Running from March 13 through the 15 at the UIC Forum on 725 W. Roosevelt Road, the Good Food Festival is split up into three days. The first day will be the conference, the second day a trade show, and the third day will be a family-friendly festival.
Come out on Thursday if you’re interested in participating in the Good Food Financing and Innovation Conference. There will be an opening symposium with speakers including the co-CEO of Whole Foods, a financing overview where opportunities available for investors will be discussed, and financing fair finalist pitches where six finalists make 7-minute pitches followed by a 2-minute investor Q&A.
Friday’s highlights will include the Good Food Trade Show for connecting producers and growers with wholesale buyers. The trade floor will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with discussions on how to grow your own business or farm, building a local food supply chain through food hubs, and a school food summit with panelists explaining more on topics such as the designing your farm to school program.
Friday night turns fun with “Localicious,” from 7 to 9:30 p.m., which celebrates the farmers who grow our food and the chefs who transform it. Some of the featured chefs will include Marc Bernard (Big Bowl), Eric Mansavage (Farmhouse) and Sean Sanders (Browntrout). The event will be filled with local food, wine, beers & spirits, and live music.
Saturday is festival day, and it runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some of the options on the menu will include an exhibit hall with more than 150 farms, local food artisans, restaurants, and non-profits giving out samples; a master class with renowned food expert Michael Ruhlman and chef Brian Polcyn (owner of Forest Grill in Birmingham, Mich.) on butchering and home curing; a class on making your own infusions, syrups and bitters; demos and microworkshops on everything from composting to cocktails; a kid’s corner; and chef demonstrations by Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Xoco) Paul Virant (Vie, Perennial Virant), Erling Wu-Bower (Nico Osteria) and Jason Vincent (Nightwood).
Three-day, all-access passes cost $220, but admission to Saturday’s festival is only $10. Tickets to the Localicious evening event are $80. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit goodfoodfestivals.com.
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