We couldn’t resist the juxtaposition: Veggie Fest Chicago will be this weekend in Naperville, with speakers, exhibits, vendors, and the highlight for most, we suspect, a Vegetarian Food Court full of veggie dishes of every type and ethnicity. Get more info here. Meanwhile, Sunday at Theater on the Lake will be the inaugural event of a new local barbecue group which hopes to grow into a sanctioned stop on the barbecue competition trail: it’s called The Windy City Rib Classic and a bunch of local BBQ figures like Barry Sorkin of Smoque, Jared Leonard of Rub BBQ Company, Charlie McKenna of Lillie’s Q, Lee Ann Whippen of Chicago Q, Gary Wiviott of Barn & Co., and author Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn will be among those judging aspiring BBQ heads who abide by the “no gas, no electricity” rules in preparing smoked meat. Finally, somewhere in between falls Festa Italiana, celebrating the (somewhat fading) Italian heritage of Taylor Street; check out Steve Dolinsky’s report on the weekend-long festival here.
Barry Sorkin of Smoque will be among the judges.