Tonight, my old food forum friend, Steve Plotnicki, is co-hosting The Modern Midwestern Table at North Pond. My old fishing buddy, Bruce Sherman, will be welcoming some pretty amazing chefs doing some pretty amazing food from around the Middle West into his kitchen. I've been to Josh Adams' June in Peoria Heights (not Peoria, but the mansions-overlooking-bluffs Peoria Heights) and it's definitely amazing. Josh applies a restrained use of modern techniques, like sous vide, applied to locally foraged, grown, and raised ingredients. The other notable chefs in town tonight hail from Sanford in Milwaukee, Revolver in Findlay (Ohio), and Niche in St. Louis.
Tomorrow Martha's in town! For lunch (luncheon?) Mrs. Stewart will be at an American Cancer Society event at the Hotel Orrington in Evanston: a Conversation with Martha Stewart. In the evening, Martha will be conversing again at a Junior League of Chicago reception at The Standard Club. Please note at the latter event dress code is business casual and will be enforced. Martha is on tour for her newest book Martha's Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations.
Meanwhile, my dog Kiba and I will be at the Culinary Canine book party at the Hotel Monaco to benefit The Anti-Cruelty Society. It's dog-friendly, with food and drinks for dogs and their people! The Chicago chefs who contributed recipes to the book will be there, including Karyn Calabrese of Karyn's, Steve Chiapetti of Viand, Nick Lacasse of The Drawing Room, and my friend Troy Graves of Montarra. The book will also be featured on none other than Martha's television show next month!
Also tomorrow night, Top Chef Desserts cheftestant and Bristol pastry chef Amanda Rockman will be judging a cupcake contest at Cupcakes & Cocktails, to benefit blue sky inn's job training program for homeless and formerly incarcerated youth at Intuit Gallery. The cocktails will be made by members of the U.S. Bartenders Guild. I wonder what their conventions are like?
Friday night, the smart and funny Schadenfreude group is throwing a good old fashioned Rent Party at the Beat Kitchen. There will be burgers, drinks, and laughs out loud. [Full disclosure: Justin Kaufmann is a member of Schadenfreude and my editor here at WBEZ. He did not ask me to post this. He makes me laugh every time I see him.] (Editors note: I'm blushing.)
Also, Friday night, it's the return of the Nite Market, billed as "Chicago's first market for unlicensed artisan food vendors." How do they get away with it? You need to be a member to attend.
Saturday morning, get up bright and early for the Culinary Garage and Bake Sale at NAHA to benefit Green City Market and Les Dames d'Escoffier.
And if one celebrity pastry chef bake sale wasn't enough, there's also the Logan Square Kitchen Fall Pastry Market running all weekend. And if a weekend-long pastry market wasn't enough, there will also be cocktails by mixologists from Logan Square neighbors Longman & Eagle and Lula Cafe.
Sunday, sleep it all off.