Chicago Food Events for the Weekend and Beyond
Thursday (July 12)
Green City Market Chef's BBQ Benefit
5:30 to 8 p.m.
Tickets are still available for the annual Lincoln Park picnic. The line-up of restaurants includes familiar favorites, such as Balsan, Lula Cafe, Nightwood, BOKA, and City Provisions, along with first-timers like Yusho, Telegraph, Browntrout, and Vera. Beverage sponsors are Goose Island, Death's Door Spirits, and Wirtz Beverage Illinois. Tickets are $125 ($100 for friends of the market) or $250 for VIP, which allows for early entry and private seating. Tickets for children under 12 are $25. 1750 N. Clark.; event website
Friday (July 13)
Windy City Ribfest
Friday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Suburban Naperville's Ribfest may be bigger, but it was last week. This weekend, however, marks the fourth annual Windy City Ribfest in Uptown. Enjoy ribs from pitmasters based in Chicago, Texas, Tennessee, and Australia, along with live music. This year's event also includes the debut of the Rib Village, which offers VIP seating and all-you-can-eat sample size ribs, sides, and three beverages. Tickets for the village are $50 if purchased today, or $60 at the festival. General admission is a suggested $6 donation. Lawrence and Broadway; event website
Irish American Heritage Festival
Friday, 6 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, 12 p.m. to midnight; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
There's a lot more going on than just food and drink at this cultural festival, including a men in kilt contest, Irish music, and dancing. At 8 p.m. on Friday, however, is the event Serious Eaters should be most excited about: the Mashed Potato Eating Contest. On Saturday and Sunday you can also check out fine spirits tastings, ranging from craft beers to whiskey to mead. Additionally, bakers can enter the festival's Traditional Soda Bread contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. $15, $11 in advance. Spirits tastings require separate tickets. 4626 N. Knox Avenue; event website
Saturday (July 14)
Bastille Day at Chicago French Market
1 to 3 p.m.
Many French restaurants around town will be offering specials on Saturday, but you can start off your celebration of Bastille Day at Chicago French Market's free event. Sip French bubbly and sample the market's offerings while you listen to singer Greta Pope perform. 131 N. Clinton; event website
Sunday (July 15)
April Bloomfield dinner at Perrenial Virant
Reservations begin at 6 p.m.
At press time, tickets were still available for the five-course dinner based on April Bloomfield's new cookbook A Girl and Her Pig. Bloomfield, the chef of New York's The Spotted Pig, will join Paul Virant and guest chefs Paul Kahan, Bruce Sherman, Nathan Sears, and Elissa Narrow. Diners also receive a signed copy of the book. $200 with beverage pairings. 1800 N. Lincoln Avenue.; Call 312-981-7070 for reservations