The Local Calendar 4/9/14 CoffeeCon, Cochon 555, Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival

April 9, 2014 at 8:00 am


Coffee, cheese, and pig are on the calendar this weekend besides the markets. You can pick up these incredibly vibrant salad greens at Growing Power Chicago Iron Street Farm Saturday from 10am to 3pm. It’s very cool that the greens can be found at select Walgreens on the south and west sides as well.

It is that time of year to start scheduling your farm dinner!!! Farm dinners(should be called farm meal, some are brunches, lunches or dinners) with some of the most well known farmers get booked really quickly. Mint Creek is offering the first event of the season Easter brunch. Here is Slagel Family Farm’s schedule for the season (5/3-10/4) . Their first dinner is Saturday May 3rd with Chef Paul Virant. Prairie Fruit Farms has announced their schedule(5/25-12/4) but they stagger their offerings, so their first 5 dinners went on sale and they just announced 2 family style brunches on May 3 and May 10. The offerings for the rest of the summer will be available for sale at the end of May. Mint Creek, The best way to stay informed about ticket availability for these dinners is to sign up for the farm newsletters on their websites.

PGP(Peterson Garden Project) is one of the leading organizations in Chicago providing classes, programs and resources to teach you how to grow your own food, including a book “Fearless Food Gardening in Chicagoland” and soon it will be opening the Fearless Food Kitchen(support their KICKSTARTER to make it happen) in Edgewater to teach you how to cook the food that you grow.

Do you live in the Evanston/Skokie area? The Talking Farm has lot of volunteer work days available for students, families and corporate team building time at their Howard Street Farm, located at 3701 Howard St on the Evanston/Skokie boarder. They even have a “Talking Farm Hand Certification Program” for those interested in urban agriculture.

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 a small to mid-size farmer reading this or know one let them know about the USDA’s resources for them, there is a webpage with all sorts of info here! There are so many organizations in Chicagoland providing resources, classes and advocacy on local food. Some of our favorites are Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Advocates for Urban Agriculture, and WeFarmAmerica.

Lots going on, the local calendar is picking up, now onto the week ahead, take advantage of the incredible craft/artisanal food and beverage scene that Chicago has to offer! We are very lucky!!! Now onto the week ahead:

The Week’s Local Calendar

April 9

Chicago - Soup and Bread at The Hideout - 6pm   “Tastes Like Chicken” –  The Hideout 1354 West Wabansia Only 2 weeks left. Bread is donated as ever by their pals at Publican Quality Meats. Pay what you can donations benefit a local food pantry.

April 10

Chicago - The Art of Simple Food Alice Waters in Conversation With Ruth Reichl The Chicago Humanties Festival 6pm The Art Institute (The lecture is sold out but there still are tickets available for the reception) Reception following benefitting the Edible Schoolyard Project and Green City Market. Tickets

Chicago – Corner Farm Spring Fundraiser at Whirlaway - 7-11pm  3224 West Fullerton Ave. Spring is finally here! Join them to grow some green for CFC at one of their favorite neighborhood watering holes, the Whirlaway Lounge. Money raised goes directly into the farm for seeds, materials, soil and more! Maria is, as always, your kind & generous host.

Chicago – Presale tickets go on sale for the Chicago Gourmet Festival including tickets for the Grand Cru tasting as well!(SOLD OUT immediately)

April 11

Chicago – Cochon 555 Chef’s Course Dinner Series - The evening begins at 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres designed by each chef and an impressive offering from Prosciutto di Parma, all paired with a welcome cocktail featuring Breckenridge Distillery bourbon handcrafted by Sepia Head Bartender Griffin Elliott. The cocktail reception is followed by a sit-down, seven-course dinner at 7 p.m., with Goose Island Beer Co. beer and Breckenridge Distillery bourbon pairings that emphasize the high-quality produce and ingredients available from the Midwest’s finest farmers and purveyors. Finally, the evening ends with a Breckenridge nightcap and a sweet treat prepared by Sepia Pastry Chef Cindy Shuman.

Chicago – Alma Graduate School’s MBA Food and Wine Event – 5:30pm – 7:30pm Eataly Want to get an MBA in Food and Wine in Italy, yes this program actually exists!! There is a  €15,000 scholarship available for a US citizen as well. Free event, just

Chicago - 2 Sparrows Home Brew Dinner - 7pm 553 West Diversey The Lincoln Park brunch outpost’s focus on hyper-local expands for this dinner to feature four Chicago home brewers – including 2 Sparrows’ own bartender Ryne Schofstal – pouring five one-of-a-kind beers along with a five-course meal by Chef Gregory Ellis.  Local beer aficionados in the area are invited in for what is sure to be an unforgettable meal, and the opportunity to taste home brews crafted right here in the city. Tom Keith this is right up your alley!

Wheaton - Soup and Bread Fundraiser 6:30pm – 8pm Tom’s Price Home Furnishings 303 Front St. In support of The People’s Resource Center

April 12

Chicago - CoffeeCon Chicago - 1029 W. 35th St. Held at the Zhou B Art Center (Zhou is pronounced: Joe)  from 9 am to 5 pm. In keeping with CoffeeCon’s mission to be the world’s largest coffee house atmosphere, they found a compelling venue: an art gallery. Purchase tickets here

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. Friends don’t let friends eat stale cheese, talk to the producers to learn how cheese should be maintained so you can be a smarter shopper.

ChicagoGrowing Power Iron Street Farm Stand - 10am – 3pm 3333 South Iron St. Pick up your salad greens and they are ,also, selling at select Walgreens on the south and west sides!!

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

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

April 13

*****Chicago - It’s Back For Its 6th Year Cochon 555 - Blackstone Hotel – 636 S. Michigan 4-8pm I’m passionate about promoting food sources that support a more natural, sustainable food system,” explains Brady Lowe, founder of Cochon 555. Includes over 30 dishes prepared from the entirety of heritage breed pigs from nose to tail, paired with premium wines, brews and spirits and so MUCH MORE!

Chicago/Roger’s Park – Glenwood Sunday Indoor Winter Market – 9am – 2pm 6962 N. Glenwood Glenwood Bar (Next market May 4)

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. Last day of the Logan winter market, spring/summer starts May 19th.

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

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

April 15

Chicago - Re-Thinking Soup What A Waste – Food Loss and Recovery - 6-7pm Jane Addams Hull House Museum 800 S. Halsted Free Guest Presenters: Ken Dunn, Resource Center, Rajesh Karmani, Zero Precent, Greater Chicago Food Depository Tossing last week’s leftovers or the wilted lettuce, still wrapped in the store packaging (yikes!) is indeed wasteful. But consumer behavior is only one dimension of the global food loss issue affecting agriculture today. In fact, food waste affects every step of the supply chain between farm and fork – from transport to processor to retail, to yes, your home kitchen. According to USDA estimates, between 30 and 50 percent of all food produced is discarded, much of it edible.


April 17

Happy April Food Day!

April Food Day is an event to promote awareness of food pantries by bringing your local community together to participate in a local food drive. We are excited to honor food pantry employees and celebrate the volunteers that support them. Through social media we are infusing fun into the food received from our local pantries by posting recipes and videos cooking our favorite meals.We are growing into the single largest day of food drives across communities. This event is sponsored by the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.

April 19

Chicago – Edible Gardens Workshop Green City Market – 9a;30am – 10:15am Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum  Planting the Garden of your Dreams Jeanne Nolan, founder of the edible-garden business The Organic Gardenerand author of the new book From the Ground Up, explains how to shatter the winter blues with a spring garden.

Chicago - Green City Market Indoor Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum  8am -1pm Opening Day for Outdoor is May 3!  Preorders for the new Green City Market Cookbook can be placed here.

April 20

Stelle(90 min from Chicago) - Mint Creek Easter Brunch – 11am Ticket price ($75) includes a fabulous brunch prepared by Chef Guia Hoffman at the beautiful and inviting Greenhouse Bed and Breakfast, of which she is part-owner. According to Harry, no one does brunch better than Guia — and all who know her are inclined to agree. Mint Creek meats will be featured, as will local produce (from the Greenhouse Bed and Breakfastand Three Plaid Farmers) when seasonally available. You’ll also enjoy a first-hand, interactive tour of the farm, where you’ll get out amongst the animals and learn all the ins and outs of the place from head farmer/owner Harry Carr.

April 21- 25

Chicago – Checkout all the Whisky Week events!

April 22

Champaign – Ramp Fest The Land Connection Dinner and Silent Auction - 6:00 p.m. $150.00 Prairie Fruits Farm 4410 North Lincoln Avenue Please help them celebrate the coming of spring with a farm-to-table meal prepared by Chef Alisa DeMarco of Prairie Fruits Farm featuring ramps, the first wild green of the season

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!

Chicago - A Charitable Confection - A dessert cocktail party. Presented by Grandbaby Cakes. To support Project Orange Tree an active Chicago-based youth movement to stop the violence by both educating teens about its systemic causes and empowering youth to change the cycle. Project Oasis allows for the purchase land in Chicago’s most urban areas to transform them into much needed community gardens in food deserts and safe, peaceful areas for the surrounding youth.

April 27

Crystal Lake – Eco-Friendly Food and Beer FestDuke’s Alehouse & Kitchen 2-6pm 110 Main St.

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 2 – 3

Ottawa - Midwest Morel Fest

May 3

Champaign – Family Style Brunch at Prairie Fruit 9:30am and 11:30am seatings

ChicagoOpening Day of the Green City Market Outdoor Location!

Chicago – Graze Issue 5 Release Party 8-11pm The Charnel House 3421 W. Fullerton

*FD Fairbury, Il/Chicago - Slagel Family Farm Dinner – Farm tour and dinner 2:30pm Chef Paul Virant Vie/Perennial Virant $125 Bus option Noon 1800 N. Lincoln BYOB

May 10

Champaign - Family Style Brunch at Prairie Fruit 9:30am and 11:30am seatings

May 11

Stelle(90 min from Chicago) - Mint Creek Mother’s Day Brunch – 11am

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

May 25

*FD Champaign – Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner Honey Butter Fried Chicken Memorial Day Celebration Chicago sensation chefs Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Honey Butter Fried Chicken and Sunday Dinner Club fame will return to the farm for our first dinner of the season. This event will be held from 1-5pm. It is a simpler menu and is priced at $85 per seat. (Sold out, availability will be determined by any cancellations)

May 31

*FD Champaign – Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner -1-5pm “Bring on the spring!”  Sit down with guest farmers John and Connie Caveny to savor some of their spring, grass-fed lamb.  Rhubarb, asparagus, greens, and other early season delicacies will complement the featured meat. (Sold out, availability will be determined by any cancellations) $125 text/tip BYOB liquor will be for sale at the event as well.

June 11

Chicago/Andersonville – “Piggy Benefit for Southern Foodways AllianceBig Jones (southern heirloom cooking) – 6pm 5347 North Clark To quote Chef Paul Fehribach, “this will be a good one!” They are pleased to offer some deeply rooted Kentucky cooking for their second Piggy Bank Dinner, a benefit for the Southern Foodways Alliance. Julian Van Winkle will be there to discuss his storied bourbon (12, 15, and 23 year will be served) plus a couple of selections from Buffalo Trace Distillery, and they are cooking up a 5-course menu with receipts and inspiration from Lettice Bryan’s The Kentucky Housewife (Louisville, 1839) and The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery. SFA documentary films will be shown, The Poker Night String Band will play some righteous tunes, and good times will be had by all.

June 14

*FD Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner -1-5pm Wild Game Dinner  Prairie Fruits Farm on the Range: Longhorn cattle, bison, and elk; they conjure up an image of open range on the western plains, don’t they? Yet, here we are in east-central Illinois, 20 minutes from K & D Ranch. They raise all three of these large and graceful herbivores on their farm near Kickapoo State Park, and they’ll be our guest farmers for this meat centric meal.  Expect late spring and early summer vegetables and fruits to adorn the menu as well. $125 text/tip BYOB liquor will be for sale at the event as well.

June 21

*FD Fairbury, Il/Chicago - Slagel Family Farm Dinner - Farm tour and dinner 2:30pm Chefs Cosmo Goss and Chris Kuziemko The Publican/Publican Quality Meats $125 Bus option Noon 1800 N. Lincoln BYOB

June 28

*FD Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner -1-5pm The Urbana Butcher comes to the Farm Chef Josh Boyd earned his culinary stripes cooking at Bacaro and Carmon’s Restaurant in downtown Champaign. He’s recently opened “The Urbana Butcher” shop in downtown Urbana, to rave reviews.  He specializes in house-made sausages, pickles and country pates.  This dinner will transport you to the French countryside, where pork is king and fresh, impromptu menus are the norm (Sold out, availability will be determined by any cancellations) $125 text/tip BYOB liquor will be for sale at the event as well.