|Harry Denton's Starlight Room|
Those aching to break out the big hats this weekend should make a beeline to the Kentucky Derby brunch at Harry Denton's Starlight Room from 12:30-4 PM on May 4. Derby attire is requested and the most outrageous sartorial splendor (best dressed couple and most creative hat) will be honored with prizes. Tickets are $50, which includes a decadent Southern buffet with items such as beignets, macaroni and cheese, braised beef brisket with a bourbon peach glaze and pecan pie as well as live bluegrass music and dancing, with a portion of proceeds donated to the Slap Cancer Save Lives campaign.
The new and fabulously free Market to Table interview and demonstration cooking series takes place over the next four Saturdays at 11 AM at Two Embarcadero Center. CBS host and Foodie Chap Liam Mayclem hosts each session, beginning with Top Chef alum Jen Biesty (May 4) and continuing with Joanne Weir (May 11), Michael Chiarello (May 18) and Charles Phan (May 25). Students will take home recipes utilizing farmers market produce. RSVP at the Embarcadero Center site.
Dessert should come first
Project Open Hand's annual Dessert First gala on May 5 at the Four Seasons is a reliably righteous celebration of sugar for the beyond-worthy cause of feeding the hungry. 18 chefs, including the hotel's own Mark Richardson and Top Chef Just Desserts winner/Tout Sweet owner Yigit Pura attempt to outdo themselves and each other with just the right bite, plus SKYY cocktails, dancing, and a silent auction. Tickets are $75-125.
Cinco De Mayo madness
If you're anywhere near the Mission, understand that Cinco de Mayo owns this weekend. However, you'll also find a big party happening from 1-5 PM on May 5 at Ferry Plaza with Tacolicious' Hecho en San Francisco, an afternoon of craft tequila cocktails from Herradura and Casa Noble and antojitos. Tickets are $55 and support CUESA.
For more tips on where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, check out the Ultimate Mexican Food Guide for the San Francisco Bay Area.