May 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Solterra Community Kitchen (98 Solterra Way, Durham). Cost is $50. A baking class and dinner is Thursday, May 3, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Ninth St. Bakery (136 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham, www.ninthstbakery.com). Cost is $40. To register for both, call the Chapel Hill Zen Center at 967-0861.

Brown will also give two free public talks at the Chapel Hill Zen Center (5322 N.C. Hwy. 86, www.intrex.net/chzg). The first is Tuesday, May 2, at 8:15 p.m., the second Sunday, May 6, at 10:30 a.m. For more information, contact Taitaku Pat Phelan at the Zen Center.

Other events happening this week include some vino. The Grape at Cameron Village (403 Daniels St., Raleigh, 833-2669, www.yourgrape.com) hosts a Cinco de Mayo wine tasting Saturday, May 5, 11 a.m. to midnight. Enjoy Sangria (red and white!) and outdoor seating, along with Cinco de Mayo menu options, including homemade chips and salsa and assorted quesadillas. Latin Vibes live music with Steve Hobbs Trio in the wine bar at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, April 28, from 1 to 5 p.m. the Hillsborough Wine Company (118 S. Churton St., Hillsborough, 732-4343) will host a free cheese and wine tasting, featuring local cheeses from Hillsborough Cheese Company (www.southerncheese.com/Pages/hillsborough.html). Owners Cindy and Dorian West produce cheese made from goat's milk (pasteurized and unpasteurized). Cheeses will also be for sale during the tasting.

And Il Palio Ristorante (Siena Hotel, 1505 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 929-4000, www.sienahotel.com) will feature opera at this Sunday's brunch, April 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Members from the Triangle's own Longleaf Opera Company will perform selections from both classical and modern opera literature. $24.95 per person includes tea, coffee, sodas and a complimentary glass of Prosecco.

Know about a special food event in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at food@indyweek.com.

  • California-based Zen priest, chef, author and yogi Edward Espe Brown will be in Durham this week.

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