According to our cover story this week, "My Eat-Local Challenge" by André Darlington, eating entirely local is quite a challenge indeed. Eating local, in this context, does not mean eating in the neighborhood, or eating a locally produced entrée, it means eating every meal with all local ingredients, including condiments. According to Darlington's account, it is very hard to do, especially for a month.
But he makes the attempt nonetheless, following the guidelines of the Willy Street Co-op's Eat Local Challenge, and in the process gives us an introduction to the first Isthmus Food & Wine Festival taking place at the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall on Friday, Oct. 19 (5 to 9 p.m.), and Saturday, Oct. 20 (2 to 6 p.m.). As Darlington observes in the article, we're paying much more attention these days to what we eat and where it comes from.
Along with your Isthmus this week is the program for IF&W Fest, detailing the schedule, the exhibitors, the layout of the festival floor, and other information pertinent to the pursuit of prandial pleasure. Yes, we hunt down our favorite purveyors and gather the samples, as humans have done for millenniums.
Of course it's not polite to eat and run, so there's plenty of demonstration, presentation and sampling going on. "Isthmus Voices on Food & Drink" are the folks who regularly write on food for Isthmus: Darlington, Raphael Kadushin, Kyle Nabilcy and Marcelle Richards. They'll be hosting some of the activities at the Isthmus Tasting Café, one of the programmed stages. The others are the Madison Originals Presentations stage and the Reinhart Food Service Demonstration Kitchen.
You can find much more information in the program. You can buy tickets at all Steve's Liquor locations, Star Liquor on Williamson Street, at the Isthmus office, 101 King Street, or online at IsthmusFoodAndWine.com. Single-session tickets cost $40. Eat hearty.