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Foodie season starts with Vegan Thanksgiving

Foodie season is in full swing with events popping up across South Florida.

Vegan Thanksgiving: Brook Katz has been organizing South Florida vegan events for years. But his Zero Turkey Fest, 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, is his most ambitious. The first 225 to email or call 954-971-4432 will be treated to a community vegan Thanksgiving dinner at Tamarac Community Center, 8601 W. Commercial Blvd. Katz says Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to introduce veganism. "It's such a big meat eating holiday," he says. "I do this to draw attention to the plight of the turkey itself. The turkeys that we eat look nothing like a turkey in the wild." Along with Tofurky and gravy, there will be sundried tomato pâté, candied yams, cranberry relish, chestnut stuffing, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.

Book signing: Chef Jess Schenker grew up in Parkland and graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School before making his way to the kitchen at Big City Tavern in Fort Lauderdale. These days, he's owner of two award winning New York City restaurants, The Gander and recette, and the married father of two. But in his new book, "All or Nothing: One Chef's Appetite for the Extreme," Schenker reveals that it was cooking that saved him from drug addiction. OxyContin, crack and heroin were all he knew at one point in his life in South Florida. Schenker will sign books at Big City (609 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-727-0307, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, while guests enjoy complimentary wine and light bites.

Sneak peak restaurant pop-up: Restaurateur Burt Rapoport is opening a new restaurant with chef David Blonsky. Called Apeiro, it opens in December at Delray Marketplace in Delray Beach. But at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24, the pair are hosting a preview at Apeiro with a $60 five-course prix-fixe dinner at Burt & Max's Bar and Grill, right next door to the soon-to-open Apeiro. The meal will provide a look at some of Blonsky's menu. Dishes include Moroccan spiced lamb ribs, Whole roasted branzino and Sweet potato bombolini. Reservations are required. Call 561-638-6380.

Swank Table: For the fifth year in a row, Swank Specialty Produce owners Jodi and Darrin

Swank invite guests to a monthly series of chef-driven dinners and tours of their hydroponic growing houses in Loxahatchee. Each dinner benefits a different charitable cause. The first dinner, 4-8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, is called 50 Eggs Down on the Farm and features chef Clayton Miller, culinary director for the 50 Eggs Group. The group owns Khong River House, Yardbird Southern Table and Bar in Miami Beach and Swine Southern Table and Bar in Coral Gables. Joining Miller are: Richard Paladino from Virginia Philip Wine Shop and Academy in West Palm Beach; Philip McDaniel and Mike Diaz of St. Augustine Distillery; and Boca Raton's Mark Spivak, author of "Moonshine Nation." Adopt-a-family is the dinner's beneficiary. For the complete schedule, visit or 954-356-4632.

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