's Sites We Love Saveur Magazine has listed The Skinny Gourmet among its "Sites We Love"

I've been having a great time checking out Nashville's high end dining on the cheap thanks to Groupon. Have you tried it yet? Its awesome. I don't know why I ever hesitated.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chicago-area Foodie Events for February

What I think I love best about my fellow Chicagoans, is that we are a hearty people. We are also unusually friendly for folks in a big city; but even that, I think, stems ultimately from our heartiness. We are a people who willingly endure punishing cold and prodigious mounds of snow, which means that when we get out in the middle of all that traumatic weather, the triumph of the exodus adds a little something special to the event at hand.

So in honor of all my hybernating breathern, I wanted to pass on information about some great upcoming Chicago-area foodie events. If you can manage to dig yourself out of the snow, that is...

Common Threads is a project involving culinary masters like Gale Gand, Paul Kahan, Nigella Lawson, Carrie Nahabedian, Jamie Oliver, and Charlie Trotter. I had heard before of Jamie Oliver's efforts to get better quality food into the school system in Britain, and this project seems a larger extension of that vision. I have to confess that after reading about their mission, I am a little smitten with this group, and I hope to volunteer--perhaps to teach about African cooking?--after I return to Chicago.

But for those of you who are local, consider participating in their world food extravaganza:
World Festival
Time:6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location:Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL

Event Details:
Taste and celebrate world culture with the country's top chefs. Sample cuisine, sip cocktails, watch performances highlighting countries around the globe, and bid on exciting silent and live auction items to benefit Common Threads. General Admission: $250

If you can't afford the hefty price tag, consider taking part in this amazing event as one of their volunteers.

Cooking Classes at the Chopping Block
This happens to be my favorite place on the north side of Chicago to take cooking classes. They offer a wide variety of one-time and series courses. I absolutely loved my experience in their Pasta Workshop and would heartily recommend it to anyone. However, I found the Meat 101 cooking class a little disappointing. The food was fantastic, and the recipes are ones I have made since, but I am always a little greedy about getting a bounty of wise insights into the process of preparing food. I am a bit of a tough customer in that regard.

The price tag may be a bit high, but the hands-on classes are a wonderful experience. You share your own kitchenette with about four people, and work together to put the recipe together. If you sign up with friends you can easily grab a kitchen together, but otherwise sharing a kitchen is quite a pleasant way to meet other interesting foodies.

Just to be clear, the Chopping Block is not paying me to write this, has not asked me to write this, and frankly probably does not know that I exist. I just found myself drooling over some of their course offerings this month, so I wanted to pass the good info on to my Chicago-area readers.

Focus on Pates and Terrines (all day intensive)
Sunday 02-17-2008, 10AM - 4PM
Cost: $175.00

Come discover the lost art of preparing delicious and elegant pates and terrines. Chicken Liver Pate; Country Pate; Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Galantine; Salmon Mousseline with Shrimp and Scallop Garnishes; Wild Mushroom Terrine. 2 week cancellation policy.

Cook of the Month Club: Sweet and Savory Souffles
Monday 02-11-2008, 10AM - 12:30PM
Cost: $75.00

Come join the culinary fun each month as we teach you the ins and outs of creating delicious recipes and pairing flavors. Goat Cheese and Walnut Souffle; Spinach and Crab Souffle; Ginger and Pumpkin Souffle; Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle. 2 week cancellation policy.

They also feature both a hands-on and a demo class for cooking a Romantic Dinner for Two. Although I always favor a hands-on class (especially when the price tag is only $10 more in this case!), I have to say I find the menu offering for the demo class the more interesting of the two.

These classes fill up fast, so if they are gone by the time you check them out, look ahead to some of the tasty offerings in March. I will probably try to take the Bread Workshop after I return!


chou said...

Does that mean you're back in the states? Thanks for the link to volunteering for that oh-so-pricey event. :)

Erin said...

I am still happily in Ghana but will sadly be missing all the fun. but just because I can't partake, doesnt mean you all shouldn't be able to! Please let me know if you volunteer. It looked like an amazing opportunity to get the inside scoop on a really swanky affair that would otherwise be way out of my price range!

Allison said...

One of these days I'm going to have to make it out to Chicago! Oh, and tag you're it! :D

ei! kumpel said...

I will visit chicago for the first time in a few weeks, but not on the dates of these events... pity, sounds really great!

Tracy said...

Boo hoo, I miss Chicago ...

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