This week in food events: Fugu, fests and more

Fugu fried kara-age style at Kikunoi restaurant in Tokyo, Japan
Fugu fried kara-age style at Kikunoi restaurant in Tokyo, Japan WBEZ/Louisa Chu
Fugu fried kara-age style at Kikunoi restaurant in Tokyo, Japan
Fugu fried kara-age style at Kikunoi restaurant in Tokyo, Japan WBEZ/Louisa Chu

This week in food events: Fugu, fests and more

Fugu fried kara-age style at Kikunoi restaurant in Tokyo, Japan (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)

Wednesday, May 30

Dream of sushi and eat it too, at a tasting of traditional Japanese cuisine and sake at Kendall College, presented by the ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians. The Consul General of Japan in Chicago, Yoshifumi Okamura, opens the program and will introduce chef Yuji Hayashi—who prepared that amazing kaiseki luncheon I posted about previously – at the official residence.

Chef Hayashi will demonstrate the breakdown of a flounder into a sashimi platter and the making of the classic clear clam soup with clam dumplings. He’ll serve a tasting of flounder nigiri, the clam dumpling soup and “horse reins” sushi—what we know as a rainbow roll—with kelp cured flounder, smoked salmon and mitsuba, aka Japanese parsley. I’ll do a slideshow talk on my recent visit to Japan, which included a kaiseki dinner at the Michelin-starred Kikunoi in Tokyo, during which I ate the hot, crispy, mindblowing fugu fish nuggets you see above. This event will be recorded for WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified.

Thursday, May 31

“‘Tis the season for strawberries, rhubarb, and basil ” at Meet the Market at The Bedford, benefitting the Green City Market and featuring Seedling Fruit and FEW Spirits. Chef Mark Steuer’s complimentary passed apps include duck liver mousse on toasted brioche with rhubarb preserves, drop biscuits with house butter and strawberry jam, halibut brandade croquettes with rhubarb mustard and strawberry-fennel slaw and cider-braised pork belly with watermelon, shrimp vinaigrette and peanuts. And yes, there will be market-fresh cocktails ($8 with $6 as a GCM donation) — bourbon with muddled strawberries, Averna, and lemon, as well as gin, rhubarb syrup, Campari, rhubarb bitters and tonic.

Get Gemütlichkeit at Maifest 2012 in Lincoln Square with German food, traditional keg tappings and maypole dancing!

Friday, June 1

Buy Indian tacos — beef and veggie on golden puffy fry bread — at the Kateri Center of Chicago during their monthly fundraiser. The Kateri Center “is a ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago serving a community of American Indian Catholics through faith formation and Native traditional prayer.”

Take up arms, forks and spoons at a real food dinner at the Hyatt Regency Chicago benefiting Jaimie Oliver’s Food Revolution and Chicago’s own Purple Asparagus, presented by Momma Cuisine. A cocktail reception will be followed by five courses: yellow endive, dulce membrillo, and shaved Manchego; wild rocket, roasted butternut squash, raw asparagus and carrots; port wine risotto, radicchio and goat cheese; skirt steak, roasted fingerling potatoes, vine tomatoes and beet greens (vegetarian option available upon request); and an “Arnold Palmer” lemon and agave nectar panna cotta with rooibos tea gelée, raw sugar lemon shortbread streusel, chocolate mint and a pulled sugar garnish. Purple Asparagus “educates children, families, and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet.”

See chef Michael Kornick—chef/owner of MK, DMK Burger Bars, Fish Bar, Ada Street—on this month’s Interview Show live at The Hideout hosted by fellow WBEZ blogger Mark Bazer. Other guests include artist (and gourmand) Tony Fitzpatrick, author Rich Cohen, half of the DJ duo The Hood Internet and musician Matt Baron. And remember, Ada Street, the restaurant, is practically across the street from The Hideout.

Do-Division on the West Town stretch of Division Street benefitting local non-profits: the West Town Chamber of Commerce, the Division Street Committee and three local elementary schools, Jose De Diego Elementary School, Friends of Pritzker School and LaSalle II PTO. Eat and drink local, including sponsor SmallBar.

Saturday, June 2

Willy Wonka the tofu processing tour at Sun Xien Soy Products, owned by the Sun Wah restaurant Cheng family, hosted by my dear friend Catherine Lambrecht’s Chicago Foodways Roundtable. “As a followup to the Cheng family’s ‘The Makings of Tasty Tofu’ program last summer, this tour will present the machinery used to make tofu, the tofu-making process, and different types of tofu, as well as a discussion of other brands made in Chicago.” This event will be recorded for WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified.

Honeybee don’t care, but you can learn to care for them at the Chicago Honey Co-op beekeeping class at the Christy Webber Landscapes. “Participants will learn how to inspect a beehive, what to look for inside the hive, how to recognize problems and deal with them.”

Crown the King of SausageFest at Sheffield and Addison, by donating to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. It’s kind of not what you think, but there will be sausages to eat. No really.

Sunday, June 3

Put your thinking beret on for the curator’s tour of Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art at the Smart Museum. “Join Stephanie Smith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator…for a behind-the-scenes tour…Stephanie will talk about the curating process behind this multifaceted exhibition, which explores the meal as an artistic medium.” Then swing over to the nearby 57th Street Art Fair!