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Weekend Eats: Cooking on Food Stamps, Pasta Making with Pros, and Wine in the South Bay

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The weekend is so close you can practically taste it. Here are the edible events going on in the next few days to keep you occupied -- and sated, for that matter.

Cooking on Food Stamps: There's been a lot of talk about a lack of access to good food as of late. Thankfully, Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) is aiming to change that. They are hosting a challenge and panel discussion will demonstrate how to shop and prepare delicious meals with fresh produce no matter what your budget. Nyesha Arrington, former Top Cheftestant and Executive Chef at Wilshire Restaurant, will be joining Laura Avery, Santa Monica Farmers Market Supervisor; Stefano de Lorenzo, Executive Chef at La Botte; Andy Fisher, founder of the Community Food Security Coalition; Pam O'Connor, Mayor, Santa Monica; and Frank Tamborello, director of Hunger Action Los Angeles for a cooking challenge that will (hopefully) demonstrate that a delicious vegetarian dish for four can be made on a food stamp budget.

Instead of being nitpicked by Tom Colicchio, the competition will be judged by three people from the audience. It will be followed by a discussion of chronic food insecurity in this country. The event will start on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the intersection of 3rd and Arizona at the Saturday market, where the chefs will shop for their goods, and the competition will take place at Gourmandise in The Market at Santa Monica Place. The class and panel are free and open to the public. For more information and to register visit their site or call 310-656-8800.

Le Fooding comes to L.A.: Le Grand Fooding Crush is bringing their epic Parisian food festival to the MOCA this weekend, with a special playlist made by David Lynch and appearances from the likes of Shepherd Fairey. The outdoor picnic will welcome four chefs from France, and four from Los Angeles. The French chefs include Jean-François Piège (JF Piège), Inaki Aizpitarte (Le Chateaubriand), Grégory Marchand (Frenchie), and Sven Chartier (Saturne). As for the Angelenos, it's Nancy Silverston (Mozza), Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mecs), Roy Choi (Kogi BBQ), Josef Centeno (Baco Mercat), Jordan Kahn (Red Medicine), Carolynn Spence (Château Marmont). The event is sold out, but it's definitely something to have on your radar. And they've been doing ticket competitions, so if you follow them on social media, maybe they'll release a few more. You can visit their site here.

Wine Festival in the South Bay: Fifty of California’s most notable wineries will take over South Bay’s boutique Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach this Sunday. Eono-geeks will get a chance to mix and mingle with Opus One Winemaker Michael Silacci and other California winemakers and winery personalities as they pour their latest vintages. The festival runs from 4-7 p.m. There will also be a pre-festival Magnum Reserve Tasting from 3-4 p.m. Tickets are $125/person general admission from 4-7 p.m. and $200/person to also attend Magnum Reserve Wine Tasting from 3-4 p.m.) Proceeds from the event will benefit Manhattan Beach Middle School programs. To get your tix, call 310-546-4995 or visit their site here.

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Pasta-making with the pros: When it comes to authentic Italian cooking, the conversation starts and ends with the four simple ingredients: flour, eggs, salt, and olive oil. But it's how you treat those few things that differentiates the pros from the newbs. Expert chefs Celestino Drago and Ian Gresik over at Drago Centro in Downtown L.A. will be teaching private pasta-making lessons on the fundamentals this weekend in an interactive event. The class is $69 and includes plenty of carb-a-licious eats, and takes place this Sunday at 1 p.m. (If you can't make it this weekend, there area also classes on May 5 and May 19 at 1 p.m.) Get your tickets here.