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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Learning Opportunities Abound at the Good Food Festival

Feb 26, 2014 12:36PM

The Good Food Festival, to be held on March 13 to 15 in Chicago, offers a full array of workshops for learning. Thursday and Friday’s conference events will appeal primarily to food and farming specialists, while Saturday’s Festival events are open to the general public and offer a variety of tours and workshops, plus a vendor floor. Saturday’s festivities kick off with the Good Food Master Class in butchery and curing from author Michael Ruhlman and Chef Brian Polcyn. For those interested in the innovative urban agriculture of Chicago, the popular Urban Ag Bus Tour is ready to ride. Later in the day, local chefs, including Rick Bayless, will host cooking demonstrations.

Other workshops include the Locapour’s Cocktail Bar (learn to make bar syrups, bitters and mixers); Start Your Own Food Business; Good Food in Your School; and Home Brewing and Cider Making. It’s a terrific day of knowledge sharing and DIY learning.

For those just wishing to dip their feet into new ideas, the Good Food Commons offers quick, accessible mini-workshops on topics ranging from seed saving to fermenting foods and backyard chicken keeping.

Vicki Nowicki leads the discussion on Ancient Grains in Your Kitchen, while local growers Andrea Hazzard, Molly Breslin and Terra Brockman talk about how to make the most of the flavors and textures of heirloom grains and beans. Natural Awakenings Chicago publisher Peggy Malecki moderates a panel discussion, Organic Vegetable Gardening for the Backyard Farmer, featuring Jeanne Nolan, of The Organic Gardener.

On the business side of ancient grains, Friday’s trade day session will explore building a production and supply chain to meet the growing demand for heritage grains and seeds with wheat breeder and grain expert Stephen Jones, of the Bread Lab at the University of Washington.

UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago. Tickets, complete schedule and pricing at Sign up for your chance to win free tickets at