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Seminars and classes 

Mid-January. Sigh. It's time to stop hoovering cookies like it's mid-December, consider healthier food and maybe even ... learn something?

Duke and UNC are offering six free seminars on sustainable food systems. Staff and faculty at the two campuses have collaborated to produce the lectures, which are open to the public.

The Robertson Seminars on Sustainable Food Systems will take place every other Wednesday evening starting Jan. 21, alternating between Duke's Love Auditorium and Room 116 in UNC's Murphey Hall. The series aims to raise awareness and interest in food sources, and in the relative economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of various food production practices.

Each week features a different topic presented by guest speakers, such as local restaurant, business and farm owners and operators, as well as researchers, educators and nonprofit leaders.

The Jan. 21 meeting at Duke, "Emerging and Value-Added Industries," will feature talks by representatives of Benjamin Vineyards & Winery, Sari Sari Sweets and Chapel Hill Creamery. Other topics in the series include retailing, food security and access, and education and research. For more information, e-mail

Or on to one of the 100 (100!) vlog episodes that Cary-based chef Todd Mohr has posted online. Mohr, founder of Savor Hospitality ( and The Cooking School, launched "Cooking Coarse" in August, and just posted the centennial episode last week. Mohr's philosophy—in person and online—is to teach cooking methods, not recipes. So, in each 10-minute vlog, he goes through the steps of preparing a dish—say, dry-cured salmon (episode 94) or pasta dough (episode 98). He also wears funny hats.

Mohr now has students logging in from all over the world, even Latvia. "Every day I look forward to the comments, questions and words of encouragement from viewers who are fed up with the frustration of the written recipe and want to practice standard cooking methods," he said in a release. "I'm already planning episode 500, and thinking about number 1,000." Vlog on, Todd. Check him out at

Whole Foods Market in Raleigh (3540 Wade Ave., 828-5805, has two cooking classes coming up. From 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Jan. 22, Chef Sheri Castle will hold forth on making hearty winter stews, both meat-based and vegetarian. Samples and a wine pairing will be served. Cost is $20, and pre-registration is required. From 4 to 5 p.m. Jan. 27, Megan Ricketts will teach an introductory kids' class for ages 5 to 9. On the syllabus are basic techniques to help kids help whoever's cooking. Parents are welcome. Cost is $5, and pre-registration is required.

Also, A Southern Season (U.S. 15-501 and Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, 929-7133, hosts "Fridays Uncorked" every Friday at 5 p.m. These are a chance to taste and learn about a specific grape, growing region or food pairing. Pouring Jan. 16: wines of the Loire Valley. Cost: $15.

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


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