Good Food Festival | Chicago

Cure your winter blues at the Good Food Festival

It's hard to imagine anything ever coming out of the ground again as we suffer through Polar Vortex, Part III (not that we're counting).

That's why the Good Food Festival, happening March 13 through 15, is the perfect antidote: It's three full days of local food, farmers, cooking demos and more, all kicked off with one fabulous party courtesy of some of Chicago's best restaurants.

Here are the three things we're most excited about this year:

1) The Localicious party on Friday, March 14, will include offerings from more than 30 chefs and producers, including Big Jones, Uncommon Ground, Eataly, The Radler, Floriole, the Chicago Diner, Virtue Cider, North Shore Distillery and Koval Distillery. At $80 a ticket, it's one of the best deals around.

2) Are you a charcuterie fan? If so, you can't miss this Master Class from authors (and superstar pork slingers) Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn on Saturday, March 15. The two will break down a whole Gunthorp Farms hog and demonstrate techniques from their books. Attendance requires an advance ticket purchase ($55), and we suspect it'll sell out quick.

3) If pickling is more your style, go to Paul Fehribach's workshop on "Homemade Condiments for the Locavore's Pantry" on Saturday, March 15. Fehribach preserves just about everything in his kitchen at Big Jones. His pickle plate is legendary.

If you just want to wander around, visit the 150-plus exhibitors and vendors and watch the chef demos (with Rick Bayless, Paul Virant, Jason Vincent, to name a few), general admission tickets for Saturday are only $15.