The HOTTEST Foodie Event in Chicago

Hey Foodies! I wanted to invite you to an event that I’m hosting with the Associate Board of Common Threads. Common Threads is an organization started by Art Smith where they teach low income kids how to cook healthy, affordable meals. I volunteered w/them last fall, and it’s a pretty awesome organization because in addition to cooking, kids learn about different parts of the world, math (through measurements), and science.
 
This event is going to be the hottest Chicago foodie event of the year. Mark my words. It’s a cook-off between some of Chicago’s most popular restaurants, and the chefs can choose to compete to cook something on a bun, on a stick, in a glass, or in a shell. There will also be a whiskey tasting. 
 
The event takes place on Thursday, September 27th at 6:30pm over at Fulton’s on the River in Chicago. Tickets are $75 until August 31st (this Friday), and after this Friday, they go up to $85. (This donation is tax-deductible). There will also be a silent auction with some amazing prizes.
 
Click the below link if you are interested in attending. When it asks how you found out, just click other and type in my name.   
 
 
Below is a listing of just some of the restaurants that will be participating, along w/their categories:
 
Participating Chefs & Mixologists

IN A GLASS 
William Hewitt, Bin 36 
Lynn House, Blackbird 
Ben Schiller, BOKA 
Mike Trow, Bridge Bar 
Elizabeth Samples, Nacional 27 
David Blonsky, Public House 
Sarah Kosikowski, Sixteen 
Lee Guidry, SUSHISAMBA rio 

ON A STICK 
Erik Freeburg, Bar Toma 
Kevin Schulz, Fulton’s on the River 
Bill Kim, Belly Shack/Urban Belly/BellyQ 

IN A SHELL 
Mike Bellovich, Paris Club 
Table 52 

ON A BUN 
John McLean, Burger Bar 
Rah Shabazz, C-House 
Kristine Subido, Pecking Order 
Brad Alexander, The Grillroom 
Curtis Hawk, ZED451 
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Also Attending:

KOVAL Whiskey Distillery
Sparrow Coffee Roasters
KIND

 

Flavors – A Culinary Experience: Event Recap

Yesterday, I had the honor and privilege of attending Flavors – A Culinary Experience, which was a fundraiser to benefit the American Liver Foundation. The event was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago (my first time visiting this hotel), and it was very well organized with over 80 silent auction and raffle items, however this event was all about the food.

The concept was quite unique with over 15 restaurants crafting table side meals with a custom menu from each restaurants. Featured Chicago restaurants included Browntrout, Frontier, Tavern on Rush and Bread and Wine. 

I was seated at the Chicago Renaissance Hotel restaurant table which featured a 5-course dinner with Executive Chef James Samson. Usually when I think about restaurant food from a hotel, I think “eh…just ok. Rubber chicken” – it just reminds me of the countless business meetings and weddings that I’ve attended that have “just ok” hotel food. This was quite the exception. Chef Samson had some very thoughtful and flavorful dishes, each of which were paired with wine. 

We started off with an Asparagus Salad, and my favorite part was the fried brie. There is nothing like some good fried cheese. Tuna Tartar was the second course, and the highlight of this dish was a compressed watermelon, which was put into a special machine overnight to make a large piece of watermelon fit into the palm of your hand. It was much like a dehydrated mini watermelon. Very interesting. The third course was the Beef Fheek Pierogi, which was very tasty – I don’t believe that I’ve eaten beef cheeks before, and now I won’t hesitate to try it again. Next was a perfectly cooked Lamb Porterhouse with a chic pea mint ragu. We finished off our meal w/a chocolate dessert that looked like a masterpiece. 

As I mentioned previously, this event was a fundraiser to benefit the American Liver Foundation, and we heard some touching stories about people that had been affected by Liver Disease, and it really put faces and names with a cause that does not get a great deal of exposure. One of the speakers almost had me in tears as she talked about her two babies that she lost to liver disease shortly after their birth. This is truly a cause worth supporting. 

The American Liver Foundation has these events every year, and they take place all over the country. Below is a link to the website for more information. Definitely check it out if you have the chance:

http://go.liverfoundation.org/site/PageServer?pagename=2012_flavors_localevents

I would also highly recommend Chef Samsons food – you can experience it yourself at Bar Novo at the Renaissance Hotel. The menu looks good, and it has 4 stars on Yelp. I’ll be visiting to try the bacon-wrapped dates. You can’t go wrong w/Bacon-wrapped dates!

So delicious