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.
Chicago’s Green City Market is known as one of the nation’s premier farmers market. The Market’s big annual public celebration is its Chef BBQ, which is coming up next week on Thursday, July 21. The event is kind of a foodie fantasy camp, but there is also an important social mission. Green City Market executive director Melissa Flynn discusses in the latest installment of our “Farm to Table: Keeping It Real” series.
Urban agriculture in on the rise, in many cases providing jobs, opportunities and access to Good Food for residents of underserved communities. But the farm Jen Rosenthal manages on Chicago’s South Side has particular social significance: It is on a site once occupied by apartment towers of The Robert Taylor Homes, which had grown so troubled-plagued that its residents were relocated and the buildings torn down.
Concerns about the routine use of antibiotics in livestock production is rising among consumers, prompting an increase in both market demand and supply of meat labeled as “antibiotic-free.” And efforts to get the attention of policy makers to this issue are increasing.
Jen Rosenthal’s first full year as the rooftop farmer at Uncommon Ground restaurant can be fairly described as a big success. By the time the roughly half-year growing season ends in a few weeks, Rosenthal and her team of mainly interns and volunteers will have harvested nearly a ton of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, greens, beans, herbs, and other produce, most of which is used in the restaurant downstairs.