If you’re at all into food, this is the event of the year — many call it the Oscars of the culinary world. Chefs, restaurateurs, bartenders, food writers and more will descend upon our fair city for a weekend of events starting April 29th and leading up to the awards on May 4th at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The ceremony is open to the public and will run the general public $500, but there are other things happening you may want to check out. Plenty of restaurants are hosting dinners, but some of the other non-restaurant events show a different side of things. Here’s some we like:
Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival
When: Sat. May 2nd from 1-5 p.m.
Where: Union Station, 500 W. Jackson
What: 40 wineries from Spain’s Rioja region will pour more than 100 wines while 25 chefs from Chicago, New York, Houston, Asheville, N.C. and beyond dole out creative bites.
Tickets: $65, buy them here
Beers for Beard Craft Beer Tap Takeover
When: Sat. May 2 from 10 p.m. to close
Where: Bub City, 435 N. Clark
What: Tap takeover by local breweries Moody Tongue, Local Option, Penrose, Half Acre and Revolution and live music.
Tickets: None, open to the public.
Tiki Time Luau at Three Dots and a Dash
When: Sun. May 3rd from 1-5 p.m.
Where: Three Dots and a Dash, 435 N. Clark (enter at alley between Hubbard and Illinois)
What: Pig roast and luau featuring tiki cocktails made by bartenders from all around the country paired with Polynesian-inspired snacks.
Tickets: $100 and more information on bartenders here. Buy tickets here.
Green City Market Season Opener
When: Sat. May 2nd at 9:30-11 a.m. (the market runs from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
Where: Lincoln Park (between Clark Street and Stockton Drive, at approximately 1817 N. Clark)
What: Local chefs will host visiting chefs from around the world in the park. Here’s your chance to meet chefs while shopping for great local produce and meats.
Tickets: None, open to the public
Mariano’s Mixology Mixer
When: Wed. April 29th from 7-9 p.m.
Where: Mariano’s West Loop, 40 S. Halsted
What: Blackbird chief mixologist Kyle Davidson will craft signature cocktails to pair with passed appetizers.
Tickets: $20. Buy them here.