It can be tough to tell cage-fed chickens from free-range, and even tougher to discern an organic head of lettuce from a genetically engineered head of lettuce with the body of a lion. Save the time you'd spend deliberating with today's Groupon: for $10, you get two admissions to the FamilyFarmed EXPO's Good Food Festival (up to a $30 value) on March 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Festival-goers can cruise more than 22,000 square feet of exhibits, cooking demos, workshops, and more at the UIC Forum on the University of Illinois at Chicago's campus. Celebrity chefs such as Top Chef champion Stephanie Izard, executive chef at Girl & The Goat, and Top Chef All Star Dale Levitski of French-American bistro Sprout fame will dazzle hungry eye-buds with cooking demos. Enlightened foodies can indulge in sweet samples from local markets, with tastings of fresh cheese, meats, and honey for the suckling.
FamilyFarmed EXPO's Good Food Festival's schedule features lectures on growing and using herbs, raising your own fang-less chickens, eating organic and local on a budget, and preserving fresh-grown food to enjoy all year long. FamilyFarmed makes supporting responsible, family-run businesses easy with tons of vendors and artisans offering food and gifts. The expo will also have a designated sign-up area where you can become a part of Community Supported Agriculture and take advantage of regular access to fresh, seasonal produce. Young ones can get in on the locovore love with interactive kids' exhibits, and children 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.
Good Food Festival & Conference
Made possible by FamilyFarmed.org, an organization that forges bonds between locally grown food and the people who grow, sell, and eat it, the Good Food Festival & Conference lets Chicagoans participate in the locally driven Good Food movement. Coming from all over the Midwest, 150 farmers and artisans display their healthily unprocessed bounties while debunking widespread myths that the freshest fruit grows in cans, and chef demos from Frontera Grill’s Rick Bayless, Perennial Virant’s Paul Virant, and Nightwood’s Jason Vincent celebrate the spectacle of cooking. Young chefs can exercise creative muscles and artsy tendons at the children’s corner, which features face painting, a scavenger hunt, and an arts and crafts session. Scheduled workshops, such as Growing a Community Garden or Brew Your Own Kombucha and Sodas, teach casual eaters about their deep-seated connections to the things they chew (additional workshop fees apply).