by Nancy Stiles
It's October, and we're finally at peace with the fact summer is over and it's officially autumn. That's thanks in no small part to all the great fall food events taking place this weekend. Head to Edwardsville, Illinois, to celebrate Craft Chophouse's one-year anniversary, or party in the Grove for the annual Grove Fest. Read on for all our food-related recommendations.
Friday (October 4):
"MoBot's annual market features more than 120 Missouri food producers and artisans offering fresh produce, baked goods, crafts and more. The spread includes everything from pies to ghost peppers. Admission costs $5 for Garden members, $12 for adults (ages 13-64), $10 for seniors (ages 65 and over) and $5 for children (3-12), available here. Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m."
The iconic chili cook-off will have 65 chili vendors this year, plus a 5K run/walk and kids' Pepper Dash on Saturday morning. Fifty chili recipes will be judged beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, with both amateur and professional categories. You can also vote for your favorite chili in the People's Choice Award. Enjoy live music both days as well. Admission is free. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
"Soulard Farmers' Market is still going strong and is without a doubt the largest and most eclectic market in the region -- you can buy everything from a sack of apples to a new pair of sunglasses. This is truly an iconic spot...The days and hours of operation are a bit confusing: Wednesday through Saturday, the Grand Hall, or the central inside shops, are open, along with a smattering of outside vendors (varies daily), from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the afternoon hours usually offering the best options."
Click through for the most highly anticipated events of Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday (October 5):
"The Grove neighborhood's eclectic street festival includes everything from fashion shows and interactive murals to outdoor games and street performers. Over 70 vendors peddle goods and foods such as Sameem Afghan Restaurant, Sanctuaria, Rise Coffee, Amy's Corner Bakeshop and Atomic Cowboy. Admission is free. 2 p.m. to midnight."
Taste brews from more than 25 breweries including 4 Hands, Crown Valley Brewery, Heavy Riff Brewing, Civil Life Brewing, Perennial Artisan Ales, Schlafly, Urban Chestnut and more. Enjoy food from Augusta Brewing Co. and music from Blues Racket and Schmitt & Grin. Advance tickets, available here, cost $22 and gate tickets cost $29, including a free beer tastings, live music and a commemorative glass. Noon to 5 p.m.
Six chefs will be competing in the St. Louis edition of Battledish, a culinary competition going on all over the country. You get to decide who wins by voting for your favorite dishes. The chefs competing are David Kirkland of Cafe Osage, Chris Ladley of Herbies, Eric Kelly of Scape, Jason Redman of the Drunken Fish and Andre Grosz of Wildflower. $40 gets you admission plus six dishes or drinks; $65 gets you admission all six dishes and drinks. General admission is $15, and you can purchase dishes and drinks individually. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
This celebration to honor Craft Chophouse's one-year anniversary benefits the Walk to End Alzheimer's. Choose from grill, seafood, and pub stations and enjoy craft beer and wine. It's open table seating at the park and you can bring lawn chairs, too. There will be live music from the People's Key featuring Zena Star and the Anitia Rosamond Band. Admission is free. 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday (October 6):
Celebrate 21 years of art, education and community with the Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association. Some 135 juried artists will be selling and showing their works. Enjoy Schlafly beer, bloody marys and mimosas. There will be food for purchase from Sasha's on Shaw with Momma Josephine's, Ed's Food and Maggie's Lunchbox, plus live music both days. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Admission is $7 per person, good for both days, and free for children under fourteen. Bring a canned food a receive $1 off the ticket price. Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Let Christine Maggi show you how to throw the perfect party. In this hands-on class, learn to set a buffet with different levels, calculate how many hors d'oeuvres will be needed, create a meal and learn to serve it sit-down formal style or a more casual family style. You'll make roasted beets with candied oranges and goat-cheese dressing, shellfish pasta with tomato confit en papillote, grilled porterhouse steak with smoked onions and glazed carrots, plus tiramisù cake with coffee custard. It's $70 per person, register here. 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
"All those tortured artists throughout history were on to something: Drinking while creating is a really great idea. Vino van Gogh, a Chicago-based company that came to town in last year, offers painting classes at area restaurants and bars several times a month, providing canvases, paint and an assortment of brushes. Soon your fellow artisans will be slowly crafting masterpieces that, like most people, look better the more you drink. After some gentle encouragement from booze and an ebullient instructor who'd rather cut off her own ear than say something negative about your work, that big blank canvas -- to say nothing of your dearth of talent -- suddenly doesn't seem so insurmountable." This weekend you'll be painting A Fall Day at Ferguson Brewing Company. $38. Sign up here. 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.