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BON VIVANT: April 26-May 3, 2013

BON VIVANT: April 26-May 3, 2013

For our culinary-addicted, dolce vida-loving readers, “24/7” tracks down and uploads the most delicious food fêtes and gastronomic happenings going on this week.

Friday, April 26
Fabio Viviano April 26Oh, FABIO. Remember when that “first-meets-last” name brought to mind a certain Italian model with large pecs and long, bleached hair? Props to Bravo TV for finally laying that image to rest. “Top Chef” Season 5 star Fabio Viviani may not have walked away with top honors but the culinary heartthrob certainly won our hearts.

The gregarious ex-cheftestant has gone on a series of new adventures which have included opening Siena Tavern in Chicago; co-starring in the reality show, “Life after Top Chef”; hosting an online TV series, “Ciao Chow”; and writing a cookbook that offers his take on traditional Italian cuisine. Meet Fabio Viviani when he hosts an interactive cooking demo at Macy’s on State Street. Afterward, he will sign copies of his new cooking tome, Fabio’s Italian Kitchen. 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Demo is free and seating is limited. Click HERE to reserve a spot.  Cookbooks must be purchased day of the event to be personalized. 111 S. State Street; Lower Level Culinary Kitchen.

Friday, April 26 (cont.)
COCHON 555 logo April 26

There are two things that don’t play well together, tickets and tardiness. Unfortunately, you have some history here – you’re still recovering from not scoring a single ticket to Baconfest and you were a little late on those sold-out-in-seconds Lollapalooza tickets, too. Lucky for you, there’s still time to rectify your belated behavior and attend an event you’re really going to love.

Don’t be tardy for THIS party: COCHON 555, that now-famous, ode-to-piggy tour returns to Chicago to celebrate its five-year anniversary with a weekend’s worth of culinary celebrations.

Brady Lowe April 26“24/7” caught up with COCHON 555’s founder, Brady Lowe (pictured), to find out what part of the pork-amore weekend he was most anticipating. All of it, apparently, but he placed special emphasis on Saturday’s Pastoral Festival event and having so many artisan producers from around the world in one place. “It’s really an honor for them all to be here at the same time.”



Sepia's Andrew Zimmerman April 264-1-1 on COCHON 555: On Friday, Sepia’s award-winning Executive Chef Andrew Zimmerman (pictured) kicks things off on a high note with a communal “Chef’s Course Dinner” featuring some of Chicago’s leading culinaires, including Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat; Little Goat), Rob Levitt (The Butcher & Larder), Patrick and Michael Sheerin (Trenchermen), Jason Vincent (Nightwood), Craig Bell (Sub-Zero and Wolf) and Brady Lowe (COCHON 555 founder). Along with hors d’oeuvres and cheese and charcuterie samplings, guests will enjoy a seven-course dinner complete dessert and wine and cocktail pairings. 6:00 p.m. – 10: 00 p.m. $135 per person. For reservations (required), please call 312-441-1920.



Saturday, April 27
Pastoral April  27On Saturday, COCHON 555 continues when Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine hosts its third annual Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival. This complimentary event lets guests meet and mingle with more than 80 small craft beer, wine, cheese, charcuterie, confection purveyors; a butcher-and-BBQ pork demo, giveaways and more. 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Admission is free. Chicago French Market, 131 North Clinton Street. Click HERE  for more information and to review a list of participants.

Sunday, April 28
Cochon 555 table sign April 28Ready for the pièce de résistance? On Sunday, the world’s fiercest heritage-breed pig cooking competition, COCHON 555, will task five of Chicago’s leading chefs – Kevin Hickey (Allium); Cosmo Goss (Publican Quality Meats); Matthias Merges (Yusho); Ryan Poli (Tavernita); and Josh Adams (June Restaurant) – to create a complete snout-to-tail menu. Oenophiles take note: varietals from five of the nation’s leading small batch wineries – Scholium Project, Elk Cove Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, Buty Winery, and K Vintners will also be featured. , plus special tastings from Silver Oak, MacPhail Family Wines, Anchor Brewing, Crispin Ciders, Pig’s Nose Scotch, and Illegal Mezcal.

Prince of Porc April 28Guests and judges will cast their vote and one chef will walk away with the coveted “Prince of Porc” title. (The winning chef will go on to compete in the Grand Cochon event at the  FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen this summer.) Additional highlights include a Heritage BBQ event, bourbon-tastings, cheese and spirits bars, butcher demos, and more. Following the awards ceremony, guests who may still have hunger pains are invited back to Allium for COCHON 555’S after-party. Food and drinks will be available for, you guessed it, $5.55. 4:00 p.m. (VIP) and 5:00 p.m (General Admission). Tickets start at $125 per person. For more information or to purchase tickets, click HERE. 

Wednesday, May 1
Greg Spero May 1Don’t judge a book by its cover: City Winery is not your typical watering hole where only oenophiles hold court. While the marriage feast of great wine and evocative music go hand-to-glass, it’s all about the art of liquid at this buzzing West Loop hotspot. Grapes are traded for fermented grain mash during an exquisite evening of “Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Jazz” hosted by Glenfiddich Ambassador David Allardice and award-winning Chicago pianist, Greg Spero (pictured).

Guests will enjoy rare sips of 12-, 15-, and 18-year Glenfiddich Whisky, elegant hors d’ouevres, and an exclusive solo piano performance by Greg Spero, recipient of the 2013 Chicago Music Award for Best Jazz Entertainer. Sound impressive? We’ll let you be the judge. 7:00 p.m. City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph Street. Free admission. RSVP to kate.secor@momentumww.com.

Friday, May 3
Wine Riot May 3Co-founded by two millennials with a serious grape fetish, the message of Wine Riot‘s two-day bacchanal is simple: drink more wine. Guests can sample more than 250 vintages from nearly 90 wineries around the world, discover insider tips and trends from wine and champagne experts, and get snapped with fellow winos at one of the complimentary pop-up photo booths. DJ Andie Cassette’s penetrative beats keeps things groovy until close. Food pairings are available for an extra cost. And don’t worry about taking lots of notes.

Wine Riot is offering a free wine app that will record your favorite varietals and provide locations where wines are available for purchase. Now if only finding your keys were that easy. Wine Riot kicks off on Friday, May 3, 7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.; and continues on Saturday, May 4, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. AND 7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. Tickets cost $60 per event. Click HERE to purchase tickets. Great Hall at Union Station, 500 W. Jackson Boulevard.

Have an upcoming event you don’t want “24/7” to miss? Contact Kerry Shorr at: silvershorr@hotmail.com

Kerry Shorr, 24/7 Contributing Writer
Co-Founder, Luxe File Chicago

Photo Credits:
Photo of Fabio Viviani courtesy of Anthony Tahlier for Splash/Chicago Sun-Times.

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