* Think your bubbe makes the best Hanukkah latkes? Compare hers with some of Philly's hottest restaurants' at the Gershman Y's eighth annual Latkepalooza from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the University of the Arts, Hamilton Hall, 320 S. Broad St. $15, $5 kids. Plus a holiday bazaar, kids' activities and the West Philly Orchestra. 215-545-4400, www.gershmany.org.

* Local chefs turn tradition on its ear for the Yule Time Classic Throw-down at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown's 13 Restaurant (1201 Market St.) from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Come taste and vote for the best entries. $13 ($15 at the door). Benefits the Children's Miracle Network and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The winning chef gets a trip to Orlando, Fla. Participants include chefs from 13 Restaurant, Valanni, Varga, Mercado, Zavino, El Vez, Sampan, La Cucina, Beck's Cajun Cafe, Kris and Marabella. 215-590-0132.

* Bring an unwrapped new toy and get a complimentary brunch entrée Sundays in December at Le Castagne (1920 Chestnut St., 215-751-9913). Toys go to the CBS 3 Joy of Sharing Campaign benefiting the Salvation Army, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Children's Crisis Treatment Center.

* Try the Hanukkah menu at Zahav (237 St. James Place, 215-625-8800) from Dec. 20 to 28 (except Dec. 22 and 25), $45 a person. "A Very Jewish Christmas" will be held at 6 and 9 p.m. Dec. 22, with "Israeli-inflected" Chinese food, movies and popcorn. $50.

* Guillermo Pernot's trips to Cuba have inspired "pop-up paladares" where Cuban chefs come to town to create four-course dinners in the private dining room at Pernot's Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar (10 S. 2nd St., 215-627-0666). Jan. 11-13, meet Luis Alberto Alfonso Perez, who has four paladares - restaurants run out of homes - in Havana. Seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m.; $39. More pop-up paladares are coming in June and October. In the spring, Pernot and his wife, Lucia, plan to lead the first in a series of group culinary tours to Cuba.