This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Saturday, January 22
This week's "Taste of the Market" breakfast at the winter Dane County Farmers' Market features an Edna Lewis-inspired Southern menu. The menu includes: pan-fried trout or mushrooms, country ham with grits and red-eye gravy, corn bread with plum preserves, and micro greens and spinach served with crumbled Feta and a warm bacon dressing or basil vinaigrette. Coordinated by Chef David McKercher of Mermaid Cafe, the breakfast will be prepared by students from East High School participating in REAP Food Group's Chefs in the Classroom program. The food is sourced from market participants and other local purveyors. Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., 8 a.m.-noon, $7.50. Call 455-1999 for more info.
Sunday, January 23
Will cupcakes overtake cheese and crackers as gridiron grudge-match snacks of choice? Iron Cupcake Madison has its competition cut out for it this time around, as its scheduled during the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and da Chicago Bears. This time around, bakers will be riffing on citrus in their cupcakes, competing for Best Taste and Best Display. Audience members eat cupcakes, and vote for their favorite. It's all a benefit for Porchlight. And what's more, we bet the game will be on anyway. High Noon Saloon, 701A E. Washington Ave., 1-3 p.m., $7. Call 239-1804 for more info.
The big game will most likely be decided by the time the Meat Heat Manifesto chili cook-off gets rolling this evening. Packers (and even Bears) fans attending this gathering will be able to celebrate or commiserate the outcome over bowls of chili and side dishes that include buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, deviled eggs, Rice Krispie treats and more. Chili maestros looking throw down and enter the contest can do so in five categories: carnivorous, vegetarian, spicy, unusual, and all-around. All entries must be pre-assembled and precooked, and judging will be conducted by popular vote, with final decisions pronounced by "Kim the Queen of Chili" and her sidekick "Mexican" Bao. Inferno, 1718 Commercial Ave., 5 p.m., $2 donation. Call 245-9583 for more info.
Sunday, January 23 - Friday, January 28
Madison once again joins cities across the nation and world in spotlighting its local eateries with the winter edition of Restaurant Week, a come-hither culinary beckoning from 35 restaurants. For $25, diners get a three-course prix-fixe menu, with options for each course. Diners are apt to find everything from house specialties to special chef creations. Restaurants serving dinner include 43 North, The Blue Marlin, Brocach Irish Pub, Captain Bill's, The Continental Fitchburg, Daisy Café & Cupcakery, Dayton Street Grille, Delaney's Charcoal Steaks, Eldorado Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Fresco, Graze, Harvest, The Icon, La Brioche True Food, Lombardino's, Mariner's Inn, Quivey's Grove Stone House, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Samba Brazilian Grill, and Sardine. Both dinner and a $15 lunch option will be served by Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, Bluephies Restaurant & Vodkatorium, Bonfyre American Grill, Brickhouse BBQ, Capitol Chophouse, Inka Heritage, Johnny Delmonico's, Johnny's Italian Steakhouse, Liliana's, The Melting Pot, Ocean Grill, Osteria Papavero, Quivey's Grove Stable Grill, and Sa Bai Thong. No tickets or coupons are necessary, but diners are encouraged make reservations in advance.
More events this week
Wednesday, January 19
Winter Soups 101 cooking class, with Kathy Griswold preparing chicken noodle, Italian winter minestrone, lentil with root vegetables, and beef barley. Whole Food Market, 3313 University Ave., 5:30-7:30 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
In the Kitchen with Cathy: Going Raw class with Cathy Thomas, preparing a "Breakfast Box" with smoothies and sprouted grain cereals. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Thursday, January 20
Green Thursdays film and lecture series, a project of The Natural Step Monona and the Monona Public Library, with screenings of A River of Waste and America's Dairyland documentaries. Mount Horeb United Methodist Church, 9542 Hwy. S, Mount Horeb, 6:30 p.m., free. Call 437-7811 for more info.
Friday, January 21
A Treat from South India cooking class with Chef Neeta Saluja preparing samhar, besan chila, and red pepper chutney. Whole Food Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-8:30 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Saturday, January 22
Cheese Day, with free cheese samples and screenings of the documentary Living on the Wedge: Wisconsin's Artisan Cheesemakers. Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N. Carroll St., 9-4 p.m., $4 donation. Call 264-6557 for more info.
Freeze for Food, the 30th annual 10K/5K run/walk organized by the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Madison as a fundraiser for the Colombia Support Network and its provision of medical and agricultural supplies. Vilas Park Shelter, 1400 Vilas Park Dr., 11:15 a.m., $15. Call 554-0384 to RSVP and for more info.
Sunday, January 23
Save the date
Sunday, January 30
REAP Member Appreciation Pizza Party, featuring pizzas prepared by Buy Fresh Buy Local participants. Greenbush Bar, 914 Regent St., 5-8 p.m., $5 members and $10 non-members. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 26.
Thursday, February 3
Five-course dinner featuring menu by Chef Colin Beaumier and paired beers by Capital Brewery brewmaster Kirby Nelson. Captain Bill's, 2701 Century Harbor Rd., 6 p.m., $50. Call 831-7237 to RSVP and for more info.