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Tonight Goose Island brewmaster Greg Hall hosts a stout and cheese class at The Chopping Block, 4747 N. Lincoln. Hall will discuss the stout brewing process, suggest cheese pairings, and offer tastings. It runs from 7 to 9:30 PM and costs $40. Call 773-472-6700.
Friday is March of the Chefs, a four-course dinner organized by Slow Food Chicago and hosted by John Bubala of Timo. It's one of many such dinners happening across the land showcasing local, traditional ingredients. Proceeds go toward Slow Food Nation, a four day conference in San Francisco, planned for Spring 2008, to "promote and reinvigorate America’s diverse food traditions." It's $50 and starts at 6:30 PM at Timo, 464 N. Halsted. Call 312-226-4300.
Mario Batali and Alton Brown go head to head on Saturday with respective downtown appearances. Brown will be doing a knife demo at Crate & Barrel at 1 PM, 646 N. Michigan. Call 312-787-5900. Meanwhile, Batali will be signing copies of his new cookbook Molto Italiano at Fox and Obel, 401 E. Illinois, from 2 to 3 PM You have to buy the book to get in, but you can reserve a space as soon as the store opens at 7 AM. Call 312-410-7301.
WAVE chef Kristine Subido is hosting a Greek cooking class Saturday, the second in her "Global Kitchen" series exploring various ethnic cuisines. It starts at 2:30 with a shot of ouzo, and will cover olive oil, bread, tzatziki, olives, cheese, keftedes, grilled octopus, and cherry chocolate baklava. $35 gets you the class, the meal, a menu kit, and a satchel of spices. That's in the W Hotel, 644 N. Lake Shore. Call 312-943-9200.
Also on Saturday, the not-for profit, familycentric organization Purple Asparagus is hosting a kid- and adult-friendly Thai dinner at the excellent Elephant, 5348 W. Devon. Here's the menu. It starts at 2 PM and features traditional music and dance performances. It's $35 for adults, $12 for kids 5 to 12, and free for those 4 and under. More at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-991-1920.
Monday is Common Threads Second Annual World Festival, a huge grazing to benefit the organization founded by Oprah chef Art Smith to introduce kids to world culture through food. The event features a bevy of national and local celebrity chefs and "talent," including Paul Kahan, Ming Tsai, Giada De Laurentiis, Gale Gand, Paula Deen, and a live auction hosted by Chili's spokesman Tyler Florence. Regular tickets are $125. It starts at 6 PM at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington; call 312-752-2692.
Foie gras scofflaw Martial Noguier of One Sixty Blue is hosting a cheese demonstration at Marsha--er, Macy's--on Wednesday evening at 6. He'll teach cooking, serving, and garnishing techniques as well as "share tips on the newest cheese craze, flat cheese." It's $65 at 111 N. State; call 1-800-456-2297.