March Madness

By Brenna O’Dea

March Madness has arrived, and this time there’s PIZZA. No, I’m not talking about the real March Madness…the sport is basketball, right? I am no sports buff by ANY stretch of the word, and for all my friends out there who care more about the snacks being served than what’s happening on the field/court/stadium/wherever people like to get competitive these days, then this month at Pilot Light is right for you. Today we kick off a month jam packed with more fun than Space Jam. That’s about as far as my basketball experience goes and I’m just fine with that. Read on if you’re ready for some action off the court and in the kitchen.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken & The Kitchen American Bistro Pop Up Brunch: Sunday March 5 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Start off Sunday funday the right way…with FOOD. The Kitchen and HBFC are partnering up to deliver a drool-worthy brunch selection suited for the gods. Check out the menu here, including delicious delights like fried chicken French toast and honey butter doughnuts. Cancel all of your other weekend plans (except the next event on our list) because you are sure to be in a deep, deep food coma after this meal. Call The Kitchen directly to make your reservation or reserve your seat at the table online at Open Table. This is a one-day-only opportunity so don’t miss you chance to eat all the fried chicken in sight.

Paddle Battle: Sunday March 5, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

THIS SUNDAY. The battle of the century has arrived. Okay, maybe it’s just the best battle of the month. But as long as YOU join in on the fun, we know it will be a success. Our wonderful Young Professionals Board brings you Paddle Battle at AceBounce on Clark Street. Never been? Never heard of it? Well you are missing our BIG time. AceBounce is Chicago’s hottest Ping pong bar & restaurant. Who said ping pong and piña coladas don’t mix!? Or maybe a hot toddy with this weather we’ve been having. Bring along the whole brunch crew to battle it out and burn off that extra slice of bacon. Your ticket buys you two drinks, and PLENTY of snacks and games to play, including Around the World and Blow Pong…intrigued? We thought so. You’ll just have to show up to see what all this Sunday funday fuss is about. And don’t forget, ticket proceeds go directly to our food education lessons for YOUR lovely little ones! So even though they can’t battle it out at the bar, they’ll certainly reap the benefits.

Chef Roast: Thursday March 9, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

In just over ONE WEEK, join us at River Roast for just that, a real live ROAST. You’ve seen ‘em on tv, watched the celebrities jab at one another for hours, but now you can watch it happen live. Get ready to laugh till your tummy hurts…and then fill that tummy with some damn good food. WXRT’s Lin Brehmer will bring his hosting magic, and River Roast Chefs Tony Mantuano and John Hogan are teaming up with our very own Paul Kahan to bring the bites. Just a lil’ taste of the menu…Publican chicken with roasted romanesco (fancy broccoli) and hazelnuts, salmon consommé (fancy soup) with wild mushroom butter, and of course, we can’t forget dessert…an amazing apple crostata with crazy good caramel gelato. If you aren’t salivating yet…consider getting your taste buds checked ASAP.

Good Food Festival: Thursday March 16 – Saturday March 18

DO NOT MISS THIS. Our very own Executive Director, Alex DeSorbo-Quinn will be speaking on the Good Food Programs in our Schools panel on Saturday the 18th from 12:30 – 1:45 pm. The panel also includes inspiring directors from Common Threads, Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, and Gardeneers. This is an incredible opportunity to learn about what is going on in your children’s school and what is going into their bellies each day. Hear Alex speak about our work here at Pilot Light and what the future hold for our little foodies in the classroom! Tickets are on sale NOW and just like all that fried chicken, they will sell out FAST. Get your hands on some and get ready to sink your teeth into some fabulous food for thought.

Evening in Bloom: Friday March 17, 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Hosted by the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, presented by Mariano’s at the one and only Navy Pier, this evening is sure to be full of flora, fauna, and of course, some yummy food. This year’s annual show features floral fashion designs from Fleurotica, another signature fundraiser created and presented by the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance. Step into spring early this year and stop by the show for some of the most magnificent floral arrangements of the season. And that’s not all. The flower show continues all week long and we are sticking around! Check out two Pilot Light founders, Chefs Jason Hammel and Paul Kahan leading a live cooking demo at the show on Tuesday March 21st at 1:30 pm. So even if you didn’t get that big beautiful bouquet on Valentine’s Day, you can still stop and smell the roses…literally.

Speaking of Paul…he is the featured chef this month in our collaboration with Piece Pizza & Brewery. Since January we have partnered with Piece and some amazing Chicago Chefs (Doug Sohn of Hot Doug’s and Christine Cikowski & Joshua Kulp of Honey Butter Fried Chicken to name a few) and we are still going strong! Starting today (yes, it’s already March) and going all the way through the end of the month, Chef Paul Kahan is bringing you his “Belly of the Beast” pizza pie. We won’t give away all the juicy goodness…you’ll have to order to see for yourself…but let’s just say one thing…PORK BELLY. 10% of all pizza proceeds go right toward our food education efforts, and 100% of all pizza goes right into YOUR BELLY.

And there ya have it, just a handful of our amazing events comin’ at ya this month. Wait, that’s not ALL the events, you say? NOPE. That’s just the first HALF of the month. Here is a full list of all the totally tasty madness headed your way this March (and a lil’ dip into April), we cannot wait to see you all soon!

Ongoing, March 1st – March 31st: Piece Pizza Fundraiser, Paul Kahan’s Pizza

Sunday March 5th 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: HBFC/The Kitchen Pop-Up Brunch

Sunday March 5th 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Pilot Light Paddle Battle at Ace Bounce

Thursday March 9th 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Chef Roast at River Roast

Thursday March 16th – Saturday March 18th: Good Food Festival featuring Pilot Light Executive Director, Alex DeSorbo-Quinn

Friday March 17th 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm Evening in Bloom

Tuesday March 21st at 1:30 pm: Paul Kahan & Jason Hammel cooking demo at Chicago Flower Show

Tuesday March 28th: Eataly Pizza for Pilot Light by Matthias Merges

Tuesday April 11th: Eataly Pizza for Pilot Light by Jason Hammel

Saturday April 22nd 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Passport to Pilot Light, Wicker Park Edition

(Image by flickr member O Cinéma licensed under Creative Commons)

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