‘Starving the South’ author set to speak

Did hunger defeat the Confederacy in the Civil War?

It’s a question food historian and scholar Andrew Smith will address at a lecture and book signing at noon today at the Old Governor’s Mansion.

In his speech, Smith will discuss his new book, “Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War.” The book takes an in-depth look at the war from the unique perspective of food production and distribution.

The lecture is sponsored by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana and is free and open to the public.

For more information, go to http://www.fhl.org or call (225) 387-2464.

Gingerbread Cookie Bake Off scheduled

River Road Recipes and the Junior League of Baton Rouge are sponsoring the Second Annual Rolling on the River Gingerbread Cookie Bake Off.

The contest is open to all high school students in East Baton Rouge Parish public and private schools.

Original recipes must be submitted by Sept. 26. Three finalists will be chosen to compete in a live cooking contest on Oct. 15, during the Hollydays Shopping for a Cause market at the Baton Rouge River Center.

Recipes will be evaluated by three local celebrity judges. The grand prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize and a copy of “River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes.”

For more information on the contest or to register, go to http://www.riverroadrecipes.org.

Fresina’s sets 'Colors of Italy Tea’ class

A “Colors of Italy Tea” cooking class taught by Melinda Winans and Cynthia LeJeune Nobles will be held at Fresina Pasta Co., 3458-B Drusilla Lane, in the Drusilla Shopping Center, at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 23 and Sept. 24. Cost is $50.

The menu for the three-course tea, which will feature red, white and green teas, will include Rosemary Scones With Lime Curd; Mock Devonshire Cream and Red Jam; Lavender-Anise Tea Bread; Pesto-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes; Cucumber Sandwiches; Mini Artichoke Quiches; Minipizzas; Hazelnut Ricotta Cannoli; Fig Cookies; Balsamic Vinegar Chocolate Truffles; and Italian Cream Cake. Class participants will decorate tiny cupcakes.

For more details, go to the store’s website at http://www.fresinas.com. For reservations, call Linda Fresina at (225) 926-1341 or email fresinas@cox.net.

Indian cooking series offered in October

Manjeet Bhatia, author of “Don’t Say Curry” and creator of Touch of India spice blend, will present a series of hands-on cooking classes featuring home-style Indian cuisine in October.

A different topic will be featured at each class. All classes will be taught 10 a.m. to noon at Pelican Point in Gonzales. Class dates and topics are Oct. 6, Vegetarian; Oct. 8, Breads; Oct. 13, Lentils; Oct. 15, Appetizers; Oct. 20, Chicken; and Oct. 22, Fish.

The fee for each hands-on two-hour cooking class is $50 per person, with a maximum of 10 students. Lunch will be served at the end of each class.

Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, email Bhatia at dscurry@cox.net or call (225) 473-1030.

Registration opens for herb classes

Sarah Liberta is offering two “HERBS by Sarah” classes during the fall session of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a program of LSU Continuing Education.

A six-week class called “Lemon Herbs” will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 20 to Oct. 25, at Broadmoor Methodist Church, 10230 Mollylea Drive.

A three-week class on “Herbal Dish Gardens” will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Nov. 1-15, in the James Place Theatre Room, 333 Lee Drive.

For more information or to register, contact OLLI at (225) 578-6763 or online at outreach.lsu.edu.olli.

Sharp Cook class features tamales

Sharp Cook’s Dana DeLatte will offer a “Tamale Rolling Party” class at 11 a.m. Sept. 17 at 10889 Perkins Road, second floor, Suite D (above the Sweet Wishes Cupcake Shop).

Class participants will learn how to make Cajun-Style Tamales, Fresh Chunky Salsa and Chocolate Dessert Tamales.

Cost is $35 per person. To register, go to http://www.SharpCook.com or call (225) 247-2632.

Hands-on cooking classes set at LCI

The Louisiana Culinary Institute, 10550 Airline Highway, has scheduled numerous hands-on, leisure classes through Dec. 10.

They include an all-day class on Advanced Artisan Bread and three-hour afternoon classes on gluten-free cooking and on how to make chocolates.

Cost per person ranges from $100 to $250.

For more information or to register for a class, call (225) 769-8820 or visit http://www.LCI.edu/LeisureClasses. Advance purchase is required.