This week, in food events: Next: Childhood launches

October 19, 2011

The biggest news in Chicago food today—for some—was that Next: Childhood tickets went on sale just after midnight. At 12:26 a.m., the restaurant posted the announcement on their Facebook page. As of this morning they sold out the three month run, which begins Sunday.

If you're stuck in the storm tonight anywhere near Logan Square get yourself to Revolution Brewing for the WBEZ Member Meet Up. You'll find not only shelter and friends, but if you're a member, the first round's on Rev Brew. Yet another benefit of membership!

Tomorrow, Food52's Merrill Stubbs will be in town for the release of The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks. At 1 p.m. Merrill will be at the Sur La Table in Naperville doing a cooking demo and signing. At 6 p.m., she heads up to Tablua Tua in Lincoln Park for potluck party.

I wish I could be two places at once, because I'll miss Merrill; also tomorrow night, I'll finally meet Hank Shawthe James Beard award-winning food blogger, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook—at his book dinner at Vie. Hank's on a cross-country hunting, gathering, and cooking road trip for his new book, Hunt Gather Cook.

On Sunday, Next: Childhood does premiere for dinner, but my I'll have my fascinator on for tea at the Greater Midwest Foodways Tea with Bertha Palmer herself (as channelled by historical actress and author Leslie Goddard). We'll have tea sandwiches; scones with clotted cream and jam; apple-rhubarb pie; petits fours; and of course, proper tea service. There will also be an food auction featuring concord grape pie and the infamous Palmer House Brownies made by Greater Midwest Foodways co-founder (and mushroom friend) Catherine Lambrecht, a blue ribbon-winning pie queen.

Cathy reminded me that Bertha Palmer is often credited with having invented the brownie. According to culinary historians like Cathy, Bertha did not. The recipe existed before Mrs. Palmer, but she may have simply popularized it. However, there is a apricot-glazed, walnut-studded brownie that is said to have been created at the Palmer House in her honor or by her direction. A version is still served at hotel's restaurant Lockwood.

The tea will be recorded by Chicago Amplified, but really, clotted cream has to be experienced first-hand.