Back in March over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, I took my mom to the Good Food Festival at the UIC Forum! We spent all day walking around, consuming countless samples, and learning as much as we could from local farmers and vendors.
While we arrived early to beat the crowds, the UIC forum quickly became a busy and happening place!
We stopped by to see the Chefs at Play Demos and caught a glimpse of Rick Bayless and Carrie Nahabedian of Naha.
We missed Paul Virant of Perennial Virant, but I was just at his restaurant last year for brunch with my bridesmaids and even received his cookbook, The Preservation Kitchen, as a wedding gift!
We stopped by Local Root to try some sugared french fries with chocolate dipping sauce from Chef Isaac – SO GOOD! Can’t wait to try out his restaurant in Streeterville!
We visited with NessAlla Kombucha (located in Madison, WI) for a delicious drink! They had a giant kombucha culture (also known as a “scoby” or “kombucha mother”) that they use to ferment their tea. I love kombucha tea, but don’t think I would ever attempt to ferment my own!
I stopped by the Chicago Food Swap table to grab some swag. I found out about these lovely ladies via the TweetChat hosted by Momma Cuisine before the event! I totally love the idea of a food swap and am looking into attending one of their meetups this summer!
The Dill Pickle Food Co-op was there with booth as well! A food co-op is a grocery store that is owned and operated by members of the community. Located in the Logan Square neighborhood, The Dill Pickle works with other 50 local vendors to provide shoppers with sustainable produce, bulk items, meats, and more! The dollars spent here go right back to the community to support local businesses. While members receive additional discounts at the store, you certainly don’t have to be a member to shop! Unfortunately since I am rarely in the Logan Square neighborhood I haven’t shopped here yet, but I have several friends who speak highly of it!
Vegamania anyone? I’m definitely adding this event to my calendar. Coming September 21st at the Broadway Armory, this festival features over 100 vegan exhibitors! Admission is free!
Guarenteed Green is a program dedicated to helping Chicagoans identify and support restaurant operations that are environmentally conscious. While I’ve already been to quite a few on the list, I can’t wait to try some new ones!
How about the Green Festival this spring? Coming to Chicago May 18-19 at Navy Pier the Green Festival celebrates living green with speakers, demonstrations, music, and more! Mark your calendars!
Sandwich Me In (on Clark and Halsted) is another eatery I want to check out this summer! This quick service sandwich shop uses local meats (from IL, IN, and WI) and is focused on sustainability.
One of the many things I came home with was a jar of Sweet Basil Vinaigrette (delicious!) from Farmed Here – a Chicagoland sustainable vertical farm that uses indoor aquaponics and aeroponic growing systems to offer local and organic basil and arugula throughout the city.
Door to Door Organics and Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks! Both Door to Door Organics and Fresh Picks offer similar organic delivery services to Chicago residences. As you know, I recently ordered my first box of organic produce from Fresh Picks this week and love it! While I’m partial to Fresh Picks, if you don’t live in Chicago or Milwaukee, Door to Door offers services in Colorado, Kansas, Michigan and the East Coast.
We even stopped for a shot of wheatgrass juice to keep us going!
Lastly I wanted to share a link to a really great resource – a guide to human food choices in Chicago offered by the Food Animal Concern Trust. They have compiled a working list of humanly-produced food options and where they can be found around Chicago!
I hope everyone who attended the Good Food Festival this year had as much fun as I had discovering new local businesses to support!