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One of you feels like Japanese food, the other feels like Mexican food . . . and for just one day, you can both be happy. That's this Sunday when Rick Bayless joins chef Fred Despres of Arami and his chef wife Lisa Despres—who just happens to work at Frontera/Topolobampo—for an "East-meets-South of the Border" event showcasing street foods from both countries. There will be tasting stations featuring things like miso ramen with pozole garnishes, mushroom tacos with plum sauce, and a sake tasting, along with a cash bar; the cost is $75 here.
More cool things to attend, eat, read, or listen to below . . .
• CH Distillery is holding its first mixology class tonight, teaching the basics of stirring, shaking, even making an egg foam on top. It's from 6:15 to 8 PM and the price of admission ($100) includes a distillery tour, three cocktails, light appetizers, and a bottle of infused spirits to take home. Call 312-707-8780 to reserve a spot.
• Sweden was a big part of Chicago and midwestern immigrant culture once, but that was a long time ago, longer even than reading all of Kristin Lavransdatter. On Saturday at Kendall College author Kathleen Flinn will talk about the culinary influence of Scandinavian-American culture. Find out more here.
• Are you a home brewer? Check out the Hirter Uberbrew competition at DANK Haus, sponsored by Louis Glunz, distributor of Germany Hirter Bier brand, on Saturday night. Meet the brewers as they compete for a $1,500 scholarship to the Siebel Institute; get more info here.
• Tom Van Lente of Two will collaborate with Brewery Vivant of Grand Rapids on Thursday, October 16 for a beer dinner featuring fall dishes and an assortment of their mostly Belgian- and French-style beers. It's $65 for five courses, including the beer pairings, and starts at 6 PM. Call 312-634-8363 to make a reservation.
• Tete Charcuterie will have a choucroute dinner—that's sauerkraut, as opposed to charcuterie which is cured meat or charcnado which is cured fish—on October 16, with Scott Walton of Howells & Hood joining the Tete team to prepare a half pig. Call 312-733-1178 to reserve a spot; it's $85, with proceeds going to Lurie Children's Hospital.
• Zoe Nathan of L.A.'s Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery will do a Breakfast for Dinner pop-up at Floriole on Thursday. It's a three-course dinner for $55, which includes a signed copy of her new cookbook, Huckleberry. Call 773-883-1313 for reservations.
• How many James Beard Award winners can you squeeze into a kitchen? You can find out Friday, October 17 at the James Beard Foundation Taste America benefit, where you'll have a four-course meal prepared by Grant Achatz and Sean Brock of Charleston's Husk, McCrady's, etc, with lots of other big-name chefs listed on the program. It's a cocktail-attire event and tickets are going for a cool $400 each; check it out here.
• The occasional ice cream pop-up at David Burke Primehouse, Jove T.'s Ice Cream Shop, will pop up one more time this fall on Friday, October 17 from 3 to 5 PM.
And here's some stuff to read or otherwise take in:
• This guy has written an exhaustive chronicle of Chicago's love affair with French food from the 1920s to the 1990s (I linked to the latest post, literally and historically). If you were here eating any part of it—hey, I ate at Chezz Chazz once!—or if you just find this kind of thing sociologically interesting in terms of how this cow town picked up fancy manners in the 20th century, check it out.
• Morsel, which seems to be a site about letting chefs tell their stories without some pesky journalist getting in the way, got a forkload of VC money yesterday. Honestly, I don't entirely understand it, but one of the better things I've seen there is from Scott Worsham of Mfk, who has a nice personal essay in which he wonders something you'd never see in an article about a restaurant—"What are we Americans so afraid of when it comes to food?" Oh wait, he said almost that exact thing in this Reader interview a few weeks back! I'm not obsolete after all! Yet. But he says lots of other things, and it's well worth reading.
• Remember when bacon, which we all knew about already, suddenly became this craze? People put it on burgers, they put it on cookies, they even named websites for it. Bloomberg Businessweek explains how the bacon craze was engineered to overcome the fact that everybody was and is afraid of pork.
• And if you liked the recent two-part frog-gigging adventure with Iliana Regan of Elizabeth, you can hear an audio version of it in the new episode of my podcast Airwaves Full of Bacon. Also in that episode is me reading a story at the last Between Bites storytelling event in July. The next one is coming up on October 20 at Frontier, and will feature stories by Boka Group honcho Kevin Boehm, Ina Pinkney, Chicagoist editor Chuck Sudo, Matt Lynch of Thrillist, cocktail writer Lauren Viera, and Plate magazine editor Liz Grossman. Go here for tickets.