Chances are you’ll be hungry on Thursday so why not plan ahead and get tickets for Common Threads' second annual World Cookout? The event, which takes place at Fulton's on the River from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., will see some of Chicago's best chefs coming together to cook and raise awareness for Common Threads, a Chicago based non-profit that teaches low-income children how to cook healthy and affordable meals to help prevent childhood obesity and celebrate cultural differences.
Mercadito already makes some kick ass tacos, but throughout the next year, they’re taking things up a notch with their Guest Chef Taco Series called Tacos for Strength.
The restaurants, located in New York, Chicago and Miami, have tapped the likes of Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat), Ryan Poli (Perennial), Jimmy Bannos, Jr. (Purple Pig) and Michael Fiorello (Mercat a la Planxa) from Chicago; Wylie Dufresne (wd-50), Peter Hoffman (Savoy) and Rodelio Aglibot (BLT) from New York; and Michael Schwartz (Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink), Clay Conley (Azul) and Thomas Buckley (Nobu) from Miami to create special tacos for Mercadito to raise funds and awareness for Share Our Strength, a nationwide organization that works to stamp our childhood hunger.
Alinea vet Jeff Pikus will be executive chef at Maude’s Liquor Bar, the latest venture from Gilt Bar owner Brendan Sodikoff. Pikus, currently in the kitchen at Gilt Bar and who has cooked with Ryan Poli at Perennial, will oversee the menu for what Sodikoff describes as a Paris dive bar.
Sodikoff said the the space will be more of a rustic “bar with food” and will feature a raw bar, lots of shellfish and grilled items, housemade sausage, steak tartare and maybe even steak frites. He also mentioned that Gilt’s roasted bone marrow and crispy fries will likely appear on the menu at Maude’s.
What started with one restaurant and a cell-phone booth is quickly growing into one of Chicago’s hottest restaurant empires. The Boka Group, which currently owns Boka, Perennial and Landmark (all of which always have excellent offers on Foodie) and will be opening the Girl & The Goat with Stephanie Izard in the next few weeks (fingers crossed!), recently took over the River North space that housed Tizi Melloul. Boka Group co-owner Kevin Boehm told Chicago mag’s Dish last week that they’ve always “loved this location, and so we were always interested if the space ever came up. We are still working on what we are doing there conceptually.” So there’s no news on what sort of restaurant it’ll be, who will helm the kitchen or when it’ll open, but we’ll keep you posted as we get news.
A group of Chicago chefs traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to attend an event headed by First Lady Michelle Obama for the Share Our Strength campaign to end childhood hunger. As it’s been widely reported, Mrs. Obama has made battling childhood obesity her main concern and has teamed with Share Our Strength to help bring awareness to both causes through the new initiative Chefs Move to Schools. She invited more than 600 chefs from across the country to join her on the lawn of the White House to learn about what they could do to help in our school and communities.
The Chicago chefs, Paul Kahan (Blackbird), Koren Grieveson (Avec), Ryan Poli (Perennial), Todd Stein (Cibo Matto), Nick Lacasse (Drawing Room), Jason McLeod (Balsan/Ria), Gale Gand (Tru), Della Gossett (formerly of Charlie Trotter’s), Chris Koetke (Dean of Culinary Arts at Kendall College) and many others traveled to D.C. for a series of speeches, gatherings and seminars. While the purpose of the event was to encourage chefs to adopt schools in their communities to help foster change in dining habits, many chefs feel overwhelmed with their limited time already to take on such a huge endeavor. The Chicago group proposed launching or teaming with an existing food-focused non-profit group to tackle the issues, since it’s such an important situation.