It's never too early to plan. Check your calendar for a few of these:
- Day of the Dead Festival, noon-4 p.m. Nov. 1 (that's Sunday) at the Levine Museum of the New South. Dia de los Muertos will include sugar skulls, dead bread and the traditional trappings. Museum admission is free all that day.
- 4th Annual New South Barbecue Bus Tour, 6 p.m. Nov. 6 and 11 a.m. Nov. 7. Levine Museum curator Tom Hanchett believes today's barbecue traditions are coming from Charlotte newcomers. He'll build his case by taking you to try Vietnamese barbecue, Salvadoran pupusas, Caribbean jerk and Mexican barbacoa. $30 for museum members, $35 for nonmembers. Reservations fill up fast. Call 704-333-1887 or e-mail email@example.com.
- The Poulet Soiree at the Inn at New Town Farms, 3 p.m. Nov. 7 in Waxhaw, will feature an outdoor feast of French Red Bro chickens pasture-raised by Sammy Koenigsberg and cooked by Art Institute chef Joe Bonaparte. (Poulet Soiree -- don't you think that calls for a performance of the chicken dance?) Tickets are $45, reservations required. Get details and directions by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lee Brothers in the house! Matt and Ted Lee of Charleston and New York will sign books and do a cooking demo from their new book,, "The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern," at noon Nov. 6 (that's a Friday) at Williams-Sonoma, 6401 Morrison Blvd. I've seen the book and I know the brothers well, and I have to say nobody has a fresh outlook on Southern food quite like the Bros. They'll also be back in the area Dec. 10 for an event with Friends of the Library at Queens.
- Learn how to make paella and tres leche cake with chef Bill Bigham at Paula Gillman & Co.,, 295 Herlong Ave., Rock Hill. The class is $65, at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 (Thursday). Call 803-329-4567 for a reservation.