Handpicked: Fiestas Puertorriqueñas, Meet the Market and more

June 14, 2013

Friday, June 14
31st annual Fiestas Puertorriqueñas in and around Humboldt Park. The Puerto Rican Festival and Parade is second in size only to the Taste of Chicago, and the biggest Hispanic fiesta in the country. The four-day cultural celebration includes food vendors of course, and is sponsored in part by La Bomba and  Borinquen restaurants, the latter the inventor of the iconic Chicago jibarito. Be sure to taste mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with garlic and meat, classically pork, but preferably chicharrónes if I can help it) and arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas, and again, classically pork, cooked in aromatic sofrito). Admission FREE, food, drink, and carnival rides extra.

Saturday, June 15
Les Dames Culinary Garage Sale and Cake Walk at Kendall College. Chicagoland’s top chefs have cleaned out their prized culinary closets of Le Creuset and other treasures, plus top pastry chefs will donate their goods to the cake walk on the terrace. Proceeds benefit Les Dames d’Escoffier scholarships and Green City Market. Food trucks and live music round out the event. Admission $5 general; $75 VIP includes early entry to the sale, food, drinks, and a swag bag; food trucks extra.

If Recipes Could Talk: Wisconsin Foods and the Stories They Tell at Kendall College. Author Terese Allen shares classic Wisconsin recipes for the Friday night fish fry, and Hmong egg rolls? Hear the stories behind them, plus taste said Hmong egg rolls, filled with ground pork, rice noodles, and minced onions. Allen is a columnist for Edible Madison and Edible Door County magazines, food editor for the Organic Valley brand, co-author of the award-winning The Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State, and much more. Presented by the Culinary Historians of Chicago, this event will be recorded for WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified. Admission FREE for Kendall students and faculty with ID, $3 general.

Spring Open House at Growing Home’s Wood Street Urban Farm. Tour the city’s first and only certified organic farm with refreshments and music. The farm stand will be open, plus gardening and nutrition workshops, and healthy cooking demos and tastings. This is the final open house celebration of the year. Admission FREE.

Above the Pavement: A City Fair at Maria’s and Pleasant House Bakery parking lots. Billed as the smallest city fair in the world, with food from Pleasant House and local chefs at Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar; Small Manufacturing Alliance (SMAll) members vending their wares; and live music. Plus an after party at Co-Prosperity Sphere. Admission FREE to the fair; food, drink, and wares additional; $5 suggested donation to the after party.

Sunday, June 16
Happy Father’s Day!

Thursday, June 20
Meet the Market at Table, Donkey and Stick. Chef Scott Manley will feature ingredients from Radical Root Farm, plus La Sirena Clandestina and Barrelhouse Flat mixologist Austin Skyles makes cocktails with New Holland Artisan Spirits. The food menu: fried duck liver with hard cooked egg, spring onion marmalade, and charred green garlic; smoked chicken with grilled kale on and sunflower oat bread crostini; kohlrabi slaw on roasted kohlrabi rolls with quark. Admission FREE; cocktails extra and act as your donation to the Green City Market's youth education programs, Club Sprouts and The Edible Gardens.

Soirée in the City at Salvage One. An evening featuring hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a silent auction benefits Rape Victim Advocates. Bid on a coveted maple syrup run ride-along with the one and only Tim Burton, of Burton’s Maplewood Farm. A dozen guests will take a progressive drink tour in the back of Burton’s 1949 cherry red Chevy farm truck, the Donna Sue, with mixologist Adam Seger. Celebrate the summer solstice with exclusive al fresco access and tastings at the Little Goat Diner, The Ritz-Carlton, Table Fifty-Two, Perennial Virant, and the J. Parker. Admission $95 advance, $115 door.

Save the Date!
Friday, June 21

Second annual CigarBQue at Beyond Design. Primehouse's Rick Gresh, Fountainhead's Cleetus Friedman, and GT Fish & Oyster's Giuseppe Tentori invite you to an intimate evening of fine cigars paired with food, beer, wine, and cocktails by master mixologists. The evening benefits the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation whose mission is to provide a significant humanitarian impact to the communities in the Dominican Republic. Admission $150.