This week in food events: karma, soup, and more

This week in food events: karma, soup, and more

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Pink slime—the infamous ammonia-treated ground beef, rejected by fast food restaurants including McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell—is back in the news this week, with reports that the USDA is planning to buy 7 million pounds for the National School Lunch Program.

Try to digest that for a bit then watch The Butcher’s Karma, the new video by James Beard award-winning filmmaker Mike Gebert at Sky Full of Bacon. Listen carefully to the man my friend Mike calls “The Zen Butcher”, Bartlett Durand of Black Earth Meats, in Black Earth, Wisconsin. Durand was a vegetarian for 18 years, until he and his wife moved to India, ironically. There they practiced the martial art Kalaripayat. After an unexpected meal of fish curry, they felt their strength restored. The Buddhist speaks thoughtfully of “owning your karma.”

Wednesday, March 7

Speaking of karma, Soup & Bread is back this week at the Hideout featuring LTHers—including “the Chicago-based culinary chat site”’s co-founder, my oft-mentioned dear friend, Catherine Lambrecht—benefitting Benton House in Bridgeport. BTW you can listen to S&B founder Martha Bayne and yours truly on 848 with Tony Sarabia talking bread and soup just this past Monday right here.

Also in Bridgeport, at the Bridgeport Art Center Brides, Bubbles and Bliss, “an avant-garde bridal soiree”, benefits Hepzibah Children’s Association, “Oak Park’s oldest charity…providing safety and care to society’s most vulnerable children since 1897”.

Thursday, March 8

Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, which is next Saturday by the way, but why limit it to one day? Get yourself over to Chief O’Neill’s this night for the Asian Youth Services Fundraiser, hosted by our friend, Chef Alan Lake. You may have heard Lake recently took over the kitchen at the Chief, having cooked in Ireland, creating dishes like Donegal peat-smoked shrimp, detailed by the Reader’s Mike Sula. AYS is “an after school tutoring program for students ages five to 20, located in Uptown”. This promises to be a night of good Irish, Asian, and universal karma all around.

Lift Your Spirits: Craft Spirits Tasting at the Garden, at the Chicago Botanic Garden, that is, features Death’s Door and Templeton Rye among other distilleries, with light fare and specialty cocktails available for purchase.

Friday, March 9

It will be the best of times, it will be the wurst of times at the art of wurst class at DANK Haus. And the “German American Cultural Center will be free to the public all day…as part of the city of Chicago’s 175 Days to Love Chicago celebration.” German pretzels will be available for purchase.

Saturday, March 10

Sweet Home Chicago at World Kitchen, in which “Chef Jenny Lewis, author of Midwest Sweet Baking History, helps us celebrate with recipes featuring the history, lessons, and lore of our city’s sweet past and present” is sold out—but there is a waiting list. And you can listen to Chef Lewis when she spoke to the Culinary Historians of Chicago in her program “Some Sweet Talk: How the Midwest Refined the Nation’s Sweet Tooth Through a Delicious Mix of Immigrant Traditions and American Ingenuity” via WBEZ’s own Chicago Amplified.

The International Home + Housewares Show is a trade-only, four-day event, but if you’re going, please come by and say hi—I’ll actually be cooking!

Sunday, March 11

Dose Market is back at the River East Arts Center and this month you can “[b]e the first to try Great Lake’s newest bread project”—best known, of course, for their pizza.

Donegal peat-smoked shrimp by Chef Alan Lake at Chief O'Neill's (photo by Ron Kaplan/