While many people see the calendar turn to December and shift gears as they wind down for the year, local chefs and restaurants are ramping up for perhaps their busiest season – as noted in this guide to upcoming food and drink events.

Sunday, December 2: E&O Asian Kitchen Bar Manager and Mixologist Carlos Yturria is hosting a demonstration and pairing session featuring some of his cocktail creations and bites from the restaurant. He will demonstrate how to mix three separate craft cocktails. Tickets are $20 and the event begins at 5:00 p.m. E&O Asian Kitchen is located at 314 Sutter Street in San Francisco

Sunday, December 2: Abbot’s Cellar is hosting a guest chef dinner with executive chef Kyle Mendenhall from the renowned The Kitchen in Colorado. Abbot’s Cellar executive chef Adam Duyle and Mendenhall are old friends and the night will feature several of chef Mendenhall’s specials as part of the a la carte menu. Reservations can be made online or by calling the restaurant at (415) 626-8700. Abbot’s Cellar is located at 742 Valencia Street in San Francisco.

Monday, December 3: New York’s famed The Meatball Shop is making a stop in the Bay Area with a pop-up on Monday at Hopscotch in Oakland. Hopscotch chef and owner Kyle Itani was part of the opening team for the first shop in New York. Now, he’s welcoming Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow, co-owners of the restaurant. Holzman has ties to the Bay Area as former chef at SPQR in San Francisco. The event is first-come, first-served and begins at 5:00 p.m. Hopscotch is located at 1915 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland.

Tuesday, December 4 – Saturday, December 8: In what has become an annual tradition, Fifth Floor Executive Chef David Bazirgan is inviting some of his friends to come cook with him – a week of some pretty amazing dinners on tap for the restaurant. It all starts on Tuesday with Ravi Kapur joining Bazirgan in the kitchen. That’s followed by Jason Fox of Commonwealth in San Francisco, Mourad Lahlou from Aziza, and then two chefs from out of the area – Jamie Bissonnette from Coppa and Toro in Boston and Barbara Lynch of Boston’s No. 9 Park. Each of the nights is devoted to dishes inspired by the chef’s family holiday traditions. The seven course dinners are $125, with an optional wine pairing for $75. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Meals on Wheels. Fifth Floor is located inside the Hotel Palomar at 12 4th Street in San Francisco.

Thursday, December 6: It’s about that time of the year to pop the cork and break out the bubbly. And that’s exactly what Arlequin Wine Merchant is doing with a champagne tasting event on Thursday. More than 30 Champagnes will be available for tasting, all of which will be specially priced for purchase at the shop that evening. The cost is $65 per person at the door and the event runs from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Arlequin Wine Merchant is located at 384 Hayes Street in San Francisco.

Thursday, December 6 and Friday, December 7: Fresh off receiving her second Michelin star, Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn is hosting Chef Phillip Foss of El Ideas in Chicago, the next installment of her ongoing dialogue series. The 10-course collaborative meals ($160 tax/tip exclusive) will showcase both chefs’ cutting edge cuisine. Atelier Crenn is located at 3127 Fillmore Street in San Francisco.

Friday, December 7: Tired of the cold, wet weather? Hyatt Resorts Hawaii and Hawaiian Airline are presenting a view of paradise on Friday with a pop-up luau at the Holiday Ice Rink at the Embarcadero Center. There will be Hawaiian luau fare provided by chefs from the Hyatt Resorts and Spas in Hawaii. Fresh flower lei making and Hawaiian music will also be part of the festivities, scheduled from 4:00-7:00 p.m. The ice rink is located at Justin Herman Plaza.



Photo Credit: The Meatball Shop