Talk of the Town - Simply delicious January 01 2003

Foodies dream of rubbing shoulders with chefs to learn kitchen tricks and drop names the next time they enter a restaurant. "Oh, you were at Bacchanalia? Cliff showed me just how he made that wonderful amuse bouche. And Annie? What a sweetie." That's foodie speak.

One of the most popular ways of getting the inside scoop (or slice, or peel) on Atlanta's restaurant elite, Simple Abundance cooking classes pair local chefs in state-of-the-art cooking facilities with classes of up to 40 students. The chefs donate their time, and the Cook's Warehouse and Kroger School of Cooking donate the space — all for a good cause: 100 percent of the proceeds benefits the Atlanta Community Food Bank and its Atlanta's Table program. Atlanta's Table rescues vittles that would otherwise go to waste from caterers and other food suppliers around town, wrapping up the goods and delivering them to those in need.

Janice Reese, director of Atlanta's Table at the Food Bank and one of the masterminds behind the program, says it wasn't so difficult to get the busy chefs to participate — and for good reason: They can promote their restaurants and give back to the community at the same time.

And all those closet cooks get a first-hand taste of food stardom.

$75. Jan. 6, 7-9 p.m. Cook's Warehouse-Midtown, 549-1 Amsterdam Ave. Woodfire Grill Chef Michael Tuohy presents the demo and tasting, "Earth, Wind and WOODFIRE." Contact Michael DeCoursey at 404-892-3333, ext. 246, or e-mail michael.decoursey@acfb.org. For a complete schedule, visit acfb.org/events/simple_abundance.??