Saturday, January 19
Chicago Foodways Roundtable presents From Cinnamon To Saffron: Demystifying Indian Cooking in the Western World at Kendall College. Local blogger Ranjini Rao, author of Mango Masala: 60 Indian Recipes From Your Local Supermarket, talks and will also serve samples from her book. This event will be recorded for WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified. Admission $3, FREE for Kendall students and faculty with ID.
Wednesday, January 23
Soup & Bread presents this week’s theme, The Ocean (“Seafoods and sea greens. And deep, dark mystery.“) at the Hideout, benefitting the Marjorie Kovler Center, with bread from Publican Quality Meats and La Farine Bakery. If it’s unclear, this is one of my favorite food and drink events, and venues, anywhere in the world. Here’s S & B founder Martha Bayne’s recent post about this season’s first theme week, Green, with yours truly — during which we quaffed Three Floyds and Trumer Pils, served on draft. Admission FREE soup and bread, donate what you can, beer additional, and remember: Everyone LOVES the Generous!
Monte LaMonte presents Eat This! Stories for the Love of Food at The Lincoln Lodge. The intriguing storytellers include Pleasant House Bakery chef/owner Art Jackson, urban forager Dave Odd, Chicago’s Best host Ted Brunson, Lula Cafe chef Michael Simmons, The Brown Sack chefs/owners Malaika Marion and Adam Lebin, Jake’s Pizza chef/owner John Berger, and Taqueria El Asadero cashier/server Viviana A. Flores. Snacks from the storytelling chefs will be served. Admission $10.
Thursday, January 24
Chicago Restaurant Week kicks off with the First Bites Bash in the Great Hall at Union Station, benefitting Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Over 50 of our most celebrated chefs and restaurants — including Carriage House, Nellcôte, and The Bedford — will serve savory and sweet tastings. Admission $95.
Chicagoist presents the Ramova Room Soup Kitchen at Benton House, benefitting their Food Pantry. The all-star, Bridgeport-connected soup chefs include Vera’s Mark Mendez, who may make a Ramova tribute chili; busy Pleasant House Bakery chef/owner Art Jackson with vegetarian Moroccan tagine winter squash soup; Nightwood chef Jason Vincent with a bean and belly soup; Bridgeport Pasty chef/owners Carrie Clark and Jay Sebastian with Tuscan bean soup; Zaytune Mediterranean Grill chef/owner Daniel Sarkiss with lamb yogurt soup; Allium chef Kevin Hickey (who actually attended pre-school at Benton House) with Brussels kraut soup with potatoes, kielbasa, and rye croutons — veg version too — and more. Plus bread from heavenly Bridgeport Bakery, start-up Peerless Bread & Jam, and Bruno’s “Famous Sour Rye” Bakery. Admission $10 suggested donation.