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Gluttony + charity = a win for everybody

Buckwheat sugar cookies. Credit: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times. Hazelnut chocolate Linzer cookies. Credit: Robert Gautheir / Los Angeles Times.

If the idea of mixing charity and cuisine inspires visions of stuffy hotel ballrooms and wilted vegetables, you have two tasty ways to do good this weekend -- and mercifully they're the antithesis of the rubber chicken circuit.

For those who have $125 to drop, Taste of the Nation Los Angeles offers a gourmet feast, deftly uniting the culinary with the altruistic. Forty-six local restaurants including the Bazaar by Jose Andres, Mozza, Lucques, Craft, Palate Food + Wine, Church & State and Rivera will set up booths in Culver City's Media Park, where they'll hand out samples of their signature dishes. The afternoon also includes cooking demos from Michael Mina of XIV and Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill and Ciudad; a silent auction; waiter races and a mole cook-off between well-known Mexican restaurants Moles La Tia, Guelaguetza and Tlapazola Grill.

Where: Media Park, Culver and Venice boulevards, Culver City
When: 1-4 p.m., Sunday
Price: $115, advance; $125, day-of; $175, VIP
Contact: (877) 268-2783, www.tasteofthenationla.org

For those looking to spend a little less, fight world hunger by gorging yourself on a smorgasbord of delicious baked goods at the No Cookie Left Behind bake sale. We promise it's for a good cause, although who needs altruism as an excuse to scarf down desserts from Lark Cake Shop, CakeMonkey, Kiss My Bundt Bakery, Spork Foods, Laurel Avenue Bakery, Whisk LA and Taste on Melrose?

Where: Scoops, 712 N. Heliotrope Drive, L.A.
When: 2-6 p.m. Sunday
Price: Free admission
Contact: (323) 906-2649, www.nocookieleftbehind.com

Both events benefit Share Our Strength, which will divide the proceeds among local charities working to end hunger here in Los Angeles.

--Elina Shatkin

Photo: Buckwheat sugar cookies. Credit: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times. Hazelnut chocolate Linzer cookies. Credit: Robert Gautheir / Los Angeles Times

 
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