Friday Food Fun

Friday Food Fun

Labor Day Weekend! Some of you may be asking where did summer go? Lots of goings on this past week from Next introducing their Paris cookbook over itunes, another Boka Group Quickfire challenge, Prosecco & Popcorn movie night featuring “Roman Holiday” and my first of many to be had 25 degrees burgers – very good!

For those of you leaving town, safe travels. For those staying let’s hope the summer doesn’t end with a rash of flash-mob attacks like it began! Some very cool events in September and October so get out your trapper keeper schedules and plan wisely.

Women in Business Event
Chicago Women Leading Culinary: A Celebration on Wednesday September 7 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Vermilion (10 W. Hubbard St.).A panel of esteemed women leaders in the hospitality industry – moderated by NBC Entertainment Reporter LeeAnn Trotter from NBC 5 Chicago – will discuss industry insights, inspirations and culinary trends over a four-course, Indian-Latin feast featuring the award-winning cuisine inspired by Chef Maneet Chauhan.

The evening’s leading ladies include:
• Co-host Sheila O’Grady – President, Illinois Restaurant Association
• Co-host Rohini Dey – Ph.D; Restaurateur (Founder/Owner Vermilion Chicago and NYC); formerly of The World Bank and McKinsey & Company
• Deann Bayless – Restaurateur (James Beard Foundation Award-winning Frontera Grill, the four-star Topolobampo, XOCO); Co-author, Fiesta at Rick’s
• Miae Lim – Owner of Mirai Sushi and Japonais (Chicago and Las Vegas)
• Alpana Singh – Master Sommelier and Director of Wine and Spirits for Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants and Lettuce Wine Cellars; Host of the Emmy Award-winning, “Check, Please!”; Author, Alpana Pours
• Moderator LeeAnn Trotter – Entertainment Reporter, NBC 5 Chicago

The cost is $75 per person (inclusive of the panel discussion, dinner, tax and gratuity) or $95 with wine pairings. Advanced purchase is necessary. Visit Vermilion’s website for additional event information and ticket purchase or call (312) 527-4060.

Hamburger Hop is BACK!
Tickets to the second annual Hamburger Hop – the kick off to Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet 2011: a celebration of food and wine – are now available at An ideal launch to a gourmet weekend, 15 of Chicago’s top chefs will fire up their grills to compete in the Hamburger Hop, presented by Allen Brothers and MillerCoors’ Blue Moon. This lively, interactive event – expected to draw1000 guests – will feature a panel of celebrity industry experts who will judge the juicy entries. Participants and judges to be announced soon.

Harris Theater Rooftop in Millennium Park
205 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Friday, September 23, 2011 from 6 to 9 p.m.
$89 per person, exclusive of taxes and fees. The Hamburger Hop is open to the public, and is ticketed separately from Chicago Gourmet and the Grand Cru. To purchase tickets and for more details, visit Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

College Football Fun
Lillie’s Q, where chef/owner Charlie McKenna serves award-winning competition BBQ along with Southern favorites and sides in Bucktown (1856 W North Ave), will give away one free order of boiled peanuts (regularly $4) to every paying patron wearing Florida State gear while the Seminoles are playing on Saturdays starting September 3.

Lillie’s Q will also sell the boiled peanuts for only $1 to every paying patron wearing any SEC (Southeastern Conference) team gear while their teams are playing during college football Saturdays.

Lillie’s Q will show Florida State and SEC (Southeastern Conference) games on its three flatscreens. McKenna is a proud Florida State graduate and a longtime SEC football fan.

Trump Freaky White Night Wine Dinner
Next month, Sixteen, the Michelin-rated dining destination at Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago, will host an unforgettable “Freaky White Night” wine dinner in partnership with Domaine Select Wine Estates which was named Food & Wine’s 2010 American Wine Awards Importer of the Year. On Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 6:30 p.m., Beverage Director Rachael Lowe will welcome Domaine Select Representative Michael D’Amato – a self-proclaimed “wine freak” – and the pair will guide oenophiles through an exciting journey of seven hand-selected natural white wines that are uniquely created in accordance with celestial forces, including:

Sixteen’s “Freaky White Night” dinner costs $150 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Space is limited. Reservations are required and may be made by sending an e-mail to

Jewish High Holiday Catered Menus
Chicago’s favorite gourmet food store The Goddess and Grocer is pleased to announce its catering menus for the Jewish High Holidays, designed to celebrate the holidays without the stress of cooking. Diners who need delicious solutions to their Rosh Hashanah (September 28-30) and Yom Kippur (October 7-8) gatherings can select from an abundance of freshly prepared soups, salads, appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts and platters from The Goddess and Grocer’s menu, featuring classic holiday favorites with a signature Goddess touch.

Available from Tuesday, September 27 to Sunday, October 8, The Goddess and Grocer’s menu offers specialties that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds when celebrating the New Year or breaking the fast during Yom Kippur.

All items on The Goddess and Grocer’s holiday catering menu will also be for sale in-store at its three locations (Gold Coast – 25 E. Delaware; Bucktown – 1646 N. Damen; and Elston – 2222 N. Elston) beginning September 27.

Orders must be placed by Monday, September 26 at 3pm, and can be made by calling (773) 292-7100, sending an e-mail to, or faxing details to (773) 292-7117. A credit card is required to secure orders. Delivery is available for an additional fee.

SushiSamba Brazilian Independence Day Celebration
SUSHISAMBA rio’s pays homage to its culinary heritage by hosting a lively celebration to mark Brazil’s Independence Day on Wednesday, September 7, 2011. The River North restaurant will feature a spectacular evening of Carnaval-costumed samba dancers and a live Brazilian band during performances that take place at 8 and 9 p.m.

Mercadito Celebrates Mexican Independence Day
To celebrate Mexican Independence Day, a holiday revered by Mexicans worldwide, Chef Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito(108 W. Kinzie St) will showcase his authentic recipes for the Mexican Independence Day Cooking Demonstration on Monday, September 12 from 6 to 9pm at Double A, located beneath Mercadito. Similar to the 4th of July, Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations center around food. Chef Patricio will demonstrate how to make traditional celebratory dishes such as pozole soup and homemade fruit-filled tamales with the main event of a whole roasted suckling pig or lechón craved tableside for cooking demo guests. The cost is $55 per guest, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 312.329.9555.

Sepia Wine Dinner
Sepia restaurant will be hosting on September 19. The Michelin star-rated restaurant is teaming up with Brooks Winery to present a four-course tasting menu paired with a unique lineup from the Oregon winery. The event will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner. The cost is $95 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312.441.1920.

With summer coming to an end in the coming weeks, Chicago diners can look forward to bringing the party indoors at River North hot spot SUSHISAMBA rio (504 N. Wells Street). The restaurant, with its worldly cuisine continues the Sushi & Sake 101 series; the signature sushi and sake classes led by Sake Sommelier Hayes Swope. Guests can sample SUSHISAMBA’s 60 plus sake offerings paired with delectable bites whilelearning the art of sushi and how to make it at home, led by Sushi Chef Shigeru Kitano.

Sushi & Sake 101 classes are held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. They are $75 per person and limited seating is available. Classes will be held on the following dates:
Tuesday, September 13
Tuesday, October 11
Tuesday, November 8
Tuesday, December 13

Reservations for Sushi & Sake 101 are recommended and can be made by calling the restaurant at 312.595.2300. Gift cards to classes are available for purchase at SUSHISAMBA rio.

Lockwood Wine Classes
This fall and winter, step into the beauty that is the historic Palmer House Hilton and experience a wine journey like no other! The Bar at Lockwood, located in the Lobby of the property, will continue with The Regional Wine Journey – an exploration of the world’s most thriving wine destinations. This series of bi-weekly classes will be held every other Tuesday from September through December 2011.

Hosted by Lockwood Wine Director Sasa Sinanagic, each class will feature a different region while focusing on the history and individual fermenting process native to that region. The classes run from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and are $25/per attending oenophile. The price includes wine pairings along with a selection of charcuterie, cheese and other various accompaniments.

The following schedule will be explored this season:
September 6, 2011: Port
September 20, 2011: Madeira
October 4, 2011: Riesling
October 18, 2011: Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
September 6, 2011: Wines of Austria
November 1, 2011: Malbec
November 15, 2011: Wines ofCroatia
November 29, 2011: RedBordeaux varietals
December 13, 2011: Syrah/Shiraz
December 27, 2011: Madeira
Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (312) 917-3404 or online at
Joe Campagna is the Chicago Food Snob. A former restaurant General Manager, Server and Chef you can find him on twitter @chifoodsnob. You can reach him through email at Joe is retained as a compensated blogger by Pei Wei Asian Diner and also contributes to Eater Chicago.

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