Good Food Festival And Conference In Chicago

Three days of local food savvy at the Good Food Festival

In terms of local food, March can feel like an interminable shoulder season.

Which is why we're thankful when the Good Food Festival rolls around each year.

The event is a welcome spate of vibrancy in the mostly dormant food world, gathering over 100 producers and farmers under one roof for a walk-around tasting party, chef demonstrations, panel discussions and a sprawling exhibit hall (tickets range from $10 to $75).

After a food-business financing fair and food policy summit, Localicious ($75), a Friday-night walk-around tasting, launches the weekend. Saturday is the official festival ($10), packed with farmer and producer booths, and programming that approaches local food from all angles.

Catch demonstrations from chefs Rick Bayless, Carrie Nahabedian and Paul Virant, and a kimchi challenge, in which chefs from Embeya, Birchwood Kitchen, Perennial Virant and more are judged on their fermented cabbage prowess. And for fermentation fanatics, expert Sandor Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation, is leading a three-hour workshop on the art ($75).

Panel discussions are scheduled throughout the day, covering subjects like foraging, community-supported agriculture, at-home kombucha brewing and launching a farm, and Sauce & Bread Kitchen, Peeled, Tiny But Mighty and Crop to Cup will have snacks on hand in a food court.

We'll see you there.