Saturday, March 9
The Chicago Cultural Alliance presents Heritage Matters: Food, Fire & Family at DANK Haus German American Cultural Center. Germany meets Japan in this cultural demonstration event. DANK Haus makes Feuerzangenbowle (flaming mulled holiday wine) and the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society makes o-zōni (savory samurai mochi New Year soup), with interactive demos, tastings, and a conversation about family meals. This event will be recorded for WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified. Admission $10.
I'll be at the source of the best maple syrup in the world for the final weekend of the 2013 National Maple Syrup Festival at Burton’s Maplewood Farm in Medora, Indiana, benefitting the Heads Up!!! Foundation. I'm judging the Sweet Victory Challenge, presented by King Arthur Flour. As mentioned on Late Night by Jimmy Fallon, "They've been getting a lot of calls about whether or not dogs are allowed. Yes, they are." So yes, I will be back with my dog Kiba. Admission $10 adults, $8 seniors (65 and over), $6 youth (5 to 15), FREE children (4 and under). Donate one canned good for a $2 discount; all donations benefit local food pantries.
Imagine Festivals presents Chowdah Fest on the MV Abby, the Columbia Yacht Club ship, benefitting Sea Scouts. Over a dozen chefs, including iNG's Homaro Cantu, Acadia's Ryan McCaskey, and GT Fish & Oyster's Giuseppe Tentori will battle for the title of best seafood chowder. Admission $40.
Tasting Table's Heather Sperling and Plate Magazine's Chandra Ram present Food Trivia, A Night of Cutthroat Culinary Competition at the J. Parker, benefitting Meals on Wheels Chicago. Chef/partner Paul Virant is serving snacks and his best game. Compete against Virant and surprise guests to win an edible prize. Admission $20.
Wednesday, March 13
Soup & Bread presents this week's theme, "Noodles, Dumplings, and Kreplach: Oh My!", at the Hideout, benefitting Benton House. Very special soup chefs this week include Vera chef/owner Mark Mendez. Plus bread from Publican Quality Meats and La Farine Bakery. Admission FREE, by donation.
Thursday, March 14
The Good Food Festival & Conference kicks off at UIC Forum. The ninth annual three day event features Localicious, the local food and drink dinner of the season, with 40 chefs and local producers. The Festival includes workshops in fermentation with guru Sandor Katz, canning and pickling with Paul Virant, foraging with Elizabeth Restaurant's Iliana Regan, sausage-making with The Publican's Kim Leali, plus a Chefs at Play demo with Rick Bayless, and much, much more. I'm judging the inaugural Kimchi Challenge with an esteemed panel including Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation. Admission from $10 for the Saturday Good Food Festival only to $220 for an All-Access Pass.