Rose Burtchby, former chef at Ventura's City Bakery, will visit her old stomping grounds Monday when she presents a "Ways With Garlic" cooking demonstration.
Burtchby will prepare an extensive menu of garlic-enhanced items including garlic herb oil, bagna cauda (a sauce of garlic, butter, olive oil and anchovies) garlic soup with sweet Italian sausage, low-fat garlic and ricotta dip, garlic bread pudding and garlic cheese popcorn. Wine will accompany the dishes.
Students will receive 10 pages of recipes to make on their own. The class will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Cost is $35. Class size is limited, so Burtchby is taking reservations with a $10 deposit. The restaurant is at 2358-G E. Main St. Call 643-0861 or 648-6341.
Food preservation will be the theme Saturday at the Amestoy House Cooking School in Ojai when Sharon Swearingen, a certified master food preserver, presents a lecture and demonstration.
Swearingen will discuss canning, pickling, freezing and dehydrating, and offer samples of jams, pickles, jellies and chutneys.
Cheryl Amestoy, director of Amestoy House, said preserving was particularly popular when folks were more accustomed to growing their own fruits and vegetables. But, she said, the art still has a place in today's store-bought food world.
"Everybody has seen relatives with canning jars in the pantry," Amestoy said. "But even if you're not growing your own produce, buy them in bulk at the farmers' markets so you save money, and then save them for the winter."
Amestoy said the benefits of canning can be found not only in the wallet, but also in the taste of canned goods.
"A lot of store-bought canned fruits and vegetables have so much sugar or salt," she said. "If you are doing the canning process, you determine what goes into it. You control what you're eating better."
Class time is 1 to 4 p.m. Cost is $35. Amestoy House is at 8950 Highway 150. Call 646-7970 for more information.
Nicola Rossetto, former co-owner of the now-defunct Pastabilities restaurant in Westlake, is back in the restaurant business, but this time outside Ventura County.
Rossetto and partner Anthony Fasula earlier this summer opened Il Teatro Ristorante at 19563 Ventura Blvd. in Tarzana.
"It's northern Italian and continental cuisine," said Rossetto, a native of Venice, Italy. "We've got Hawaiian seafood, Italian pasta. We decided to do something different."
On the Italian side of the menu there are such dishes as pasta e fagioli; capellini with fresh tomato, basil garlic and olive oil; baby pasta shells served with porcini mushrooms in a light tomato sauce; and tagliolini pasta with zucchini, rock shrimp, tomatoes and herbs.
On the continental side, there is Norwegian salmon in parchment paper with julienne vegetables, lemon and herbs; and blackened ahi tuna encrusted with pink peppercorns and served with spicy soy, wasabi and ginger.
About 16 restaurants will lend a hand and a dish to the Ventura County Maritime Museum's benefit auction and buffet Sunday at Bahia Cabrillo Yacht Club at Channel Islands Harbor.
Folks bidding on weekend getaways, jewelry and other items will also come away with full stomachs.
Among the dishes on the day's menu are pizza from Filomena's restaurant, curried rice salad from Yasmeen's Indian restaurant, a sausage and pasta entree from Buon Appetito, crudites from The Greek at the Harbor, Caesar salad from Kona Ranch House, antipasto from La Dolce Vita and cheesecake and assorted other desserts from Whale's Tail.
Tickets are $10, with the proceeds benefiting the museum. Call 984-6260. The yacht club is at 4220 S. Harbor Blvd.