The biggest beneficiaries of the Chef BBQ aren’t the satisfied (maybe sated) attendees. The BBQ is a fundraiser that provides resources for Green City Market’s main location in Chicago’s Lincoln Park and three recently opened satellite locations, all of which provide regional farmers from Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin with a place to sell to the fast-growing constituency of consumers seeking food grown locally using sustainable, humane and fair practices. The BBQ also helps fund Green City Market’s food education programs for children and its food access programs that enable lower-income customers to enjoy the seasonal bounty of fresh, healthy food that once was mostly limited to more affluent consumers.
So much amazing food and drink. That’s the simplest way to describe the 2017 Green City Market Chef BBQ, the annual fundraiser for Chicago’s premier farmers market, which brought together a world-class lineup of the city’s farm to table restaurants, along with many of the city’s leading craft breweries and distilleries. It might be indulgent if the only purpose of this event was a ginormous outdoor feast. But the money raised by Green City Market at the event goes toward its social mission programs, which include double bucks for shoppers using SNAP/LINK food assistance dollars, a satellite market in the underserved Bronzeville community every Wednesday through the growing season, and a broadening palette of food education programs.
Two things are clear about the annual Chef BBQ fundraiser staged by Chicago’s Green City Market, which took place Thursday evening. One is that the BBQ will be one of the best food and beverage tasting events on the calendar of food-centric Chicago. The other, it seems, is that the summer weather may always be a challenge for this event.
FamilyFarmed’s Trade Show & Industry Conference on March 25 — the middle day of its three-day Good Food Festival & Conference — has an exciting new feature: “Recipe for Change: How the Culinary Community is Creating a Sustainable Food System” is a panel moderated by James Beard Foundation Vice President Kris Moon and featuring four of Chicago’s top chefs and Good Food champions. In this contributed column, Moon details the rising tide of chef activism and how the James Beard Foundation has responded with its Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change.