The Organic School Project presents Smackdown, a mac ’n’ cheese cookoff where amateurs battle it out with professional chefs—including Giuseppe Tentori of Boka, Chris Pandel of the Publican, and Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard—for the title of MACdaddy. Attendees get to eat the results, as well as appetizers and desserts, to be washed down with beer, wine, or a “MACtini” created by mixologist Adam Seger of Nacional 27. The winning recipe will be featured on the OSP school lunch menu. 7-10 PM, Goose Island Brewpub, 3535 N. Clark, 312-924-0196, $50.
On offer at the Binny's Beer Expo are 75 beers from brewers including Three Floyds, Dogfish Head, Bell's, Magic Hat, Lost Abbey, and Founders. 6:30-8:30 PM, 3000 N. Clark, 773-935-9400, $20.
Chicago Restaurant Week, where several dozen local restaurants offer three-course prix fixe lunches for $22 and dinners for $32 (not including tax and tip), starts today and continues through Fri 2/27.
Delilah’s hosts its 11th annual Vintage Strong Beer Festival, with more than 100 aged beers—mostly strong ales, some in multiple vintages—from more than 50 breweries. Among the offerings: Avery Hog Heaven, Malheur Millennium, Skull Splitter, Maredsous Triple, Rogue Ale Old Crusty, and barrel-aged beers like J.S. Lees Harvest Ale. Noon-5 PM, 2771 N. Lincoln, 773-472-2771, delilahschicago.com, $20.
The Garfield Park Conservatory presents Sweet Saturdays, a program highlighting the plants that make dessert possible—like vanilla orchids and cacao plants. There’ll be samples of honey from the conservatory’s beehives as well as activity stations. 11 AM-4 PM, 300 N. Central Park, 312-746-5100, $2 suggested donation.
The tenth annual Wingfest features all-you-can-eat wings from restaurants including Wing-n-It, Wings Around the World, and Timothy O’Toole’s. WXRT’s Lin Brehmer emcees a “Lord of the Wings” eating contest, and Cadillac Dave & His Chicago Redhots provide music. Proceeds go to Chicago Neighbors United, a 27th Ward nonprofit with a college scholarship fund. 1-6 PM, Bailey Auditorium, 1340 W. Washington, $24 general admission, $50 VIP (includes five drink tickets).
The Dining Room at Kendall College is offering fare from a different area of the world every Monday night for the next few weeks; this week they'll be focusing on southeast Asia. The five-course meal includes chicken satay with peanut-coconut sauce and cucumber salad, pho, and beef with Thai mussaman curry and jasmine rice. On March 2 the food will be Greek, and on March 9 it'll be Indian. Seatings begin at 6:30 PM, 900 N. North Branch, 312-752-2328, $38 (includes tax and nonalcoholic beverages), BYOB.
Chef John Manion (formerly of Mas) prepares a five-course meal with beer pairings for Goose Island Brewpub's Fat Tuesday Brewmaster's Dinner. The menu includes fried oyster po' boy with Lincoln Park Lager, rabbit etouffee with La Deuxieme, and bread pudding with imperial coffee stout. 6:30-9:30 PM, 1800 N. Clybourn, 312-915-0071, $50 (includes tax and tip, reservations required).