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Foodie Weekend: Chicago Gourmet, Food Film Fest, Kegs For Kids

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 24, 2010 5:20PM

2010_05_CG_BA_logo.jpg This weekend is one of the high water marks for the local restaurant industry, led by the third annual Chicago Gourmet in Millennium Park.

The festival proper, which is sold out (I'll have a recap Monday), kicks off in earnest tomorrow, but curious gourmands can still purchase tickets for tonight's Hamburger Hop atop the Harris Theatre. The Hop, hosted by Iron Chef/Bon Appétit Cat Cora and newlywed Art Smith, will pit some of the best chefs against each other in a burger cookoff judged by, among others, Michelin Guide Executive Director Jean Luc Naret, Thomas Keller and Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief Barbara Fairchild. Looking at the list of participating chefs it would be easy to declare Eddie Lakin of Edzo's Burger Shop the odds-on favorite (Edzo's is closing early so that Lakin can prepare for the Hop). But don't discount any of the chefs in a strong lineup including Stephanie Izard, The Gage/Henri's Dirk Flanigan or sola's Carol Wallack. Wallack's burger took top honors at South Beach Wine & Food festival and, paired with her exceptional truffle fries, is damn exceptional.

The Chicago Food Film Festival also kicks off this evening at the Museum of Contemporary Art Warehouse (1747 W. Hubbard St.) Among the film entries in the two-day fest is Michael Gebert's six-minute short film going behind the scenes at Hoosier Mama Pie Company. Now's a good time as any to remind you to check out Karl's podcast with festival director George Motz.

Up Andersonville way tomorrow night, Metropolis Coffee Company is hosting a "Kegs for Kids" fundraiser benefiting Friends of Pierce,a 501(c)3 non profit dedicated to assisting the Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies maximize the potential of its students to achieve their dreams by experiencing a world class primary education within the Chicago Public School system. Joining Metropolis in the event is Michael roper and his Hopleaf crew, which has printed the full tap list for the event on their website. Metropolis's roasting house is located at 5545 N Clark St., but a limited number of tickets will be sold. Purchase the $40 advanced tickets here.

Finally, down in my neck of the woods, the annual Oktoberfest celebration with the Homebrewers Pride of the South Side (HOPs!) will be held from 2-7 p.m. at Bridgeport VFW Post 5079 (3202 S. May St.) I've braved the elements and the wrong side of Halsted to enjoy some of the beers here before and it's a wonderful festival. This year's edition promises over 65 beers on tap. $30 gets you all you can eat and drink. Purchase tickets here.