- Michael Gebert
- This rented stuffed bear is looking forward to Intro’s in-house Fourth of July picnic.
The solstice has passed, and by the ancient laws of the mysterious Druid sect that really runs our food scene, that means the season of outdoor events featuring celebrated chefs, beer, and sunshine has officially begun. There are some coming up in the near future you should know about, starting this Thursday with Chefs and the City, a benefit for Heartland Health Outreach, which helps Chicagoans living with AIDS/HIV live better lives. It’s got a star-studded list of chefs (Stephanie Izard, Curtis Duffy, Phillip Foss, Ryan McCaskey, Lee Wolen, Chris Pandel, Bill Kim, Nicole Pederson, and more), cocktails and wine, and DJ Megan Taylor. It’s at The Montgomery Club and tickets are $250, and you can get tickets (put in the name of former Eater Chicago bureau chief Ari Bendersky when it asks for your host).
• Remember Sam Kass, the Blackbird cook who went to the Obama White House to help Michelle Obama with her kids’ nutrition initiatives? How would you like him to cook for your first family? He’s a guest chef this Thursday only for Sprig, a start-up that delivers restaurant-quality food from well-known chefs (it was cofounded by a former Google in-house chef). Go here to learn more and download the app, which will enable you to pick dishes including grilled steak with pablano sauce and sauteed spinach ($14), pomegranate chicken with wild rice and greens with chili almonds ($13), and white bean salad with honey lemon vinaigrette ($12); a portion of the proceeds will go to the Chicago nonprofit Pilot Light, which educates kids about nutrition (and was founded by, among others, Kass’s old boss Paul Kahan).
• Ryan McCaskey’s Acadia got soaked in the recent rains and will be closed for repairs for about two weeks. To help raise some cash, they’re hosting a BBQ on the patio, with beer, DJ Adran Drake, and more. It’s a $20 cover, this Sunday, 1-7 PM, rain (hopefully not) or shine.
• You read my interview with Intro Chicago‘s current chef, Erik Anderson, right? And you saw the fancy food he’s making? Well, it’s going to get a little less fancy for the 4th of July. Wednesday, July 1, through Friday, July 3, they’ll turn Intro into a down-home summer party with caviar deviled eggs, truffle potato salad, fried chicken with habanero honey, smoked bologna sandwiches, banana pudding, and more; cocktails curated by Bittercube and craft beers will be available and are included for $65.
• Last year’s Chicago Food Truck Fest was a mess (too pricey for so few trucks), but this one looks like it has fixed that problem—admission to the event, which brings more than two dozen trucks to the South Loop Green Space on Saturday and Sunday, is free (but you need to go here for a ticket to get in).
• The Green City Market’s next Meet the Market will be Thursday at the Duck Inn; Nomad Food Company (the wood-fired pizza truck) will be slinging pies gratis (for the suggested $10 cover), while the Duck Inn will make $8 cocktails. It’s from 6-8 PM.
• Going to see the Dead, dude? You’re gonna need some brunch, dude, and Luxbar will be doing a Grateful Dead-themed brunch the weekend of July 3-5, including Dogfish Head’s tribute beer American Beauty, all set to the music of . . . Tony Bennett. No, the Dead, obviously.
• Oak Street’s Fig & Olive is celebrating its one-year anniversary in Chicago with a prix fixe menu of menu favorites like truffle risotto all this week.