Friday from 6:30 to 9 PM, Viet Bistro and Lounge hosts a free tasting of spirits from North Shore Distillery, including gin, vodka, and the new Sirène absinthe; mixologist Rashed Islam will serve samples of two new martinis he’s created with North Shore spirits, and chef-owner Dan Nguyen will make appetizers. Reservations required.
Alliance Française hosts a cooking class with ingredients from Green City Market Saturday; participants will meet at 9 AM at the market in Lincoln Park to shop for organic lamb, tomatoes, French green beans, and early-fall apples. They'll then head to the Alliance Française kitchen to make tomato soup, roasted lamb with vegetable garnish, and an apple cake. $85, $75 members.
The Oak Park Micro Brew and Food Review, Saturday from 3 to 7 PM on Marion Street between Lake and North, features 50 craft beers from 15 local breweries, including Metropolitan, Two Brothers, and Goose Island, as well as locally sourced food from Oak Park restaurants like the new Marion Street Cheese Market, Trattoria 225, and Buzz Cafe. All disposable materials used at the event will be compostable or recyclable. A VIP event from 2 to 3 PM at Marion Street Cheese Market (100 S. Marion) includes a tour of the new eco-friendly facility, tapping of "select" microbrews, and samples of sustainable specialty cheeses. $35, $65 for VIP tickets.
The Whole Foods FlavorFest returns Saturday from 11 AM to 9 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 8 PM at Webster and Racine, with free samples of natural foods, live music, kids' activities, and cooking demos from local chefs including Dean Zanella of 312 Chicago, Bruce Sherman of North Pond, and Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe.
Purple Asparagus, a nonprofit dedicated to "bringing families back to the table" by promoting good eating, hosts "Corks and Crayons," a fund-raiser dinner, Sunday from 4 to 7 PM at Webster's Wine Bar. In addition to food including specialty pizzas, crab cakes, and tandoori chicken kebabs, there'll be wine for the adults, plus live and silent auctions and kids' activities. $65 adults, $25 kids 13-18, $15 kids 2-12, free kids under 2 (members $60/$20/$12).
Slow Food Chicago also has a fund-raiser BBQ dinner Sunday, at 6 PM at Kendall College, to honor Chicagoland delegates to this year's Terra Madre, a Slow Food conference in Italy. Kendall students will cook and serve smoked meats and side dishes. $20.
Willis P. Jenkins, Allá, and Tirra Lirra play a fund-raiser at the Empty Bottle for the Dill Pickle Food Co-op Wednesday at 9:30 PM. The Logan Square community-owned grocery store, which now has 255 members, is slated to open at 3039 W. Fullerton by March 2009. $12, $10 in advance.