Finn McCool’s and Lion Head Pub both host “Hottest Pepper in the World” eating contests where contestants start with bell peppers and work their way up through ancho, cayenne, and habanero peppers. Those still standing will face off against the Naga Jolokia pepper, which at nearly one million Scoville units is the world’s hottest pepper. The winner gets a new plasma TV. 21+. 9 PM, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub (15 W. Division, 312-337-4349), Lion Head Pub (2551 N. Lincoln, 773-348-5100), free. 
Lush Wine and Spirits hosts a fund-raiser for the Common Pantry with wine, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction. 6:30-9 PM, 2232 W. Roscoe, 773-907-8848, $45.
The Distillers’ Dinner kicks off the Chicago Rum Festival (see Saturday) with a Caribbean-inspired meal and talks by owners and distillers including Claudine Neisson of Martinique, Matti Anttila of Cabana Cachaca, and Phil Prichard of Prichard’s Distillery. 6 PM, Volcano Room (top floor of the Bottom Lounge), 1375 W. Lake, $60.
The national Top Chef Tour rolls through the Green City Market with cooking demos by former “cheftestants” Antonia Lofaso and Chicago’s Radhika Desai.  Sat-Sun 5/30-5/31, 10:30-11:30 AM, noon-1 PM, and 1:30-2:30 PM, Green City Market, south end of Lincoln Park, 773-880-1266, free. 
The Ministry of Rum presents the second annual Chicago Rum Festival, featuring more than 50 rums, plus cachacas and other sugar cane distillates. Many of the distillers will be on hand, as well as Ed Hamilton, author of The World Guide to Rum. 3-6 PM, Volcano Room (top floor of the Bottom Lounge), 1375 W. Lake, $50.
Neighbors Gruppo di Amici and Taste Food and Wine cohost the second annual Jarvis Square Wine Affair, with 40 wines, hors d’oeuvres, and a guest appearance by Alpana Singh. 6:30-9 PM, 1506-1508 W. Jarvis, 773-508-5565 or 773-761-3663, $35, $30 in advance.
Goose Island introduces its new “Bristol Brew,” which Bristol chef Chris Pandel helped create, at a five-course beer dinner tonight at the Bristol. 6:30 PM, 2152 N. Damen, 773-862-5555, $75, reservations required.