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Dave Pickerell, the master distiller for Maker's Mark, comes to bourbon heaven, aka Delilah's, Thursday at 6:30 PM to lead a class on the history of whiskey, in particular Maker's Mark. There will be samples, appetizers, and a whiskey trivia game (h/t Chicagoist). $35.
The South Loop Whole Foods hosts a class called "Spring Detox 101," about how to eliminate toxins from your diet, Thursday from 7 to 8 PM (registration required). Friday at 4 PM there's a "Keep It Green" event, where you can "sample your way through our store." Both events are free.
The Alliance Francaise hosts two free events this weekend as part of its Festival de la Francophonie 2008: Canada and Quebec--Food, Folk Music and Film, Friday from 6 to 10 PM, includes "culinary delights from above the 49th parallel" as well as folk music and film from Quebec, while Haiti: Music and Dancing, Saturday at 6:15 PM, features Haitian cuisine in addition to the music and the dancing.
It's the last weekend for Maple Syrup Hikes at Ryerson Woods, with hikes every half hour from 12:30-2:30 PM (group hikes at 3 and 3:30) on Saturday and Sunday. On the one-hour walks, participants learn about syrup and sap as well as how to tell which trees to tap. $7.
Savoring Sweet Sicily, a talk at the History Museum by Natalie Zarzour of Pasticceria Natalina, covers the history of Sicily's food culture and of Sicilian immigrants in the U.S.; you can sample traditional Sicilian foods too. Presented by the Culinary Historians of Chicago. $5.
A free screening of King Corn--a Super Size Me-style exposé of U.S. agriculture--Saturday from 2 to 4 PM at the Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater will be followed by a panel discussion with community activist LaDonna Redmond and SAIC photography professor Claire Pentecost, whose work focuses on industrial agriculture. Sponsored by the Public Square; reservations required.
World Water Week starts Sunday, kicking off the Tap Project, UNICEF’s initiative to provide safe drinking water to children worldwide. Through Saturday 3/22 you can make a direct contribution to the project by paying a buck--enough to supply a child with clean drinking water for 40 days--for a glass of tap water at local restaurants including Naha, North Pond, and Lou Malnati’s. More than 100 establishments are participating; click here for a complete list.