DINING: Spice and pastry schools and chili champions


  The fundamentals of spices and their flavors, the nutritional value of seasonings, and flavor combinations will be the focus of SpiceSkool at 3 p.m. Saturday at Loews Lake Las Vegas in Henderson. The class, which will be repeated monthly, is $20, and each participant will make his or her own spice blend to take home. For reservations, call 567-6000. ...
  The Smokin’ Big Chili Challenge is scheduled for Sunday at the CasaBlanca Resort in Mesquite. The cookoff, sanctioned by the International Chili Society, will include competition in red chili, chili verde, salsa and people’s choice categories. Tasting kits, with proceeds going to the Mesquite Cancer Help Society, will be available for $5. For details, go to wwww.CasaBlancaResort.com or www.ChiliCookoff.com. ...
  Chris Hanmer, a former World Pastry Champion and Food Network competitor, has opened The School of Pastry Design at 6627 Schuster St. Classes range from basic pastry techniques to chocolate and sugar showpieces and industry-level cooking techniques. He also plans chocolate tastings, chocolate parties and chocolate competitions for parties and showers, among other things. For details, call 523-9390 or visit TheSchoolOfPastryDesign.com. ...