This week in food events: Chowathon and more

This week in food events: Chowathon and more

Redhot Ranch double dog, fries, fried shrimp, and hot sauce (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)
This week in food events, we’re discussing some big issues: the farm bill, food deserts, ocean health—and then there’s Chowathon! The 24-hour, non-stop eating and drinking crawl (and yes, we do mean crawl ha ha) currently has newly minted LTH GNR (Great Neighborhhood Restaurant) winner Redhot Ranch penciled in at 4 a.m. I just went last week for the fine double dog with Chicago-style fried shrimp you see above after The Last Soup. Please save the dates of April 27-29 when I’ll be talking about the history of modern food trucks at the Greater Midwest Foodways Symposium Road Food: Exploring the Midwest One Bite at a Time—with keynote speaker Michael Stern of Roadfood fame!

Tuesday, April 17

Ken Cook‘s “fingerprints can be found on every farm bill going back for more than three decades” and he’ll discuss Food (In)Security: The 2012 Farm Bill at the University of Chicago. Pre-registration has reached capacity, but any available seats will be released on a first come, first served basis. Luckily this event will be recorded for WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified. It’s the first in a series of five free lectures, Food (In)Security: Access, Equity, Frameworks, co-sponsored by the Center for International Studies and the Program on the Global Environment.

Did you know Mari Gallagher popularized the phrase “food desert”? Gallagher presents From Food Desert to Food Oasis: How You Can Have an Impact at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum with “practical solutions, including the role of nutrition education and how artistic and creative expression can make otherwise turgid research and educational messages come to life.” Listen to this non-turgid clip of Gallagher from WBEZ’s Dynamic Range.

Celebrate with Amelia Levin at the launch party for her first book Chicago Chef’s Table at Province. Chef/Owner Randy Zweiban prepares a five-course dinner with wine pairings, preceded by a cocktails, cava, and hors d’ouevres reception. Levin’s book—a cookbook actually, with the always desired beautiful photographs—will be available for sale and signings.

Wednesday, April 18

See a free screening of the beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful award-winning film The Interrupters at the Wood Street Urban Farm, presented by Growing Home. “Growing Home’s mission is to operate, promote, and demonstrate the use of organic agriculture as a vehicle for job training, employment, and community development.” Go early to take a farm tour and garden workshop, and shop the organic farm stand. “Following the film, violence interrupters, Li’l Mikey and Hot Rod, will start a community discussion.” Save the date of May 1 for Growing Home’s 10th birthday party—the film’s director/producer Steve James will be there.

Thursday, April 19

Austria Uncorked at Venue One, benefitting Common Threads, features hundreds of Austrian wines—and food from Julius Meinl, Austrian Bakery & Deli, Leopold (which is yes, “Belgian-inspired” actually), and more. Common Threads mission: “Through the simple process of preparing and sharing a nutritious meal, children who participate in our programs learn to connect with their bodies, their neighbors, and their world in bite-sized lessons.”

“There are many serious threats facing our oceans today. Our Oceans Health: An Ecosystem on the Brink” at Northwestern University’s Chicago Campus “will explore two of these compounding issues…ocean acidification…and commercial fishing…” The Field museum’s Lance Grande will moderate speakers from the Shedd Aquarium, Allen LaPointe and my friend Kassia Perpich will tell us “what we as consumers can do to have a positive impact in addressing them”. Presented by the Chicago Council on Science and Technology, (aka C²ST) this event will be recorded by WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified.

Friday, April 20

The LTH Forum 10th Anniversary Chowathon—a 24-hour, 24 stop, non-stop, food and drink crawl—throughout the great city of Chicago commemorates the defining near-mythical moment in our online-meets-offline food history. Read my friend Mike Gebert’s two-part documentary insider account on Grub Street Chicago here and here. The Chowathon kicks off on Friday at noon and ends on Saturday at noon. Check the thread on LTH for the final itinerary as it’s finalized. See you somewhere!

Saturday, April 21

The free monthly hands-on Edible Gardens workshop series begins for the season with Spring Start: Soil Preparation and Planting Cool Weather Crops including “peas, spinach, chard, and radishes” at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Farm-in-the-Zoo. Save the date of April 26 for the Spring Fling at A New Leaf.

The also free monthly Chinatown Centennial lecture series continues with Make No Small Plans: Chinatown Square at the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago. “This critical mixed-use development, designed by Harry Weese Architects, changed the face of Chinatown on many levels. Raymond Lee, past president of Chinatown Development Corporation and Jim Himbaugh, also of CDC, will speak about the background, concept, history, political, and financial implications of this important project.”

Sunday, April 22

The 16th Annual Girl Food Dinner at West Town Tavern, benefitting the Greater Chicago Food Depository features five of the city’s top female chefs: Nicole Pederson of C-House, Priscilla Satkoff of ¡Salpicon!, Susan Goss of West Town Tavern, Jackie Shen of Argent, and Jesse Oloroso of Black Dog Gelato. “During the past 15 years, Drew and Susan Goss, hosts of the annual Girl Food Dinner, have raised and donated more than $177,000 to groups fighting hunger.”