This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

 Thursday, February 24

It started innocently enough--watching occasional Great Chefs episodes on PBS. Then the Food Network came along, and we were no longer satisfied with whisks from Target and 30-year-old waffle irons. We wanted the prized KitchenAid mixer, and we wanted all the accessories. Watching Rachel Ray make fresh pasta made our envy grow ever stronger. The Salamander on Iron Chef made us green. We wanted Henckel, Viking, and we wanted Sub-Zero. Problem is, we're broke. That translates roughly into "no high-end appliances." But there's a silver lining for one evening: The Westye Group offers a Culinary Classic Chef Series class featuring chef Michael Napier (formally of Aquaknox) for a night of food-fixing and wine-pairing. And what does the class get to use? That's right, deep breaths, Sub-Zero and Wolf products--as in "luxury appliances." Now if that doesn't knead our dough, the best part is that the Thursday class from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. is free (The Westye Group is located at 2615 E. Belt Line Road in Carrollton). Reservations are required, though, so call 972-416-6677.

Friday, February 25

Mind the fingers: These chefs get choppin', 
Cookin' and groovin'--all without injury, we 
hope.
Mind the fingers: These chefs get choppin', Cookin' and groovin'--all without injury, we hope.

Watching the airing of Steve Martin receiving the American Cinematheque Award was both funny and touching, much like many of Martin's films. But the most amazing thing was seeing just how much work the man has put out there. And now he's taken on the classic role of Inspector Clouseau for MGM's upcoming The Pink Panther. Some would say there's no use even trying to re-create Peter Sellers' bumbling Frenchman, but after seeing a clip on the ACA broadcast, we suspect the Jerk will do just fine. In the clip, Clouseau visits a speech therapist to perfect an American accent, and somehow, repetition of the phrase "I would like to buy a hamburger" escalates into a scene so hysterically funny, we ended up crying. So, good on ya there, cousin. We toast you...and so does Kismet, 3707 Greenville Ave., as the lounge hosts a Pink Panther Party in honor of the new film from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday. Guests are encouraged to wear all pink as they sip $3 XO Vodka pink martinis and shimmy to Pink Panther-style music. There's no cover, and the event is 21 and up. Call 214-823-8883.

Saturday, February 26

Pet owners know the expenses sometimes associated with parenting fur babies. But they also know that the expense is well worth it when the little critters return the favor with unconditional love, sweet kisses on the nose and intense loyalty. Lexee's Legacy Animal Rescue and WoofGang Doggy Daycare know the power of puppy love, so they're hosting the Mutt Tub Scrub event to help raise funds for medical treatment needed by two of Lexee's rescued dogs, Hogan and Polar Bear. In order to treat the two babes, the Carrollton doggy day care will offer baths for donations from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with all the proceeds benefiting Hogan and Polar Bear. Customers will not only have the opportunity to return home with clean pups, but they can also meet Hogan and Polar Bear and see just how the contributions will help. WoofGang is located at 2625 Old Denton Road, Suite 336. Call 972-978-3484.

Sunday, February 27

As we type this, we wonder if James Van Praagh knows that we just deleted an entire line and rephrased this entire sentence. We wonder because Van Praagh is a spiritual medium, but we're not clear just how that differs from being a psychic. After watching too many episodes of Psychic Detective and now Medium, we know how well such people communicate with the dead, but we want to know how well they communicate with the living. We hope we can get in not only a shout-out to our granddaddy but also a little info on the illustrious medium who has graced the stages of Entertainment Tonight, Larry King Live and Today and now Dallas' own Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel, 900 E. Lookout Drive, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For tickets, call 1-877-300-7352 or check out www.CelebrateYourLife.org.

Monday, February 28

For a mere $17 to $20, the foodies willing to venture into the suburbs can experience something truly amazing. At first, we thought it a mistake, a typo, maybe even a smudge. "Get out! Shut up!" we exclaimed, but the number was correct. The Taste of Plano event Monday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. will feature a 60,000-square-foot buffet. Seriously. Yes, while making scholarships possible (more than 70 were awarded last year), we can check out silent auctions, live music and (we gotta say this again) a 60,000-square-foot buffet with food from more than 50 restaurants. We can't even wrap our minds around that, much less calculate the length of the sneeze guard. The grand event takes place at Southfork Ranch, 3700 Hogge Road in Parker. Call 214-205-8005.

Tuesday, March 1

And speaking of food, why doesn't cooking involve more dancing and choreographed flailing of utensils? In the world of the Dallas Summer Musicals Broadway Contemporary Series, it does. The stage of the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., will take on appliances, knives, cabbage and assorted syncopated steps during the run of Cookin' , a production that CBS Sunday Morning called a blend of Benihana, Jackie Chan, Marx Brothers and STOMP. The setting is in a restaurant kitchen with four Korean chefs preparing for a wedding banquet--non-verbally, we might add--while a crazy matre d' is on their asses to get a move on. And they do indeed. The run is for eight performances only from Tuesday through Sunday. For tickets ($16 to $50), call 214-631-ARTS.

Wednesday, March 2

Painters and photographers are often trying to achieve the "perfect light" in works. That can mean anything from the light falling on a subject to the brightness of white paint. But what to think of artists who use light as their medium? Unusual, no doubt, but in Dan Flavin's case, brilliant. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., presents Dan Flavin: A Retrospective, open through June 5. The exhibition plays host to Flavin's luminous sculptures, many of which are made with fluorescent lightbulbs and little else. Other works include Flavin's "icons," which combine constructions with incandescent and fluorescent lighting, "monuments" that use white lamps or ultraviolet light, plus works on paper (from plans and diagrams to portraits). The installations can take over a room or simply light a small, thin area. Who knew that there could be so many versions of "perfect light"? The special exhibition is included in regular admission fees. Call 817-738-9215.

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