by Julia Thiel
A chili cook-off, "Syrah and Swine," appearances by author Dario Castagno, and more.
Aggie Nehmzow, aka the Tomato Lady, discusses her family’s yearlong project to research and cook with squash in the talk Pumpkins and Squashes: Evolution in an American Family’s Folk Food. 10 AM, Kendall College, 900 N. North Branch, 847-432-8255, firstname.lastname@example.org, $2.
Sheffield’s hosts its annual chili cook-off under a heated tent in its beer garden. The cover charge includes beer (two beers for attendees, three for contestants) plus samples of the contest entries and a buffet of bar food like quesadillas and pork sliders. To participate, bring a large crock pot of chili to the restaurant by 2 PM the day of the cook-off. 2-5 PM, Sheffield’s, 3258 N. Sheffield, 773-281-4989, $15.
Dario Castagno, author of Too Much Tuscan Sun: The Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide and A Day in Tuscany: More Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide, signs his latest memoir, Too Much Tuscan Wine, which "celebrates the region’s world renowned viniculture and those who joyously imbibe it" as well as a romance with a mysterious American editor. 6 PM, Italian Cultural Institute, 500 N. Michigan, Suite 1450, 312-822-9545, free.
Dario Castagno makes another local appearance, this one actually involving wine: Salute Wine Bar hosts a tasting of Chianti, Italian olive oil, and artisanal cheese. 6-8 PM, 46 E. Superior, 312-664-0100, $30.
Crofton on Wells presents "Syrah and Swine," a prix fixe menu option of six courses paired with Syrahs. The menu includes smoked pork belly with smoked apple chutney, pork tongue confit, braised pork cheeks, kidney-stuffed puff pastry with prosciutto, and apple cider ice cream with bacon brittle. 5-10 PM, Crofton on Wells, 535 N. Wells, 312-755-1790, $65 without tax and tip.