Whiskyfest sells out every year and this one's no different, but there are a number of attendant side events open to the public, starting tonight at 5 PM with a 150-whiskey tasting at Binny's, 3000 N. Clark. It's $30; call 773-935-9400. At 7:30 there's a Bulleit Bourbon-marinated pig roast at Chief O’Neill’s. The $10 admission benefits the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation; call 773-583-3066. Later still, at 10 PM, Delilah’s introduces its new signature Highland Park Single Cask Single Malt, while over at the House of Glunz (1206 N. Wells) there's a "Wild Scotsman Tasting" with John McDougall "the only living man to have distilled whisky in every region of Scotland" at 10 PM. Call 312-642-3000. Finally, if your liver hasn't fallen out after Friday's main event, Delilah's hosts the always rollicking afterparty starting at 10:30 PM.
Meanwhile, for tonight's whisky-free entertainment, San Francisco Chronicle food writer Linda Furiya reads from her food memoir Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America, about growing up in Versailles, Indiana, as part of the only Japanese family in town. It's tonight at 7:30 at Women & Children First.
Over at the International Association of Culinary Professionals confab, more than 60 authors are expected to represent at Friday's open-to-the-public Cookbook Expo. It starts at 4 PM at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan. It's free but you have to register by e-mailing IACPCookbookExpo@hqtrs.com.
Saturday morning at 9 the Culinary Historians of Chicago present Anne Willan on "An Exploration of the Best and Worst of Historical Recipes," at Robert Morris College Institute of Culinary Arts, 401 S. State. It's $10; call 708-788-0338.
And, elsewhere on the street: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is holding a Carnaval & Parade for Fair Food, Real Rights and Dignity beginning at 10 AM at Federal Plaza.
The talented Louisa Chu of Moveable Feast announces the first ever molecular gastronomy seminar in the United States with one of the giants in the field--Herve This. Its starts at 9:30 at the Union League Club of Chicago. 65 W. Jackson. It's free, but reservations are required and "business casual attire or chef's coat are requested. (No jeans please.)" Call 312-435-4822 to register.
Sunday, April 15, the Chicago Foodways Roundtable presents Robyn Eckhardt and David Hagerman of Malaysia's Klue Magazine, on palm sugar in Southeast Asian cuisine. In 2003 Eckhardt, under the screen name FoodFirst, was the first person to translate the Thai language "secret menus" at Spoon Thai and Forest Park's Yum Thai, ushering in something of a local revolution for true Thai food. It starts at 10 AM at Kendall College, 900 N. Branch, and it's $2; call 847-432-8255.
Monday, April 16, Felipe DiBelardino, director of fine wines for Banfi Vintners, is the special guest at Osteria via Stato's monthly winemaker dinner. The four-course meal with pairings is $65 and starts at 6:30. Call 312-642-8450.
Also on Monday at least two restaurants are attempting tax day promotions. There's a tax relief special menu at 200 East Supper Club, 200 E. Chestnut--four $10.40 entrees and two martinis at $5.20 each. Call 312-266-4500. Meanwhile Pops For Champagne is offering three premium sparkling wines--Domaine Carneros Brut 2003, Domaine Carneros Le Reve Blanc de Blancs 2000, and Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir--for, you guessed it $10.40 a glass. They're also putting out four $10.40 dishes, and each guest will get a $10.40 gift certificate when the clock strikes 10:40. Call 312-266-7677.
Tuesday night at 5:30 there's a Wines of Portugal tasting and seminar at the InterContinental Chicago, 505 N. Michigan. The $25 donation benefits Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation. Call 800-871-9012, ext. 22171#, to register.
Lastly, on Wednesday, April 18, Fiddlehead Cafe holds a tasting of at least 30 "Wines of Spring and Summer." It's $35 and starts at 6 PM.