Monday, June 23
Help crown the city’s king (or queen) of paella at Mercat a la Planxa’s first-ever Paella Cook-Off. Contenders, including Zoë Schor (Ada St.), Kevin Hickey (Bottle Fork), and Tom Van Lente (Two), will each craft their own take on Spain’s national dish, and both attendees and a panel of judges will crown a winner. Tickets, which start at $75, are available here.
Tuesday, June 24
Burgers and beer are natural companions, so the head-to-head burger battle between two big local breweries at Publican Quality Meats (825 W. Fulton Market, West Loop, 312-445-8977) will likely bring out some inspired pairings. The brew crews from Half Acre and Revolution will each come up with a beef patty to pair with one of their own beers, available from 6 to 9 p.m.
Bored with burgers? You’ve got another grilling option: One of our city’s best butchers, Rob Levitt of Butcher & Larder, will join forces with one of Brooklyn’s best, Tom Mylan of the Meat Hook, for a backyard barbecue at Honey Butter Fried Chicken (3361 N. Elston Ave., Avondale). They’ll be talking about prepping overlooked cuts of beef for the grill. Tickets are $55 for one person and $65 for two, which includes a single copy of Mylan’s The Meat Hook Meat Book plus food. You can call the Butcher & Larder at 773-687-8280 to buy.
Wednesday, June 25
Because apparently every food deserves its own holiday, today is National Catfish Day, and Bow & Stern Oyster Bar (1371 W. Chicago Ave., West Town, 312-988-0644) is honoring that noblest of bottom feeders with a $10 catfish sandwich and chips special.
Sunday, June 29
Set sail on the open seas (OK, just Lake Michigan) for a fishing trip and shrimp boil with Frontier (1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., West Town, 773-772-4322). The day starts with five hours of lake fishing on a chartered boat and ends with the traditional bayou meal back at the restaurant. The trip’s got a steep price—$175—but it includes boat access and tackle in addition to the meal. Only 16 spots are available—make reservations here.