CHRIS Baker has a way of taking the snobbishness out of wine and making evening school fun. At The Wine School, he offers courses for professionals, novices and enthusiasts. Baker, director of operations, works in conjunction with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (UK). The school offers a certificate (eight weeks) or a higher certificate (12 weeks). For those who wish to enhance their appreciation, there's an evening course starting at the end of the month. The course is eight sessions, two hours each. Fee is $975, including tasting and tuition. It begins on May 27 from 7 to 9 pm in Wan Chai. For more information contact The Wine School at 366-5844. Fax: 366-5874. PHILIPPE Derrien was forced back to earth quick. After winning two culinary awards at Hofex, held recently at the Hongkong Convention Centre, the 27-year-old executive chef of the Pacific Club and his crew went back to work. ''We had a big party that night. No time for champagne.'' They've yet to pop a cork. The native of Brittany has been in Hongkong two years. The chef and his team won Best Overall of the Hofex culinary competition and Best in the Western food category with their roasted monkfish wrapped in bacon. ''It looks like I will be doing monkfish for quite a while. People want to try it. I have other ideas (to do things with fish). But those will have to wait,'' said Philippe. Just as inspiring as the fish was the bread he served the judges. ''I got the idea from a traditional butter cake. It is made with walnut butter, French bread and rock salt. Its preparation is similar to puff pastry but without the proofing.'' The Pacific Club team earned Best of the Critics Choice and First in the Western food category. After judging in the Western category, one wondered - where are the women chefs? The eight teams were male-only. ''Women didn't sign up,'' explains Grace Lee, marketing services manager, Hongkong Exhibition Services Ltd. Participation was open to teams of three from the food service industry. Of the 60 teams that applied, 24 were selected based on recipe submission, creativity, technique and presentation. The Pacific Club won with their presentation of the roast monkfish tail wrapped in bacon with a red wine sauce and vegetable tian. Winners in the other categories were Hover City of Chiu Chow Restaurant for Chinese and in the Asian category, Hotel Victoria.