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Fete Chicago celebrates local food and design

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Fete Chicago

When: Thursday through Sunday

Where: Thursday event is at Room 1520, 1520 W. Fulton; other locations through Sunday

Tickets: $5 to $20, depending on event

Info: Ticket information and an event schedule at

Updated: April 1, 2013 7:57PM

The restaurateurs behind Longman & Eagle plan to show off a creative carpentry space.

The chef behind Bridgeport’s Pleasant House Bakery is keen to tell you about his business’ storied neighborhood.

The designer behind the innovative table wear at the tony eateries Next and Alinea is opening up his private studio.

All the events are part of Fete Chicago, a weekend celebration of local food and design April 4-7 in locations throughout the city.

“The event isn’t like, ‘Come all ye hipsters,’ ” joked Emily Fiffer, one of Fete’s founders, adding she hopes the event draws people of all ages, from the city and suburbs.

Fete Chicago is the brainchild of Fiffer, who works as Daily Candy’s Chicago editor; Jessica Herman, formerly of Time Out Chicago, and Heather Sperling, Chicago editor of It launched in December with a one-night holiday market.

The April event features a night market on Thursday with food, drinks and shopping, in addition to lectures, tastings and tours throughout the weekend to show off some of Chicago’s more under-the-radar creative culture.

The focus is on food and design, two communities that frequently overlap, Fiffer said.

“We wanted to delve deeper into who these people are, their processes, what they’re creating and where they’re working,” she said. “A market is one way to kind of experience these incredible Chicago artisans on a basic level. You have a quick conversation and taste the food.”

The Thursday night market is at Room 1520, 1520 W. Fulton in the West Loop. The other events are far-flung throughout the city.

“It’s really an effort to get people out of their neighborhoods and get them to go to Bridgeport, the Plant, Garfield Park, to get people out of their comfort zones,” Fiffer said.

Fete is part of a rise nationally of local artisan markets. Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg offers as many a 100 food vendors at two locations over select weekends. 626 Night Market in Los Angeles features more than 150 vendors of Asian food and merchandise at the Santa Anita Race Track three times a year.

Fiffer said the three-member Fete team, who were also part of the team behind Chicago’s monthly Dose market, plan to expand.

“This is definitely not a one-off,” she said. “Our goal as a collective would really be to create something that Chicagoans look forward to twice a year.”

5 thing to digest at Fete

— Arize kombucha: a fermented tea said to have detoxifying properties, available on Saturday’s tour of “The Plant,” a former meat-packing building that is now home to aquaponic farming and small food producers.

— Virtue cider or 5 Rabbit beer: complimentary drink included in Thursday night market ticket.

— Jello shots: made with locally distilled Leatherbee gin at Sunday’s “The Sea Inside: A Tour of Land and Sea Dept.”

— Coffeecake: from local critic David Tamarkin for Sunday’s launch of Middlewest, a new food magazine.

— Ina Pinkney appetizers: offered during Friday night’s “Tales from the Table” event.

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