Ever felt hungry while examining Northern European still life paintings, with its gorgeous fruit and ingredients? (Not so much the ones that have deeply disturbing images of flies, skulls and rotting produce, though.) The organization Art Bites knows what to do with that impulse by harnessing the power of art to motivate people to deliciousness. Its edifying tasty events for kids this weekend include explorations of the art and food China and Italy. At the Huntington on Saturday at 9:00 a.m., the Weng exhibition and the Chinese Garden are used as a jumping off points to inspire and learn about the desserts of China and make fortune cookies. A Taste of Italy at the Norton Simon on Sunday looks at the Pasadena museum's collection of Venice and Rome-sited masterworks to teach families about those two cities' local foods and gastronomic history. Hands-on workshop activities include making chef's toques and pizza dough. (Two sessions at 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.; advance reservations  844-6980).
Many hungry and charitable folks will gather on Sunday, June 14 for the 21st Annual Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation at Culver City's Media Park. All proceeds from the afternoon event go towards eradicating children's hunger in Los Angeles. Don't miss the Weekly's Jonathan Gold judging the heated Mole Cookoff competition. Tickets are $125 general admission or $175 for VIP access. Call 1-877-26-Taste or click here for tickets, plus more info about participating restaurants and chefs.
Related: the No Cookie Left Behind bake sale happens at Scoops on Heliotrope on Sunday 2-6:00 p.m., also to raise money for Share Our Strength. Tons of local bakeries and makers of other delights are on board with this, and it's on a really cool street, and it's a lot cheaper. 712 N. Heliotrope, East Hollywood, (323) 906-2649.
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SHOW ME HOW
Riva teams up with Bedford wines for a special dinner on Sunday, June 14 at 5:00 p.m. Chef Jason Travi's menu includes braised greens crostini and tiny meatballs to start, burrata roasted pepper salad, funghi with taleggio, pepperoni and spring onion pizzas, Angus flat iron steak with polenta fries and mustard greens, and an assortment of desserts. These dishes will be paired with Borgo Magredo Prosecco, Lungarotti Torre di Giano, Umani Ronchi Montepulciano D'Abruzzo, and Barbera and Moscato D'Asti from Piemonte. ($40 per person.)
312 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 451-7482 or www.rivarestaurantla.com.
Sona hosts the Pacific Triple Play dinner with David Myers collaborating with Chef de Cuisine Kuniko Yagi, and special guest chef Noriyuki Sugie as part of this summer's Zagat Presents series. (Last week's event featured Kerry Simon's tuna dinner at Simon LA.) On Wednesday, June 17 at 6:00 p.m., the six-course meal offers a compelling tour of the Pacific, showcasing contrasting cooking styles and fabulous ingredients. Plus intriguing wine and sake pairings will be available. ($95 for six courses, extra for wine/sake pairings, exclusive of tax and gratuity.)
401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 659-7708 or www.sonarestaurant.com.