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Datebook: Strawberries, BBQs, Alice Waters and more

May 13, 2009 |  2:35 pm



Down Under fun Spend a couple of hours after work at the Grove, where Qantas Airways and Tourism South Wales will team up to attempt to make you long for Australia by playing host to "The Great Sydney BBQ" in the grassy park. The festive event will feature Australian food, beer, wine and entertainment. The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. 5 to 7 p.m. Free. (323) 900-8080. www.thegrovela.com


Berry nice Fill your tummy with fresh-picked strawberries at Oxnard's California Strawberry Festival. The two-day event packs plenty of action. There'll be a tart toss, a pie-eating contest, a berry-dish cooking demonstration by former "Top Chef" contestant Fabio Viviani, a berry decorating workshop and much more. Strawberry Meadows of College Park, 3250 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard. Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. $12, general admission. (888) 288-9242. www.strawberry-fest.org


Chef-tastic The 5 X 5 Chefs Collaborative dinner series is back, featuring five notable L.A. chefs who host one another and a guest chef at each of their respective restaurants for a night of fun and culinary creativity. This week brings guest chef Gabriel Kreuther of the Modern in New York to the kitchen of Mélisse to cook and kick back with the collaborative's founders Michael Cimarusti, Josiah Citrin, David LeFevre, Gino Angelini and Neal Fraser. Mélisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. The first seating is 5:30-6:15 p.m.; the second seating, 8:15-9:15 p.m. $150, $215 per person with wine pairings. (310) 395-0881. www.melisse.com


Edible education Alice Waters discusses her experiences bringing "edible schoolyards" into public schools. She'll be accompanied by 15-year-old Sam Levin, who founded a sustainable garden for his school district in Massachusetts. She'll also sign copies of her books, "The Art of Simple Food" and "Edible Schoolyard." All proceeds benefit Canyon Charter School. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. 7 p.m. $25. (917) 825-6505

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo Credit: California Strawberry Festival.