Good Food Festival promotes local producers

Good Food Festival promotes local producers
(Courtesy of Grant Kessler)

While Chicago's chi-chi foodies gather each autumn at

Millennium Park

for gourmet food, Chicago's crunchy foodies gather each spring at UIC forum for “good food.”

But eating is only part of the annual Good Food Festival (formerly called FamilyFarmed Expo), an event promoting local food and its producers that officially kicks off March 14 with trade and industry events but gets into full swing for the public March 16 with a day of workshops, seminars, chef demonstrations, chances to shop for a CSA (community supported agriculture) and even a bus tour of Chicago's urban farms.

This year's highlights include a workshop by author and fermentation guru Sandor Katz, a foraging discussion with Iliana Regan of

, a sausage making seminar with Kim Leali of the

, a kimchi cook-off and chef demonstrations by

Rick Bayless

, Paul Virant and Carrie Nahabedian.

As in previous years the festival will feature a tiered pricing structure with a $10 admission ($15 on site) that gives visitors access to the chef demo stage, mini workshops, a food court and the main hall filled with dozens of exhibitors, from farmers and cheesemakers to beekeepers and natural food purveyors.

A $35 admission ($45 on site) gives visitors additional access to more than a dozen workshops and talks on beekeeping, foraging, gardening, chicken raising, community supported agriculture, kombucha brewing, organic versus conventional agriculture and more.

And a $75 ticket ($90 on site) gets you into either the three-hour urban bus tour or Sandor Katz's fermentation workshop.

More than 40 Chicago area chefs and brewers will provide the food and libations for the Localicious party on March 15, an event that costs $75 per ticket and $90 at the door.

The Good Food Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 16 at the UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Road. For tickets and more information call or 708-763-9920 or visit