The Local Calendar 3/12/14 The Good Food Fest Is Here, Soup And Bread Tonight, Green City Market And More!

March 12, 2014 at 10:29 am


As we go into the incredible 3 days of the Good Food Festival at UIC that brings farmers, advocates, activists, policy makers, entrepreneurs, educators, chefs, from all over the state and country to celebrate, showcase, connect, debate and focus on all things sustainable in the food world, there are a few groups, in particular, that work year round in advocating for and nurturing local food systems in Chicago and Illinois. The Illinois Stewardship Alliance is one of them and you can join them March 26 at the state capitol in Springfield in lobbying our legislators for Local Foods Awareness Day.  A few other groups that standout in offering resources for the beginning to well seasoned food advocate, urban farmer and gardener, Advocates for Urban Agriculture, The Peterson Garden Project (you can buy their book Fearless Food Gardening), WeFarmAmerica, and The Talking Farm in Skokie. As more grocers open in Chicago selling “local” food, there are a”few farm in a store” businesses that have been leaders in advocating, nurturing and encouraging their customers in cooking, eating and supporting the local food community in Chicago, The Green Grocer (West Loop, Noble Square), Sauce and Bread Kitchen (Edgewater), and River Valley Farmer’s Table(Lincoln Square).

It is that time of year for the Country Financial Farmers market bag contest! They’re giving away scholarship money to three Chicago high school students! If you know a student with a gift for art, encourage them to enter their Chicago Farmers MarketsReusable Bag Design Contest. The student with the winning design will win a $1,000 scholarship and see their art on thousands of farmers market canvas bags. Two runners-up will get $500 scholarships. Get more info on how to enter! We love their bags, we love that they are reusable and we love that Chicago high school students get scholarship money from this!

The 2014 CSA Guide is out! If you are small to mid-size farmer or know one let them know about the USDA’s resources for them, there is a webpage with all sorts of info here!

Now onto the week ahead, it is the Good Food Festival but there are farmers markets, dinners, and other events going on as well:

The Week’s Local Calendar

March 12

Chicago - Soup and Bread at The Hideout - 6pm   Daylight Savings Soup (aka “Lighten Up”) -  5:30pm The Hideout 1354 West Wabansia This week their soup cooks spring forward with a slate of soups simmered with an extra hour of light. On the docket are Michael Slaboch and Penny Duff, the Kovler Center’s Mary Black, Lisa Haufschild, The Fountainhead’s Cleetus Friedman, and more. Their guest DJ is Numero Group’s Michael Slaboch. Bread is donated as ever by their pals at Publican Quality Meats. Pay what you can donations benefit Hands to Help Ministries

March 13

Chicago - Good Food Financing and Innovation Conference 8:30am – 5:30pm UIC Forum The opening symposium at 9:20am includes Walter Robb, co-CEO, Whole Foods Market, Howard Tullman, 1871, Kimbal Musk, The Kitchen Community, Tesla, SpaceX, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Erika Allen, Growing Power, Jim Slama, President, The conference helps to address one of the biggest challenges facing the Good Food Movement: helping food and farm businesses scale up to meet the burgeoning demand for local, sustainable, and artisanal food.

March 14

Chicago – Counter Culture Sustainable Spring Initiative  11am (Public cupping session at 10am every Friday) 117 N. Ada St. Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA), : Green Grocer Chicago will be talking about what a CSA is and the benefits. They are a curated CSA from multiple farms around the city and Illinois.

Chicago – Trade Show, School Food and Policy Conference  8:30am – 7pm  Local and Sustainable Products Tradeshow, 10:00am – 5:30pm The Good Food Trade Show supports farmers, trade buyers, and other stakeholders to grow their businesses and the Good Food community. Three tracks of panel discussions, Trade, Food Policy and Farm To School. From 5:30pm – 7pm there is a Legislative Panel & Discussion which includes Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Robert F. Flider; State Senator David Koehler; State Representative Robyn Gabel (invited); State Representative Mike Tryon. Senator Koehler introduced SB 1666 last February 2013 and has currently has 18 co-sponsors. According to the text of the bill, its purpose is to “facilitate the exercise of the fundamental right of the people of Illinois to be fully informed about whether the food they purchase and eat is produced with genetic engineering so that they can choose for themselves whether to purchase and eat such foods.” For anyone interested in the a GE Labeling bill in Illinois this a panel to attend!!

Chicago - Localicious – UIC Forum 7-9:30pm Join them to celebrate the farmers who grow your food and the chefs who transform it. Check out 2014′s participants- with more being added daily! Begyle Brewing • Big Bowl • Big Jones • Browntrout • Cello Via • Chicago DinerCrop to Cup Coffee • DasRadler • Death’s Door Spirits • Duke’s Ale House • Eataly  Farmhouse • Fenn Valley Winery • FEW Spirits • Floriole Cafe • Foodlife • Fresh Coast Distributors  •  J.K. Williams Distillery • Journeyman Distillery • Katherine Anne Confections • Koval Distillery • Lehman’s Orchard • Lyfe Kitchen •  Midwest Wine Selections • Mon Ami Gabi • NessAlla Kombucha • New Holland Brewing • North Shore Distillery Osteria Via Stato •   Paris Club Bistro and Bar • Pure Kitchen Catering • Quincy Street Distillery • River Valley Farmer’s Table  • Round Barn Winery • SenTEAmental Moods  Uncommon Ground • Virtue Cider  • Untitled • White Oak Gourmet Wollersheim Winery • Yoberri Gourmet Purchase tickets here.

March 15 – 23

Chicago - Chicago Flower and Garden Show Navy Pier Includes places like Dirk’s Fish on the slate for a cooking demo and Growing Power always participates.

March 15

Chicago - Good Food Festival and Workshops 9am – 5pm UIC Forum Admission includes access to the exhibit hall, the CSA Farmers Pavillion, micro sessions in the Good Food Commons area and the Chefs at Play demos with Master of Ceremonies Catherine De Orio, Check, Please! : 10:30 – 11:30  Rick Bayless Xoco, Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Frontera Fresco, 11:45 – 12:30 Paul Virant  Perennial Virant, Vie 1:00 – 1:45 Erling Wu-Bower , Nico Osteria,  2:15 – 3:00 Jason Vincent  Nightwood A whole host of workshops for additional fees including Home Butchery and Curing with Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn!

Chicago - Band of Farmers Talent Show The Hideout 7pm – 10pm 1354 West Wabansia They  had so much fun last year, there was no question of making this an annual event! FOURTEEN farms are involved so far with acts from punk to puppets. Come for one or come for all. Door price is $10 or $5 with proof of attendance at the Good Food Fest. Money goes towards the effort and their budding coalition. All farms will be participating the same day in Good Food Festival & Conference – Chicago, so you will have ample opportunity to find out if Community Supported Agriculture is right for you.

Chicago - Winter Farmers Market Faith In Place - 9am – 1pm Lutheran School of Theology 1100 East 55th St.

Chicago - Green City Market Indoor Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum  8am -1pm Chef demonstration 10:30-11:30am For the winter months, markets will take place:  3/29, 4/5, 4/19. Preorders for the new Green City Market Cookbook can be placed here.

ChicagoGrowing Power Iron Street Farm Stand - 10am – 3pm 3333 South Iron St. With their hoop houses they have fresh produce all winter

ElginWinter Market Elgin - 9am -1pm 800 North State St.

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

Woodstock - Woodstock Indoor Market - 9am – Noon McHenry County Farm Bureau Building ( 3/1, 4/5)

March 16

Chicago - Logan Square Indoor Market  10am–3pm Logan Blvd 2755 North Milwaukee. The NOSH will share space with the Indoor Logan Square market at the old Pierre Bakery Building. The market runs  through 3/30/14 except for 12/1/13.

Evanston – Farm To Table Brunch at Farmhouse – 11:30 am 703 West Church St. Sponsored by Chicagourmets featuring Megan Gordon author of Whole Grain Mornings. $47 inclusive

GlencoeChicago Botanic Garden Winter Farmers Market - 9am – 1pm OPEN 1000 Lake Cook Rd

Palatine - Winter Farmers Market Faith In Place - Countryside Church UU 10am – 2pm

March 18

Chicago – Re-Thinking Soup Jane Addams Hull House Noon – 1pm  “Cultivating Student Power: Home Grown Activism“ The UIC Heritage Garden is a project envisioned by students for students. Through the cultivation of garden satellites on the east campus of UIC student leaders and student gardeners are reconstructing narratives of sustainability that unite environmental and human diversity. In its first year the student leaders of the Heritage Garden have enacted horticulture programs, art projects, and story sharing activities while growing cilantro, horseradish, egg plant, peppers, mint, onion and tomatoes.

Chicago – Lincoln Park - Master Bread Class Floriole Cafe and Bakery 1220 West Webster 6-8pm

Chicago – West Loop “Search For The Next Weight Watcher’s Chef Cooking Class” – 6-8pm 177 N. Ada St. The Centered Chef Studios Lead by Chef Ryan Hutmacher who won ABC’s The Chew Search For The Next Weight Watcher’s Chef


March 20

Chicago – An Evening With An Old Bag – 6pm The Party Room between The Bullhead Bar and The Glenwood Cantina 6960 N. Glenwood Join the Roger’s Park Business Alliance for a lively evening as they welcome Spring 2014 to Rogers Park!  There will be a fantastic handbag exchange,enjoy delicious appetizers and desserts with a cash bar.  Benefit Rogers Park Business Alliance, get out and enjoy the company of neighbors and friends and be thankful that winter is officially over!

March 21

Chicago – Revolution Beer Dinner at Two Sparrows 7pm 553 West Diversey Pkwy Logan Square meets Lincoln Park at this four-course dinner, which will feature a collaboration from two of Chicago’s most creative minds and neighborhoods $55 exclusive tax/gratuity

March 22

Chicago - Hyde Park 61st Farmers Indoor Market - 9am – 2pm Experimental Station 6100 S. Blackstone

Morton Grove - Spring Farmers Market – 9am -2pm Morton Grove Civic Center

March 23

Logan Square - Cheese & Wine Pairing 101 7-8:30pm Provenance Food & Wine 2528 N California Richard & Nicole Benjamin showcase a carefully-curated selection of wines & cheeses while talking about general pairing guidelines, and stories behind their products & the people who make them. Join them for a fun evening in the fashion of an informal dinner party. Cost is $35 per person. Participants receive 15% off any purchases made that night.

March 25

Chicago – Brews With BenefitsA benefit for Common Threads 5:30pm – 7:30pm Farmhouse Chicago 228 West Chicago Ave. $40

Chicago – Two Brothers Beer Bar Dinner Uncommon Ground Devon – 6-8pm 1401 West Devon $35 plus tax/tip

March 26

Chicago – Cider and a Movie- Tierralismo at Uncommon Ground – 6-8pm Uncommon Ground 1401 West Devon Join Growing Home in this unique opportunity to enjoy Virtue cider and appetizers while exploring the intriguging, relevant, and inspiring world of Cuban agriculture! Harry Rhodes, Growing Home’s Executive Director and leader in Chicago’s urban agriculture movement, will speak about his recent trip to Cuba and discuss how Cuban agricultural practices relate to urban farming and development in Chicago. Following the discussion, you’ll screen Tierralismo by Alejandro Ramirez Anderson, an inspiring documentary about a 26-acre farming co-op in the outskirts of Havana.

Springfield - 2014 Local Foods Awareness Day at the Capitol 10am to 4pm The State Library & Capitol Complex Join local food consumers, farmers and advocates from around Illinois working to promote and raise awareness about local food systems and sustainable agriculture in Illinois. Sponsored by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

March 29-30

Chicago –  2-DAY WORKSHOP: “HIGH BIONUTRIENT CROP PRODUCTION - 9:30am – 4:30pm Garfield Park Conservatory  Learn from a life long Farmer of his understanding and first hand experiences utilizing a Biological Approach to crop production. Dan Kittredge, Executive Director of the Bionutrient Food Association (BFA) & the Real Food Campaign, will lead the workshop.  Cost: $150.00, with Scholarship funds available for Farmers. *For Event Information*: please contact the North Lawndale GreeningCommittee – Dr. Shemuel Israel, President NLGC – cell: 773-332-7887; or Annamaria Leon, Director, Education & Community Outreach cell: 414-339-55537, or email at

March 29

Chicago - Cheese 101 – Bar Pastoral 12pm – 1:30pm 2947 North Broadway Join the crew at Bar Pastoral for a delectable cheese primer that answers all of your questions about cheese. Washed rind, soft ripened, farmstead; what does it all mean? Join the master cheese mongers of Pastoral in a guided tasting of carefully selected cheeses that cover a wide variety of cheese making styles and techniques. Giving you the tools necessary to walk up to any cheese counter and select your cheeses like a pro. $45 These folks know their cheese!

March 30

Oak Park - Winter Market Faith In Place -8:30am – 1pm St. Giles Catholic Parish 1045 Columbian Ave.

March 31

Chicago - (I AM) FUNdraiser for Chef Dean Zanella(story here thanks to DNAInfo)  Hot Chocolate1747 N. Damen Ave. Eleven chefs (and counting) will cook dinner that evening alongside Hot Chocolate’sMindy Segal. They include John Hogan of Keefer’s; Roger Herring of Grand Tour; Bill Kim of bellyQ, Urbanbelly and Belly Shack; Rob Levitt of the Butcher and LarderLa Sirena Clandestina‘s John Manion; Elissa Narow of Perennial Virant and Vie; Piccolo Sogno‘s Tony Priolo; Giuseppe Tentori of GT Fish and Oyster; Heather Terhune ofSable Kitchen and Bar, and Takashi Yagihashi of Takashi and Slurping Turtle. The cost of the dinner is $200. Only 100 will be sold. Call 773-489-1747 to reserve

Chicago - Chowdah Fest is back at Columbia Yacht Club

April 4-5

Beloit, WI – The Right to Food Conference with Vandana Shiva Beloit College Co-sponsored by Angelic Organics and the Weissberg Program in Human Rights

April 5

Chicago – Spring Lamb Butcher Class – From the folks at The Red Meat Market 

April 6

Chicago - Chicago Food Swap 3pm The Chopping Block Sign up for their newsletter to get all the information on signup and how it works

Evanston – The Talking Farm presents “Celebrate The Growing Season at Farmhouse” 5-8pm Farmhouse 703 Church St. In celebration of their first full growing season at The Howard Street Farm, The Talking Farm presents, Celebrate the Growing Season, an event featuring appetizers, a buffet dinner, and local brews provided by Farmhouse Evanston, live music by The Greenleaf Band*, and raffle prizes. The evening will begin with passed hors d’oeuvres, and proceed with a buffet dinner in Farmhouse Evanston’s special event space. $75 inclusive

April 10

Chicago - The Art of Simple Food Alice Waters in Conversation With Ruth Reichl The Chicago Humanties Festival 6pm The Art Institute Reception following benefitting the Edible Schoolyard Project and Green City Market. Tickets

April 12

Chicago – 4th Annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival – French Market 11am – 3pm Every year this free event gets ever more crowded. So this year I suggest being strategic, get there early to meet the actual producers of many of the cheeses and products that Pastoral sells.

April 25

Chicago – 15th Annual Whiskyfest Chicago – This has SOLDOUT already but keep checking the calendar for all the other ancillary events that happen during this week!

April 27

Lincoln Square - Salute to Women in Wine & Cheese - 7-8:30pm Provenance Lincoln Square  2312 W. Leland Avenue With Mother’s Day on the horizon, they are  inspired to create a different take on their wine & cheese pairing class. Taste a lineup of offerings made by great women cheese & wine makers. Join senior staff members Richard & Nicole for a fabulously tasty lineup! Cost is $35 per person. Participants receive 15% off any purchases made that night.

 May 15

Chicago - Second Annual Chefs Playground - A benefit for The Academy of Global Citizenship Terzo Piano at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute