Monday, September 18, 2023

another PAUSE dinner

Last night we attended the Pause for the Cause charity dinner supporting Vibrant Emotional Health. At this now twice yearly event, coordinated by Rebecca Kolko Friedlander, winos and somms and chefs, from across Chicago, all come together to support the national suicide prevention hotline at 988.

Vibrant Emotional Health is a leader in suicide prevention and the administrator of The 988 Lifeline. Since the easy-to-remember number launched in 2022, the Lifeline received nearly 5 million calls, texts, and chats from people reaching out for support. This is a 2 million increase over the previous year! 

  • Of the 5 million contacts in the past year, more than 700,000 were routed to the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL). 
  • We also shortened the wait time to 41 seconds—down from more than 2 minutes and 39 seconds. 

These numbers are more than just statistics; they embody the resilience and determination of countless individuals on their journey toward emotional healing.

Together, we are advancing access, dignity, and respect for all.

To me, each of these encounters is most importantly an opportunity to help a person in need, to give them hope and a sense of worth. This work is so important. Over the years (starting in 2018) our hospitality community has come together to support the hotline's work and raised several hundred thousand dollars. 

Tonight we gathered at Obelix in collaboration with El Che in the kitchen and Somms from many Chicago's top restaurants for a festive meal featuring many wonderful shared wines. 

the wines (mostly from us and from the Arkebauers - our dining partners)

Dish of the evening was definitely the lobster pie, the wine was IMO the chenin (the first wine shown).  tonight we will meet our buddies Ron & Mary to celebrate TEITUR with the traditional burger meal. This time we will do the dinner at Brownstone nearby. Some photos of Teitur himself... taken off the internet - and yes it's a long story... found here- if you want to know -

Sunday, September 17, 2023

the saga continues - more out and about

 dinners - I cooked a left over meal for late night after Phil had a concert.  Then the next day, we met friends Ron & Mary for the latest iteration of menus at  George Trois,  Mid week we went out for Sichuan food. Tonight, it will be Italian with Mike & Leslie at Il Milanese.  The big event Pause for the Cause charity dinner for Vibrant Emotional Health (National Suicide Prevention Hotline) which we have the menu for already - at Obelix, in collaboration with El Che.  My free form pasta for late night dinner. 

then George Trois 

then our mid week Chinese- 

and here are photos of tonight's dinner at Il Milanese with Mike & Leslie....

and the menu for tomorrow night's Pause for the Cause dinner!

Course 1
Seafood Assiette (this will be a collaborative course featuring cold crudo items from Obelix and cooked/warm options from El Che)
● El Che (Baked Oyster)
○ Delaware Oysters baked a sauce inspired by Brazilian fish stew
○ Skull Island Prawns (salsa macha)

○ Tuna Belly - Seared Foie - Tare - Japanese Mustard and Truffle Vinaigrette - Umeboshi and fresh plum puree - Crispy Rice

Course 2
● El Che Sweetbreads
○ (smoked at El Che, for service they will be brushing with rendered beef fat and either searing in cast irons or kissing on our grill) served with chimichurri aioli -grilled lemon
○ Obelix (Duo of Pork) Crispy tete de cochon, blood pudding, celery root & apple relish - apple butter mostarda

Course 3
● Fish Course (Lobster Pithivier)
-Poached Lobster, lobster mushroom, corn, granny smith apple, torpedo shallot, Scallion, tarragon, parsley chive, all wrapped in a scallop mousse. Lightly steamed and wrapped in savoy cabbage. Wrapped in pate brisee and baked till golden brown, finished with sauce Americaine and confit tomato.

Course 4
● El Che
○ Grilled Spinalis served with Individual Bone Marrow - Tomato Jam - Baguette
● Obelix (Dry aged Duck breast) Pomme Frites, Duck Au Poivre Prepared “Manion” Style

so as usual we never go hungry... 

Monday's dinner is with Ron & Mary to celebrate TEITUR with the traditional burger meal. This time we will do the dinner at Brownstone nearby. Some photos of Teitur himself... taken off the internet - and yes it's a long story...
found here- if you want to know -

We are on our way to DC this next week to spend some time with cousin Megan, who will be in from Madrid to do some work on the home she and her husband own in DC.... so busy busy busy....