Local Calendar 4/4/12 Glimpses Of Asparagus On The Tables

April 4, 2012 at 8:17 am

AsparagusIn The Land Connection‘s 2012 farmer annotated calendar, A Year on the Land, the day asparagus is slated to be harvested is April 26th. Due to the unusually warm weather or maybe it is the new “usual”weather, asparagus has made appearances on the farmers’tables this past weekend, as noted in this post by Michael Morowitz on the dilemma of freezing asparagus and Rob Gardner’s post on what’s in season.  However, the bunches of asparagus disappear very quickly, so if you want to buy any, you need to get to the markets early. Ramps are an even more ephemeral commodity, since growing wild, the supply is limited and they are sought out by very early bird chefs. Lilacs made an appearance at the Green City Market this past weekend and yet again disappeared very quickly. Spring markets are starting to open like the one in Grayslake which opens this Saturday and more pop-up dinners are happening so pay attention to the local calendar because we add events daily, as we find out about them, and we love being notified of events, twitter us, or leave a comment below. So onto the local calendar!

In addition to the various events coming up, now is the time to reserve your summer farm dinner.  We have a big list of such events in our Local Calendar.  Look for “FD” below to find a farm dinner for you.


These stores specialize in local foods:

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

City Provisions Deli 1818 West Wilson in Ravenswood, Chicago

Dill Pickle Food Co-op – 3039 West Fullerton, Chicago

Downtown Farmstand 66 East Randolph in the Loop, Chicago

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town, Chicago

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Publican Quality Meats – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

Southport Grocery and Cafe 3552 N. Southport, Chicago


Ongoing through June 10th Chicago – Feast:Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art Smart Museum University of Chicago Go here for all the projects associated with it. And more soon on the Local Beet!

April 4

Chicago - Chicago Food Day(10/24/12)  Planning Meeting – 9:30am – 11:30am James R. Thompson 100 West Randolph Center Room 16-604 All are welcome, RSVP to mhoward@cspinet.org to reserve a spot.

Chicago - Soup and Bread at The Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia 5:30pm – 7:30pm Soup & Bread is a free weekly soup dinner to benefit hunger relief efforts across Chicago – to sign up to serve soup email soupnbread10@gmail.com Each week we round up a handful of Hideout staff and regulars, plus local musicians, writers, artists, and professional cooks to donate pots of homemade soup. We heat them up in crock pots and serve them up, along with fresh bread and the occasional muffins, pie, or cookies. All are welcome. We’ve got soups this week from: Louisa Chu, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Jim Becker, Meghan McCann, Louis Steihm, Allison Stou, tAndrea Deibler, Longman & Eagle , DJ Mary Nisi

April 7

Do your shopping today, no markets open tomorrow!

Chicago – The Green City Market Held at the Peggy Notebaert Museum 2430 N. Cannon Drive 8am – 1pm The chef demonstration from 10:30am to 11:30am will be Stephanie Izard from Girl and The Goat, watch out, you had better be strategic about getting a seat, this is going to be standing room only!!

Evanston –  Evanston Indoor Farmer’s Market, at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd at Bridge St., (there is a large parking lot across the street), thrown by the Friends of the Evanston Market – Expect many of the vendors found at the summer Evanston markets, see here for a list of vendors and other information on the market – 2024 McCormick – 9 AM – 1 PM — Read a report from the market from Beetnik Peg Wolfe here.

Geneva - Geneva Green Market – 27 N. Bennett (Geneva Place) – 9 AM – 1 PM – Read a report from Beetnik Melissa Owens who finds, among other things, basil, at this market here.

Market opens for Spring! Grayslake – Yes, The Grayslake Farmer’s Market Opens for Spring!! Centennial Park and Center St. 10:00 Am – 2pm

La Fox – Heritage Prairie Farmers Market – 9-1 pm. 2N308 Brundage Road, La Fox, IL

St. Charles – Farm Fresh Food Stuffs sponsors a market at St. Charles Place Steakhouse and Banquet -NEW MARKET(weather permitting)  in St Charles this Saturday. We will be on North Ave (route 64) on the east side of town between Kirk & Dunham Roads in the parking lot of St Charles Place. Open from 9am to 3pm.

April 8

Easter!! No markets open

New!!!! Chicago – Return of the Longman and Eagle (Adult) Easter Egg Hunt – 1pm 2657 N. Kedzie Yes, this Easter Egg Hunt for Big People is taking place again, here is a description of the hunt last year. If it is sponsored by Longman and Eagle, it is sure to be tasty, fun and very creative and will probably involve whiskey!!!!!!!!!! Go to the links for more information or contact Elana@LongmanandEagle.com

April 9

New!! Chicago – Fundraiser for Ground Up at Spacca Napoli 1769 West Sunnyside (Between N. Hermitage and N. Ravenswood Ave) 6-9pm. To support their first project, an incubator farmer’s market is being held at Browntrout. $100. For tickets, go here. Chief Beet Rob Gardner wrote a piece on the Spence Farm Foundation and all the chefs involved here.

April 10

New!!! Chicago – Re-Thinking Soup – Hull House Kitchen – Jane Addams Hull House 800 South Halsted St – 12pm – 1pm Topic “Diasporic Soup” Join them to explore diasporic identities through the poetry and stories of Anthony Joseph, one of the U.K.’s most innovative voices, poet, muscian, lecturer. Experience how food is often at the nexus of the intersection of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and national identity, and how through the act of eating, notions of belonging are affirmed or resisted.

Chicago – Lincoln Square - C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 7 to 11 am in the parking lot at Lincoln & Leland.

Chicago – Andersonville – C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 4pm to 7pm on Ashland at Berywn in front of the First Evangelical Free Church

Evanston - NU Sustainable Food Talks Potluck – Know Your Farmer – 6-8pm Technological Institute, Romm L361 2145 Sheridan Road

Western Springs – Dinner at Vie to celebrate Paul Virant’s new book, Preservation Kitchen – $125. The first dinner sold out so this is a second chance, the ticket includes the meal using recipes from the book with wine pairings, a signed copy of the book and a jar of jam, yum! Proceeds go to DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund.Call 708-246-2082 to reserve a spot. Vie is a short walk right off the train and it takes 20 minutes at most from the city.


April 14

Chicago - BACONFEST – UIC Forum If you don’t know what Baconfest is, you should!!! Go to this link to find out more. It has been sold out for quite awhile unfortunately.

Chicago - “My Eats My Streets”: Chicago Mobile Food Symposium and Meet Up, on April 14, at the University of Chicago Law School.   111 East 60th St.Join entrepreneurs, scholars, advocates, government officials, chefs and foodies to discuss how Chicago can foster entrepreneurship and create economic opportunity by allowing mobile vending to thrive. There is a session for vendors that starts at 8:30am. On a personal note, this is hopeful that a food truck symposium is at the Law School because food trucks will need the support of lawyers in order to get the ordinances passed to allow food cooked in trucks on the streets. Go to the link above, this meeting is serious about enacting change so trucks can cook on the streets!!!!!!!!!!

April 15

Chicago – Food Fight - 4th Annual Celebrity Chef Competition benefitting Sclerodema – Kendall College 4:30 – 8pm

Chicago - Dose Market - Yes, it is the monthly beloved Dose Market at River East Arts Center. Go to the site to get more details of all the artisanal food, clothing, object d’art vendors that will be there.

April 17

New!! Chicago – Floriole Monthly Dinner Series with Werp Farm – 1220 West Webster Ave. 7pm For their April dinner, Floriole is celebrating Werp Farms of Buckley, Michigan and their spring bounty that is a sight for sore, winter eyes. You have probably read “Werp Farm” on menus ranging from Perennial Virant to Brown Trout, Nightwood to Alinea, Publican to Next. The reason so many chefs clamor for their produce is because of the intense care and precision with which Mike and Tina Werp run their 80-acre farm. 7 pm $75 per person excluding drinks, tax and gratuity

Chicago – “From Food Desert to Food Oasis: How You Can Have An Impact” Lecture presented by Mari Gallagher sponsored by the American Nutrition Association at the Peggy Notebaert Museum 2430 North Cannon Drive 7:30 – 9:30pm Mari Gallagher, the dynamo who popularized the word “Food Desert”.  Through compelling data, music, and even short video clips, Ms. Gallagher will illustrate how food deserts and food imbalances are linked to more diet-related death after controlling for other factors. The lively and informative presentation includes practical solutions, including the role of nutrition education and how artistic and creative expression can make otherwise turgid research and educational messages come to life. This is a “don’t miss” event packed with information and inspiration. Register here

Chicago – Chicago Chef’s Table Cookbook Launch at Province – Food writer Amelia Levin has profiled top chefs in Chicago including Paul Virant, Randy Zweiban and many others, with their signature recipes. Chicago Culinarians are hosting a 5 course dinner at Province to launch the book, tickets are $75 all inclusive and reservations can be made by calling Province (312)669-9900.

April 18

Chicago - Growng Home hosts a free screening of the acclaimed documentaty “The Interrupters” at their Wood Street Urban Farm 4pm 5814 S. Wood St. The movie tells the story of three “violence interrupters” in Chicago, all of whom are former gang members working to protect their communities by breaking the cycle of violence. From 1-4pm, Growing Home will give farm tours, garden workshops and a chance to shop at their organic farmstand and after the movie, violence interrupters, Li’l Mikey and Hot Rod will lead a community discussion.

April 19

Chicago – Chicagourmet Hosts a Dinner at Les Nomades in honor of Anne Willan – 222 E. Ontario 6 pm, Champagne reception. 6:30 pm, book signing and dinner.  Anne Willan has over 50 years experience as a teacher, cookbook author, and food columnist. She is the founder of the French Cooking School La Varenne, and has received numerous awards. Her long awaited book, “The Cookbook Library: Four Centuries of the Cooks, Writers and Recipes that Made the Modern Cookbook,” will be published in April 2012. This will be a unique opportunity to meet an iconic name in French cooking, and have an amazing meal with Chef Roland Liccioni in the kitchen and Owner Mary Beth Liccioni in the front of the house. $159. Go here for reservations.

April 21

Chicago – Edible Gardens workshop sponsored by Green City Market -9:30am – 10:15am. Join us for their FREE Monthly Hands-on Gardening Workshop Series with Jeanne Pinsof Nolan, founder of The Organic Gardener, Ltd.  Spring Start: Soil Preparation and Planting Cool Weather Crops. The key to a successful organic garden starts with proper soil preparation.  Learn the techniques of good soil stewardship including soil aeration and the beneficial use of compost, soil amendments, and organic fertilizers.  They will also discuss how to successfully direct seed cool weather crops such as peas, spinach, chard, and radishes.

New!! Chicago – Pasta Puttana’s Chef Table Series – Conservas Seafood – 1407 West Grand Ave. 7pm – 9pm This month they bow to conservas seafood: gourmet imported seafood preserved in olive oil, brine, or its own juices. New to conservas? Your first bite of salty white anchovies, sweet king crab, or succulnet razor clams will make you a conservas convert, they swear! Their  Chef’s Table dinners are intimate gatherings set right in the Pasta Puttana production space. The meal is prepared before your eyes and served on our custom-made pasta table. Ingredients are sourced locally and sustainably.$85 per person including tax and gratuity, BYOB Please contact Jessica at 773-439-9623 or jvolpe@pastaputtana.com to reserve a seat.

April 22

Chicago – The Pasta Puttana Chef’s Table Series continues tonight, see above for the info.7-9pm 1407 West Grand

April 24

New!!Chicago – Taste of the Great Lakes – Local and Invasive Species DinnerDirks Fish & Gourmet Shop 2070 N. Clybourn 7:30pm – 9:30pm Join acclaimed fishmonger, Dirk Fucik, and his wife Terry, in celebrating our Great Lakes region and the distinctive seafood it provides us – including the controversial Asian carp you’ve heard about in the news! This family-style dinner includes eight of Dirk & Terry’s original recipes, featuring local & invasive fish that were caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Special guest include the folks from the Shedd Aquarium. $65 per person, BYOB Part of the proceeds go to Slow Food Chicago and there “Send A Farmer to Terra Madre” program. Go here to reserve a spot!!

April 26

Chicago - Green City Market Spring Fling – A New Leaf 1820 N. Wells 6:30pm -9:30pm Join Green City Market chefs, farmers, and supporters for an evening of cocktails, small bites, music and a unique auction experience as they raise funds to support their market education programs.Ticket information and prices here

Chicago - GoodGreens.org meeting -10:00- 12:00 USDA offices in the loop If you are a veteran “good food” person or a newbie, this meeting is a great one to go to, to develop contacts in the “good food” world in Chicago and to get valuable information, it is always worth your time. It is sponsored by the USDA and is a meeting of meetings and welcomes people from all aspects, neighborhoods, organizations, public, non-profit, private, entrepreneurs, anyone interested in a better and more sustainable food system in the Midwest area. The website is a treasure trove of information and Alan Shannon of the USDA is the one to contact if you plan to attend, go to the website for details.

April 27,28,29

Chicago – Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance Presents “Road Food – Exploring The Midwest One Bite At A Time” – Kendall College This 3 day symposium is about what it says, exploring the midwest and all its nooks and crannys when it comes to eating. Here is the jam packed program that covers all three days.

April 28

Chicago – 2nd Annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival at the Chicago French Market 11-3pm This year’s line-up features more than 70 producers,in addition to tastings and demonstrations from a wide variety of your favorite French Market vendors. In addition to cheese-makers and mongers from around the world, there will also be producers of beer, wine, and accoutrements in attendance as well as the vendors in the Chicago French Market. From confectioners and beer and spirit makers right here in Chicago to vintners from Bordeaux, this year the festival includes artisan producers from around your neighborhood and around the world!

April 29

Chicago – The Rice Table at Vincent presents a Rijstaffel Dinner – 1475 West Balmoral 6-9pm This is a Dutch Indonesian grand feast. Go here to reserve a spot. $50

Winnetka – Pop-Up Wine Tasting and Dinner – Sponsored by ChicagourmetsKamp Gallery 996 Green Bay Road. Meet Jens Baerle, the founder ofGourmetdestinations, that puts together Farm to Table trips in Italy. The event will feature an olive oil tasting with appetizers and prosecco reception followed by an Italian Wine pairing dinner. Check Chicagogourmets for further details on this.

May 1

New! Chicago -Happy Birthday!!!!! Growing Home’s 10th Birthday – Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 6-10pm Keynote by Steve James, Director of The Interrupters and Hoop Dreams. Buy tickets here and more information.

May 4

Elgin- Elgins’ Green Expo- 1-8pm at the center of Elgin and is the biggest green event in the Fox Valley. This family-friendly event will include a Green Car Show showcasing some of the latest hybrids; a Farmer’s Market with artisan breads, cheeses and wines; the Garden Area to purchase native trees & plantings; an Eco-Bazaar where visitors can get the latest recycled goods; a Wellness Center with eco-friendly products & chair massages; plus food & drinks from the Locavore Cafe/EcoBar and much more!! Thanks to Melissa Owens for pointing this out!!!

Ottawa, IL - Morel University – This is part of Morel Mania. LEARN FROM EXPERTS – SHARE THE MORELS! Tom Nauman of Morel Mania, Inc. and other morel hunting experts will be your instructors for Morel University. The class is for beginners or anyone who wants to learn the finer points of shrooming: morel habitat, tree identification, correct harvesting techniques, and tricks of the trade. Morel-gathering will last approximately two hours.

May 5

Elgin- The Green Expo in Elgin continues.

Ottawa, IL – Morel Championship Hunt – This continues as part of Morel Mania. General Info: There is a set limit of 440 entrants on a first come-first served basis, and entries will close on May 1, 2012. Walk-ons will be permitted only if space allows also on a first come-first served basis. Also, the entry fee for walk-ons will be $5 additional. Check the website for last minute details.

May 23

Chicago - Slow Food Chicago Dinner at Uncommon Ground featuring Harvest Moon Farms and HUM Spirits.

May 26

FD!! Champaign – Prairie Fruits Farm starts their dinner season – “A Dinner of Spring” 4410 N. Lincoln Ave – H2VinoCaveny Farms lamb, 5 courses, $100.

June 3

Chicago - Logan Square Farmer’s Market opens for the summer

June 9

FD!! Champaign – Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner “Early Season Vegetables Unite” – 4410 N. Lincoln Ave,.(Champaign, not Chicago) Go to the link for more information  $85 per person

June 10

Chicago –4th Annual Slow Food Chicago Pig Roast – 2-5pm Goose Island Beer Company -The annual fundraiser for Slow Food Chicago is back. Mark your calendars and further details will be up coming.

July 14

Chicago – “A Day in the Country” A Celebration of locally grown cuisine, a bus tour to Indiana to visit the Vandermolen Blueberry Farm, stop at Sweet Corn Patch and tour the Belstra Milling Pork Farm. Sponsored by Chicagourmet.

July 18

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series – 5-8pm Cocktail hour by Death’s Door Spirits Dinner by City ProvisionsFinch’s Beer Company and Vinejoy $200 For reservations call the Chicago Botanic Garden (847) 835- 5540.

July 21

FD!! Chicago – City Provisions Farm Dinner – La Pryor Farms in Ottowa, Illinois with Greenbush Brewing Company & Koval Distillery For tickets, please call (773) 293.2489.  $275 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.

June 23

FD!! Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner “Smoked” – 4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) Chef Nathan Sears of Vie will be the guest chef.$100 BYOB Go to link for more information

July 7

FD!! Champaign – Prairie Fruits Farms Dinner “Texas in Illinois BBQ” 4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) BYOB $85 per person, go to link for more information.

July 21

FD!! Champaign – Prairie Fruits Farm Dinner – “An Ode to Frances Mallman” 4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) Chris Pandel of The Bristol and the recently opened Balena will be the guest chef. $100. BYOB. Go to link for more information.

August 4

FD!! Champaign – Prairie Fruits Farm Dinner - “French Country Cooking” 4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) Thad Morrow of Bacaro Restaurant in Champaign will be the guest chef and the guest farmers will Trent and Jackie Sparrow of Catalpa Farm in Dwight, IL. 5 course meal. $100. BYOB.

August 12

FD!! Elkhorn, WI - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner - Dietzler Farm, Chef Dan Van Rite, Hinterland, Erie Street GastroPub, Milwaukee. $200.

August 13

FD!! Elkhorn, WI - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner - 4pm Dietzler Farm, Chef Jared Wentworth Longman & Eagle Chicago, $200. This is going to be really good!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 15

FD!! Caledonia, Il - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner - 4 pm Kinnikinnick Farm – Chef Brian Huston, The Publican, $200.

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series – 5-8pm Cocktail hour by Death’s Door Spirits Dinner by City Provisions, Two Brothers Brewing & Illinois Sparkling Co/August Hill Winery $200 For reservations call Chicago Botanic Gardens (847) 835-5540.

August 16

FD!! Chicago - Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner – 4pm City Farm Chicago Chef Jason Vincent Nightwood $220 [SOLD OUT]

August 18

FD!! Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner “Al Fresco Cucina Italiana” – 5pm 4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) 3 course meal BYOB $60

FD!! Chicago - City Provisions Farm Dinner - Dietzler Farms in Elkhorn, Wisconsin with 5 Rabbit CerveceriaFew Spirits For tickets, please call (773) 293.2489.  $275 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.

August 19

FD!! South Haven, MI – Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner – 4pm Seedling Farm – Chefs Michael and Patrick Sheerin of The Trencherman $200

September 1

FD!! Champaign – Champaign - Prairie Fruits Farm Dinner -”Fish Fry”  4410 N. Lincoln Ave. (Champaign, not Chicago) Meal prepared by Sunday Dinner Chefs Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski out of Chicago, 4 course meal BYOB $65.

September 5

FD!! Glencoe - Chicago Botanic Garden Farm Dinner Series 5-8pm Cocktail Hour by Death’s Door, Dinner by City Provisions, Bell’s Brewery & Lynfred Winery

September 8

FD!! Chicago - City Provisions Farm Dinner - Heritage Prairie Farm & Apiary with Metropolitan Brewing & Templeton Rye $275 This is a mini-vacation, all day affair typically running from 11am to midnight.