This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Saturday, September 3
Labor Day weekend means it's once again time for the Taste of Madison, offering sample dishes from 80-some restaurants, food carts, and caterers at stands around the Capitol Square, all set to the music of dozens of bands on three stages. Sure, there are represented places at this annual . Check out barbecue from Blowin' Smoke, African stews from Buraka, empanadas from Curacas Empanadas, New Mexican cuisine from Santa Fe Trailer, and Peruvian items from Surco -- all actual Madison food carts you may not get a chance to eat at if you don't work downtown. Other top picks -- anything from Osteria Papavero, and the quinoa salad from Vom Fass. Capitol Square, downtown Madison, 2-8:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Call 276-9797 for more info.
Monday, September 5
There should be a strong showing at LaborFest this year. If you go to fete the folks that brought us all the weekend, at this celebration hosted by the Madison Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St., noon-5:30 p.m. Call 256-5111 for more info.
Monday, September 5 - Sunday, October 2
The second annual Eat Local Challenge hosted by the pledge is to get people to eat more local foods (defined as 150 miles from the Capitol) whether from farmers' markets, CSAs, your own backyard garden or a locally sourced grocery. Besides -- cheese and beer are no-brainers when you're living right here. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St. and Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., Middleton. Call 251-6776 and 284-7800 for more info.
More events this week
Tuesday, August 30
Wednesday, August 31
One Ingredient, Many Flavors class, with instructor Chef Angela Trentadue demonstrating how to use a single seasonal ingredient to prepare multiple unique dishes utilizing Latin, Asian, Indian, and Mediterranean flavors. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Sushi: Not Just Raw Fish! class, with instructor Paul Tseng preparing a menu of vinegared rice, Maki-roll, Nigiri-zushi, Tamaki, and "not-so-raw" Sashimi. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., Middleton, 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Thursday, September 1
Pasta Basics class, with instructor Jennifer Jones demonstrating how to prepare different pasta and sauce recipes. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., Middleton, 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Friday, September 2
Chocolate Chase, an annual bicycle ride and benefit for Rock River Thresheree, the 55th annual community Lake Mills 175th Anniversary Celebration, a four-day community Facebook and call 920-648-6751 for more info.
Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw, the 37th annual community food court featuring more than two dozen vendors, competitive cow chip throwing, 5K and 10K runs, an arts and crafts fair, a parade, live music, children's activities, and more. Marion Park, intersection of 1st St. and Grand Ave., Prairie du Sac, 5-11:30 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday. Call 608-643-4317 for more info.
Brooklyn Labor Day Celebration, an annual three-day community festival and fundraiser for Screening of South Central Farm community garden in Los Angeles. Ashman Library, 733 N. High Point Rd., 7 p.m., free. Call 824-1780 for more info.
Saturday, September 3
Viva Las Veggies, an all-vegetable barbecue of seasonal produce that includes squash, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, and more. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., $5. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Nicaraguan Independence Day, a celebration commemorating Nicaragua's declaration of independence from Spain on September 15, 1821, featuring central American food, traditional dance and music. Elver Park, 1236 McKenna Blvd., 1 p.m. Call 219-8136 for more info.
Sunday, September 4
Preserving the Flavors of Summer class, with instructor Charles Dykman demonstrating how to use water bath canning and other canning procedures to preserve produce and meat. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 9 a.m.-noon, $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
CSA Field Day, one of several summer agricultural tours organized by the in Richland Center and talk by owners Jillian and Adam Varney about integrating raising livestock into a vegetable-oriented operation, followed by a visit to Shady Blue Acres, 16456 Alpine Ln., Richland Center and Sylvan Meadows Farm, E8303 Hwy SS, Viroqua, 1-4 p.m., free. Call 226-0300 for more info.
Tuesday, September 6
Preserving the Flavors of Summer class, with instructor Charles Dykman demonstrating how to use water bath canning and other canning procedures to preserve produce and meat. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 5:30-8:30 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Save the date
Saturday, September 10
Some of Madison's best-known chefs will be cooking various dishes for the Good Food Garden Party, held adjacent to the gardens at Troy Community Gardens -- site of last year's Outstanding in the Field dinner. Mosquitoes have been in short supply this year (knock wood), so what better time than now for a spiffy, super-local harvest picnic? Troy Gardens, 500 Troy Dr., 5 p.m., $110. Call 240-0409 for more info.
Tuesday, September 27
Sherman Middle School Garden fundraiser dinner, with Chef Tory Miller joined by special guests Principal Mike Hernandez of Sherman Middle School and Ari Weinzweig of L'Etoile, 1 S. Pinckney St., 6 p.m., $135 per person or $105 without wine. Call 251-0500 for more info.