|Chefs Jason Cichonski and Robert Aikens prepare for the Philly Burger Brawl|
As we come up on prime grilling season, spend an evening at Davio’s raising your barbecue IQ. Over three courses of smoky, saucy fare (think pulled pork sliders on bacon bit buns, smoked oxtail and fried mac ‘n’ cheese), Wicked Good Barbecue author Andy Husbands will hold forth on the best ways to make your cookout a success. Along with a buzz from the paired wines and hearty fare, you’ll walk away with a signed copy of the cookbook. Call for reservations (6:30 PM; $85; 215-563-4810).
Sycamore chef Sam Jacobson will spend all day Monday at Green Meadow Farm, picking, pulling and harvesting fresh goods that catch his eye. He’ll cart the bounty back to his Lansdowne BYO, where he’ll prepare an impromptu feast that showcases the best of the local ingredients. Farm staff will be on hand to discuss the benefits of eating locally grown goods (7 PM; $55; 484-461-2867).
Risotto is not a complex dish, but its characteristic creamy-and-toothy texture is tricky to execute properly. Spring Mills Cafe chef Michèle Haines will show off her rice-coddling techniques during a demonstration of three types of risotto, followed by a seasonal four-course dinner at her BYO Conshohocken farmhouse. Advance reservations are required (7 PM; $55; 610-828-2550).
Beer is encroaching on wine’s status as the default beverage on fancy tasting menus. Case in point: high-end Chestnut Street steakhouse Del Frisco’s is hosting its first-ever beer pairing dinner. Mingle between colossal marble columns and sit beneath ornately carved ceilings as you sip on craft suds from Yards Brewing and nibble on hors d’oeuvres, plus three courses of chef John Stritzinger’s fare, including cheesesteak dumplings and beer-braised pork shoulder (6 PM; $99; 215-246-0533). (Update: PR writes in to tell us this event has been delayed. Stay tuned for rescheduling details.)
Merengue and samba beneath priceless paintings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Cinco de Mayo-themed first Friday gathering. Latin musicians Magdaliz and Her Latin Band Crisol will play at the four-house cocktail party (which is free with admission), while you enjoy pay-as-you-go Stephen Starr-catered drinks and bites (5 PM; 215-684-7506).
Often mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo is mostly just a celebration of Mexican cultural heritage - and a great excuse for all-day south-of-the-border parties. At Jose Garces’s Distrito in West Philly, festivities kick off at 11 AM with $5 margaritas and an assortment of appropriate snacks like guacamole, esquites (corn) and tacos of all kinds ($5-$7). A DJ will spin, providing a lively soundtrack for the day-long event, which continues through midnight (215-222-1657).
For the second year running, Rouge’s Rob Wasserman brings together 20 Philadelphia chefs to compete for the coveted title of “best burger” at the Philly Burger Brawl. At this fundraiser for Meredith Elementary School, the clear winner will be the attendees, who’ll sample patties from The Corner, Dandelion, Ela, Misconduct Tavern, Tapestry and many more. There’s even a vegetarian option from Miss Rachel’s Pantry, as well as sips provided by Dogfish Head and Jim Beam. Advance tickets are required (3-6 PM; $75; Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catherine St.).