Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lite Bites: What Your Favorite Chefs & Mixologists Are Up To Around Town This Week


Four talented local toques gather at Tom Van Lente's TWO restaurant in West Town for a memorable, pork-focused feast. Van Lente, along with Derek Simcik (Atwood Cafe), Aaron Thebault (Girl & the Goat) and John Manion (La Sirena Clandestina), will create multiple courses from a whole Mangalitsa pig that will be paired with beer, wine and cocktails. Ninety bucks will get you smoked loin carpaccio, chile-smoked pork shoulder and pork fat buttermilk funnel cake. The event happens at 5pm Sept. 8 and a portion of the proceeds benefits charity.

Naha chef Carrie Nahabedian

• Several women in the culinary industry will be honored at this special dinner to kick off the annual Chicago Gourmet. The likes of Rohini Dey (Vermilion), Carrie Nahabedian (Naha/Brindille) and Mindy Segal of (Hot Chocolate) will serve some of their specialty dishes. Tickets are $70 per person (includes cocktails and wine) and proceeds benefit the James Beard Foundation Vermilion Women in Culinary Leadership Scholarship. The event takes place 6-9pm Sept. 25 at Vermilion and tickets are available by calling the restaurant.

• Help end childhood hunger by participating in Share Our Strength's annual Dine Out campaign. A portion of proceeds from local restaurants will benefit the charity when you dine out in September.

• "I'm a huge fan of Elvis Costello because he's a true artist," says Allium's Kevin Hickey. "He's versatile when it comes to music, and I see myself in the same way when it comes to food. I can easily go from fried chicken to foie gras." If Hickey's foie gras is even half as great as his fried chicken (It's on special throughout the month), definitely save us a table!

Grace partner/chef Curtis Duffy looking like a rock star (Photo: Michael Muser)

Cultivate Chicago returns to Lincoln Park showcasing even more local and national culinary talent. The free event is hosted by Chipotle and this year features hot shots Curtis Duffy (Grace), Paul Kahan (Avec/Big Star/Publican/Publican Quality Meat), Big Gay Ice Cream, Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot/Graham Elliot Bistro) and Tony Mantuano (Terzo Piano/Spiaggia). Expect also live music, cooking demos, local food artisans and more. The event happens 11am-7pm Sept. 7.

• Oh, Charlie Trotter. Just apologize already!

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