Green City Market BBQ

July 21, 2011

The Green City Market Chefs' BBQ Benefit will be held Friday night in Lincoln Park but I won't be there and I'm distraught.

Why won't I be there? Because I'm chicken. It's hot out there. Like Louisiana hot.

Why am I distraught? Because the BBQ is one of the best food events in the world. And I've been to a few great events. I've even cooked at a some of them. This is the kind of event worth traveling across the world for one night. It's that level of culinary event.

It explores the broadest sense of BBQ that you've never seen before, in the fine restaurants, competitions, much less backyard BBQ.

Nearly 100 restaurants and chefs serve some of the most inventive BBQ food - off grills and smokers - in a park.

And about 50 different wines, 20 beers, and at least 10 specialty cocktails will be served. This year a new website, Green City Cocktails, has been set up to share seasonal market cocktail recipes. Sadly I'll also miss the plant-and-grow wildflower coasters they're giving away too.

But the whole point of the event is that proceeds support the market's educational programs and outreach initiatives.

So while I won't be there to eat and drink myself silly I can still shop the market to support the beautiful work of farmers and producers too. Green City Market is open twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We'll talk about "why isn't there year-round permanent greenmarket in Chicago?" another time.

If you want to go tonight - and you should - the last I heard this morning tickets were still available at the event.

Yes, I'm chicken. But I'll mix up a nice cold seasonal drink - follow on Twitter - look at pictures from years past - anticipate those to come from tonight - and toast all the BBQ beer can chicken I'm missing this year and dream of next year.

I'm from Chicago. We know, there's always next year.