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Next Monday May 5th you can join the Cinco de Mayo crush at local Mexican restaurants, or you can meet the authors of celebrated Italian and French book on food, instead. We suggest the latter, besides, the best community celebrations will take place on the weekend, such as San Francisco Cinco de Mayo San Francisco in Dolores Park on Saturday May 3rd from 10-5 or Cinco de Mayo Oakland on Sunday, May 4th in Fruitvale.

First up--Italy
mario batali

Join Mario Batali, celebrity chef, and television personality at Il Fornaio for lunch to celebrate the release of Italian Grill, which combines his passion for Italian cuisine and tasty grilled food. No ordinary backyard bbq book, it includes appetizers, flatbreads, meats, seafood and vegetables along with his signature olive oil, citrus, wine, herbs, and garlic rubs. This luncheon is at Il Fornaio Restaurant in San Francisco, with food selections from the restaurant’s own excellent menu).

What: Lunch with Mario Batali

Cost: Tickets are $125 and include lunch and a signed copy of the book Italian Grill
When: Monday, May 05, 2008, 12:00 PM
Where: Il Fornaio Restaurant, 1265 Battery Street (inside Levi Plaza), San Francisco
How: Purchase tickets online

Next up--France


Clotilde Dusoulier the blogger behind the popular Chocolate & Zucchini blog returns to the Bay Area for a book signing. Her latest book, Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris is in stores now.

In her own words, "Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris is a window onto my Paris, this delicious stomping ground for the food enthusiast. It is the companion I wish I had for every city I visit, pointing me to the edible highlights and giving me the lowdown on the dining scene, the best food shopping haunts, and the locals' favorites."

What: Clotilde Dusoulier At Books Inc. in Opera Plaza
Cost: Free
When: Monday, May 5, 2008, 7 pm
Where: Books Inc. 601 Van Ness San Francisco
Why: Get a chance to meet Clotilde in person.