With so much buzz around Mission Creek and the talented musicians and artists visiting our town, it is easy to overlook the stellar line-up of food events that are taking place throughout the week. Here’s a five-day guide to feasting through the festivities.
Monday, March 31 — Top Chef: Downtown Iowa City
Downtown and Northside chefs and bartenders come together for this friendly competition that, unlike those televised cooking battles, doesn’t take itself quite so seriously. (Clinton Street Social Club won last year’s cocktail challenge with their Old Fashioned and a flaming orange trick!) If you didn’t get tickets to this sold-out event (kicking off at 5 p.m. at hotelVetro), you can always head over to participating restaurants to get your own taste of the action.
Starting Tuesday, April 1 — Mission Creek Meals
Local restaurants have teamed up with Mission Creek to offer hungry festival-goers the opportunity to stuff themselves on specially-planned dinners and brunches. Naturally, the week begins and ends with lots of pork. Participating restaurants include Devotay, Leaf Kitchen, The Mill, Motley Cow and Trumpet Blossom. Prices and times vary.
Wednesday, April 2 — Spinning Plates film screening and food event
As part of the Mission Creek Film Series, FilmScene is hosting a screening of director Joseph Levy’s Spinning Plates. Watch three chefs overcome all odds while noshing on food (that will probably include bacon) from Clinton Street Social Club and cake from Delux.
Thursday, April 3 — JCHS Annual High Tea
Get out of the mayhem of downtown and head to the Johnson County Historical Society for their annual high tea. Even better than having high tea in the evening, Sarah Uthoff will be presenting a talk that food and book nerds will certainly bond over, titled “In the Kitchen with Laura Ingalls Wilder.” The event begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale for $10-$25 which includes tea, juice and a light meal.
Friday, April 4 — Lit Crawl foodies and Cook! Scribble! Slam!
Whet your appetite by heading over to Beadology at 5 p.m. for the Mission Creek lit crawl. Hear from the people behind Chicago-based food magazine Graze and the online food-writing community cookNscribble.
After the Lit Crawl, cookNscribble’s sister organization, One Big Table, a food-journalism non-profit led by journalist and author Molly O’Neill, will host the week’s second cooking competition at Brix Cheese Shop and Wine Bar. Expect to find 12 food writers cooking feverishly (and hopefully sipping some of Brix’s delicious wine) in order to win the coveted Kitchenaid stand mixer. The competition commences at 6:30 p.m.
Disclosure notice: I am a bartender at a Northside restaurant and will be participating in Monday’s Top Chef competition.