Birmingham can be a city of extremes. Residents know this already. Multimillion-dollar homes and pristine communities are a stone’s throw from some of the most impoverished areas in the U.S. When it comes to food, Birmingham’s wealthiest have access to the highest-quality cuisine, while low-income families flail in what East Lake Farmer’s Market Executive Director Sally Allocca calls food swamps: “You have access to food, but it’s usually fried, unhealthy fast food.”
In the May 28 episode of Max Rykov’s live talk show, “Are We There Yet? I’m Hungry!”, the host and selected guests will open up a dialogue about the spectrum of food culture in Birmingham “from our award-winning restaurants to the complicated racial and socio-economic issues that prevent many people from having access to good, healthy food,” according to Rykov.
Produced in partnership with Pardis Stitt and Slow Food Birmingham, the episode will feature insights and opinions from Hunter Lewis, editor of Cooking Light Magazine; Carole Griffin, owner of Chez Lulu and Continental Bakery; Rob Burton, executive director of Magic City Agriculture Project; Ama Shambulia from West End Community Gardens; and Wani Shaw, owner of Magic City Sweet Ice.
Rykov explained that his goal for “I’m Hungry!” is to highlight different perspectives in Birmingham’s food scene, especially those from differing socioeconomic backgrounds.
“I want to connect people with various resources (whether those be financial, social/organizational, or activist in nature) to each other to make this a stronger food community,” said Rykov. “Hopefully this will lead to better systems put in place for food-related job creation.”
In Rykov’s singular blend of humor, the host will also be presenting Birmingham’s Fast Track Etiquette Class. Audiences may expect a stimulating, thought-provoking and fun evening while ordering from Continental Bakery Downtown’s dinner and drink menu.
Half of the proceeds from the night will benefit the Magic City Agriculture Project, whose mission is to “engage in value-based community organizing to reweave the threads of the community, develop sustainable urban agriculture as a solution for economic and food justice, and to dismantle racism,” according to its website.
“Are We There Yet? I’m Hungry!” will be recorded live at Continental Bakery Downtown on May 28th at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit the event on Facebook.
THURSDAY, MAY 14
The Sound of Hope’s Birthday Bash — Avondale Brewing Company. 201 41st St. S. The Sound of Hope, a Birmingham nonprofit that serves underprivileged children worldwide, is celebrating its fifth year of service with a party at Avondale Brewing Company. There will be live music by the Ruddy Reds, a silent auction and door prizes. Ticket prices include dessert, beverages and two beer tickets. 7–10 p.m. $25. For more information, visit thesoundofhope.org.
WE Eat Together — Kress Building Roof. 301 19th St. N. Urban Ministry presents a night of food, drink and fundraising to support their WE (West End) Eat programs. Urban Ministry seeks to provide fresh, sustainable and nutritious food for Birmingham’s West End through programs such as the West End Community Garden, Emergency Food Pantry and Healthy Snack Bags. The event will have local food and beverages provided by Chef Chris DuPont and Good People Brewing Company and live music from the Shaun Pezant Trio. 5:30–7:30 p.m. $50. For more information, visit urban-ministry.org.
FRIDAY, MAY 15
Wine Weekend — Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa. 4000 Grand Ave. Ross Bridge Resort’s Wine Weekend benefitting the Hope for Autumn Foundation kicks off Friday, May 15 with a five-course tapas menu and wine pairings from Scott Jones of Jones Is Thirsty. Saturday, May 16 begins with a No-Snobbery Wine Education Class led by Jones that will be followed by a No-Snobbery Wine Lunch. Prices and times vary. To make reservations for the meals and educational session, call (205) 949-3057.
SATURDAY, MAY 16
Hop City Wine Making Class — Hop City. 2924 Third Ave. S. Hop City’s home brewing manager will be teaching a workshop on wine making. Students will learn the basics of extracting aroma from base ingredients, determining fermentation ratio and bottling. Ticket price includes a glass of wine. 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. $15. For more information, visit hopcitybeer.com.
SUNDAY, MAY 17
Elizabeth Spenser Wine Dinner — Gianmarco’s. 721 Broadway St., Homewood. Scott Burgess will team up with Gianmarco’s chef Giani Respinto to present a dinner with Elizabeth Spencer wine pairings. $100. For reservations, call (205) 871-9622.
MONDAY, MAY 18
Thinking Man’s Trivia – Rogue Tavern. 2312 2nd Ave. N. Josh Rutsky hosts Birmingham’s hardest trivia game each Monday night at Rogue, featuring challenging questions, friendly service and a great on-tap beer selection, plus inappropriate team names sure to earn their creators a spot in the fiery pits of hell. (Note: thinking women also welcome.) 8:30 p.m. Free. For more information, visit Thinking Man’s Trivia on Facebook.
TUESDAY, MAY 19
Kick Off to Summer — Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 2612 Lane Park Road. The Junior Board of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is saluting summer’s signature flavors with this celebration. Lori Sours, co-founder of Salsa Senorita, will lead a cooking class all about creating homemade gourmet salsa. Sampling and sipping are encouraged during the lesson, as margaritas and beer will be provided. 6–8 p.m. $20. For more information, visit the event on Facebook.
Beer, Burgers and Bingo – Black Market Bar and Grill. 2011 Highland Ave. S. Every Tuesday night, Black Market will offer cheap beer, $6 burgers and free-to-play bingo. 8 p.m. No cover. For more information, call (205) 933-8035.
THURSDAY, MAY 21
Cheers! — Good People Brewing Company. 114 14th St. S. Food, beer and prizes can be found during this benefit for both the Homewood Public Library and the Homewood Rotary foundations. The J.D. Baker Band will provide live musical entertainment. Nabeel’s will be serving their Mediterranean cuisine and beer from Birmingham’s exceptional Good People Brewery will also be available. 5–9 p.m. $30. For more information, visit homewoodpubliclibrary.org.