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.
Pilot Light is a nonprofit organization founded by some of Chicago’s top Good Food chefs to bring food education to students in Chicago Public Schools. And even though school’s out for the summer, Pilot Light is doing events around town to spread the word about its important social mission.
FamilyFarmed has partnered with Chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Farmer Foundation to produce the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration, a joint fundraiser that will be held on Sunday, April 30 at The Art Institute of Chicago. Good Food on Every Table is running a series of profiles of the participating chefs, and here we feature some of the tributes to Rick Bayless that these chefs made. Their comments focus on Rick’s contributions to the rise of the Good Food movement and to elevating Chicago to the status of an international culinary capital. Each of the excerpts below is followed by a link to the full profile of the quoted chef.
The record attendance at FamilyFarmed’s 2017 Good Food Festival & Conference in Chicago underscored important points about the Good Food movement’s growing momentum. More than 7,500 people attended the 13th Good Food Festival & Conference, held March 16-18 at the UIC Forum on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.
Many people who have worked in Chef Rick Bayless’ kitchen since he opened Frontera Grill 30 years ago have gone on to their own success as chefs and restaurateurs. But among those who have worked for Rick, few — if any — have benefited more than Anselmo Ramirez, chef-owner of Chicago’s popular Ixcateco Grill, where he combines the Mexican food knowledge he gained from his grandmother with the restaurant craft he learned while working for 13 years in Rick Bayless’ kitchens… starting as a 17-year-old dishwasher. Anselmo will participate in the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration fundraiser on April 30 at The Art Institute of Chicago.
The Good Food Trade Show & Policy Conference is coming up at Chicago’s UIC Forum on Friday, the middle day of FamilyFarmed’s three-day Good Food Festival & Conference. Here’s a quick tour of the top 5 reasons to attend on Friday.
The Blend is a movement emerging nationwide, and it features the craft of blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken, lamb) for meals that are more delicious, nutritious and sustainable. Visit the Mushrooom Council at table 44-45 — on Friday during FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Trade Show and on Saturday during the Good Food Festival — to sample Paul Caravelli of Chicago’s Knife & Tine’s take on a blended meatball.
“Good Food movement” and “Local Food movement” are virtually synonymous to a lot of people. Yet the rising tide of consumer demand for Good Food is prompting more and more retailers, wholesalers and chefs to think globally while they act locally. This issue will be examined by the “Does Good Food Need to Be Local” panel at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference on March 16.
Jordan Lloyd had zero intention of creating a “farm to table” restaurant. Instead, he and his wife looked for the highest-quality ingredients when they opened their 30-seat Bartlett Pear Inn on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Nonetheless, the Lloyds quickly discovered that the roads to those highest-quality ingredients led to farms in the largely rural area surrounding their home base near the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay.
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.
It might sound somewhat surprising that Rick Bayless, a pioneering advocate for the Chicago region’s local farmers and a master of regional Mexican cuisine, recently converted to using imported corn for his tortillas.
But this isn’t just any corn. It is dried heirloom corn from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where some historians believe the cultivation of maize began. And it underscores the fact that in a diverse and increasingly interconnected food culture, authentic farm to table restaurants may take their search for the best ingredients way beyond their local areas…. and sometimes to a different part of the world.
The Good Food movement has made tremendous strides during recent years, but this progress is fresh and fragile. Among the biggest challenges is ensuring consumers that the Good Food claims made by people in the industry are legit. So FamilyFarmed’s Good Food on Every Table is launching the new chef-driven series, “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real.”
The James Beard Foundation held its annual awards ceremony in Chicago Monday night. All the winners, of course, serve delicious food to diners. But if there was another quality that linked several of the biggest awardees, it can be summed up in one word: perseverance.
Last year, FamilyFarmed welcomed the first-ever James Beard culinary awards to Chicago with an article providing the sweep of Good Food activities in our hometown. So with the JBF Awards coming back to town on May 2, the best second helping we could think of is this rundown of the biggest Good Food developments in Chicagoland over the past year.
FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Trade Show and Industry Conference Friday — the middle of three days of the organization’s 12th annual Good Food Festival & Conference — got off to a rousing and inspiring start with an Opening Symposium featuring leading voices from across the local and sustainable food business and advocacy sectors. Steve Koch, deputy mayor of the city of Chicago, delivered a keynote speech.
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.
The amount of edible food that goes to waste in United States and around the world is drawing increasing concern and attention from policymakers and producers alike. That was the inspiration behind a special “trash lunch” produced by famous chefs Sam Kass and Dan Barber for President Barack Obama and other world dignitaries Sunday.
[This article was originally published June 3 on the Huffington Post website.] Featuring pavilions from 140 countries, Italy’s EXPO Milano expects to welcome more than a million visitors through October. FamilyFarmed President Jim Slama was one of them, and he writes about the delicious opportunity he had to explore this historic World’s Fair devoted to sustainable food production, and to tour a few of the amazing regions of Italy.
[The original version of this article was published May 1 on the Huffington Post website.] As FamilyFarmed prepared for the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on May 4, we decided to welcome out-of-town attendees with an article providing “10 delicious facts” about the blossoming Good Food scene in our hometown. We found we had created a pretty sweeping guide to Chicagoland Good Food, so we’re making it a standing feature. And we’d love to hear about the Good Food scene where you live — let civic pride rule!
Chicago on Monday hosted the annual James Beard Foundation culinary awards ceremony, and Rick Bayless was one of the event’s co-chairmen. Famed for popularizing regional Mexican cuisine in the city, he is a celebrity chef with a long-running TV show, and he has just added to his long list of cookbooks. But to many in the Good Food movement, it is his history of helping building the region’s local food system that is his biggest starring role.