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Plus: Two events in Wake County teach how to eat local; mixed beverages get vote in Chatham; Chapel Hill Wine Co. finally has a Web site!

Wake Tech's annual pastry show 

If you're new to the idea of eating local, two events in Wake County this month can help you get started.

The Irregardless Cafe (901 W. Morgan St., Raleigh 833-8898, www.irregardless.com/cafe.html) hosts a lecture and Q&A with N.C. State University professor Jeana Myers April 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Myers, a soil scientist, offers tips on growing your own food, eating seasonally and buying local. Attendees will learn the benefits of eating locally: better taste and nutrition, stronger local economies and relationships with farmers, reduced fossil fuel dependency, and improved animal and land stewardship. For information or to register, contact Katey Ahmann at 733-7450, ext. 531, or e-mail katey.ahmann@ncmail.net.

On April 30, SearStone (106 Walker Stone Drive, Cary, 466-9366, www.searstone.com), a retirement community, hosts "Aging Well by Eating Locally Grown Food," including presentations from Cane Creek Farm and Herons restaurant, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The seminars are free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

Cane Creek Farm is a small, family-owned farm in Snow Camp that practices sustainable agriculture, rotating crops and animals to keep the soil healthy and to keep the animals on fresh forage. Owner Eliza MacLean speaks about locally produced, naturally raised livestock. Herons pastry Chef Daniel Benjamin shares recipes that use local ingredients and can be easily prepared at home.

Speaking of dessert, on April 20, Wake Technical Community College's annual pastry show takes place at the Raleigh Convention Center, wherein professional chefs and culinary arts students from across the state spend the day crafting showpieces in bread dough, pastillage (sugar dough), marzipan and chocolate, among other edible media.

Beginning at 5 p.m., competitors wielding frosting and fondant design cakes representing North Carolina tourist destinations. A $5 ticket to the presentation also admits you to a 6 p.m. reception with cash bar and hors d'oeuvres prepared by Triangle restaurants, including the Angus Barn, 42nd Street Oyster Bar, Mez and Second Empire. Also at the reception, you can peruse the day's winners. Tickets are available in advance by contacting Andrea Mace at avmace@waketech.edu, or calling 866-5839. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, cash or check only. All proceeds benefit the Wake Tech Culinary Arts fund.

Todd Wielar, who owns both Chapel Hill Wine Co. (2809 Homestead Road, 968-1884) and Hillsborough Wine Co. (118 S. Churton St., 732-4343) has, at long last, launched a Web site for both businesses, www.chapelhillwinecompany.com.

And finally, Chatham County fans of spirits stronger than wine and beer get their chance to call for them using the old-fashioned democratic method—a referendum on whether restaurants and other establishments should be allowed to sell liquor by the drink. The question will be decided in a special election on May 5; early voting begins April 16 in Pittsboro. Advocates for the change present information at chathamvote4mixedbeverages.org.

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

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