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Thursday, February 26, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 10.0° F  A Few Clouds
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Madison eats agenda: Taste of Sundance, Brat Fest, ChocolateFest, chicken barbecues
The week in food

This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.

Tuesday, May 25

The Verona Farmers' Market opens this afternoon for the first time following a six-year hiatus, once again providing the southwest suburb a source for purchasing fresh, seasonal produce and other treats. The market will include vendors offering produce, seedlings and flowers, as well as dairy products like eggs, cheese, and yogurt. There are 11 total participating farmers, with room for several more, as detailed in a story by the Verona Press about its revival. Hometown Junction, intersection of Railroad St., S. Main St., and the Military Ridge State Trail, 2:30-6 p.m. See Facebook or call 217-6359 for more info.

Wednesday, May 26

Sundance Cinemas is offering a new special menu this summer for diners at its Rooftop Bar & Bistro, prepared by Chef Mark Shoup, the Utah-based executive chef for Sundance Resort, including Zoom in Park City as well as the Tree Room and the Foundry Grill in Sundance. "We're bringing a bit of the 'place' that is Sundance to our beautiful cinemas in Madison," says Sundance president Robert Redford in a press release announcing the menu. Branded "A Taste of Sundance" and running from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, it will include selections like the "infamous" Jalapeno Crab Dip and Caesar Salad from Zoom, Fish & Chips and Roasted Rack of Lamb from Foundry Grill, and Pepper Steak from the Tree Room, along with several new items and specialty cocktails. The menu will be previewed this evening at the New Work Development Award Gala, a benefit celebrating collaboration between the Wisconsin Arts Board, Edenfred, and Overture Center for the Arts. Lt. Governor Barabara Lawton will announce the inaugural recipient of the award, and patrons will be able to sample hors d'oeuvres and cocktails created for the Taste. Sundance Cinemas Madison, 430 N. Midvale Blvd., 5:30-7:30 p.m., $35 individuals and $60 couples. Call 233-7702 for more info.

Chef Huma Siddiqui of White Jasmine will be focusing on outdoor dining in her Pakistani cooking class at Whole Foods this evening. The menu will feature: baked tilapia, with White Jasmine Chipotle BBQ Spice Blend and garlic; matar pulao, a dish of basmati rice with green peas and spices; fresh pineapple salsa with red pepper, cilantro, and green onions; and, bread pudding with custard. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.

The South Central Federation of Labor is holding its 51st annual Bean Feed this evening as a fundraiser for its Committee on Political Education. Supporters will find all the baked beans, hot dogs, and potato salad they can eat, along with one free soda or beer. Proceeds will go to support committee organizing activities like phone banks and mailings to union members in the region. Madison Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St., 6-7:15 p.m., $5 donation. Call 256-5111 for more info.

Thursday, May 27

The Edgerton Farmers' Market opens this afternoon for a third summer, and situated in the historic downtown of the community on the western tip Lake Koshkonong. Also named the Henry Street Farmers' Market, its vendors will offer a seasonal array of produce and plants, baked goods, cheeses, soaps, and more. Henry Street, one block north of the Hwy. 51 and Hwy. 59 intersection in downtown Edgerton, 2-6 p.m. Call 608-921-1601 for more info.

The special "A Taste of Sundance" menu that will be served over the summer at the Rooftop Bar & Bistro atop Sundance Cinemas will be previewed once again this evening at a benefit for Community Groundworks at Troy Gardens. Patrons will get to sample new hors d'oeuvres and cocktails while supporting and learning more about programs at urban farm on the north side of Madison, including its Kids' Outdoor Kitchen, passive solar greenhouse, and Youth Grow Local educational initiative. Sundance Cinemas Madison, 430 N. Midvale Blvd., 5:30-7:30 p.m., $20 and $8 kids 5-12. Call 240-0409 for more info.

Friday, May 28

Memorial Day weekend in Madison means one thing: World's Largest Brat Fest! This annual celebration of communal voracity has sold more than 2.6 million bratwursts since its founding in 1983, with a goal of topping its own total sales weekend sales every year. Brat Fest set the world record once again last year with sales of 208,752 brats over the course of 32 hours, aided in no small part by four days of pleasant late spring weather. Conditions are looking good for this year too, at least so far, with advance forecasts suggesting seasonally warm temperatures and mostly clear skies. Johnsonville Brats, Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs, and Yves Veggie Brats are all a buck-fifty apiece, sold by local celebrities at the big yellow tent. Soda, water, beer, and ice cream will also be for sale, along with various other treats and attractions in the adjoining midway. The feed opens once again with Take Your Brat to Work Day, a drive-thru pre-sale which runs from 6-9 a.m. on Friday morning. Festival-goers will also find dozens of hours of live music, with some 200 bands and musicians playing on four stages across all four days. Stop by, support local charities, and help break the record once again! Willow Island, Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Energy Center Way, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Monday, rain or shine. See Facebook or call 236-2041 for more info.

Memorial Day weekend is likewise the backdrop of the 24th annual Burlington ChocolateFest, a four-day celebration in the southeastern Wisconsin community nicknamed "Chocolate City, U.S.A" that is dedicated to the food of the gods. The centerpiece of the festival is a tent that features various contests, demonstrations, tastings, and other events. At the same time, nearly 20 Wisconsin and Illinois-based vendors will be offering their chocolate confections and creations, including Stick It To You Desserts, Cookies From Scratch, Arndt's Fudgery, Chocolate Expressions, Delights, Melli Chocolates, Escobar, Xocai, Ultimate Confections, Confections by Lori, Dove Chocolate Discoveries, Midwest Gift & Fudge House, Fleur de Lis, Robin's Delicious Delights, Baldoche, and Long Grove Confectionary. The festival also boasts fireworks, a carnival, a geocaching competition, the "Kids Kanopy" family area, a Memorial Day parade for Wisconsin vets, and four stages of live entertainment, along with numerous performers moving about the crowds. Festival Grounds, 681 Maryland Ave., Burlington, 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday and Sunday, noon-8 p.m. Monday, rain or shine, $8 adults, $7 seniors, and $3 kids 5-12. See Facebook or call 262-763-3300 for more info.

Saturday, May 29

Al Lunde, the greenhouse operations manager at America's Best Flowers, is teaching a class this morning that will cover both vegetable farming and the basics of raising backyard chickens. America's Best Flowers, 4311 Vilas Hope Rd., Cottage Grove, 10 a.m., free. Call 222-2269 for more info.

Both distance and accuracy will be measured at the Rubber Chicken Fling, a competition held at the Princeton Flea Market to celebrate the beginning of summer. This eighth annual festival where silliness is encouraged also features a chicken barbecue, along with more eats and drinks, live music, kids' activities, a raffle, and more. The flea market begins at 7 a.m., followed by the BBQ at 11 a.m. and finally both child and adult flings at 3 p.m., with organizers wishing "best of cluck" to competitors of all ages. City Park on the east side of Hwy. 23, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Call 920-379-8959 for more info.

Jeanne Carpenter, the writer of Cheese Underground and founder of Wisconsin Cheese Originals, is speaking at Fromagination today about the state's most iconic food. Visitors to the shop will be able to taste several Wisconsin classics, including limburger, baby swiss, colby and brick cheese. Fromagination, 12 S. Carroll St., 10 a.m.-1 p.m., free. Call 255-2430 for more info.

Monday, May 31

The Cross Plains Area Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual chicken barbecue today as a fundraiser for community projects. The celebration opens with a Memorial Day parade and service organized by American Legion Post #245, and is followed by the feed, which also includes a hot dog stand and beer tent. Monetary donations for the support of local food pantries will also be accepted. American Legion Park, 2245 American Legion Dr., Cross Plains, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Call 608-843-3166 for more info.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish is holding a festival today following the Monona Memorial Day Parade. The gathering includes a food and beer tent, a bake sale, bingo, a raffle, a white elephant sale, kids' activities, and live entertainment through the afternoon. Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 5101 Schofield St., Monona, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 221-1521 for more info.

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