With an affinity for making lists (complete with check boxes), a history of smuggling goat cheese into college cafeterias and a never ending obsession to perfect her pie crust, it was only natural that Michaela Johnson would find her way into the position of planning and executing events for a food magazine.

No Wrapping Needed: For Cocktail Lovers, Gift an Early Bird Ticket to our Winter Good Spirits

You know how the holidays are: Before you know it, it’ll be February. And that means one thing: Good Spirits, our series of seasonal cocktail tasting events and our first event of Edible’s first event of 2012. It’ll feature distillers and bartenders, the best of nearby farmers and city chefs. It’s all taking place on February 28th from 6 to 9 p.m. downstairs at 82 Mercer Street in SoHo. Discounted Early Bird tickets are on sale now: Hurry and score your $35 ticket here today!

Talk Turkey at Two in our Live Facebook Q&A with Gotham Bar and Grill Chef Alfred Portale

Don’t forget to join us in just four hours for a live Q & A on our Facebook page with Chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill! From 2-4pm, Chef Portale will be answering all your questions about preparing and executing your Thanksgiving feasts (check out more details about it all right here.) Want to know how to flavor the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie with rosemary bitters? You could win lunch for two at his restaurant just by asking!

Psst: Goof off on Facebook Tomorrow and You Could Win Lunch at Gotham Bar and Grill

You’re probably technically at work until Wednesday, but we know what’s really on your mind: What’s the deal with deep-fried turkeys? Is there a secret to super-fluffy mashed potatoes? Are giblets really necessary for gravy? What apples are best for pie? That’s right, there’s plenty of Googling to do in the next few days as you prepare for Thursday’s big feast. But now you don’t have to: Chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill will be on-hand tomorrow for a live Q & A on our Facebook page.

Facebook Your Thanksgiving; Pie Tips from Billy’s Bakery

Don’t let the recent mild weather fool you: Thanksgiving is indeed next week. With a reputation of being the most epic meal of the year, perhaps a tiny bit of planning is necessary. On Sunday, November 20th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., check out the Pie & Coffee 101 with Billy’s Bakery at the Whole Foods Bowery Culinary Center. If you’re scrambling to order a turkey and prepare your pie dough, Chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill has a few tips to help steer you in the right direction and help provide some professional Thanksgiving troubleshooting. Join us on our Facebook page next Tuesday, the 22nd, from 2-4pm for a live Q & A with the Chef himself.

From our Calendar, What to Do (and Eat and Drink) in the Weeks Ahead

From turkey tips from one of Manhattan’s top chefs (see below) to a celebration of our current favorite quaff (apple-based spirits) here are a couple of events going on around town that we think you’ll enjoy. Be sure to check out the events calendar we keep of citywide happenings all year long for more suggestions–and don’t forget to mark your calendars for February 28, which will be our first event of 2012: It’s Good Spirits, a celebration of seasonal cocktails and local liquors.

Live Chat Through Your Thanksgiving Issues with Gotham Bar and Grill Chef Alfred Portale

Cooking a Thanksgiving feast can be overwhelming, even for the most seasoned home chefs; one under-cooked turkey and over-baked pie can stain your record forever. No pressure, but think of dinner every night as a read-through, and Thanksgiving dinner as a live performance in front of the President of the United States. That’s why we want you to have your most prepared, most delicious Thanksgiving ever. To that end Edible Manhattan is teaming up with chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill for a live discussion on our Facebook page on Tuesday November 22nd,

Highlights from our Food Event Calendar: Pickle Fests, The History of Wine, and Long Island Brews

While Edible cooks up plenty of our own events (stay tuned for details about Good Spirits 2012, and enter to win tickets right here), below are some upcoming events from our comprehensive calendar we think you’ll want to dig into… like the Peck Slip Pickle Festival, with samples, a home-pickling and fermenting competition, traditional bialys and a talk by food writer par excellence Mimi Sheraton, who wrote The Bialy Eaters.

Scenes from our Cheese and Butter 101 at The Brooklyn Brewery

Last week the topic of the latest installment in Edible’s How-To lecture series was Dairy. Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheesemongers started off the evening with a discussion of affinage, or the art of maturing and aging cheeses, showing three different blocks of the same cheese at different stages courtesy Jasper Hill Farm. Fromager Tia Keenan continued with a lecture on cheese boards, using cheese from Lucy’s Whey.

Columbia Prep’s New Culinary Curriculum: It’s Called Veggication for Good Reason

Raisins have a reputation of being the Halloween treats that remain at the bottom of the sack long after the sugary lollipops and chocolates have been devoured. If the enthusiasm for vegetables at Eat NYC–held Monday night at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School on W. 93rd Street–was any indication, dried fruit might be able to hold its own this Halloween.

Scenes from Wednesday Night’s Edible Escape Party–The Ultimate Melting Pot

On Wednesday night The Lower East Side was once again Manhattan’s biggest melting pot, at our first-ever travel-themed tasting at the Angel Orensanz Center on Norfolk Street–right in the heart of the neighborhood. As they made their way around the oldest synagogue in the city (in addition to hosting events, the Center still offers High Holy Day services by the Shul of New York, a Reform Jewish congregation), guests made their way around the world, tasting everything from locally made wines to kati rolls from India.

More Swag for Edible Escapees: Buy a Ticket for Wednesday Night and Win Wein (That’s Austrian for Wine)

Also on hand Wednesday night will be Monika Caha of Monika Caha Selections– she’s a Viennese expert on Austrian wine. Her portfolio comprises more than 70 wines from 10 boutique producers. With her help we want one of you to take home a little taste of Austria, meaning mixed case of Austrian wines. Winners will be chosen at random from our ticket holders, so don’t miss out on your chance to win (and eat and drink)–get your Edible Escape tickets right here.