Weekly Harvest

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Posted: February 28, 2013 at 10:17 am

Here’s another batch of eat local links without a theme. Please share anything good you’ve seen.

Of course we love cookbooks when they’re local.  Gaper’s Block lists several.

Grub Street updates on what happened to a name we used to see on a lot of eat local restaurant menus.

Don’t be embarrassed to eat local cheddar cheese.

Eat local ham.

I guess I’m not the only one who likes eating in a schvitz–not locavore but another long time passion of mine.

Paige does an excellent job of eating local in Boston.

Why we should make real food the foundations of our diets.

And I totally agree that too many don’t know what real food tastes like

Have you signed up for a local coop yet?




Local Calendar 2/27/13 Farmer Talent Show, One Earth Screens INGREDIENTS, Scrumptious Pantry Warehouse Sale

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Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:03 am

The tables may look sparse at the winter markets, yet each week I still seem to come across a new ingredient or item, that I just had not seen or used before. Last week it was taking advantage of the abundance of radishes, this week it is popping corn.  In a world where people are becoming more leary of the effects of GE products and pesticides, little did I realize that The Three Sisters Farm table at The Green City Market had 3 different types of popping corn, which is a cheap and easy to make snack, all organic and locally grown rather than buying any of the store brands.

Much going on this week in the sustainable food event world which includes lots of Soup and Bread,  tonight of course at The Hideout, the theme is NY vs LA and tomorrow in Berwyn at Fitzgeralds then a WBEZ talk about The Soup and Bread Community by Martha Bayne, Saturday at Kendall College. The film INGREDIENTS is being screened at the One Earth Film Festival in Oak Park on Sunday that includes a mighty lunch of many soups by chefs and local cooks(Rob Gardner mentioned it here). A Farmer Talent show at The Hideout, Saturday, to showcase the farmers and learn about the CSAa they offer.  Associate Editor Wendy Aeschlimann’s comprehensive CSA Guide for 2013 is here.  An incredible warehouse sale of Scrumptious Pantry and Fortune/JDY Products, for those looking to stock up on artisanal products at a great price takes place Saturday.  Sauce and Bread Kitchen opens on Saturday, a Chili Cookoff at The Glenwood Bar Sunday, The Maple Festival in Indiana if you want to road trip, lots to choose from this week, check out the calendar!

We try to keep up on events but miss some, some sites to check out for further detail on sustainable food/urban ag are the Illinois Stewardship Alliance out of Springfield and the Advocates for Urban Agriculture here in Chicago as well as WeFarmAmerica which has tons of weekly events. Now on to the week ahead:

February 27

Chicago – Rum, Beer, Cheese and Chocolate – 7pm Grafton Pub 4530 North Lincoln sponsored by Provenance Food and Wine $20

Chicago - Wine Wednesdays at Province Restaurant - Seasonal farm to table tasting menu 161 N. Jefferson

Chicago - Soup and Bread at The Hideout - 1354 W. Wabansia  5:30pm -8pm This week’s theme is NYC vs. LA. The possibilities are endless: Bagel vs. taco soup? Momofuku vs. Kogi soup? Subway vs. freeway soup? Our cooks are the brave Niall Munnelly, Andrea Lee, Sugar Beet Coop’s Cheryl Munoz, Smoque BBQ co-owner Mike McDermott, and a few still TBD. Bread graciously donated by La Farine Bakery and Publican Quality Meats. Donations benefit Association House. This week only we’re asking for a suggested contribution of $10; donate at that level you’ll get to take home a handmade ceramic bowl courtesy of Association House. But, never fear, we’ll still take pay-what-you-can donations as well.

February 28

Chicago – Uptown Market Uptown Farmers’ Market is year round. Every Thursday from 7-1 inside Weiss Memorial Hospital or in the parking lot during the warmer months. 4646 N Marine Drive This is an appropriate day to stock up on Spark of the Heart Soups.

Berwyn – Soup and Bread returns to Fitgeralds – 6pm 6615 Roosevelt Rd. Donation of your choice

Hyde Park – Winterdine at The Experimental Station - A 5-course dinner prepared in their own wood-fired oven by Chef Erling Wu-Bower, a culinary star on the rise, now chef de cuisine at avec. Chicago winter ‘s most convivial dining experience, served indoors in a wintery ‘North woods’ setting. To reserve your places at the table, you may send a check in the amount of $250 per person, written to Experimental Station, with ‘Winterdine’ in the memo line. Seating for Winterdine is not assigned. Assigned/reserved group seating for 8 for you and your guests is available for $3,000. Please include your email address so that we can confirm your dinner reservations. Our address is Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637.

March 1

Chicago – One Earth Film Festival 2013 Multiple locations go to link

March 2

Chicago – Opening of Sauce and Bread Kitchen - 6338-40 N. Clark Brought to you by Mike Bancroft of Coop Sauce and Ann Kostroski of Crumb Chicago as well as they both are behind The Stew Supper Club.

Chicago - Scrumptious Pantry Warehouse Sale - Want to get in on some great foodie deals, this is the event to go to, from 11am -2pm, if the event at the JDY Warehouse this past summer is any indication, if you love artisan products this is a must. Scrumptious Pantry headquarters 3230 West Fullerton .25 mile walk from the Logan Square Blue Line

Chicago – Culinary Historians of Chicago & WBEZ present: Soup & Bread: Building Community One Pot at a Time  10am Kendall College $3 Martha Bayne explores the social role of soup and its history as a tool for both building community and fostering social justice

Chicago – CSA Fair and Farmer Talent Show – 2-6pm The Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia Think farmers just milk your cows and pull your turnips? Think again, well-intentioned friends! Come out to watch them perform for YOU on stage. In between acts, browse each farmer’s booth for info on how to join a CSA farm for 2013

Chicago – Faith In Place Winter Market – 9am – 1pm Broadway United Methodist Church 3338 N Broadway

Chicago – Green City Market at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 8:30- 1pm 2430 North Cannon Drive The market runs indoors through April 27th Bring your children to Club Sprouts at 9:30 – 10:15am. The next monthly Edible Gardens workshop will be March 9.

Elgin - Winter Market at Habitat for Humanity ReStore Elgin - 800 North State St. 9am – 3pm (thru May) Their mantra is “Keepin It Local1″ As such, their intention has always been to supply the local community with local products and crafts.

Evanston – Winter Evanston Farmer and Artisan Market at the Ecology Center  9-1pm 2024 McCormick Blvd.  The market will be at this location for the next 5 months, today and every Saturday through April 27, 2013. Spark of the Heart Soups and C & D Family Farms will be there

La Fox – Heritage Prairie Saturday Farmer’s Market  9am – 1pm 2N308 Brundige Road

Medora, IN – National Maple Syrup Festival – Burton’s Maplewood Farm

Woodstock – Woodstock Winter Market – McHenry County Farm Bureau Buiding 9am – 12pm 1102 McConnell Road

March 3

Chicago – Heat It Up! 4th Annual Chili Cook Off Contest and Festival Glenwood Sunday Market 12pm – 3pm The Glenwood Bar 6962 N. Glenwood Taster $10 in advance, $15 at the door Chefs $15 to enter

Chicago - Floriole Bread Class - 3pm $75 plus tax includes a glass of wine and a pizza dinner along with the class.

Chicago - Truffles Made Easy – 2-5pm Katherine Anne Confections 2745 West Armitage Hosted by Chicagourmets Wine, cheese, chocolate, port, truffle making $52

Chicago – Logan Square Winter Market – 10-2pm Congress Theater Lobby 2135 North Milwaukee

Oak Park – One Earth Film Festival- Screening of the Documentary Film INGREDIENTSplus a SOUP & BREAD LUNCHEON. Free and fun for the whole family! Noon – 3pm Euclid Methodist Church 405 S. Euclid Ave.  Jeff Spitz will be there to show a 10 minute clip of FOOD PATRIOTS, as well.  He will also facilitate an after film discussion.  A free soup luncheon with bread, home made desserts and coffee will be offered.  There will be  soup coming from all corners of Oak Park from pro che’s to homecooks who like to show-off their mad skills.

March 4

Chicago – Common Threads World Festival

March 5

Chicago – Hull House KitchenBehind the Kitchen Door Sustainable Restaurants: Labor Practices, Working Conditions and Wages in American Restaurants, a conversation with Saru Jayaraman 12-1pm Books will be available for purchase after the program. This event is part of the Chancellor’s Lecture Series. Free and open to the public.

Chicago - Mix It Up with Jo Snow Syrups and Whiskey Sister - Whiskey Cocktail Mixology Course 6:30 – 8pm English Bar 444  N. LaSalles $20 Whiskey Cocktails Mixology Course w/Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve and Jo Snow Syrups
learn and name 4 brand new crafted whiskey cocktails appetizers and prizes! Ladies only event

SAVE THE DATE

March 6

Chicago – Province Chicago Farm to Table “Taste Of Spain” Dinner with Chicagourmets-7pm 161 North Jefferson  A cocktail reception and 4 course menu with wine pairings designed by Executvie Chef/Owner Randy Zweiban. Organic, and biodynamic sources are the foundation for food, wine, and beverages of Province. $99 plus tax/tip $89 if you are a member of Chicagourmets

March 9-10

Medora, IN – National Maple Syrup Festival – Burton’s Maplewood Farm

March 9

Chicago - Bee Keepng Class Chicago Honey Co-op Jane Addams Hull House 10am – 3pm $75

March 11

Chicago – It’s baacckk! Brought to you by Imagine Festivals Chowdah Fest – Columbia Yacht Club 6:30-9pm Fantastic atmosphere, where else to drink chowder but on a boat in winter? Tickets $40

March 12

Chicago –  Collaborative “Modern Midwest Dinner” 5 course tasting paired with wines, with Chef Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia and St. Louis Chef Gerald Craft of Niche and Pastaria. Grubstreet Chicago has the scoop on this and they had us after we read the amuse will be nettle tea and rendered chicken fat..hmm at Sepia 6pm 123 North Jefferson $115 not including tax/tip

March 13

*****!!!! Chicago/Springfield – Local Foods Awareness Day Sponsored by Illinois Stewardship Alliance Jessica Fujan from Food and Water Watch will be leading a group from Chicago to participate in advocacy for the GE Labeling Bill, you don’t have to worry about not being prepared, they will train you as well. Here is all the information.

March 14-16

Checkout the schedule!!  Good Food Festival 2013!!!!  Chicago – UIC Pavillion – Good Food Financing Conference Thursday March 14Friday March 15 Tradeshow, School Food and Policy SummitLocalicious Friday 7pm, and finally, the Good Food Festival on Saturday March 16Highlights include a fermenting workshop by the “Expert” Sandor Katz moderated by Chief Beet, Rob Gardner. Support the Beet, support Good Food and sign up for the festival!  LOCAL BEET READERS GOING TO THE EVENT , IF YOU ENTER CODE ac10_12 WHEN REGISTERING FOR TICKETS, YOU WILL GET 10% OFF.  GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

March 23-24

Grand Rapids, MI - Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition - The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association, a not for profit organization formed to showcase and promote the art of apple and pear fermentation beverages and provide related educational opportunities, is the sponsor of this competition taking place at the Courtyard by Marriot in downtown Grand Rapids.

March 30

Chicago - Bee Keeping Class Chicago Honey Co-op - Jane Addams Hull House 10am – 3pm $75

April 20

Chicago - Pinot Days  Navy Pier 2-5pm

April 26

Chicago - Whiskyfest It sold out pretty darn quickly last year!! Better get your tickets now!

April 28

Chicago - Michael Pollan lecture at Elmhurst College  “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation”

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

These stores specialize in local foods:

Artisanal Wilmette – 414 Linden Ave. Wilmette

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

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

Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op - Located in the near-SW Pilsen neighborhood, the co-op has grown to five locations in, including Hyde Park, River North, Lakeview, and Logan Square

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town Check out their produce share January 9th through May 4th. You can still subscribe even though the share has started already.

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Provenance Food & Wine - 2 locations Logan Square 2528 N. California Lincoln Square 2312 W. Leland Ave.

Publican Quality Meats – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

Sauce and Bread Kitchen - 6338-40 N. Clark, Chicago Looking forward to it opening on March 2.

Standard Market – 333 East Ogden Ave., Westmont




Eat Local Movies – Ingredients/Food Patriots – March 3 in Oak Park

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Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:48 am

Come out for a community screening of the documentary film INGREDIENTS plus a SOUP & BREAD LUNCHEON.

Free and fun for the whole family!

Join our friends at the Sugar Beet Coop and One Earth Film Festival for an afternoon of learning, eating and sharing. In addition to a screening of INGREDIENTS, local filmmakeer, Jeff Spitz, will be there to show a 10 minute clip of his Food Patriots. He will facilitate an after film discussion.

Cheryl Munoz of Sugar Beet Coop wants to further tempt you with a variety of soups coming from home cooks and Oak Park restaurants. She says there will even be an Ugandan recipe on hand for you to try something new. Should be fun. See below for details.




Panozzo’s Does Italy Proud With Its Local Ingredients

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Posted: February 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Located a meatball’s throw from the Loop lies a delicatessen with a serious commitment to authenticity, quality, and locality. Panozzo’s specializes in Italian foods made from local ingredients, resulting in creations unlike anything else in town. Most notably, the crescentine sandwich, a pressed sandwich made with soft flatbread and any number of fillings.

Confit chicken thigh crescentine sandwich

The crescentine sandwich is not your standard deli fare. At first glance, the bread looks too thin to slice and use for a sandwich. What drew me to it was its resemblance to Indian fry bread, and for good reason. This bread is pan-fried before it becomes sandwichable. The bread is a specialty in parts of Italy, and largely unseen stateside, which is a travesty, considering how delicious and functional it is. Once sliced in half, you get your pick of fillings, and the options are numerous. Braised beef shoulder with Parmesan cream, giardiniera, and salsa verde is a play on an Italian beef, and the mortadella sandwich with olive-pistachio relish will make you weep all over your bologna sandwich memories. I like the confit chicken thigh sandwich, heaped with roasted tomato pesto, mozzarella, Parmesan, pickled chiles, and herbs. It’s the deli’s riff on chicken Parmesan, and the only problem here is that I will now never be able to eat regular chicken Parmesan again. The bread remains pillowy on the inside, while the exterior is griddled until just crisp. It’s rich and hearty, but since it’s so thin, it doesn’t feel too heavy and it allows the filling to sing.

If you can pry yourself away from your sandwich, you’ll notice the shop is brimming with prepared foods, cheeses, meats, sweets, wine, and more. Locally sourced meats include Gunthorp Farm pork belly porchetta, Slagel Family Farm beef, roasted Gunthorp chickens, and cured meats from Creminelli and La Quercia. Arancini are large enough to toss around a baseball diamond, cookies come in flavors like lemon-thyme shortbread and chocolate chip with Sicilian almond brittle, and cannoli are fried and filled to order. Beyond the crescentine sandwiches, Panozzo’s offers a burly meatball sandwich and a braised sausage sandwich, both served on crackly ciabatta rolls, and both ideal for some sort of Soprano’s viewing party. Healthful sides round out the deli case. I’m a farro freak, so I spring for the farro salad made with Anson Mills farro piccolo, Green Acres Farms beets and carrots, prunes, and pine nuts.

Legitimate Italian sandwiches are a woefully tall order in Chicago, so the offerings at Panozzo’s are a welcome, irresistible relief, made all the more appealing by the fact that ingredients are responsibly and locally sourced. Often viewed as straightforward red sauce sandwich emporiums, Italian delis rarely put as much effort into its sourcing as Panozzo’s does, mostly because they feel they don’t have to. Panozzo’s sets themselves apart by operating as much more than just a deli. It’s a wholesome part of the community, an authentic piece of Italy in Chicago, and the type of neighborhood market every neighborhood envies.


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Local Beer News — 5 Rabbit, Goose Island, and Distributors

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Posted: February 23, 2013 at 4:23 am

Strife at 5 Rabbit Brewery

It was a happier time, when we spoke with Isaac Showaki about the opening of the country’s first Latin-themed brewery.

Back then, 5 Rabbit was just starting to contract brew its distinctive beers and dribbling them into distribution. That distribution built rapidly.

They accomplished an almost-unheard-of feat for a brand new brewery — a gold medal at The Great American Beer Festival for its 5 Lizard Latin witbier.

They built a 30-barrel brewery of their own, in Bedford Park.

They hired John Hall, a renowned brewmaster from Goose Island, to brew their beer

But the relationship between Showaki and his partner, Andrés Araya, was deteriorating. Allegations of inappropriate affairs and improper money handling resulted in two defamation lawsuits being filed in January by Araya against Showaki. At the time, 5 Rabbit Creative Director Randy Mosher was quoted as saying that it was clear the partners’ relationship was deteriorating, but that “the intent was to carry on and focus on the cool stuff that was happening for us.”

“Now it’s up to those guys and the lawyers as to how this will work out,” he said.

And now it’s been partially worked out.

Showaki sold his stake in the company, and a friend of Araya’s, Cesar Garza, is coming in as an investor and heading sales and marketing. The lawsuits have yet to be resolved, though.

There are plans for more distinctive Latin-themed beers to come. Mosher, author of Radical Brewing, as well as other beer books, will ensure the new brews are unlike any you’ll see from other breweries.

 

Nick Barron to Goose Island brewpubs

We told you about Jared Rouben becoming brewmaster at Goose Island’s brewpubs in 2010. Now, Rouben has moved on, with plans to consult and eventually open a brewery of his own. His replacement is Flossmoor Station’s brewmaster, Nick Barron.

Rouben, with a culinary background, was known for his collaborations with local chefs on specialty beers. But Barron is no stranger to collaborations,  even if the Flossmoor Station collaboration program wasn’t as extensive as Rouben’s at Goose Island.

Bjorn Johnson is taking over for Barron at Flossmoor Station.

We wish all the guys well.

(Note that Goose Island’s brewpubs on Clybourn and in Wrigleyville were not part of Goose Island’s sale to Anheuser Bush; the brewpubs are now owned by an independent company, Chicago Brewpubs, Inc.)

 

Distributor Ownership and Control

Upon the repeal of Prohibition, a unique system — called the three-tier system— was set up for distribution of alcoholic beverages. Under that system, manufacturers, distributors and retailers each had to be independent entities, preventing any one from having too much power over the distribution of alcohol.

Skip ahead to 2009. Anheuser Bush, through its WEDCO subsidiary, already owned 30% of City Beverage, which distributes AB products. AB was offered the opportunity to purchase the remaining 70%. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission blocked that purchase, on the basis that AB was an out-of-state company. AB sued, noting that Illinois breweries could own stakes in distributors, therefore claiming blocking the purchase was discriminatory. The courts agreed, and directed the state to pass legislation to resolve the issue and clarify distribution ownership.

That led to passage of the Craft Brewer Act, which reinforced the explicit ban on any brewer having any financial interest in a distributor. (Later, an exception was made for brewers producing 15,000 barrels or less – the small guys – which has contributed to the flourishing of small craft brewers like Pipeworks, Small Town and Begyle, among many others.)

The Craft Brewer Act should have required AB to relinquish its 30% stake in City Beverage. It’s not unreasonable to imagine that many of the legislators who voted for it thought that would be the outcome — a return to the ideals of the original three-tier-system.

However, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission ruled (interestingly enough, on Halloween Day, 2012) that the Craft Brewer Act lacked clarity, and on that basis allowed AB to maintain its City Beverage investment.

Many in the industry complained this would stifle competition and hurt smaller brewers who couldn’t self-distribute.

So, last week, a bi-partisan group of state senators introduced SB 1855, which is intended to clarify the Craft Brewer Act, and return to the basic concept behind the three-tier-system.

Should be interesting to follow, though it’ll probably be under the radar of the major media.




Staying a Locavore

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Posted: February 22, 2013 at 11:30 am

My morning food activities: drink coffee, eat almonds, take pictures of apples I purchased last night. That’s how this locavore rolls. He may not survive without his twelve ounce bag from Sumatra, but he wants you to know his apples come from Michigan.

The six pounds of apples I bought this week were the first Michigan apples I’ve bought in weeks, maybe months. If you know anything about our local agriculture, you know that last year’s bout of climate change had awful effects on local fruit. Freakishly warm early weather caused trees to bloom too soon, and then an un-wanted late season frost made the trees rue their decision. Chicago area farmer’s markets had very little orchard fruit from Michigan farms. What may have gone less noticed is that commercial outlets for Michigan fruit have also been depleted. The Local Family relied on Michigan apples from Caputo’s, Costco and all sorts of places to make it through the winter. The fruit we have eaten this winter has been almost all citrus and bananas, with the occasional pomegranate splurge–I should also add (confess) that there were some California persimmons, but since they tasted like winter tomatoes I don’t think they truly count.

That’s the thing. We’re gonna eat oranges. We’re gonna eat almonds. We’re not gonna eat Washington apples. On one hand, I can tell that I really do believe that most of the Washington apples in the markets taste awful.  I’m sure there’s great Washington apples out there (and just for the record, maybe the best apples I ever ate came from California), but those wax coated things in the stores, they’re not it. Still, we don’t do it just for the taste. To us, we want to make our idea of eating local meaningful. You cannot have meaning if you just eat what you can. We really, almost always, abide by our rule that if it grows here, we only eat it from here.

The other place that gets us is in lettuce. We like salad as much as anyone else. We struggle all winter looking for (and finding) locally grown lettuces, from hoops or hydro. I guess if we could never find it, we’d perhaps be more lax. Same thing with apples. We could live with this winter’s deficit of apples. If you look carefully my pic you see we rectified that this week. At Dominick’s of all places (where the produce generally sucks). It’s good to stay a locavore.




Risks to the Local Cheese Industry and More in This Week’s Harvest

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Posted: February 22, 2013 at 10:40 am

Can You can’t make a menu of turnips, rutabagas and potatoes?  Outstanding article in this week’s New York Times on keeping it local in the winter.  New York chef, Dan Barber answers that “he preferred cooking in the winter months. At what point can I make the greatest impression? People’s expectations are lower, and it’s easier to exceed them.”

The whole industry cringes when there’s an illness outbreak.  A  new Food and Drug Administration study  found that the risk of a dangerous and sometimes fatal infection from soft-ripened cheeses made from raw milk is up to 160 times higher than that from soft-ripened cheeses made from pasteurized milk.  Tougher regulations on popular raw-milk cheeses could come as a result of the report.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks into the impact on our local cheese world.

One way the anti-locavores try to prey on your good intentions is to make you feel guilty about all the struggling farmers in Africa, India, etc. who are not getting your money since you buy local.  Our primary argument on this is that most locavores are more than happy to stock up on chocolate, coffee, tapioca, spices, and other items that grow best where they grow best.  And it’s actually pressure to put non-traditional crops in these places that’s causing problems (h/t).

They are thinking about local eating right now in Hardwick, Vermont.

MikeG finds the locavore restaurant in Chicago no one else is talking about.

A link of links from the inexhaustible Mark Bittman.

Serious Eats tours the Dill Pickle Coop

Read the Inconsistent Locavore.

 




Maple Syrup and Bourbon Team Up for Dinner at deca

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Posted: February 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm


Growing up in New Hampshire, I practically have maple syrup pulsing through my veins. Cut my jugular and you’re in for a sweet surprise! Just kidding, please don’t. But you can imagine my excitement a few years ago, when I was first introduced to the elixir that is Burton’s Maplewood Farm maple syrup. When I moved away from New England, I pretty much resigned myself to Aunt Jemima, but then along comes an Indiana maple purveyor with a product as good as any pancake could dream. Not only is the syrup delicious, but maple maestro Tim Burton creates whimsical variations, such as smoked syrup, spice-infused syrup, and bourbon barrel-aged syrup, the latter of which hits the spotlight at a Burton and Bourbon dinner at deca next week.

Taking place February 26 at deca RESTAURANT [yes, sic] in the Ritz Carlton, Burton joins forces with executive chef Mark Payne and Armando Zapata of Wirtz Beverage Group to curate a three-course dinner inspired by maple syrup and bourbon in celebration of maple season. Burton first met Payne when he asked Burton to visit the restaurant and talk to the staff about his farm, maple production, and the differing grades of syrup. Along with his sous chef at the time, Kevin Erving, Payne stayed on Burton’s farm for three days, helping tap maple, bottling syrup, and visiting local Amish maple syrup producers to compare techniques. On working with Payne, Burton extols him for the thought he puts into each dish, and how he elevates each one. “A testament to this is his dedication to sourcing local seasonal food by investing his time to get to know each farm purveyor on a personal level,” says Burton.

For this particular syrup, Burton aged syrup in a Woodford Reserve bourbon barrel. While Payne prepares dishes using Burton’s maple syrup, plates will be paired with Woodford Reserve bourbon cocktails. The menu includes maplewood hot smoked salmon with bourbon and rosemary, frisée and blood orange; bourbon brined and roasted Gunthorp Farms duck with parsley root and maple-sour cherry jus; and bourbon caramel milk tarts with banana and maple cream.

Guests are also in for a treat as David Hoppe, author of Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest, will be in attendance to sign copies of his book, which features Burton and other notable Indiana food purveyors.

Dinner kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and costs $59 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 312-573-5160.




Local Calendar 2/20/13 Local Options Continue To Grow Sauce and Bread Kitchen

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Posted: February 20, 2013 at 11:20 am

Local options continue to increase. Opening March 2 is Sauce and Bread Kitchen, (6338 North Clark, just south of Clark and Devon) the perfect combination from Mike Bancroft, the “Sauce Boss” of Coop Sauce  and Anne Kostroski of Crumb Bread. They will be selling all sorts of great sauces made with local ingredients as well as serving food, like maple sage sausage with whipped feta on a crumpet.

Radishes abound at the winter markets. As much as some people love them, their pungent flavor creates enemies despite their nutritional value containing potassium, Vitamin C and magnesium. In the spirit of fermentation, since Chief Beet Rob Gardner will be moderating a fermentation workshop given by Sandor Katz, Mr. Fermentation, at the Good Food Festival on March 16, this week my project was pickling a mixture of daikon, watermelon and green radishes. The tables of Nichols Farm at the Green City Market just had too many great radishes not to pick up some.

A bonus of going to the Green City Market is making it in time for the chef demonstration. This week was Nate Meads of Nellcote where they housemill their own flour. I sampled apple strudel and a few lucky dads who were there watching with their kids were able to take some of the strudel dough home to bake themselves! Another reason to make it to the market in the wintertime!

We try to keep up on events but miss some, some sites to check out for further detail on sustainable food/urban ag are the Illinois Stewardship Alliance out of Springfield and the Advocates for Urban Agriculture here in Chicago as well as WeFarmAmerica which has tons of weekly events. Now on to the week ahead:

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

These stores specialize in local foods:

Artisanal Wilmette – 414 Linden Ave. Wilmette

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

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

Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op - Located in the near-SW Pilsen neighborhood, the co-op has grown to five locations in, including Hyde Park, River North, Lakeview, and Logan Square

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town Check out their produce share January 9th through May 4th. You can still subscribe even though the share has started already.

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Provenance Food & Wine - 2 locations Logan Square 2528 N. California Lincoln Square 2312 W. Leland Ave.

Publican Quality Meats – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

Sauce and Bread Kitchen - 6338-40 N. Clark, Chicago Looking forward to it opening on March 2.

Standard Market – 333 East Ogden Ave., Westmont

February 20

Chicago - Wine Wednesdays at Province Restaurant - Seasonal farm to table tasting menu 161 N. Jefferson

Chicago - Soup and Bread at The Hideout - 1354 W. Wabansia  5:30pm -8pm This week our theme is “All Things Cow-nsidered” …. which means cheese, butter, cream, and all kinds of beefy goodness. Our cooks are Kim Bellware, Perry Kim, John McKevitt, Mark Smrecek, Bonnie Tawse, Rich Kinczyk, and the cheesemongers of Bridgeport’s Great American Cheese Collection. Bread donated by Publican Quality Meats and La Farine Bakery. Our DJ is Bloodshot Records’ Scott Schaefer; pay what you can donations benefit the Central City Housing Ventures food pantry.

February 21

Chicago – Uptown Market Uptown Farmers’ Market is year round. Every Thursday from 7-1 inside Weiss Memorial Hospital or in the parking lot during the warmer months. 4646 N Marine Drive This is an appropriate day to stock up on Spark of the Heart Soups .

February 22

Chicago – 2 Sparrows Virtue Cider Dinner – 7pm 553 Diversey Pkwy w/a first look at Virtue’s new cider “Mitten” $50 includes beverages

February 23

Chicago – Green City Market at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 8:30- 1pm 2430 North Cannon Drive The market runs indoors through April 27th Bring your children to Club Sprouts at 9:30 – 10:15am. The next monthly Edible Gardens workshop will be March 9.

Elgin - Winter Market at Habitat for Humanity ReStore Elgin - 800 North State St. 9am – 3pm (thru May) Their mantra is “Keepin It Local1″ As such, their intention has always been to supply the local community with local products and crafts.

Evanston – Winter Evanston Farmer and Artisan Market at the Ecology Center  9-1pm 2024 McCormick Blvd.  The market will be at this location for the next 5 months, today and every Saturday through April 27, 2013. Spark of the Heart Soups and C & D Family Farms will be there.

Hyde Park – Faith In Place - Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park 5500 S Woodlawn Ave 9am – 1pm

La Fox – Heritage Prairie Saturday Farmer’s Market  9am – 1pm 2N308 Brundige Road

February 24

Chicago – Logan Square Winter Market – 10-2pm Congress Theater Lobby 2135 North Milwaukee

February 25

Chicago - Monthly Dinner Floriole Bakery and Cafe - Chocolate & Vanilla 7pm $35

February 26

Chicago - Food Day Community-wide meeting – 10:00-11:30am Food Day is a national movement, and is recognized across the country on October 24. Come learn what Food Day is and identify ways you and your organization can get involved. Go to the link on Facebook for details, RSVP required.

 Chicago – The Stew Supper Club presents Basque Supper 7pm Sauce and Bread Kitchen – 6338-40 N. Clark

Chicago – Burton and Bourbon Dinner Deca Restaurant The Ritz Carlton -7:30pm  Join Tim Burton of Burton’s Maplewood Farm, Armando Zapata of Wirtz Beverage, David Hoppe, The Author of “Food For Thought:An Indiana Harvest” as Chef Mark Payne prepares a 3 course dinner inspired by Burton’s Bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup paired with Woodford Reserve Bourbon cocktails. $59 not including tax and tip, reservations 312-573-5160 Read Matt’s writeup here….

SAVE THE DATE

February 27

Chicago – Rum, Beer, Cheese and Chocolate – Grafton Pub sponsored by Provenance Food and Wine

February 28

Hyde Park – Winterdine at The Experimental Station - A 5-course dinner prepared in their own wood-fired oven by Chef Erling Wu-Bower, a culinary star on the rise, now chef de cuisine at avec. Chicago winter ‘s most convivial dining experience, served indoors in a wintery ‘North woods’ setting. To reserve your places at the table, you may send a check in the amount of $250 per person, written to Experimental Station, with ‘Winterdine’ in the memo line. Seating for Winterdine is not assigned. Assigned/reserved group seating for 8 for you and your guests is available for $3,000. Please include your email address so that we can confirm your dinner reservations. Our address is Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637.

March 1-3

Chicago – One Earth Film Festival 2013

March 2-3, 9-10

Medora, IN – National Maple Syrup Festival – Burton’s Maplewood Farm

March 2

Chicago – Opening of Sauce and Bread Kitchen - 6338-40 N. Clark Brought to you by Mike Bancroft of Coop Sauce and Ann Kostroski of Crumb Chicago as well as they both are behind The Stew Supper Club.

Chicago – Scrumptious Pantry Warehouse Sale – Want to get in on some great foodie deals, this is the event to go to, from 11am -2pm, if the event at the JDY Warehouse this past summer is any indication, if you love artisan products this is a must. Scrumptious Pantry headquarters 3230 West Fullerton .25 mile walk from the Logan Square Blue Line

Chicago – CSA Fair and Farmer Talent Show – 2-6pm The Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia Think farmers just milk your cows and pull your turnips? Think again, well-intentioned friends! Come out to watch them perform for YOU on stage. In between acts, browse each farmer’s booth for info on how to join a CSA farm for 2013

March 3

Chicago - Floriole Bread Class - 3pm $75 plus tax includes a glass of wine and a pizza dinner along with the class.

Chicago - Truffles Made Easy – 2-5pm Katherine Anne Confections 2745 West Armitage Hosted by Chicagourmets Wine, cheese, chocolate, port, truffle making $52

March 4

Chicago – Common Threads World Festival

March 5

Chicago – Mix It Up with Jo Snow Syrups and Whiskey Sister – Whiskey Cocktail Mixology Course 6:30 – 8pm English Bar 444  N. LaSalles $20 Whiskey Cocktails Mixology Course w/Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve and Jo Snow Syrups
learn and name 4 brand new crafted whiskey cocktails appetizers and prizes! Ladies only event

March 9

Chicago - Bee Keepng Class Chicago Honey Co-op Jane Addams Hull House 10am – 3pm $75

March 11

Chicago – It’s baacckk! Brought to you by Imagine Festivals Chowdah Fest – Columbia Yacht Club 6:30-9pm Fantastic atmosphere, where else to drink chowder but on a boat in winter? Tickets $40

March 13

*****!!!! Chicago/Springfield – Local Foods Awareness Day Sponsored by Illinois Stewardship Alliance Jessica Fujan from Food and Water Watch will be leading a group from Chicago to participate in advocacy for the GE Labeling Bill, you don’t have to worry about not being prepared, they will train you as well. Here is all the information.

March 14-16

Checkout the schedule!!  Good Food Festival 2013!!!!  Chicago – UIC Pavillion – Good Food Financing Conference Thursday March 14Friday March 15 Tradeshow, School Food and Policy SummitLocalicious Friday 7pm, and finally, the Good Food Festival on Saturday March 16Highlights include a fermenting workshop by the “Expert” Sandor Katz moderated by Chief Beet, Rob Gardner. Support the Beet, support Good Food and sign up for the festival!

March 23-24

Grand Rapids, MI - Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition - The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association, a not for profit organization formed to showcase and promote the art of apple and pear fermentation beverages and provide related educational opportunities, is the sponsor of this competition taking place at the Courtyard by Marriot in downtown Grand Rapids.

March 30

Chicago - Bee Keeping Class Chicago Honey Co-op - Jane Addams Hull House 10am – 3pm $75

Pinot Days - Saturday April 20th Navy Pier 2-5pm

Whiskyfest Friday April 26 - It sold out pretty darn quickly last year!! Better get your tickets now!

Michael Pollan lecture at Elmhurst College April 28th 7pm “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation”



A Mixed Bag of Eat Local Links – The Weekly Harvest

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Posted: February 15, 2013 at 11:20 am

We’ve harvested a mix bag of eat local links this week that we hope will keep you informed and keep you on the locavore way.

Would you pay more for local food?

We are very fast coming to CSA sign-up season.  Here’s an interesting bit of perspective for the CSAers out there.

We always look for reasons why we should be eating local.

And inspiration to eat local all year long.

More inspiration, a February Locavore Challenge.

Finally, the case for taste.




SB 1666 GE Labeling Bill Introduced to Illinois Senate

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Posted: February 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm

                                                                                                                                             On Wednesday, Senator Dave Koehler introduced a SB 1666 that would require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods in Illinois.  The legislation was drafted with the support of Food & Water Watch, a consumer advocacy  group, and is strongly supported by many national and local organizations and individuals including food cooperatives, organic farmers, environmentalists and food justice proponents.

The full press release is below:

Illinois Senate Introduces Legislation to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

New Bill Could Expose Previously Hidden Genetically Engineered Ingredients in our Food

Springfield, Ill. – On Wednesday, Senator Dave Koehler introduced a SB 1666 that would require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods in Illinois.  The legislation was drafted with the support of Food & Water Watch, a consumer advocacy  group, and is strongly supported by many national and local organizations and individuals including food cooperatives, organic farmers, environmentalists and food justice proponents.

“SB 1666 presents a tremendous opportunity to improve research and expand our understanding of GE crops and foods,” said Jessica Fujan, Illinois organizer for Food & Water Watch.  “Labeling will give us the data we need to draw solid conclusions about GE foods, and it will give consumers the ability to make fully-informed decisions about what we are eating and feeding our families. Right now, the companies that stand to profit from genetic engineering are making those decisions for us.”

If passed, SB 1666 would require labeling for all foods containing more than one percent GE ingredients. This includes plants altered in a laboratory with foreign genetic material to create novel genetic combinations and exhibit traits that do not occur in nature. Since most processed foods contain some derivative of GE corn, soybean or cotton, they would require labeling under this law.

Although health risks associated with eating GE products are not fully understood, these altered foods have become pervasive within our food system since they first became available in 1996.  Companies submit their own safety testing data, and independent research is limited because biotechnology companies prohibit cultivation for research purposes.

Securing labeling of GE foods is a key priority for groups such as the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council, which represents urban and rural farmers and individuals advocating for sustainable growing practices. “The farmers and non-farmers among us are universally supportive of GE labeling.  We work hard to grow good food and serve our families food that has not been genetically engineered. It’s our right as citizens to know what is in our food.  In a democracy, corporations should not have special privileges that make it difficult for the average consumer to have transparency in what they consume,” said Erika Allen, urban farmer for Growing Power and President of the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council.

Labeling GE foods is not a novel idea.  The European Union specifically addresses the new properties and risks of biotech crops, requiring all food, animal feed, and processed products with GE content to bear labels. In fact, the EU is among nearly 50 developed countries that require the GE products they import from the US to be labeled.   Furthermore, a 2012 Mellman Group Study in the US. showed that 91 percent of voters favored having the US. Food and Drug Administration require labels on GE foods and ingredients.

SB 1666 will be considered by the Legislature over the coming months and can be viewed at:  http://bit.ly/VV9qZp


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Local Calendar 2/13/13 Know Your Urban Animal First Annual Livestock Expo Sat

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Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:42 am

We are in the midst of winter and snow is on the ground to prove it. It is that time of year where the abundance of root vegetables take over the tables and there is a definite lack of greenness, the indoors at the Green City Market mirrored what was outdoors! There were plenty of radishes to choose from, like the diakon radishes at the Nichols Farm table.  Kimchi, anyone?

However, there is still lots going on in local land like the first Annual Urban Livestock Expo at the Garfield Park Conservatory. You can put on your Farm City hat and learn how to raise your own chickens and you can take a break while you are there and check out some of the flower show going on and get warm! Make sure you have the Farmer CSA Fair Talent Show on your calendar for March 2 at The Hideout, a great way to know your farmer and know your CSA.

We try to keep up on events but miss some, some sites to check out for further detail on sustainable food/urban ag are the Illinois Stewardship Alliance out of Springfield and the Advocates for Urban Agriculture here in Chicago as well as WeFarmAmerica which has tons of weekly events. Now on to the week ahead:

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

These stores specialize in local foods:

Artisanal Wilmette – 414 Linden Ave. Wilmette

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

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

Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op - Located in the near-SW Pilsen neighborhood, the co-op has grown to five locations in, including Hyde Park, River North, Lakeview, and Logan Square

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town Check out their produce share January 9th through May 4th. You can still subscribe even though the share has started already.

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Provenance Food & Wine - 2 locations Logan Square 2528 N. California Lincoln Square 2312 W. Leland Ave.

Publican Quality Meats – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

Sauce and Bread Kitchen – 6338-40 N. Clark, Chicago Looking forward to it opening on March 2.

Standard Market – 333 East Ogden Ave., Westmont

February 13

Chicago - Wine Wednesdays at Province Restaurant - Seasonal farm to table tasting menu 161 N. Jefferson

Chicago - Soup and Bread at The Hideout - 1354 W. Wabansia  5:30pm -8pm Our soup theme this week is the Valentine’s-appropriate “Love, Lust, and Hate.” We’re looking forward to soups of giddy hopefulness, uncontrollable desire, and dark, smoldering revenge. Or maybe just quiet comfort and a pair of cozy slippers. Our soup cooks for this week are: Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp from Sunday Dinner Chicago, Foodgasm’s Ashley Simone and Etta Worthington, Kiku Handmade’s Laurie Freivogel, Rock Candy’s Helen Tsatsos, freelance writer Lisa Chalem, and Maria Wilson. Bread generously donated by Publican Quality Meats and La Farine Bakery. Our DJs are Gwen and Jeremy Lemos; pay-what-you-can donations benefit Common Pantry.

Chicago - Winter/Indoor Gardening: Seed Starting & Countertop Herb Gardening WeFarmAmerica 5:30-7:30pm Green Exchange 2545 W. Diversey (Greenhouse Loft)Get an early start with seedlings for your vegetable garden or get your fix with indoor herbs. We’ll show you how to do both in this hands-on workshop. Get Tickets NOW(Sliding Scale – No one will be turned away)

February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chicago – Uptown Market Uptown Farmers’ Market is year round. Every Thursday from 7-1 inside Weiss Memorial Hospital or in the parking lot during the warmer months. 4646 N Marine Drive This is an appropriate day to stock up on Spark of the Heart Soups .

Chicago - RAW! Breakfast Workshop 5:30-7:30pm Green Exchange 2545 W. Diversey There’s much more to a Raw Breakfast than just juicing and smoothies. We’ll show you a handful of tasty and healthy recipes to get your morning started right Get Tickets NOW! (Sliding Scale – No one will be turned away)

February 16

Chicago – First Annual Chicago Urban Livestock Expo - 10am – 1pm Garfield Park Jensen Room  The information, supplies, and support you need to keep backyard poultry, bees, goats, and rabbits Registration starts at 10AM Welcome, introductions, and presentations begin at 10:15AM In-depth briefings 11:15AM-12:15PM Browse info tables and network until 1PM Questions? Want to provide information or volunteer? Email martha@learngrowconnect.org  Sponsored by Advocates for Urban Agriculture (www.auachicago.org), Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts (www.chicagochickens.org), Angelic Organics Learning Center (www.learngrowconnect.org

Chicago – 15th Annual Vintage Strong Beer FestDelilah’s 2771 N. Lincoln Noon – 5pm $20 An unprecedented selection of rare beers will be available.

Chicago – Green City Market at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 8:30- 1pm 2430 North Cannon Drive The market runs indoors through April 27th Bring your children to Club Sprouts at 9:30 – 10:15am. The next monthly Edible Gardens workshop will be March 9.

Elgin - Winter Market at Habitat for Humanity ReStore Elgin - 800 North State St. 9am – 3pm (thru May) Their mantra is “Keepin It Local1″ As such, their intention has always been to supply the local community with local products and crafts.

Evanston – Winter Evanston Farmer and Artisan Market at the Ecology Center  9-1pm 2024 McCormick Blvd.  The market will be at this location for the next 5 months, today and every Saturday through April 27, 2013. Spark of the Heart Soups and C & D Family Farms will be there.

La Fox – Heritage Prairie Saturday Farmer’s Market  9am – 1pm 2N308 Brundige Road

February 17

Chicago – Logan Square Winter Market – 10-2pm Congress Theater Lobby 2135 North Milwaukee

Chicago – Butcher and Larder/La Sirena Clandestina Bare Knuckle Farms Dinner – 6-9 pm 954 West Fulton Rob Levitt and John Manion team up, Grubstreet Chicago has all the details.$85 $30 optional drink package

Oak Park – Faith In Place Indoor Markets – St. Giles Catholic Parish 1101 N.Columbian 8:30am – 1pm

February 19

Chicago – Re-Thinking Soup Jane Addams Hull House 12pm – 1pm “African American Food Traditions” Soup Black-eyed peas in tomato and onion sauce  Re-Thinking Soup honors chef and author Edna Lewis, (1916-2006) long considered an African American trailblazer in the culinary world. The next RTS will be Tuesday March 9

Glenview – Spice It Up Indian Style- Glenview Public Library – 7pm 1930 Glenview Road Join Spice House owners Tom and Patty Erd for their popular program on the history of spices at a library near you. The spice trade has shaped the course of history since the earliest civilizations. You’ll hear tales of adventure and piracy, and come home with new knowledge and a goody bag of spices.

SAVE THE DATE

February 22

Chicago – 2 Sparrows Virtue Cider Dinner – 7pm 553 Diversey Pkwy w/a first look at Virtue’s new cider “Mitten” $50 includes beverages

February 25

Chicago – Monthly Dinner Floriole Bakery and Cafe – Chocolate & Vanilla 7pm $35

February 26

Chicago – The Stew Supper Club presents Basque Supper 7pm Sauce and Bread Kitchen – 6338-40 N. Clark

Chicago – Burton and Bourbon Dinner Deca Restaurant The Ritz Carlton -7:30pm  Join Tim Burton of Burton’s Maplewood Farm, Armando Zapata of Wirtz Beverage, David Hoppe, The Author of “Food For Thought:An Indiana Harvest” as Chef Mark Payne prepares a 3 course dinner inspired by Burton’s Bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup paired with Woodford Reserve Bourbon cocktails. $59 not including tax and tip, reservations 312-573-5160

New!! Chicago – Food Day Community-wide meeting – 10:00-11:30am Food Day is a national movement, and is recognized across the country on October 24. Come learn what Food Day is and identify ways you and your organization can get involved. Go to the link on Facebook for details, RSVP required.

February 27

Chicago – Rum, Beer, Cheese and Chocolate – Grafton Pub sponsored by Provenance Food and Wine

February 28

Hyde Park – Winterdine at The Experimental Station – A 5-course dinner prepared in their own wood-fired oven by Chef Erling Wu-Bower, a culinary star on the rise, now chef de cuisine at avec. Chicago winter ‘s most convivial dining experience, served indoors in a wintery ‘North woods’ setting. To reserve your places at the table, you may send a check in the amount of $250 per person, written to Experimental Station, with ‘Winterdine’ in the memo line. Seating for Winterdine is not assigned. Assigned/reserved group seating for 8 for you and your guests is available for $3,000. Please include your email address so that we can confirm your dinner reservations. Our address is Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637.

March 1-3

Chicago – One Earth Film Festival 2013

March 2-3, 9-10

Medora, IN – National Maple Syrup Festival – Burton’s Maplewood Farm

March 2

Chicago – Opening of Sauce and Bread Kitchen – 6338-40 N. Clark Brought to you by Mike Bancroft of Coop Sauce and Ann Kostroski of Crumb Chicago as well as they both are behind The Stew Supper Club.

Chicago – CSA Fair and Farmer Talent Show – 2-6pm The Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia Think farmers just milk your cows and pull your turnips? Think again, well-intentioned friends! Come out to watch them perform for YOU on stage. In between acts, browse each farmer’s booth for info on how to join a CSA farm for 2013

March 3

Chicago – Floriole Bread Class – 3pm $75 plus tax includes a glass of wine and a pizza dinner along with the class.

Chicago - Truffles Made Easy – 2-5pm Katherine Anne Confections 2745 West Armitage Hosted by Chicagourmets Wine, cheese, chocolate, port, truffle making $52

March 4

Chicago – Common Threads World Festival

March 9

Chicago – Bee Keepng Class Chicago Honey Co-op Jane Addams Hull House 10am – 3pm $75

March 11

New!! Chicago – It’s baacckk! Brought to you by Imagine Festivals Chowdah Fest – Columbia Yacht Club 6:30-9pm Fantastic atmosphere, where else to drink chowder but on a boat in winter? Tickets $40

March 13

Springfield – Local Foods Awareness Day Sponsored by Illinois Stewardship Alliance

March 14-16

Checkout the schedule!!  Good Food Festival 2013!!!!  Chicago – UIC Pavillion – Good Food Financing Conference Thursday March 14, Friday March 15 Tradeshow, School Food and Policy Summit, Localicious Friday 7pm, and finally, the Good Food Festival on Saturday March 16. Highlights include a fermenting workshop by the “Expert” Sandor Katz moderated by Chief Beet, Rob Gardner. Support the Beet, support Good Food and sign up for the festival!

March 23-24

Grand Rapids, MI – Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition – The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association, a not for profit organization formed to showcase and promote the art of apple and pear fermentation beverages and provide related educational opportunities, is the sponsor of this competition taking place at the Courtyard by Marriot in downtown Grand Rapids.

March 30

Chicago – Bee Keeping Class Chicago Honey Co-opJane Addams Hull House 10am – 3pm $75

Pinot Days - Saturday April 20th Navy Pier 2-5pm

Whiskyfest Friday April 26 - It sold out pretty darn quickly last year!! Better get your tickets now!

Michael Pollan lecture at Elmhurst College April 28th 7pm “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation”




Chicken Burgers

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Posted: February 11, 2013 at 10:03 pm


I have this thing about ground beef – it really just doesn’t do it for me. Reading way too much about how many different cows go into one burger made my decision to stop eating it really very easy, except that I really like them… They are easy to make and are great for company so they’re hard to pass over.

I had my best friend over for lunch a couple of weeks ago. She is a paleo eater and we were planning on just making a salad. I said earlier that my life change goal is to use what I have and embrace it. So I looked in my freezer and found some beautiful ground capon from C & D Family Farms in my freezer and texted her that we were having chicken burgers. Her response was “OK….” so that was encouraging.

The amazing thing about burgers is that they can be whatever you want them to be. I used what I had laying around: 1 pound of ground capon, a squeeze of lemon, a handful of chopped cilantro, two chopped chilis in adobo sauce, an egg and a couple of teaspoons of Caribbean Calypso seasoning from the Spice House. Had I not had my little gluten hater over, I certainly would have added some whole wheat bread crumbs, but they’re not necessary. I formed them into 4 beautiful patties and sauteed them in cilantro olive oil, topped with soft queso fresco and voila: a masterpiece. We liked them so much, we both ate two. Certainly a unique approach, but localish and healthy all the same. What are some weirdly successful creations you’ve made?




The Winter Spinach that Comes in My CSA is the Best No Matter How I Screw It Up

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Posted: February 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm

In Week Two Our Winter CSA Included Spinach

You might think the best thing about getting a bi-weekly box of local food in the middle of winter is getting a bi-weekly box of local food in the middle of winter. And yes, that’s a good thing, really good thing, but I’m telling you the best thing about getting a bi-weekly box of local food in the middle of winter is that winter is spinach season at Tomato Mountain Organic Farm*. Chris and Kurt and the farmers up in Brooklyn, Wisconsin know that it’s not just that very doable to grow a ton of spinach during the winter in their hoop houses; they know that the spinach that can thrive in the crisp Wisconsin hoop-house weather will be sweeter and more succulent than the spinach harvested any time other time of year. Winter spinach in the CSA box is proof that it’s not just root boredom this time of year.  Proof that there’s really exiting food to eat all year long.

Even if you screw it up. My wife and I supply the Local Family with delicious, nutritious meals all the time because we use our supply of delicious, nutritious locally sourced food all the time for our meals.

I know it’s a little too brown to be luscious, but that’s the kind of dinner we’re having this time of year, which includes bacon fat braised cabbage, lentils with cellared carrots (Just like Next!), and pot pie fluffed up with locally grown mushrooms and potatoes. That’s not the kind of meal the kids tell you we have. They like to talk about the screw-ups. The part of the story they love the most is that I never let a screw up get in the way of a meal of locally sourced food.

Of all the great meals we’ve served the local family over the years, the one that will always be remembered is the one where I mistook some very red, frozen apple sauce for what I thought was a pale frozen tomato sauce. I made it. Mint Creek lamb and asparagus tips also from the freezer, braised in apple sauce. I ate it. So. It was not that bad. Mention of any element of this meal will send the rest of the Local Family into uncontrollable fits of mirth. I ate the spinach salad we made last week too.

No one would have noted anything wrong with the salad if I did not decide to add a little bit of extra dressing. My wife, having worked in the Mado kitchen for a bit, knows how to dress a salad just so. I had taken my portion from the large bowl. I wanted more. Dressing. There was the little cruet of dressing by the bowl. I poured. I used my finger to catch what dripped. I licked. I had taken dressing out of the fridge earlier that night so it would be ready for the salad.

Big salad is one of my favorite meals. You take leftover meat, in this case last Friday’s roast chicken and stretch it out with a mix of raw and pickled vegetable as well as some cheese. It’s big salad for dinner once you pour on the salad dressing. Me, I tend to make the dressing of the fly, dosing the oil and vinegar (or lemon) right on the greens. My wife, however, likes the dressing pre-mixed. To make sure she was happy, I had taken what I thought was dressing from the fridge. Really, it looked like what a mustard vinaigrette looks like when its congealed from the cold.

I licked my finger. It was caramel sauce. We had dressed the spinach with caramel sauce.  Who could tell the difference?  My daughter immediately gave up on big salad for dinner. I did not. I explained to her that a little sweetness made sense in a spinach salad. It was big salad because it contained leftover chicken, but it was also very much “spinach salad” as it had bacon and slices of hard-boiled egg too. Really, I squeezed some lemon over my helping. It was very fine. It’s hard to ruin dinner when it’s locally grown, seasonally delicious food like the winter spinach that came in my CSA.

*My wife works for Tomato Mountain, and Tomato Mountain is an advertiser on the Local Beet.




See What You Can Do with This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links

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Posted: February 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

See pictures of the Winter Green City Market from Chicagoist to help inspire you to eat local now.

And see what they can do in Manitoba Canada if you think you wonder if it’s possible to stay local here..

See if local, Wisconsin cheeses can compete with Italian cheeses.

See if the touching, farmer’s for Chrysler, ad represented real farm live.

See the details just announced for this year’s Good Food Financing Conference.  Learn how to grow your local food business.

See some movies to help your understanding of climate change, sustainability and the power of human involvement.

See a mediocre picture of vegetables, but you can listen to a short podcast advocating local food–just ignore their advice on a web site for a CSA, use us!




The Local Calendar 2/6/13 Cider and Farmers Rule Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
Winter Happenings Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
This Week, Michigan Cidermaker Vander Mill Tours Chicago Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
Three Floyds Brewery Listened. Thanks, Nick. I owe you a beer. Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
It’s Been a Week, So We’ve Harvested More Eat Local Links Friday, February 1st, 2013