TomatoFest Potluck This Week – Sign Up Now

September 20, 2011 at 8:30 am

We love our friend Mo, and think highly of her To Market with Mo posts, but somewhere, somehow, she remarked that she was growing tired of tomatoes.  Who grows tired of tomatoes?  Not me.  I adore every variation of tomato salad I can have, as long as I can have good, local tomatoes.  More so, I believe that tomatoes enhance nearly everything they touch.  A turkey sandwich or hamburger gets that much better with a tomato slice. I especially like a good tomato topping smoked fish.  Tomatoes go so well with cheese, and not just a cheese, but the classics of tomatoes and include and blue cheese, and feta and, and aged cheddar.  I’ve even heard that tomatoes go well with bacon. Mo, what were you thinking?

For everyone besides Mo, and probably Mo too, if just to reform her thinking, let’s celebrate the wonderfulness of the tomato this week at the TomatoFest Potluck.  For those unfamiliar with TomatoFest, every year, our friend Damien Casten and his family grow hundreds (if not thousands) of heirloom tomatoes.  The young plants are sold off to benefit Slow Food Chicago.   And now that the plants have all grown up (hopefully), we’ve enjoyed the fruits of this labor.  To punctuate the project, Damien and Slow Food Chicago get together each fall for a potluck fete to the glorious tomato.  The event this year, like the events in years past, will be held at the Chicago Honey Coop.  With your tomatoes you can also get a good tour of the beekeeping.  Gather around, this Saturday, September 24, with a shared dish, it does not have to be tomato based–remember everything tastes better with tomatoes anyways.  Our friends at Slow Food Chicago have a full round of activities planned, including a little work for you to do at the nearby preSERVE Garden.

But wait, there’s more.  If not the pleasure of slow food, the company of fellow travelers, the chance to share dishes, the opportunity to gorge on heirloom tomatoes, the endless supplies of Goose Island beer and soft drinks, the wines from Candid, there’s an additional twist this year.  Coming from Italy, with his biodynamic wines and estate bottled olive oils, is renown Tuscan farmer Cosimo Maria Masini.  If you want to know the real slow, chew the fat with him.  All the more reason to see you this Saturday at the Honey Coop.

Additional details below.

Chicago TomatoFest benefits the preSERVE garden, a partnership between Slow Food Chicago, the North Lawndale Greening CommitteeChicago Honey Co-op, andNeighborSpace.

Arrive at the potluck early and to help harvest black eyed peas and crowder peas from the preSERVE garden!  Don’t worry if you can’t come early, tours will be given of the preSERVE garden and the Chicago Honey Co-op, an urban apiary dedicated to beekeeping training and sustainable agricultural practices.

  • 4:00-5:00pm – Come early and help harvest beans at the preSERVE garden!  Located at 12th Place and Central Park Avenue (just a few blocks from the Honey Co-op)
  • 5:00-8:00pm – Chicago TomatoFest Potluck at the Chicago Honey Co-op

Bring your tomatoes, a potluck dish for sharing, and your chairs/picnic blankets.

Bee Etiquette:  Please wear light colored clothing and a hat. Don’t wear perfumes, colognes, or scents.

Directions: 3740 W. Fillmore is 2 blocks North of Roosevelt Road between Independence Boulevard and Central Park. The apiary takes up the whole block on the north side of Fillmore and is easily visible from the street. There is plenty of street parking available.
Driving: Take I-290 West to Independence Boulevard.  Exit and go South about 3 blocks just past the old railroad viaduct. Turn left on Fillmore Street.  We are located in the middle of the block.

By Bike:

By train: There is a Blue Line stop at Homan/Kedzie. Walk the ramp toward Homan Avenue, walk South on Homan approximately 5 blocks just past the 12-story 1905 original Sears Tower. Fillmore is the first street beyond the tower. Walk 2 blocks West to the apiary.

By Bus: Homan/Kimball bus to Fillmore Street and walk west 2 blocks.

$10 Slow Food Chicago and Chicago Honey Co-op members, $15 non-members.  Kids are free!

NOTE: Rain date is Sunday, September 25th (Check Slow Food Chicago day of event. Rain date will be called by noon on Saturday, September 24th)