Find Local Food with the Local Calender

January 30, 2009 at 10:10 am

Rob Gardner

Think local eating is a warm weather vocation?  Try instead many of the options listed below.

To get your hunger pangs going, just check out Chef Paul Virant’s latest menu at Vie.  See what winter eating is all about.

Triple threat on Saturday: chat with [ed. and buy from!] new Beet blogger, Vera V; plenty of fresh produce including Farmer Vicki’s roots, and the splendor of Unity Temple at the winter market in Oak Park.

Those in the more Western parts of the Chicago area have a winter market on Sunday in Winfield, IL–which I suppose if you’ve heard of Winfield, you know where it is.

A feature of these winter markets is bread and other baked goods tasting as only French hands can make them taste.  The CTrib gives a bit of background today about the French Nuns in Chicago, who sell their wares at the markets and do other good deeds.

As we noted last week, there’s nothing quaint about having your cattle rustled.  The Heritage Prairie Market in Elburn, IL hosts a winter festival and fundraiser for the Burgin family this Saturday, January 31, from 1 PM to 5 PM.    Next Saturday (2/7), the Heritage Prairie Market hosts a pasta making workshop.

Speaking of next Saturday, Green City is up and at ‘em again.  You think with the Fire Marshall inducing crush last time, they’d be a bit more alert this time.  Well, they have made significant changes, moving the vendors away from the chef demo’s and staggering the demo’s, but you’d never know from reading their site.  Instead, the skinny only comes via e-mail.  If you got the e-mail, you’d received this info in advance of next week’s market: 

To RSVP for a chef demonstration, please send an email to, or call 773-880-1266 and specify which demo you would like to attend. You’ll receive an email confirmation within two business days of sending your email. If you don’t, please give us a call!

And, and speaking of green, you can get your local food for sure from Cassie Green and her Green Grocer.  She’s getting regular shipments these days from Windy City Harvest, including plenty of fresh winter lettuce.  Winter’s as good as time as any to eat ice cream, and Cassie has the exclusive retail outlet for Nice Cream Ice Cream made right here in Chicago.

If you cannot make it anywhere to shop, say you have to be on Facebook all weekend, you can order local food from Irv and Shelly.  Beyond being a fine, fine source for local food, Irv and Shelly are a pretty good indicator of the types of local products still around.

This week’s roadtrip: South Bend is just far enough way to be in another time zone.  Unlike our fair windy city, South Bend has a year-round, permanent farmer’s market.  This time of year you should be able to find yourself some local apples, local meats, and some locally made candy as well as local milk and eggs.  Sample the local beers and local pops at the Mishawaka Brewing Company

Please let us know where else you are finding local foods.