Friday Foodie Forecast: A rooftop garden, farm-to-crust pizza and Chef Ken Hom

May 27, 2011

With Spring in full swing, fresh ingredients and farm-to-table inspired menus are in abundance. Head to Markethouse’s rooftop garden and learn more about locally grown produce and garden-driven dishes, enjoy farm-to-crust pizza with the help of Green City Market at Table Fifty-Two, or discover some culinary tips from Chicago’s own Chef Ken Hom. Wherever you're headed this week, you’ll discover you don’t have to travel far for good food.

Rooftop at Markethouse

Executive Chef Scott Walton of Markethouse Restaurant and Bar kicks off his Heartland 101 Garden Series atop the restaurant's rooftop garden beginning Tuesday, May 31, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Offered once a month on Tuesday evenings, guests will enjoy an informative evening alfresco with demonstrations by Chef Walton of five garden-driven dishes, along with tips, recipes and generous tastings of each dish paired with cocktails or beer - this Tuesday's feature - spring onions. Chef Walton is currently tending to his large rooftop garden above the restaurant, planting a variety of heirloom tomatoes (German red strawberry, black cherry tomato); herbs (lemon basil, stevia); peppers (chocolate habanero, fish pepper); root vegetables (albino beet, Chinese white winter radish); and lettuces (basil lettuce leaf) that will appear on the restaurant's farm-to-table inspired menu throughout the Spring, Summer and early Fall. Each class is $45 per person and limited to 40 guests. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 312.224.2200. For a complete list of upcoming classes, click here. Markethouse Restaurant and Bar is located at 611 North Fairbanks Ct. For more information, visit www.markethousechicgao.com.

Farm Fresh Pizza at Table Fifty-Two

Beginning this week, Table Fifty-Two will offer a weekly farm-to-crust pizza featuring a rotating array of fresh, locally grown produce from the Green City Market. Chef de Cuisine Rey Villalobos and Sous Chef John Vermiglio will visit the market each week and select the fresh ingredients for that week’s pizza fired in a wood-burning oven. The selection will be announced via Table Fifty-Two’s Facebook page, where fans will have the opportunity to weigh-in and comment on each week’s selection. In the coming weeks, guests can look forward to ingredients like green garlic and ramps from Green Gate Gardens at Fair Oak Farms and red thumb fingerling potatoes from Nichols Farms, among other locally grown produce and raised meats. All pizzas are $15 (not including tax and gratuity). Table Fifty-Two is located at 52 West Elm St. For more information, visit www.tablefifty-two.com.

An Interview with Chef Ken Hom

Chicago Foodways Roundtable presents a conversation with Chef Ken Hom at the WoodMode Auditorium at Kendall College this FridayJune 3, at 7:00 p.m. Interviewed by his friend - chef, writer and BlackboardEats Editor Louisa Chu - Hom will discuss how he became a Chinese-American chef, television personality, best-selling author, philanthropist and world traveler having grown up extremely poor in Chicago and washing dishes as an 11 year-old boy at King Wah restaurant. It was there on Chinatown’s Wentworth Avenue that the owner - a family friend he called his uncle - first taught him to cook. Cost of attendance is $5. To reserve, please call 847.432.8255, and leave your name, telephone number and how many people in your party, or e-mail chicago.foodways.roundtable@gmail.com. WoodMode Auditorium is located at 900 North Branch St. For more information, click here.

- Dimitra Apostolopoulos