Tickets are on sale for this year's edition of the Hamburger Hop, the part of Chicago Gourmet where chefs compete to make exotic burgers. I wrote about it last year
when I was a judge, and guess what—I'll be one again along with WXRT's Lin Brehmer and chef Spike Mendelsohn (Good Stuff Eatery), who won last year. (I'm credited as being from Reader
sibling the Sun-Times
—guess I'm moving with Dumke!) The star studded list of burger chefs competing includes Chris Curren of Seven Lions
, Ryan McCaskey of Acadia
, Doug Psaltis of RPM Steak
, and others. There will also be beer from Lagunitas and an afterparty at the Underground. It's Friday, September 25; get your tickets here
• Cleetus Friedman is having a launch party on Monday for two new sauces in his Cleetus Heatus line, Bourbon Habanero and Bourbon Serrano. It'll be at the Fountainhead Market
, 1966 W. Montrose, from 5 to 9 PM.
• West Town Bakery
and its co-occupant Homestead on the Roof
will celebrate their third anniversary all day and night Monday, August 10. From 7 AM to 3 PM West Town will offer house-made chocolate bars for $3, 20 percent off food items, and other deals. At 6 PM there' s a chocolate-making class with pastry chef Chris Teixeira for the first 15 to show up, and then at 7 PM the party moves up to Homestead with $3 cocktails and Revolution canned beers, and more.
• Heard stories of the lavish foodie meals that Google employees enjoy? Well, Google executive chef Nate Keller spun that off into a business called Sprig, which launches lunch Tuesday with three to four freshly cooked, restaurant-level meals at around $10 a pop plus delivery. They'll be featuring specials from local chefs too. Dana Cree, former Blackbird (et al.) pastry chef, and Tom Van Lente of Big Star will be among those coming up with dishes later this month. Find out more here
• Are Bruce Springsteen impersonators a thing? You can find out this Tuesday at Publican Quality Meats
, when Cosmo Goss (the Publican) and Erling Wu-Bower (Nico Osteria) go mano-a-burgero, Three Floyds introduces two new beers (Calumet Queen and La Noche Se Mueve, a coffee IPA), and . . . a Bruce Springsteen impersonator will be on hand, bringing darkness to the edge of Fulton Street, because baby, we were born to grill. It's $14 per burger, with a piece of the proceeds benefiting Experimental Station, an arts organization on the south side; first come, first served starting at 6 PM.
• Wednesday, August 19, kicks off Local Foods' Wednesday Workshop Series, with seminars from 6:30 to 8:30 PM about different aspects of food. At the inaugural seminar it's Colin Coyle with Cheese 101; August 26 it's a sausage-making workshop with Rob Levitt, and September 2, Stock cafe chef Abra Berens leads an Ingredient Immersion Workshop. Tickets for the first one are $30 here