You loved the restaurant, now eat the book: elBulli 2005-2011.
  • Phaidon
  • You loved the restaurant, now eat the book: ElBulli 2005-2011

Is there an upper limit to what people will pay to see and hear a famous chef and eat some food (inspired by him but cooked by the restaurant hosting him)? We’ll have a chance to find out on Saturday, March 15, when Ferran Adrià appears at a book signing at Balena for which the price is a cool $695. Admittedly, that includes a copy of ElBulli 2005-2011, the seven-volume compendium of everything done at the legendary Spanish temple of molecular gastronomy, so appetizers and schmoozing in an intimate setting represent just $70 of that. If that’s too rich for your blood, $95 will get you into the event that follows, a talk by Adrià, plus hors d’oeuvres and a signed copy of his earlier book, A Day at elBulli. Tickets for that are here (and yes, if you go for the $695 ticket, you get both the talk and the other pretty massive book too—bring your wheelbarrow).

Meanwhile, closer to life on earth, here are some other events after the jump.

• Feel like spending a long, beery time drinking brunch this Sunday? Get your punishment at the Crime and Punishment Brunch at Fountainhead, with a four-course menu and Stone Brewing beers and beer cocktails. Tickets and more info here.

Frontier may have temporarily run out of quadrupeds to roast, as their next So You Think You’re a Foodie Dinner will be devoted to whole fish, ranging from fresh sardines to whole red snapper to a large fish for the table to share (species to be revealed at the event). It’s $72 per person next Wednesday, February 26; go here to get your ticket.

Mercadito, whose Tacos for Strength fund-raiser benefits the anti-childhood-hunger effort Share Our Strength, is now drawing on chefs beyond its bases in Chicago and New York as collaborators on its celebrity-taco-of-the-month deal. February’s, which needless to say you only have a few days left to catch, was created by Food & Wine Best New Chef Jamie Malone of Sea Change in Minneapolis, who gives us the Crispy Cod Taco.

• Next Thursday, I am reliably told by high government officials, is National Chili Day, and DMK’s County Barbeque, DMK Burger Bar, and DMK Burger & Fish in Evanston will schmear County’s smoked-brisket chili on chili dogs for $5 each. DMK Burger Bar (the Lakeview one) will also host a night of comedy on February 25 called Grass-Fed Laughs, to benefit Open Heart Magic, which provides entertainment to kids in Chicago-area hospitals; it’s $20, which includes your first beverage. Go here to find out more.

• How do James Beard Award semifinalists party? Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia) and Jason Vincent (Nightwood) will get together on February 27 to do a wine dinner for two Austrian wineries, Loimer Winery and Wieninger Winery, at Sepia. The collaborative four-course dinner with pairings from each winery for each course is $115; call 312-441-1920.