With diners cutting back on eating out, there’s only one conclusion: They will be cooking at home more, which means we may also need to hone our cooking skills. Central Market to the rescue with a battery of classes, including one by the popular chef of Mac & Ernie’s in Tarpley (February 2), an international take from Russian chef Natalya Sokolova (February 3 & 20), Fabulous Flavors from Jason Dady (February 9), and full-flavor, low-fat dishes from Terry Conlan, chef at Lake Austin Spa Resort (February 12). (There are also several classes by CM staffers, including one on knife skills that A-B desperately needs to take.) Of course, there’s always the let-them-eat-chocolate antidote to deprivation, which can be investigated February 6-8 at CM’s annual Chocolate Festival. (210) 368-8617.
Then there’s the to-hell-with-it-all-let’s-drink approach, and this urge, too, can be satisfied in the guise of scotch tastings held at Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse the first Tuesday of each month. According to sommelier Sam Miller, the group has become quite congenial, and upcoming sessions include Glenrothes in February and Irish whiskeys in March. The cost is $25, the benefits — priceless.