Green City Market and Chef Paul Virant

The Green City Market launches its first winter market beginning January 17 inside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. It will feature local produce and specialty themed culinary events. The addition of the winter market makes the Green City Market year-round for the first time.

The market will be open every first and third Saturday of the month from January through April, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each Saturday the market will feature a themed culinary event showcasing local sustainable farmers, producers and the chefs who work closely with them. The events will include food tastings that highlight products at the market.

The theme for the first Saturday that the market is open is Snout to Tail: Green City Market Pork. The events are free but reservations are required. For more information visit

Paul Virant, the owner and chef at Vie Restaurant in Western Springs, is among the local chefs taking part in special demonstrations at the Green City Market. He was a guest on ABC 7 News Saturday morning. He shared his recipe for making your own bacon.

Housemade Bacon

½ c kosher salt
½ c smoked sea salt
1T black peppercorn, coarsely cracked
1T honey
1T sweet smoked paprika
One 3 to 5 pound slab pork belly (skin on or off)

  • Combine first four ingredients in a baking dish (large enough to fit the belly)
  • Dredge belly in cure and press it on, shaking off any excess
  • Refrigerate the belly for 7days, flipping it over every other day
  • After 7 days, check the belly for firmness (it should feel firm at the thickest part)
  • Rinse off cure, pat dry and dry out overnight
  • Roast at 200F until a internal temperature of 150F
  • Cool and refrigerate or freeze chunks
  • Prepare like normal bacon
  • You can find more information about Chef Paul Virant and Vie Restaurant at

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