Here's a $40 deal for tonight: A four-course dinner at Browntrout, 4111 N. Lincoln, and conversation with Spence Farm's Marty and Kris Travis and Jennifer Olvera, author of the Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago and Sun-Times contributor.
This is a good group. The Travises are warm and chatty, as most farmers tend to be ("We always joke that the problem with farmers is they talk too much," Rob Gardner, editor of the Local Beet website, once told me). And they are a familiar topic for Olvera, who has written about their famous ramp digs in the spring and about their son Will making a name for himself with the maple syrup he taps on the property. Marty's recipe for cornbread using, naturally, his own whole-wheat flour, remains one of my favorites.
The evening begins with a 6:30 p.m. reception, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. (Add $30 for wine pairings; copies of Food Lovers' are included in the dinner price.) Oh and, those ramps are on the menu, in pickled and vinaigrette form. Call (773) 472-4111.
For more upcoming farm dinners, check out our September calendar. And add this one to the list: 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at Blue Sky Bakery, 3720 N. Lincoln, just down the road from Browntrout. Three courses, featuring the meats of Mint Creek Farm, for $30.