Food and Drink

Enjoy a variety of culinary, mixology, edible history and tropical food plant offerings to satisfy your palate and spark your imagination.

Classes are offered in-person, as synchronous (live) online programs, or using hybrid methods with both in-person and virtual content. Class delivery methods are denoted next to each listing as VIRTUAL, IN-PERSON, or HYBRID.

Class Schedule January – April 2024

The Milpa and the Maguey: An Evening at Conejo | January 9 IN-PERSON at Conejo

Since the September class sold out in 48 hours, we are bringing you another opportunity. Join Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on the road as we explore Mexican Cuisine with Chef Danny Mena at Conejo. The evening will start with a talk by Chef Danny, who will focus on the importance of beans, chiles and corn in Mexican cuisine along with the farming practices that have been used for centuries to grow these amazing crops. Following the discussion, join Chef Danny for an elevated and delicious three-course dinner with paired cocktails, wine and coffee! Seasonal menu to come soon!

Tropical Food Plants Series

Join horticulturist Menaka Dewasinghe as she introduces you to the tropical food plants of her homeland, Sri Lanka.

NEW! Edible Root Crops | January 20 IN-PERSON

Learn how edible roots and tubers like Purple Yam, Yuca/Cassava, Taro yam/Kiri ala, Lotus yam, Chinese potato/Innala, Sweet potato and more are important cultivated staple energy sources in tropical regions in the world. With a focus on the traditions Menaka learned while growing up in Sri Lanka, she will provide a cooking demonstration showcasing different cooking methods for these vegetables and students will have the opportunity to sample a variety of curries, porridges and sides featuring the roots and leaves of these fascinating plants.

Learning Opportunities for All Series

We believe that all adults in our community should have access to plant-based, nature-focused learning opportunities. The learning opportunities in this series offer several pricing tiers so you can register at the amount you’re able to pay. 

This History of the Black Garden | February 3 IN-PERSON

Since the founding of America, African Americans have planted crops for themselves that have cultural importance, particularly in Virginia and the greater South. Join Debra Freeman, host and creator of Setting the Table podcast, as she explores the fascinating history and relevance of fish peppers, watermelons, sweet potatoes, collards, peanuts and other legacy vegetables that still endure today. 

For additional learning opportunities in this series, visit our Learning Opportunities for All page. 

Tea – A 5,000 Year Tradition at the Queen’s Library Tea Room | February 7 IN-PERSON at Queen’s Library Tea Room

One amazing plant in over 3,000 varieties produces the second most consumed beverage on Earth: tea. Join tea expert Mark Ragland for an exploration of all things tea through an elegant formal tea experience at the Queen’s Library Tea Room. Located in Jackson Ward, the Queen’s Library Tea Room provides a sophisticated and intimate setting with botanically-inspired decor. Registration includes tea samples, and full tea luncheon with 3-course tea tower featuring delectable savory and sweet selections and British tea room classics.

Garden to Glass Cocktail Series

Join local mixologist Beth Dixon as she demonstrates three original, delicious craft cocktails. Sip samples of each cocktail as you enjoy expertly paired small plates. Fees include demonstration, cocktail samples and food pairings.

Cocktails with Winter Citrus and Herbs | February 27 IN-PERSON

Join local mixologist Beth Dixon, owner of Salt and Acid Beverage Consulting, as she demonstrates how to masterfully combine winter citrus and herbs into three delicious craft cocktails. She’ll highlight seasonal flavors in a Fireside using vodka, maple, ruby grapefruit and rosemary, a Bee’s Knees with Meyer lemon and thyme, and a Blood Orange Whiskey Sour showcasing blood orange and sage.

NEW! Cocktails with Sensational Shrubs | April 16 IN-PERSON

Join Beth Dixon as she demonstrates how to make two stellar shrubs (“drinking vinegars” combining vinegar, sugar and fresh produce). Using cold and hot methods, Beth demonstrates how to create pineapple-sage and apple-fennel shrubs, which she’ll then utilize to pair with Tequila and Vodka for some sensational seasonal cocktails. Beth will also demonstrate how to create a delicious cocktail pairing rum and Switchel, a historic shrub made with apple cider vinegar, ginger, and molasses. 

Vine to Glass Series

In 2022 and 2023, we tasted 60+ gems from the four corners of Virginia wine country. For 2024, we’re expanding perspective to explore the noble wines of our global neighbors. Via 6 wines per class, we’ll wend around the world with stops in hemispheres north, south, east and west as we delve into regions that fascinate as historic wonders, up-and-comers or far-flung curiosities. Paired with each glass, enjoy thoughtful small plates from Executive Chef Jared Serr themed to the region and wine. Fee includes complimentary wine glass. 

Join us on the third Tuesday every other month for an evening of flights, bites and edutainment from renowned sommelier and author Jason Tesauro. And if you can’t make it to class, we invite you to “remote study” by picking up select Vine to Glass bottles at Barrel Thief Wine & Provisions, our retail partner.  

NEW! Noble & Global: The Republic of Georgia | March 19 IN-PERSON

Between the Black Sea and the High Caucuses is where Master of Wine Jancis Robinson finds, “One of the world’s great and historic centres of both wild and cultivated vines.” Thanks in part to Russian embargoes in the past two decades, a wine culture that’s persisted for over 8,000 years has emerged anew to meet the wider wine-drinking world.

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