The Local Calendar 4/10/15 AUA Spring Gathering, 100Watts!, Pastoral Producer Festival, Cochon 555, GCM Outdoor 5/2, Morel Mania

April 10, 2015 at 10:06 am


They’re coming, maybe not this weekend but soon, ramps, rhubarb, spring onions and more at the farmers markets. Opening day for the Green City Market is less than a month away, Saturday May 2, Daley Plaza Market opens Thursday May 14, 61st Farmers Market May 16, Logan Square May 17, Federal Plaza Tuesday May 19. At opening day at Daley Plaza, Country Financial will announce the winner of their market bag contest. Country Financial’s market bag is not only my favorite bag to shop with but a collector’s item. Ramps are already showing up on some of the menus around town, like Balena, Girl and the Goat and Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Plenty Good Grocery in Ukranian Village have ramps and morels, as well as our friends at the Green Grocer.

Chicagogourmet pre-sale tickets are available now!

Cochon 555 is back and it’s Sunday, April 26. They have a pretty awesome contest to win a dream kitchen here. This year’s competing chefs include Nathan Sears of The Radler, Nicole Pederson of Found Kitchen, John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina, Chris Marchino of Spiaggia Restaurant & Lounge and Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski of TÊTE Charcuterie. The chefs, champions of whole hog utilization, will prepare a maximum of six dishes with hopes to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges.The event celebrates and promotes sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs.

It’s that time of year where the farmers start finalizing their farm dinner schedule, a few stalwarts to check out, Heritage Prairie in Brundige, Mint Creek Farm in Stelle, Outstanding In The Field (nationwide farm tour that has stops in the Chicagoland area), Prairie Fruit Farm in Champaign and Slagel Family Farms in Fairbury.

The Peterson Garden Project is thriving. Go to their website to find out about all their classes to grow and then cook your own food! Need help with bees? Interested in local chickens?  Garfield Park Conservatory has a class for you.

It’s that time to schedule your favorite summer farm dinner, carve out time to volunteer at one of the many urban farms in Chicagoland and get ready for opening day of the outdoor markets. Mark your calendars for AUA’s Spring GatheringPastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival, Baconfest, 100Watts!(Help start a new radio station), Morelfest, Cochon 555 (Click here to enter a pretty darn awesome giveaway that Cochon 555 is sponsoring including a trip to Mexico)   and more!!

April 10

Chicago16th Annual Whisky Fest Chicago – 6:30pm Hyatt Regency

EvanstonNU Food Talks Your Plate Your Planet 9:30am The Great Room 620 Haven St

April 11

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market at Experimental Station - 9am – 2pm 6100 S. Blackstone Straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods, offering the freshest produce, meat, eggs, cheeses and prepared foods from local and regional farms.

FM – Evanston - Evanston Indoor Market at the Ecology Center 2024 McCormick Blvd. 9am – 1pm (Every Saturday through April)

Oak ParkWettstein Organic Farm Meat Sales at The Buzz Cafe – 12:oo – 2:30pm

April 12

FM - Chicago (Roger’s Park) - Glenwood Sunday Market (5/3) at The Glenwood Bar 6962 N. Glenwood Ave. 9am – 2pm

Milwaukee - CheeseTopia Noon -4pm The First Annual CheeseTopia, a new one-day cheese festival debuts at the Pritzlaff Building, while Year two will be in Chicago, and Year 3 in Minneapolis.

April 14

Chicago (Lincoln Park) - A Taste of the Great Lakes Dinner to Benefit Common Threads - Dirks Fish Call (773) 404-3475 for details. Asian Carp will be included along with white fish and other fishies.

April 15

Crystal LakeScorched Earth Local Beer Dinner at Duke’s Alehouse 

April 16

Chicago (UIC) - Int’l Peasants Day Forum on Food Sovereignty with Family Farmed Defenders – Jane Addams Hull House 3-8:30pm

April 17-18

Chicago (UIC) BACONFEST UIC forum Extra crispy, in a beignet, bacon in bloodies and more! Friday dinner 7-10pm, Saturday midday 12-3pm and evening 7-10pm.

Chicago (Loop) - LakeFX Summit CulinaryCULINARY highlights include a panel on farmers markets featuring Jim Slama from FamilyFarmed, Marcel Van Ooyen from Grow NYC, Trudy Tolliver from Portland Farmers Market and Corey Chatman from Chicago’s Experimental Station, and a discussion on the evolution of Chicago’s restaurant scene moderated by David Manilow, creator and executive producer of “Check, Please!,” with panelists Michael Kornick of DMK Restaurants, Rick Bayless of Frontera Restaurants, Alpana Singh, owner of The Boarding House and Seven Lions, and Brendan Sodikoff of Hogsalt Hospitality. Events take place at Macy’s on State St over the next 2 days.

April 18

Chicago (Kilbourn Park) - AUA Spring Gathering Promoting Cross Cultural Polination – 12:30pm – 3:30pm Kilbourn Park Field House

FM - Chicago(Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (next market outdoors! 5/2) at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 2430 N. Cannon Drivc 8am – 1pm

April 19

FM – Chicago (Hyde Park)Hyde Park Handmade at The Promontory 10am – 3pm

FM – Chicago (Pilsen) – Pilsen Community Market 11-3:30pm Hony Tonk BBQ

FMChicago (Portage Park) - Portage Park Farmers Market 10am – 2pm Portage Park Theater

April 20

Chicago(Lakeview) – Botanical Beer Dinner at Belly Shack with Forbidden Root Brewery

Chicago(West Loop) - Choucroute VIII Guest Chef Greg Biggers  Cafe Des Architectes - Tete Charcuterie Benefits Lurie Childrens Hospital

April 21

Chicago (UIC) - ReThinking Soup Jane Addams Hull House Food Sovereignty Indigenous Sovereignty  12-1pm

April 22


Chicago (Edgewater)The Stew Survivalist Dinner – 7pm – 10pm Sauce & Bread Kitchen 6338 North Clark Street

April 23

Chicago (Loop) – Good Greens Meeting (Open to all) – Contact Alan Shannon for details

Chicago (Bridgeport) - Version 15: 100 Watts Lumpen Radio Kick Off Party Public Media Institute  6:00 PM to 11:00 PM . During the festival they are turning the Co-Prosperity Sphere into a giant live recording studio and will unveil their beta test for WLPN by broadcasting on  (launching soon!)

Chicago (Goldcoast) - A Girl and Her Greens All Star Chef Pop-Up at Nico OsteriaApril Bloomfield, Stephanie Izard, Paul Kahan, Paul Virant, Lee Wolen, Erling Wu-Bower 5-10:30pm

April 24

Chicago (Goldcoast) - Cochon 555 kicks-off with a Chef’s Course Dinner hosted at Nico Osteria paired with the amazing Washington State Wines. Chef Erling Wu-Bower welcomes guest chefs, Jason Hammel, Gene Kato, Abe Conlon, Matthias Merges and Amanda Rockman and COCHON 555 founder, Brady Lowe for a seated five-course dinner.

April 25

Chicago(Bridgeport)  - The Lager Beer Riot sponsored by Marz Brewing to benefit Benton House - 6-8pm To mark the 160th anniversary of the Lager Beer Riot, Chicago’s first act of civil disturbance, and to celebrate the city’s growing beer culture.

Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Lincoln Park Pizza Tour to Support Local First Chicago 2-5:30pm

Chicago (Noble Square) – Unprotected Snacks : graze // Issue Seven Release Party Chicago Truborn 1418 W. Division   

Chicago (West Loop) - Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival at the French Market – Meet regional cheese makers, charcuterie, beer and wine producers. A day to taste and sip just about everything you can buy at Pastoral and it is free.

Chicago (West Loop) - Cochon 555’s “Large Format Feast,” ($110 all-inclusive) a four-course meat feast hosted at TÊTE Charcuterie with Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski, featuring St. Francis Winery, Anchor Distilling and Prosciutto di Parma.  This epic “Big Beef vs. Heritage Pig” dinner series spotlights the growing popularity of heritage pork on steakhouse menus, ultimately setting course for a safer food system.

April 26

ChicagoCochon 555 - 4pm Morgan Manufacturing 401 North Morgan Promoting sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. Five top chefs in a one-of-a-kind culinary competition featuring dishes prepared from locally-raised whole heritage breed pigs with endless wine, brews and spirits. This year’s competing chefs include Nathan Sears of The Radler, Nicole Pederson of Found Kitchen, John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina, Chris Marchino of Spiaggia Restaurant & Lounge and Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski of TÊTE Charcuterie. 

April 27

Chicago (Lincoln Park)Celebrating The Wines of Piedmont - Balena Chicago 1633 N. Halsted 7pm


Make a resolution for the start of May,  volunteer on an urban farm. Are you getting an itch to get your hands dirty and work with the soil? There are many alternatives in Chicagoland to volunteer on an urban farm, a few of the options:  Altgeld Sawyer Corner Farm (Logan Square)Chicago Lights Urban FarmCity Farm , Growing HomeGrowing Power ChicagoPeterson Garden Project and the Talking Farm in Skokie. 


May 2-3

Ottawa - The Annual Midwest Morel Fest

May 2- 10

ChicagoLots of events going on centered around the James Beard Awards Monday Eater has it all mapped out

May 2

ChicagoRioja Wine and Tapas Festival – Union Station 1-5pm Celebrating Spain’s most famous wine region and culinary culture, the inaugural Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival will feature over 40 top winemakers and 25 notable U.S. chefs.

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park ) - OPENING DAY Green City Market

FM - Chicago (Roger’s Park) - Glenwood Sunday Market (5/3) at The Glenwood Bar 6962 N. Glenwood Ave. 9am – 2pm

FM – Evanston - OPENING DAY Downtown Evanston’s Farmers Market 

May 4

ChicagoJBFA Awards Lyric Opera

May 6

Chicago (Andersonville) Big Jones Book Release  Party Dinner, or Cake and Cocktails 6pm

May 7

ChicagoSproutin About – Spring Fundraiser for the Plant Chicago - Chicago Party Animals 1133 West Fulton 6:30pm – 9:30pm 

May 9

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park)Opening Day Division Street Market  (Through 10/31) 7am – 1pm

FMMorton GroveMorton Grove Spring Market – 8am – 1pm Harrer Park 6210 Dempster St Join in on their Mother’s Day Spring Market and Park Pride Day activities with the Morton Grove Park District. Performances by the Morton Grove School District 70 – Park View School Band and Miss Jamie from the Farm.

May 10

Happy Mother’s Day!

FD ChampaignMother’s Day Brunch Prairie Fruit Farm

May 12

FD Chicago (Bridgeport) – Grub Dinner On the Farm: Let’s Talk About Race & The Food System 6-8pm Growing Power Iron Street Farm 3333 S. Iron St. 

May 14 -24

Craft Beer Week in all its awesomeness There are so many events go to the link, follow @Chibeerweek on twitter

May 14

FM - Chicago (Loop) – Opening Day Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm

May 15


May 15-16

Caledonia - 2015 Herb, Garden & Wellness  Fair - Wind Ridge Herb Farm 10 am – 4pm 466 Quail Trap Rd.

May 16

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn)Opening Day 61st Farmers Market Outdoor 

May 17

FM – Chicago (Logan Square) - Opening Day Logan Square Outside Market

May 18

Chicago (Andersonville) 3rd Annual Trash Fish Dinner at Big Jones  benefit for Chefs Collaborative and also a project to promote underutilized fish species and spare stressed populations of popular fish. So far Chef Paul is on, along with Stephen Stryjewski of Cochon and Peche in New Orleans, Nico Romo of Fish in Charleston, and Johnny Anderes of The Kitchen.

May 19

FM – Chicago (Loop)Federal Plaza Market Opens  (Through 10/27) 7am – 3pm 

May 23

FD FairburySlagel Family Farm Dinner with Nico Osteria & Boltwood Chef Erling Wu-Bower and Chef Brian Huston

May 28

Chicago (Roscoe Village)LUSH Roscoe Village Wine Stroll

May 30

FD ChampaignRites of Spring Farm Dinner Prairie Fruits Farm 

Summer events will be posted in May, if you would like anything to be included leave a message in the comments

June 1

Chicago (West Loop) - Michigan Wines Showcase at City Winery 6pm

June 13

Crystal Lake – Dukes Eco-Friendly Food and Beer Fest