This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Wednesday, March 3
The Worthington Park Neighborhood Association continues its series of urban farming workshops this evening in support of a Darbo Community Garden at the east side Salvation Army Community Center. This workshop explores the topic of "Black Farmers in Modern America," with a look at success stories in Madison and around the nation, as well as suggestions for how young people can make money during summer break by getting involved in urban agriculture. Hawthorne Library, 2707 East Washington Ave., 6 p.m., free. Call 32-1493 for more info.
Science writer Kathleen Kline is the featured guest and speaker at the monthly meeting of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin, or CHEW. Co-author of the new book People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin's Love Affair with an Ancient Fish, she will share spear-fishing stories and discuss the history, lore, and culinary customs surrounding the resurgent population of Acipenser fulvescens in Lake Winnebago. Membership in CHEW is open to all. Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St., 7:15 p.m., free. Call 233-5488 for more info.
Chef Derek Rowe of Harvest and Chef Robert Miller of The Old Fashioned present another craft beer dinner this evening, their third in a series of four this winter. The featured beers will be from Potosi Brewing Company, home of the National Brewery Museum, and located in the Mississippi River town bearing the same name. The menu features a first course of chickpea fries with cumin yogurt and za'tar paired with Snake Hollow India Pale Ale, a second course of salad of chorizo and white beans paired with Pure Cave Malt Ale, a third course of lamb stew with barley paired with Scotch Ale, and a cheese course paired with American Porter. Potosi brewmaster Steve Buszka will be attending the meal and will discuss his beers. Harvest, 21 N. Pinckney St., 6 p.m., $45. Call 255-6075 for reservations.
Friday, March 5
Aldo Leopold Weekend at the UW Arboretum commences this afternoon at Lunch With Leopold, a brown-bag reading and discussion. The focus of the gathering, as described by organizers, is "on the challenges the Arboretum faces today and an exchange of ideas about how Leopold might have managed these issues." UW Arboretum Visitor Center, 1207 Seminole Hwy., noon-2 p.m., free. Call 890-2555 for more info.
Saturday, March 6
Only a half dozen weeks of the Taste of the Market breakfast at the winter Dane County Farmers' Market remain before the action returns to the Capitol Square. Chef Leah Caplan, a food consultant at Metcalfe's, is the guest chef preparing the meal. The menu will include: a Renaissance Farm pesto Monte Cristo with Fountain Prairie Farm ham and Bleu Mont Dairy Swiss cheese or Hook's cheddar and Future Fruit Farm pear butter; hot multi-grain Cress Springs Bakery granola with walnuts and maple syrup; a sweet potato, apple and hickory nut Waldorf salad; warm blackberry cinnamon roll bread pudding; and, organic fair trade Just Coffee and tea, Greens Orchards apple cider, cranberry juice, and milk. Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., 8 a.m.-noon, $7.50 adults and $3.75 kids. Call 455-1999 for more info about the market.
Wollersheim Winery is holding its annual open house this weekend, a two-day introduction to the basics of vinification in southwestern Wisconsin. The activities open each day with a talk about grape cultivation and a demonstration of grapevine pruning, followed by presentation's about the winery's heritage, cooking demonstrations, and self-guided tours. A light lunch provided by Wyttenbach Meats will be available for purchase, along with various Wollersheim vintages. Wollersheim Winery, 7876 Hwy. 188, Sauk City, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, free. Call 800-847-9463 for more info.
A sure sign of the impending arrival of spring in Madison is the annual International Festival, an all-day frenzy of live choral and instrumental music, folk dance, storytelling, puppetry, and many other forms and combinations of performances inspired by and in homage to cultures around the globe. Six stages of shows and an accompanying craft bazaar is bound to work up an appetite, though. That's where the International Cafe comes in, with its promenade of vendors that include Ruby Restaurant, Cafe Costa Rica, Catering a Fresco, Italian Women's Group, Italian Workmen's Group, Jamerica, Paciugo Italiano Gelato, and Spice Yatra. Overture Center, 201 State St., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 258-4177 for more info.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha - Kappa Psi Omega sorority chapter at UW-Madison is putting on its 16th annual Men Who Cook scholarship fundraiser in Fitchburg this evening. Guests will be able to eat and vote on their favorite dishes prepared and served by a variety of Madison male celebrities, as well as win raffle and door prizes. The 2009 edition of the dinner is detailed in The Madison Times. Fitchburg Community Center, 5510 Lacy Rd., Fitchburg, 3 p.m., $25 or $20 in advance and $5 for kids under ten. Call 845-2579 for more info.
The Marquette Neighborhood Association is hosting its 19th annual chili dinner this evening as a fundraiser for its scholarship program. The meal will include both meat and vegetarian chilis, along with plenty of sides, desserts, and beverages, all provided by a variety of east side establishments, including Lazy Jane's, The Weary Traveler, Monty's Blue Plate, the Willy Street Co-op, the Jenifer Street Market, Ground Zero, Mother Fool's, The Crystal Corner. The Kristy Larson Trio will perform honky tonk tunes following the dinner. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to scholarship funds awarded to two graduating high school seniors who live in the neighborhood. Wil-Mar Center, 953 Jenifer St., 5:30 p.m., $10 for adults and $6 for pre-teens. Call 257-4576 for more info.
Sunday, March 7
Harvest is holding a fundraiser dinner this evening, its third of five, to help fund a staff trip to New York City for a special Farm to Table dinner on April 6. Owner and wine director Tammy Lax and Chef Derek Rowe have been invited for a second time by the James Beard Foundation to host such a meal, and they are offering this series of three-course prix-fixe dinners this spring to pay for travel expenses. The menu options tonight include: first course choices of curried parsnip soup or salad greens with walnut sherry vinaigrette; entrée choices of fish and chips with winter coleslaw, pot roast of beef brisket with horseradish sauce, or mushroom ragu with polenta; and, dessert choices of panna cotta with grapefruit supremes, date walnut cake with mascarpone ice cream, or house-made licorice gelato. Two fundraiser dinners remain in following weeks, with 100% of food sales going to the trip. Harvest, 21 N. Pinckney St., 5 p.m., $25. Call 255-6075 for reservations.
Monday, March 8
Beer Monks & Maidens is holding its latest robed monthly meeting and membership drive for those who enjoy good beer and fun. Babe's Grill & Bar, 5614 Schroeder Rd., 7:30 p.m., free. Call 628-9806 for more info.
Upcoming eats events
It's worth knowing about some events that require reservations farther in advance.
Tuesday, March 9
The Four Lakes Group Sierra Club is holding a Crusin' for Cuisine outing at Green Owl Cafe, the new all-vegetarian restaurant at Schenk's Corners. Sierrans and supporters of all ages are invited to join in this informal social gathering, asked only to bring enthusiasm and a big appetite. Green Owl Cafe, 1970 Winnebago St., 6:30 p.m. RSVPs must be made by March 7. Call 274-7870 for more info.
Sunday, March 14
A new supper club that goes by the name of Black Market Madison is hosting its inaugural dinner this evening at The Project Lodge. Devised by a collection of people who work at the Weary Traveler who are looking to cook their own food for people, the club is hoping to serve dinners on a monthly basis at the near east side DIY art-music-and-now-dining venue. "We're looking to have a good time and experiment a little, and do food you don't see very often," says Chef Gregory James Walters, a principal organizer of the group. His seven-course menu for this first dinner will feature: lobster leek caviar, tuna truffle anchovy, foie gras citrus black pepper, a pork trio, champagne, St. Andre caraway cherry, and vanilla-cherry rhubarb. The meal is BYOB, and tickets can be purchased online. The Project Lodge, 817 E. Johnson St., 6 p.m., $42.50. Email blackmarketmadison at gmail.com for more info.
Tuesday, March 16
Communal dining is back on the menu at L'Etoile as Chef Tory Miller offers the latest in a series of Tuesday dinners centered around comfort foods. Prepared as always with numerous local ingredients, this dinner will be classic American cuisine prepared from The James Beard Cookbook. Diners are informed that they might expect the meal to include: soft white rolls with homemade butter, a beet and hardboiled egg salad with bacon lardon and tarragon vinaigrette, braised Fountain Prairie Farm short ribs and sauerkraut topped with crispy onions, and a Meyer lemon pudding with graham cracker crust. L'Etoile, 25 N. Pinckney St., seatings from 5:30-8:15 p.m., $22. Call 251-0500 for reservations.
Wednesday, March 17
The World Championship Cheese Contest returns to Madison on March 16 for three days of concentrated dairy excellence. Hosted by the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association, the competition will feature some 2,000 entries, assessed by an international panel of judges who will determine the standouts in over 80 cheese and butter classes. One highlight of the event will be An Evening at the World Championship Cheese Contest, a tasting celebration presented by Wisconsin Cheese Originals on the second night of the contest. Attendees will be able to sample and compare at lease 35 different cheeses, both rare international creations and their artisanal counterparts made in Wisconsin, as well as meet nearly a dozen award-winning cheesemakers from around the state, not to mention some 30 judges from around the world. Tickets must be purchased online in advance of the event. Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Dr., 6-8 p.m., $20. Call 828-4550 for more info.