So here’s what’s been happening….

Night Markets to Sweep Chicago Streets

Finding yourself craving something a little more high-brow than the fast food options that light up Chicago streets after hours? For those busy working individuals who can’t find time to frequent the daytime farmers’ markets, take heart: your troubles may soon be over with the promise of more nighttime street markets in Chicago neighborhoods such as Logan Square (from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday nights) and Argyle Street (4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday nights). These night foods and farmer’s markets are on the docket to increase “positive activity” at night and make local produce available for purchase by working people. Look for familiar vendors from other Chicago markets, as well as street performers and other friendly faces. What could be nicer than a pre-bar crawl browse through winding, dimly lit, food-lined avenues?

Weekly News Roundup 5/6/13

Photo courtesy of Grubstreet Chicago

Art Smith Cookbook Signing This Saturday

Not feeling entirely ready to show off your springtime shorts? Jog your way over to Chicago’s Table 52 to grab a copy of Art Smith’s cookbook Healthy Comfort, which shows you how two apparently incompatible words can in fact combine harmoniously in order to produce light versions of comfort food favorites. Chef Smith will be at the restaurant this Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. for the book release signing, along with samples of recipes from the book. Bonus: it’s free! RSVP at 312-573-4000.

Weekly News Roundup 5/6/13

Photo courtesy of Chef Art Smith

2013 James Beard Award Winners Announced

This Friday night was a big one for the culinary world. The winners of the James Beard Award (the culinary Oscars, if you’re wondering) for the book, broadcast and journalism categories were announced at a star-studded gathering of the culinary elite from all walks of the food world in New York City. Well-known television personality Ted Allen hosted the event. For the full list of winners, check out the link above. And be on the lookout for the JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards, which will be announced tonight.

Weekly News Roundup 5/6/13

Photo courtesy of the

When Photojournalism and American Fast Food Meet

If you’re a connoisseur of both journalistic portrait photography and Happy Meals, check out this New York Times photoessay titled “The People You Meet at McDonald’s.” Compiled by photojournalist Nolan Conway, the photos feature canny portraits of McDonald’s patrons enjoying their meals, along with poignant textual glimpses into the lives, minds and motives behind the French fry-eaters.

Weekly News Roundup 5/6/13

Photo courtesy of the New York Times

Collegiate Binge-Drinking Can Lead to Heart Disease Later

We’re all familiar with the immediate negative effects of binge drinking: couch-ridden, head-pounding mornings that are synonymous with the college experience. With more than half of college students regularly consuming five or more drinks (for males) or four or more (for females) in a two-hour period, we have some of the highest rates of binge drinking. But while the uncomfortable symptoms clear up by the next day, young adults who regularly binge drink may in fact be setting themselves up for a future of cardiovascular diseases and hardening of the arteries. Recent research shows a correlation between frequent binge drinking and impaired function in the two main cell types that control blood flow, which raises the risk for future development of these diseases. While the question’s still out as to whether or not this damage can be reversed before the onset of disease, take these findings as a fair warning for the next time you’re contemplating throwing back one too many.

Weekly News Roundup 5/6/13

Photo courtesy of The Guardian

Amy Poehler to Star As Superhero Lunch Lady

Parks and Recreation fans, perk up: Amy Poehler might be starring as a lunch lady in an upcoming film about superhero lunch ladies. The rumor’s been milling around for several years, and recently resurfaced when the Boston Globe covered Jarrett Krosoczka’s children’s graphic novel series about a crime-fighting, spatula-wielding lunch lady. Universal Pictures quickly optioned the books for a live-action film starring Poehler as the heroic lunch lady. We’d love to see Poehler slop school lunch to youngsters while proclaiming the character’s tagline, “Serving justice! And serving lunch!” No release date yet, but food, comedy and die-hard Poehler fans have a new kid’s movie to anticipate.

Weekly News Roundup 5/6/13

Photo courtesy of PopSugar

For fun: Here is stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan taste-testing healthy junk food like chocolate-covered kale and tofu pepperoni.

Weekly News Roundup 5/6/13

Photo courtesy of Eater

You may know him from his unabashed comedic expressions of devotion to cake and Hot Pockets, among other things, so this is quite the gastronomic excursion for Gaffigan — it’s a hoot, naturally.