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This week in food events: This little piggy and more

Forage for “mushrooms in the Chicago region,” virtually speaking, at this month’s meeting of the Illinois Mycological Association (aka Mushroom Club) at the North Park Village Nature Center. “

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Smoque BBQ St. Louis ribs with fries, cornbread,  coleslaw, and sauce on the side (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)

Monday, June 4

Forage for “mushrooms in the Chicago region,” virtually speaking, at this month’s meeting of the Illinois Mycological Association (aka Mushroom Club) at the North Park Village Nature Center. “Patrick Leacock, a mycologist at the Field Museum...discusses the types of macro-fungi found in the Chicago area...He is creating a checklist of over a thousand fungi found in the region” and yes, some are edible. This event will be recorded for WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified.

Tuesday, June 5

Get in on Garfield Park Chef Night Out, benefitting Inspiration Kitchens. Three chefs—Avec’s Koren Grieveson, Girl and the Goat’s Stephanie Izard, and Hot Chocolate’s Mindy Segal—join Inspiration Kitchen’s David Rosenthall to prepare a three-course dinner, paired with 3 Floyds beer. “And to make the evening even more memorable, critically acclaimed artist [and gourmand] Tony Fitzpatrick is generously donating one of his sought after etchings to each guest!”

Sip, sample, and savor at the 20th Annual Great Chefs Tasting Party at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, benefitting United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Chicago. Fifty chefs cook, plus a VIP live auction offers up “dinner for [eight] in your home with Jared Van Camp of Nellcôte plus one specialty cocktail” and a “Steve Dolinsky Experience: You and a guest will accompany Steve for a Thursday night adventure!” Hangover-esque face tattoos optional!

Thursday, June 7

Get grafty with “Gregory Hall, Legendary Craft Brewer” of the new “branch to bottle” Virtue Cider at the Haas Park fieldhouse, in the latest of the Chicago Rarities Orchard Project monthly lecture series. CROP “is a new organization founded to establish ‘community rare-fruit orchards’ in Chicago. These orchards, designed for reclaimed urban spaces, are dedicated to preserving a few of the thousands of varieties of tree fruit that aren’t commonly grown by commercial producers.”

Drink beer/make art at The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art at the Smart Museum of Art’s exhibit Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, with “guest bartenders...The Neo-Futurists.” Last call! Feast closes Sunday.

Queue for Q at the Illinois Barbecue Alliance (IBBQA) Charter Member BBQ Bash at Sweet Baby Ray’s, benefitting Operation BBQ Relief. “The evening’s menu will feature some of thebest barbecue you will ever enjoy,as well as impressive appetizers, sides, and desserts.” And if you’ve never heard of OBR, which is not found at drugstores, “The mission of Operation BBQ Relief is to provide compassion and to offer hope and friendship to those whose lives have been affected by natural disasters across the United States through our expertise in cooking and catering barbecue meals and our ability to quickly mobilize our teams into any area where nature disrupts and tears apart the lives of Americans.” Now that is, as they say, awesome-sauce.

Friday, June 8

Compete for the title of “Best Ribs” and/or eat “RibMania, a sanctioned rib-eating contest” at Ribfest in Northcenter. “Proceeds of the festival are utilized to fund community activities, area greening efforts and local outreach programs such as the Innovative Schools grant program and the Northcenter Chamber’s philanthropy committee.”

Celebrerathe 47th annual Midsommarfest in Andersonville where opening night features “food from some of your favorite local restaurants and of course cold beer and sangria.”

Saturday, June 9

“Get Cooking. Get Nourished. Get Lit."—at the Good Eating stage at the Printers Row Lit Fest. At the “intersection of food and literature with a variety of cooking demonstrations and author discussions.” I highly recommend the “cooking demo with Paul Virant, author of The Preservation Kitchen.”

Take a walk through the Spring Open House at The Plant where they’ll have “burgers, brats, veggie burgers, veggie hot dogs, Plant-grown arugula salad, and more! Food is free, but donations are always welcome.” And a “home-brew beer-tasting! Try a brew or two from our hop-happy friends.”

Sweeten your Chicago history with the curator’s tour of Sweet Home Chicago: The History of America’s Candy Capital at the Elmhurst Historical Museum, hosted by Chicago Foodways Roundtable. “Lance Tawzer, curator of exhibits at the Elmhurst Historical Museum, [and my former colleague, in former lives!] will lead the tour of this original exhibit.” This event will be recorded for WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified but you’ll have to attend in person to “take on the Twisted Candy Challenge to test candy-wrapping skills”!

Sunday, June 10

Bid on Baylessnow or at The Festival of the One True Taste, benefitting the Frontera Farmer Foundation. “You and three guests will get the rare opportunity to partake in a hands-on cooking class taught by Chef Rick Bayless in his home kitchen, made famous by his TV show, Mexico: One Plate At a Time. Rick will personally guide you through his favorite techniques and secret tips for making flawless Mexican food. This item includes a tour of Rick’s backyard production garden and dinner for four to Frontera Grill.”

Pig it out at the 4th Annual Pig Roast at Goose Island Beer Company, benefitting Slow Food Chicago. They “will be using Slagel Family Farm hogs and farmer LouisJohn Slagel will be in attendance. Expect fun, food, beer, and music.”

Get stuffed at the Chicago Sausage Experiment at The Bottom Lounge. “Sample around 20 of the best Sausage Dishes Chicago has to offer. From Scotch Eggs, Sausage n Peppers, Homemade Sausage, Smoked Sausage, Jambalaya, Sausage Gravy, we dare you to make a [dessert]! Every ticket entitles you to one free Brooklyn Brewery beer.” Plus a “portion of the proceeds will go towards charities that promote sustainability and local culinary education for disadvantaged children and teens.”

Chill at Ice Cream Social back at the Smart Museum of Art. “Grab a piece of ice cream cake before heading into the galleries for a last look at the Smart’s special exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art. The afternoon party features pink, white, and brown cakes decorated with special designs created by artist David Robbins.”

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