This Week's Food and Drink Events | Bleader

This Week's Food and Drink Events


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Farm tours, cooking competitions, garden parties, and more.

  • arnold | inuyaki @ flickr
At the fourth annual Country Chef Challenge, three chefs have thirty minutes to prepare a winning dish, using ingredients sourced on-site at the Daley Plaza Farmers Market. This year’s competitors are Piccolo Sogno chef Tony Priolo, Blackbird and Avec pastry chef Patrick Fahy, and Shanghai Terrace chef de cuisine Ivan Yuen. Musical entertainment begins at 11 AM, competitors are let loose in the market at 11:30 AM, and the games begin at noon. 50 W. Washington, 312-744-3315, free.

Chicago French Market vendor Frietkoten hosts a Belgian beer and fry tasting that includes samples of six Belgian brews. Fries, served alongside, come with ketchup, mayo, and your choice of a third dipping sauce. 4:30-7:30 PM, 131 N. Clinton, 312-575-0306, $15.

The Prohibition-themed cocktail party Speakeasy Throwbackbrings together local spirits producers and chefs to benefit Paramount Room beverage manager Shawn Koch, who’s fighting a rare form of brain cancer. Death’s Door Spirits, Koval Distillery, and others provide the booze, which Lockwood chef Phillip Foss promises a bathtub full of; food is courtesy of Stephanie Izard (Girl & the Goat), Mike Sheerin (Blackbird), and Curtis Duffy (Avenues), among many others. 6-9 PM, Empire Room, Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe, 773-209-8507, $95.

The Peterson Garden Project is raising funds to transform a WW II-era victory garden into one that's organically grown and community tended; organizers say that, at 157 beds, it’s the largest edible community garden in Chicago. Tonight’s benefit features wines from Vinejoy, snacks from local chefs Kathy Skutecki, Chris Stoye, and Celeste Dolan, and music by Alison O’Konis. The event also includes a talk by two filmmakers working on a documentary about the garden. Reserve tickets here. 7-9 PM, 2501 W. Peterson, $45-$85.

One SixtyBlue hosts a daylong tour of one of its beef suppliers, Dietzler Farms in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. A bus leaves the restaurant at 2 PM for a farm tour at 4 PM; dinner afterward features salmon rillettes and deviled farm eggs, heirloom tomato panzanella with house-made mozzarella, pulled pork ravioli, and roasted Michigan peach cobbler with buttermilk ice cream. Before the bus departs at 9 PM, a postmeal bonfire includes s’mores, beer, and wine. Call to RSVP. 1400 W. Randolph, 312-850-0303, $150.

Demo topics at this year’s Veggie Fest include “Gluten-free Vegetarian,” “Indian Delights,” and “Vegetarian Power Burgers.” The keynote speaker is Sant Rajinder Singh, who gives a talk on Saturday entitled “Spiritual Well Being and the Vegetarian Diet.” Through Sunday. Sat 11 AM-8 PM, Sun 11 AM-7 PM, Science of Spirituality, 4 S 175 Naperville, Naperville, 630-955-1200, free.


After a tour of the restaurant’s rooftop garden, a three-course Introduction to Permaculture dinner at Uncommon Ground on Devon includes a summer salad with berries and goat cheese, meat loaf and mashed potatoes, and ricotta cheesecake. During the meal, Midwest Permaculture’s Bill Wilson gives a talk entitled “Transitioning Into a More Permanent-Culture.” Reservations suggested. 6 PM, 1401 W. Devon, 773-465-9801, $65.

Locally made Hum Botanical Spirit accompanies each of six courses in a Spirited Dinner collaboration between Mercat a la Planxa chef Michael Fiorello and Nacional 27 mixologist Adam Seger, the creator of Hum. The Catalan-influenced menu includes Marcona almond gazpacho, hibiscus-and-cinnamon-smoked lamb, and barbecue sous vide pork cheeks, as well as libations like the Manhattan España: Hum and Palo Cortado sherry, served in a glass rimmed with turbinado sugar and morel mushrooms. Call for reservations. 6:30 PM, Mercat a la Planxa, 638 S. Michigan, 312-765-0524, $75.

At The New Urban Farmer, one in a series of Downtown Farmstand’s “culinary conversations,” Living Water Farms’ Mark Schneider talks shop with Dave Snyder, who tends garden for Uncommon Ground, offering tips on applying the latest trends in urban and organic farming for the home gardener. RSVP required. 6-8 PM, 66 E. Randolph, 312-742-8497, free.