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At Provenance Food and Wine’s Beer and Bacon Bonanza Thursday at 6:30 PM, hosted by Vella Cafe, each of the four courses features pork and a beer pairing. The meal starts with minicrepes with Gruyere de Comte, lardons, cider syrup, and apple butter, paired with the 2005 Eric Bordelet Sydre Doux, and ends with a chocolate stout float with chocolate-almond ice cream and shortbread filled with brown sugar-bacon buttercream, paired with Hitachino Sweet Stout. In between there’s spinach salad with warm bacon dressing and candied pork belly, a bacon-stuffed pork loin roulade, and bacon-infused fingerling potatoes. $50.
Photographer Melanie Dunea signs My Last Supper, a book of interviews with 50 well-known chefs about their ideal last meal, at 7 PM Thursday at the Borders on Michigan. Chicagoans Charlie Trotter, Rick Bayless, and Paul Kahan, all featured, will participate in a one-hour discussion and Q & A moderated by Trib food writer Monica Eng; among the topics is whether their picks have changed.
Eskell kicks off "Shopping, Good Karma, and Discounts" with in-store cocktails from 5 to 8 PM on Friday. The store is offering discounts in exchange for donations of nonperishable food, toiletries, and laundry detergent to the Christopher House food pantry. The following discounts will apply: 10% for a donation of 1-3 items, 15% for 3-5 items, and 20% for more than 5 items.
Saturday from 11 AM to 1 PM, Provenance Food and Wine's Lincoln Square location has a free tasting of Treelala tea, the sister line to Ineeka teas. The Chicago-based company that distributes these whole-leaf organic teas from India strives to be socially and environmentally responsible, but while some admire Treelala's unique packaging, treehugger.com has a bone to pick with it.
The Illinois State University Madrigal Singers are the entertainment at A Winter’s Song Madrigal Dinner (PDF) Sunday at 2 PM at the Chicago Cultural Center's Preston Bradley Hall (77 E. Randolph). The menu will be prepared by Colin Beaumier, executive chef at the Whitehall Hotel, and features slow-roasted Cornish game hen with bubble and squeak (an English comfort dish of panfried potatoes and vegetables) and warm figgy pudding. 708-383-7543, $75.
Ground to Plate, Sunday from 6-8:30 PM at the Lakeview Uncommon Ground, is "not your Daddy's dinner theater." The $35 fixed-price menu is inspired by and paired with performance pieces that address "the freedom Americans have to choose what and how to eat and the repercussions that arise from the use, misuse, and neglect of that freedom." Reservations required; call 773-929-3680.