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Foodie-themed festivities for New Year’s and beyond

Peaks and Pints, Toscano’s Restaurant, Social Bar & Grill and more

Jan Parker Cookery offers intimate instruction Culinary Series classes. Photo courtesy Jan Parker Cookery / Facebook

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As one year comes to a close and another is looming just ahead, I make it a point to refresh my admiration of the local culinary culture by finding delectable happenings around the South Sound. There's never a shortage of something going down from pairing dinners to cooking courses. Here's a few that make my wish list attendance wise:

There are two events that weren't on my radar just a couple weeks ago for our New Year's features that I needed to give a shout-out to: Peaks and Pints is celebrating the new year with a Cider Social. They're loading up that glorious Western Red Cedar tap log with an abundance of craft ciders. Sure, there'll be plenty of craft beers and sammies to partake in but cider pros including 2 Towns, Ace, Finnriver, One Tree, Portland, Seattle, Snowdrift, Schilling, Wildcraft and more will be featured. 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., no cover, must be 21 and older to imbibe. 3816 N. 26th St., Tacoma

Toscano's Restaurant will be pairing boozy, grape juices with delicious plates for a four-course wine-pairing dinner on New Year's Eve from 9:30 p.m. until midnight. Unlike most pairing dinners, each course will have both dish and wine options, like course one, where you can choose from a Roasted and Chilled Prawn Cocktail or Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crostini. The wine options for this course are either Rotari Sparkling Brut Rose or Mezzacarona Pinot Noir. Main entrées include New York Strip with Dungeness Crab, Grilled Rosemary Salmon or Butternut Squash Ravioli with Roast Duck. Chef Tom Pantley is no rookie when it comes to these pairing dinners and delights every time. Tickets are $85 and reservation is required. 437 29th St. NE, Suite C, Puyallup, 253.864.8600

On Jan. 6, Join the Kareem Kandi World Orchestra for Dinner and Music at the Vaeth Mansion from 5-9 p.m. Dinner includes Chicken with Gorgonzola Sauce over wild rice, steamed veggies, a garden salad, artisan bread and butter and chocolate cake. Wash it all down with a soda or champagne punch and feel good about dining out because all proceeds benefit Tacoma's Sister City Music Exchange with Biot, France. 422 N. E St., Tacoma

If you've been looking to hone your culinary practice, this one's for you! Jan Parker Cookery can be seen about town crafting mouth-watering dishes for farmers markets, pop-up events and more and is kicking off 2019 with a Culinary Series Cooking Class. This course gathers every Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for five weeks where Jan covers much-needed skills to get you cooking. Week one begins Jan. 8 and covers Knife Cuts. From there, Explore Mother Sauces, Sauté and Bread. Celebrate your new-found skill set by preparing a tasting menu for a community panel to bring it all to a close. It's a rare opportunity to connect with such a warm, skilled chef willing to give intimate instruction, pro tips and more. Take advantage of it! Space is limited and tickets are $330 for the course. Find out more and reserve your space at Classes will be hosted at the Rain Urban Kitchen. 2304 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma

Tickets for the Social Bar and Grill's Chef Dinners sell fast, and this is one not to be missed: Tequila and Mezcal! Jan. 23, Chef Lucas Ortiz and Sous Chef Jullian Merritt will prepare a four-course feast inspired by the flavors of Mexico -- $65 includes a craft cocktail to welcome you, two raffle tickets to score some swag and a four-course dining experience paired with tequila and mezcal. Space is limited and a reservation is required. Find tickets at 1715 Dock St., Tacoma 

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