One of my favorite things about blogging are the opportunities I have to get to know new organizations through the way of food. The saying that food really brings people together is something I whole-heartedly believe in! A few weeks ago I was introduced to a really cool new non-profit and women’s network called “Step Up.” Step Up is a woman’s network that empowers teen girls from under-resourced communities to be confident, college-bound, and career-ready; as well as propel professional women through connections, collaborations, and continuous development.
Step Up’s 2nd Annual Shine and Dine event at Galleria Marchetti featured some really inspiring stories from young woman in the network as well as delicious bites from IPO, ZED451, Quay, and Shanghai Terrace. Windy City Live’s Val Warner also spoke at the event about how Step Up really changes lives.
The Tasty Tidbits:
IPO: Seared sea scallops with coffee foam and soil, a cauliflower-citrus puree, and cora cora orange. I really love scallops in general, but these were some of the best ones I’ve ever had. They were seared perfectly, and the coffee soil was totally different from anything I’ve ever had (in a good way), and the cora cora orange gave the scallop that citrus kick it needed.
Quay: Ahi tuna sashimi, on top of a lotus root, sesame seaweed salad and microgreens from the chef’s garden; rabbit roulette on top of a toasted brioche, sweet ground cherries, and baby beets. I love that the ahi tuna sashimi dish has microgreens from the chef’s own garden; and the sweet cherries really countered the richness from the rabbit.
Shanghai Terrace: Spicy crab noodles with sweet peanut sauce. The sauce on this dish was absolutely amazing, and the crab came in tiny pieces that were perfectly incorporated, I may have licked the plate.
ZED451: Sweet and spicy peppers stuffed with homemade boursin cheese, fingerling potatoes topped with shredded steak and a truffle cream, and s'more kebabs with a homemade marshmallow. The peppers in this spread were definitely my favorite, I even went back for seconds and thirds! The homemade boursin cheese was creamy and rich and the peppers cut through it perfectly with their sweet and spicy bite.