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Fine Tune Your Kitchen Skills


Cooking classes have been few and far between since the losses of Kandor and Easy Cookin', both of which were once the meccas of casual culinary education. Just recently, however, we've seen a new upswing in classes in downtown Boise. Pottery Gourmet is not only bringing in chefs but has also partnered up with Boise Co-op to present its North End neighbor's culinary education series as well.

If you're just hearing about the classes at the purveyor of Polish stonewear, you missed this week's class with Cristina Ceccatelli, whose eponymous Sun Valley restaurant has a serious reputation. Coming up Thursday, Oct. 15, Randy King tackles a Mediterranean-inspired meal with spinach, shrimp and artichoke tortellini, scallops and feta with orzo, mussels and couscous, Moroccan spiced salmon and a Tuscan polenta apricot rum cake. On Saturday morning, Oct. 17, Betti and Craig Newburn, owners of the Idaho Heritage Inn Bed and Breakfast, teach British scones, pear soup, Danish aebleskivers (pancake puffs) and Danish bacon. It's all about Thai food with Tiziana Lancedelli on Monday, Oct. 19, with a menu straight out of Lancedelli's time studying Thai cuisine in Phuket. And on Thursday, Oct. 29, Reef's Drew Leger goes island style with pomegranate-teriyaki salmon and coconut curry with jasmine rice.

Boise Co-op's classes happen Wednesday nights at Pottery Gourmet and focus on local and sustainable dishes that are easy on the pocketbook. And apparently they are waaaay more popular than anyone was expecting. So far, October's classes are completely sold out with the exception of Wednesday, Oct. 28, when parents and kids can have some fun making Halloween treats with real hunger-inducing names like "Delectable Dirt" and "Creepy Coffin Sandwiches." November's class schedule will be posted at soon, and if you want in on the action, we'd advise you check the site often to ensure you get a space next time around.

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This week's wine and dine

Eagle riverside restaurant Bella Aquila pairs up six wines from Italian winemaker Casa Vinicola Zonin with six courses of Italian food. Start with jumbo sea scallops and a glass of Prosecco Special Cuvee, end with strawberry fig shortbread and a glass of Baccorosa Dolce Spumante, and what you'll have in between includes radicchio salad, beef cheek agnolotti and duck confit.

Thursday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m., $65 per person. Reservations required. Bella Aquila, 775 S. Rivershore Lane, 208-938-1900,