It has been a long time since I have updated The Motherloot blog, but I couldn’t wait to share with you our experience this past month getting to be a part of the Priceless Chicago Rock Your Palate series that is being sponsored by Mastercard. My husband and I were invited to attend one of their priceless experiences for a fun date night and to see what these fun experiences were all about.
The Rock Your Palate series is an event that brings together Chicago’s finest chefs, artists, musicians, and tastemakers for a culinary collaboration that is inspired by the city’s musical heritage.
The September kickoff event that we attended was held at the Floating World Gallery in Lincoln Park and featured the works of music photographer Michael Weintraub and a pop-up dinner by by Spiaggia’s Executive Chef Sarah Grueneberg and Dirk Flanigan, James Beard “Rising Star” 2011 and Chef at Henri and The Gage. The menu included appetizers like veal tartar with truffles and pecorino and even a charred octopus with Santa Claus Melon, black pepper cream, & Coco Nib.
Among our favorite dishes was Flannigan’s loin of venison with mustard greens, hen of the woods mushrooms, and huckleberries and Gruenberg’s tie die pasta that was served with baby beets, mint pesto, crescenza cheese, and poppy seeds. All of the food was so delicious and it was such an amazing way to experience foods that we would never have the opportunity to experience otherwise.
Mixologist Bobby G. Gleason prepared unique cocktail pairings with each course and drinks were served to the guests as they entered. Among our favorites were the Effen Cucumber Cup with cucumber vodka, lemon sour, and lemon lime soda and the delicious Devil’s Tangerine Julep prepared with Devil’s Cut Bourbun, tangerines, and fresh mint. Wine was also offered to the guests which makes it very difficult for a girl to review an experience when she has been enjoying so many delicious cocktails throughout the night. They were all delightful though and the sheer amount of food and beverages that was offered for this event made it a great value for your money.
Music completed the evening with a DJ that spun amazing tunes from electronica to jazz to blues, that created a fun atmopshere while enjoying all the food. Michael Weintrob’s photography of local musicians surrounded the tables and gave you a chance to mingle and really enjoy the art while enjoying one of the evening’s yummy drinks. We happened to snag a seat by the percussionist, Ricardo Gonzalez (Ricky G.) who kept our table highly entertained throughout the evening and we all agreed, really knew how to work a room!
A photo booth was even set up with instruments to create a fun photo memento of such a memorable night. My husband and I loved getting to do that when we came in and immediately loosened up for a fun evening together.
Of course the highlight for me was getting to sit down and talk to the chefs about their experience doing an event like this and hearing about their story and their family’s stories in the kitchen. There is truly nothing I admire more than workmanship of great chefs and I can’t imagine how much orchestration it would take to do a pop-up event like this in a gallery. We were in total admiration of these chefs and how they seemed completely unruffled pulling an event like this together. It was amazing night that we will always remember.
Tickets for these events are $90. If you missed it, you can still check out “Rock Your Palate” in either November or December. According to the Chicagoist, the November program will feature three evenings of fun and food from the minds of Chef Chris Pandel from Bristol and Belena and mixologist Ravae Scheinder.
Stay tuned for more information on the Mastercard Priceless Chicago page and visit the site for more details on other fun experiences happening in the Chicago area!