This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Tuesday, October 18 - Thursday, October 20
Local Harvest is a different kind of restaurant week for Madison. Organized by the REAP Food Group as fundraisers for its Buy Fresh Buy Local program, this annual "Taste of the Town" showcases local foods and celebrates the harvest. Chefs will be using local ingredients in great menu items. There are thirteen participating restaurants -- Alchemy, Bloom Bake Shop, Bunky's Cafe, Graze, Greenbush Bar, Harvest, jacs, L'Etoile, Liliana's, Lombardino's, Mermaid Cafe, Monty's Blue Plate Diner, Sardine, and Umami. One of them is probably already your favorite, or try out a new one. What better time? For more info, call 310-7832.
Thursday, October 20
When you can't actually be eating, reading about food is the next best thing. Food is a hefty side dish at this year's Wisconsin Book Festival. This gustatory element to the fest kicks off with a panel discussion titled "Voices from the Kitchen, Aromas from the Page." Participants Betsy Draine, Ronnie Hess, Michael Hinden, and Giovanna Miceli-Jeffries explore how and why they reference food and cooking in their writing, and how food serves as a metaphor for culture and politics, literature and life. Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St., 5:30 p.m, free. Call 266-6350 fore more into. For more food-related events happening throughout the book fest, see the complete list below.
Friday, October 21
Around this time of year, a bonfire and a Wisconsin microbrew can hardly be improved upon, but add in some food and music and a beautiful setting and the fact that Crackle: Fire and Froth is a fundraiser for Olbrich Botanical Gardens, well, it's no wonder the event is sold out. Some 250 day-of tickets may be available, though, weather permitting. Olbrich Gardens, 3330 Atwood Ave., 7-10 p.m., $20, with info about day-of tickets to be published online at noon Friday. Call 246-4550 for more info.
Friday, October 21 - Sunday, October 23
Lots of samples -- everybody loves samples! -- and the Dueling Chefs competition make the Madison Food & Wine Show a hot ticket. There are over 150 vendors and exhibitors on hand, as well as food and cooking seminars, across all three days of the expo. And don't forget the wine. Alliant Energy Center - Exhibition Hall, 1919 Alliant Energy Way, 5-9 p.m. Friday, noon-7 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday, $42 day or $70 weekend. Call 270-3632 for more info.
More events this week
Tuesday, October 18
Fabian Seafood truck, vending fresh shrimp, blue crab meat, and shucked oysters caught on the Gulf Coast. Steve's Wine Market, 3618 University Ave., noon-6 p.m. Sign up for the Fabian Seafood mailing list for more info.
History Sandwiched In brown-bag lunch program, with Nicholaas Mink of Knox College speaking on the early roots of fast food in American culture. Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N. Carroll St., 12:15 p.m., $2 donation. Call 264-6555 for more info.
Gluten Free Autumn Feast cooking class, with instructor Hallie Klecker of the blog Daily Bites preparing a menu of chicken strips with maple-mustard dipper, kale and cranberry salad, spiced quinoa and butternut squash pilaf, and crustless pumpkin pie. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Wednesday, October 19
Southwest Madison Farmers' Market, in its third year of operation, concludes for the 2011 growing season. Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, 1501 Gilbert Rd., 3-7 p.m. Call 358-5834 for more info.
Wisconsin Book Festival readings and discussion, titled "Animal Voices: Art & Stories about Cows, Chickens & Dogs," with Wayne Simmons, Susan Troller, S.V. Medaris, and Paul Thoreson. Overture Center - Rotunda Studio, 201 State St., free. Call 262-0706 for more info.
One Ingredient, Many Flavors class, with chef Angela Trentadue demonstrating how to use a single seasonal ingredient to prepare multiple unique dishes utilizing Latin, Asian, Indian, and Mediterranean flavors. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Wisconsin Book Festival screening and discussion about Mad City Chickens, a 2008 documentary about the urban chicken movement in Madison, with filmmakers Robert Lughai and Tashai Lovington of Tarazod Films, along with Cluck: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks author Susan Troller and artist S.V. Medaris. The Marquee, UW Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St., 8 p.m., free. Call 262-0706 for more info.
Thursday, October 20
MadWest Farmers' Market, a new market organized through the Lussier Community Education Center, concludes for the 2011 growing season. Lussier Community Education Center, 55 S. Gammon Rd., 4-7 p.m. Call 833-4979 for more info.
Wisconsin Book Festival reading and discussion, with author Carl Corey sharing his book Tavern League: Portraits of Wisconisn Bars. Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State St., 6 p.m., free. Call 262-0706 for more info.
Mexican Comfort Food class, with instructor Jennifer Jones preparing a menu of Albondigas meatball and rice soup. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-7:30 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Screening of Waterlife, a 2009 documentary by Kevin McMahon that "follows the epic cascade of the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean." United Way of Dane County, 2059 Atwood Ave., 6:30 p.m., free. Call 279-2710 for more info.
Saturday, October 22
Wisconsin Book Festival readings and discussion, with author Erika Janik sharing her new book Apple: A Global History, and author Theresa Weir sharing her new book The Orchard. A Room of One's Own, 307 W. Johnson St., 10:30 a.m., free. Call 262-0706 for more info.
Wisconsin Book Fest discussion, with Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko of Inn Serendipity leading a talk titled "Farmstead Chef: Grow, Harvest & Share." First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Dr., noon, free. Call 262-0706 for more info.
Mushroom Log workshop, covering how to prepare, inculate, overwinter, and force shitake and oyster mushroom logs. Old Ways Herbal, 2090 Town Hall Rd., Mount Horeb, noon, $30 adults and $10 kids. Call 608-832-6446 for more info.
Wisconsin Book Festival reading, with author Catherine Tripalin Murray sharing her new book Spaghetti Corners and all that...Sauce!. Italian Workmen's Club, 914 Regent St., 3 p.m., free. Call 262-0706 for more info.
Tri-Delta Game Day Philanthropy, a tailgate-style fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Cancer Research Hospital, with food and refreshments accompanying a gathering in support of the Wisconsin Badgers football away game. Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel, 220 W. Gilman St., 6:30 p.m., $10 or $5 students. Call 651-503-1698 for more info.
Sunday, October 23
Halloween at the Zoo, a family-friendly seasonal celebration featuring free trick-or-treats, live music, and children's activities. Henry Vilas Zoo, 702 S. Randall Ave., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 266-4732 for more info.
Wisconsin Book Festival reading and discussion, with author Ed Janus sharing his book Creating Dairyland: How caring for cows saved our soil, created our landscape, brought prosperity to our state, and still shapes our way of life in Wisconsin. Overture Center - Rotunda Studio, 201 State St., noon, free. Call 262-0706 for more info.
Wisconsin Book Festival reading and discussion with Tony Hook of Hook's Cheese and Mike Gingrich of Uplands Cheese discussing a new book from the Iowa County Historical Society, titled "Where Have all the Cheesemakers Gone? The Cheesemakers of Iowa County." Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N. Carroll St., 2 p.m., free. Call 262-0706 for more info.
Monday, October 24South Madison Farmers' Market, in operation five days a week, concludes its Monday edition for the 2011 growing season. Novation Campus, 145 E. Badger Rd., 2-6 p.m. Call 358-5834 for more info.