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An ancient beer tasting, a chili cook-off, a paella party, and more.
Potters create the vessels to serve the soup in at the annual dinner Empty Bowls, a fund-raiser conceived in 1990 by a Michigan art teacher. Take home whatever bowls you purchase (there’s no limit to how many you can buy); proceeds benefit First Slice Pie Cafe. In addition to soup and bread, there will be music by CHIRP Radio, and a silent art auction. 5-9 PM, Lillstreet Art Center, 4401 N. Ravenswood, 773-769-4226, $25 per bowl.
Charity comes with compensation that’s both intrinsic and extrinsic at this drive for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, where donations of canned goods and other nonperishable food items are rewarded with snacks from the Publican and Hannah’s Bretzel and beer from Three Floyds Brewing. Every donor gets entered into a raffle for a series of dinners at the Publican, Blackbird, and Avec. 1:30-3:30 PM, the Publican, 837 W. Fulton, 312-733-9555.
La Taberna offers two options for celebrating National Paella Day: at noon, chef Enrique Cortez teaches techniques for making two types of paella, La Taberna’s house version (with pork loin, chicken, chorizo, shrimp, calamari, mussels, and veggies) and vegetarian (with eggplant, artichoke, zucchini, roasted peppers, and mushrooms). During dinner service (5-10 PM), a “paella flight” includes three different varieties of the dish. La Taberna Tapas on Halsted, 1301 S. Halsted, 312-243-9980, $30 class, $18 paella flight.
A bottomless cup of chili, courtesy of the aspirations of 20-some firefighters, is available for $5 at an annual chili cook-off, where proceeds benefit the Chicago Fire Department and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. $10 gets chili plus bottomless cups of Rock Bottom’s Fire Chief Ale, an Irish red. 6-8 PM, Rock Bottom Brewery, 1 W. Grand, 312-755-9339.
The Bluebird samples out a variety of ancient brews—smoked, blended, and sour, plus beer brewed with heather instead of hops—at this history-minded tasting, which includes snacks on the side. Reservations recommended. 7:30-9:30 PM, The Bluebird, 1749 N. Damen, 773-486-2473, $30.