This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Thursday, June 21
Who is Madison's top bartender? A few contenders will make their case for that title in The Ultimate Cocktail Event, a cocktail mixing competition that's part of the third annual edition of Summer Indulgence, a week of food festivities put on by Vom Fass. The hopefuls are: Chad Vogel and Vanessa Shipley from Maduro, Matt Young from Merchant, Grant Hurless from Nostrano, Kevin Trottier from Osteria Papavero, Don Wieder from Woody and Anne's, Ruben Mendez from L'Etoille, and Peter Hunt from The Old Fashioned. Each will present their best shot at "Madison's Favorite Cocktail" in a bid to earn votes in this year's Madison's Favorites ballot, and then concoct a memorable drink from a secret pantry of ingredients in the "Mad City Mix-Off" round. Spectators, of course, will get to taste each entry, as well as partake in food and drinks through the evening. Local celebrity judges will assist with determining the contest, which is sponsored by Isthmus. Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St., 6 p.m., $35. Purchase tickets online, and call 204-0300 for more info.
Beer will be the toast of the evening across Lake Monona, as Clips of Faith returns to town for another round of movies and microbrew. This is the third annual film tour and fundraiser presented by New Belgium Brewing, with selections on screen including comedic shorts, animated clips, and environmental documentaries. Beer selections include Cocoa Mole Ale, Biere de Mars, Tart Lychee, Dig, Somersault, La Folie, Fat Tire, Ranger, 1554, Trippel, Abbey, Blue Paddle, Belgo IPA, Shift, and Valentine Brew. Salvatore's Tomato Pies will be serving hanger steak and roasted local vegetable kabobs over garlic toast, and NessAlla Kombucha will be available as a substitute for the beer. The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is the beneficiary of proceeds raised by the beer sales. Olin Park, 1156 Olin-Turville Ct., 7:30 p.m., free admission with $1.25 for 3 oz. beer sample and $5 12 oz. beer glass. Call 888-622-4044 for more info.
Saturday, June 23
As summer official arrives, so too do strawberries come into season, offering a sweet salve for the heat. This weekend will see community celebrations across the state marking the ripening of this fruit, including at the 25th annual StrawberryFest in Sun Prairie. Strawberries will be sold by the quart at this day-long festival hosted by the Colonial Club Senior Activity Center, but will also be available in shortcake and parfait forms, as well as baked into waffles, muffins, and cookies. Festivities also include a bake sale, 5K run/walk and 10K run, craft fair, doubles bean bag toss tournament, raffle, and children's activities. Colonial Club, 301 Blankenheim Ln., 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 837-4611 for more info.
Sunday, June 24
Edible Madison is setting tables in Blue Mounds this evening for Picnic on the Farm, an annual fundraiser for the REAP Food Group. The meal will be served at Cress Springs Farm, also home to Cress Springs Bakery, with Chef Dan Fox preparing a menu based on its heritage pork, along with other locally-sourced, organic ingredients. Cress Springs Farm, 4035 Ryan Rd., Blue Mounds, 4:30-8 p.m., $65. Call 310-7836 for more info.
More events this week
Tuesday, June 19
"The Art of Cooking" exhibit, with more 60 south-central Wisconsin artists affiliated with the School of Eclectic Art presenting their culinary-related creations in watercolor, acrylic, oil, embroidery, pastels, pencil, and other media. Biopharmaceutical Technology Center - Promega Gallery, 5445 E. Cheryl Pkwy., reception 4:30-6:30 p.m., exhibit running through September 7. Call 274-4330 for more info.
Wednesday, June 20
Terese Allen and Bobbie Malone book reading, with the authors of The Flavors of Wisconsin for Kids discussing state food traditions and conducting cooking demonstrations. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., 2 p.m., free with $8 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
CSA Speaker Series, the second of four lectures in the Year of CSA celebration organized by the FairShare CSA Coalition, featuring a talk by Jeff Metoxen of the Oneida Nation's Food Project about "Tsyunhehkw," an 83-acre organic agricultural and cultural community. Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St., 6:30 p.m., free. Call 226-0300 for more info.
Thursday, June 21
Town & Country Days, an annual four-day community festival, featuring the Sons of American Legion Beer Tent serving "legendary" sliders, a carnival, live music, and more. Commons Park, downtown Lake Mills, 4-11 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday. Call 920-648-3585 for more info.
Youth Cooking School: The Supper Club, for kids ages 6-12, with instructors preparing a menu of quesadillas, guacamole, and corn muffins. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 4:30-6 p.m., $10. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Oregon Summer Fest, an annual four-day community festival, featuring a beer tent, a microbrew fest, food vendors, a softball tournament, the Summerfest Classic run/walk, a classic car show, carnival, parade, live music, and more. Kiser Firemen's Park, 245 Brook St., Oregon, 5-10:30 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Call 608-835-3697 for more info.
Dane Fest, an annual four-day community festival, featuring a beer tent and grill, pork and chicken dinners, a softball tournament, the Country Block Fun Run and walk, a parade, live music, children's activities, and more. Bert Deans Park, 120 Railroad St., Dane, 5 p.m.-close Thursday, 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-close Sunday. Call 849-4211 for more info.
Friday, June 22
Heidi Festival, an annual three-day community festival celebrating Swiss culture, featuring a play based on Johanna Spyri's classic novel, the Lions BBQ, the Taste of New Glarus, an arts and crafts fair, and more. Village Park, 319 Second St., New Glarus, 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Call 800-527-6838 for more info.
Keg & Cork: Toast to a Cure, an annual benefit for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, featuring wine and beer tastings, restaurant tasting stations, a silent auction, and live music. Boardman & Clark, U.S. Bank Building, 1 S. Pinckney St., 5:30-9:30 p.m., $55 or $45 advance. Call 310-7541 for more info.
Cross Plains World's Fair, annual three-day community festival, featuring food vendors, softball and baseball tournaments, a kid's tractor pull, fireworks, live music, children's activities, and more. Baer Park, 2820 N. Millitary Rd., Cross Plains, 7 p.m.-midnight Friday, 1 p.m.-midnight Saturday, 1 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. Cal 608-798-4671 for more info.
Saturday, June 23
Sun Valley Strawberry Festival, an annual community festival, featuring breakfast and lunch, strawberry desserts, an arts and crafts fair, bingo, a raffle, live music, children's activities, and more. Sun Valley Presbyterian Church, 1650 Sun Valley, Beloit, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 608-365-7547 for more info.
First Tastes: Baby Food Making class at Nicki's Diapers, with instructor Tara Verma covering the basics of preparing, storing, and serving nutritional foods for infants. Nicki's Diapers, 739 N. High Point Rd., 10 a.m., free. Call 836-1211 for more info.
Herb Day at America's Best Flowers, featuring free samples of and recipes for herb breads and dipping oils. America's Best Flowers, 4311 Vilas Hope Rd., Cottage Grove, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., free. Call 222-2269 for more info.
Cannery Square Block Party, the seventh annual festival featuring food vendors, a beer garden, live music, and more. Cannery Square Plaza, Sun Prairie, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., free admission. Call 512-9743 for more info.
Radiate Hope Summer Festival, the sixth annual fundraiser in support of the Radiate Hope Foundation, featuring cake walks, food and drinks, a raffle, live music, children's activities, and more. Capital Brewery, 7734 Terrace Ave., Middleton, noon-4 p.m., free with donation suggested. Call 334-5051 for more info.
Nuestra Fiesta, an annual celebration of Latino culture hosted by Centro Hispano of Dane County, featuring food vendors, a low rider car show, live music, children's activities, and more. Centro Hispano, 810 W. Badger Rd., noon-8 p.m., free admission. Call 255-3018 for more info.
Dog Days of Summer, a canine-themed festival and benefit for the Dane County Humane Society, featuring grilled brats and beer, dog contests, a MPD K-9 demonstration, live music, and more. Essen Haus, 514 E. Wilson St., 1-6 p.m. Call 255-4674 for more info.
An Evening with the Cranes, an annual fundraiser for the International Crane Foundation, featuring a wine tasting, local foods, live music, and more. International Crane Foundation, E11376 Shady Lane Rd., Baraboo, 5-8 p.m., $60. Purchase tickets online, and call 608-356-9462 x. 121 for more info.
Sunday, June 24
Hava Nagila Jewish Community Picnic, an annual celebration hosted by the Jewish Federation of Madison, featuring kosher food for sale, kickball, open swim, children's activities, and more. Goodman Jewish Community Campus, 7762 Hwy. PD, Verona, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., free. Call 278-1808 for more info.
Bebe Chefs: Farmer's Market Fun, for kids ages 2-6, with instructors sharing "the fun and joy of making healthy food and buying local ingredients." Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 2-3:30 p.m., $15. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Cooking It All: Spring Box class on CSA menu planning and cooking techniques, one in a series organized by the FairShare CSA Coalition, with instructors Deb Shapiro and Barbara Wright will using a season sample share to "provide weekly menu plans, recipes, tips, and techniques for healthy eating of a vegetable rich diet." Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 4:30 p.m, $15. Call 226-0300 for more info.
Monday, June 25
Youth Cooking School: Spring Baking, for kids ages 6-12, with instructors preparing a menu of carrot cake and dirt pie. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 4:30-6 p.m., $10. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Nutrient-dense foods discussion at the Madison chapter meeting of the Weston A. Price Foundation, with a focus on networking and farm sales. Wil-Mar Center, 953 Jenifer St., 7 p.m. Call 221-8696 for more info.
Save the date
Monday, July 9
Wisconsin Cheese & Sommelier-Mixologist Duel, a Wisconsin cheese pairing competition, with L'Etoile wine and spirits specialists presenting a five-course cheese tasting menu. L'Etoile, 1 S. Pinckney St., 6:30 p.m., $65. Call 251-0500 for more info.
Sunday, July 15
Outlaw Dinner, with chef Kevin Tubb returning to present a five-course menu with tequila pairings and a signed copy of the Eldorado Grill Cookbook. Eldorado Grill, 744 Williamson St., 4:30 p.m., $65. Call 280-9378 for more info.
Sunday, September 16
Bike the Barns, the sixth annual bicycle tour featuring farms in south-central Wisconsin and local food prepared by the Underground Food Collective, featuring a 60-mile route around western Dane County, with stops at Bleu Mont Dairy, Vermont Valley Community Farm, and Dreamfarm, with a series of summer training rides to prepare for the hilly excursion, organized as a fundraiser for the FairShare CSA Coalition and its Partner Shares program. Reddan Soccer Park, 6874 Cross Country Rd., Verona, 8 a.m., pledge and no-pledge requirement fees for both rides. Register online, and call 226-0300 for more info.