Sonat Birnecker Hart and Robert Bimecker, founders of the new Koval Distillery in Ravenswood, lead a tasting of all ten of their spirits, including vodka, grain spirits, and several liqueurs. The event coincides with the first week of Eat Local/Drink Local Night at In Fine Spirits: on Thursdays this summer cocktails there will be special menu items made with farmers’ market ingredients, Koval spirits, and Metropolitan beer. 7:30-9:30 PM, 5420 N. Clark, 773-506-9463, $15.
There’ll be fewer booths this year (56 in total) at Taste of Chicago, but new vendors include Blue Bayou, Garrett’s Popcorn, and Manny’s, and perennial favorites Sweet Baby Ray’s, Eli’s Cheesecake, and Lou Malnati’s will be back. 6/26-7/5, 11 AM-9 PM (closes 7/3 after the fireworks and 7/5 at 6 PM), Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson, 312-744-3315.
The Hyde Park Art Center’s first Fryvalry, part of Artists Run Chicago, features two deep-fat fryers, one for meat, one vegetarian. According to founders Phillip Von Zweck and Kevin Jennings, “you bring it, we fry it, you eat it.” Sat 6/27, 5-8 PM, 5020 S. Cornell, 773-324-5520, free.
Gary Wiviott, author of the new book Low & Slow: Mastering the Art of Barbecue in Five Easy Lessons, and Colleen Rush, author of The Mere Mortal’s Guide to Fine Dining, discuss Wiviott’s barbecue techniques and tricks at the Chicago Foodways Roundtable talk "Low and Slow BBQ." Sat 6/27, 10 AM, Kendall College, 900 N. North Branch, 847-432-8255, chicago.foodways.roundtable.@gmail.com, $3.
At Red Light’s Pig Roast and Cooking Class, chef Jackie Shen will roast a whole pig in a La Caja China box, designed to roast a pig in under four hours; Greg Hall of Goose Island will discuss pairing beer with pork and provide beer from his company. Reservations required.Sun 6/28, noon, Red Light, 820 W. Randolph, 312-733-8880, $55.
Lisa Williams (of Lisa Cooks Allergen Free) and Carnivale executive chef Mark Mendez host a family-style allergen-free dinner (sans gluten and the other eight most common food allergens--wheat, eggs, soy, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts). Reservations required. Mon 6/29, 6:30 PM, Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton, 773-665-0430, lisacooksallergenfree.com, $50.