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SAVOR James Beard contest, a new Publican opens and a PAWS event
by Andrew Davis
2024-02-25

This article shared 8480 times since Sun Feb 25, 2024
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Contest: You have a chance to be in on all the action during the chef-studded James Beard Award weekend of June 8 in Chicago.

Among other things, the grand prize winner will get a three-stay in a double-occupancy Hilton Hotels property; a chef's tasting dinner for two at a Chicago-area James Beard Foundation-recognized restaurant; and admission for two to the awards ceremony. (For my out-of-town subscribers, there's also round-trip coach airfare from anywhere in the country.)

Enter by March 31 at www.jamesbeard.org/sweepstakes .

Pop life: Don't forget my other Substack: "Pop-Eds: My takes on pop culture." Thank you so much to the people who've already subscribed. The latest entry (Feb. 24) discusses celebrity scandals and why some minorities vote for Donald Trump. Subscribe to andrew449.Substack.com to get all my thoughts.

Opening: Publican Quality Bread—which supplies wholesale products to more than 120 of Chicago's restaurants and chefs—is launching a second location in Oak Park, at 211 Harrison St., on Feb. 25.

Publican Quality Bread's James Beard Award-winning Baker and Managing Partner Greg Wade is joining partners Paul Kahan, Donnie Madia, Terry Alexander and Eduard Seitan of One Off Hospitality in the expansion. The spot will have the hallmarks of the original West Loop spot with items like lemon meringue croissants, apple cake, tiramisu cones and various sandwiches—but in the evening (4-8 p.m.), the place will center around a capsule program of Roman-style pizza.

For more info, visit www.publicanqualitybread.com .

Success: Choose Chicago, the city's official destination marketing organization, announced initial results of the 2024 Chicago Restaurant Week (CRW)—and it was an unqualified success.

The event featured 423 participating restaurants—61 more than last year, making it the largest CRW since 2020. In addition, the CRW website received record-setting traffic, showing that diners were eager to visit participating restaurants; the website saw 1.34 million page views, an increase of 7.2% compared to 2023, and more than 430,000 clicks to find a table, 32% higher than last year.

"We are so pleased with the outcome of Chicago Restaurant Week," said Choose Chicago Interim President and CEO Rich Gamble in a statement. "Seeing participation numbers reach such strong levels, and with more diversity than ever, tells us that restaurants are enthusiastic about both the exposure and economic impact."

Final numbers will be revealed in the coming months.

Where there's Smoke: BBQ concept Soul & Smoke has teamed with Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., for a saucy culinary collaboration.

Nick Santangelo (Executive Chef, Jake Melnick's Corner Tap) and D'Andre Carter (Chef/Owner, Soul & Smoke) have co-created two limited-edition dishes that will be available at Jake's throughout March: jerk chicken wings and the Soul & Smoke Burger (the latter having Swiss cheese, Soul & Smoke pastrami, apple slaw and "Gold Sauce" in addition to the beef patty).

Reservations can be made through OpenTable or at 312-266-0400.

PAWS for the cause: On Thursday, Feb. 29, 6-8 p.m., The Goddess and Grocer, 1649 N. Damen Ave., will offer an evening of wine, beer and food in support of PAWS Chicago.

A ticket ($40) includes all-you-can-eat and -drink access to wine, beer and non-alcoholic tasting stations from various distributors, as well as grazing stations, passed hors d'oeuvres and desserts provided by The Goddess & Grocer. Each guest will receive a PAWS Chicago wine tumbler courtesy of Carissa Giancarlo with Compass Real Estate.

Visit "Pours 4 PAWS at Goddess + Grocer" on Eventbrite to RSVP.

Wonder womxn: In Chicago, Women's History Month will kick off with the 4th Annual Let's Talk Womxn Chicago celebration, with the 2024 event titled "More Than March."

This Black & Bling Bash will be hosted by more than 30 Chicagoland leading Let's Talk Womxn restaurateurs and entrepreneurs on Friday, March 1, at Moe's Cantina, 155 W. Kinzie St., 4-8 p.m., with additional Let's Talk Womxn celebrations happening nationwide throughout March. Just a few of the ambassadors include Julia Shell (The Albion Manor; The Dandy Crown), Kathy Hardy (A Taste of the Philippines), Rohini Dey (Vermilion), Clodagh Lawless (The Dearborn) and Korina Sanchez (Moe's Cantina).

Tickets are now on sale. VIP admission costs $125 each while general admission (5-8 p.m.) is $95 each; visit LetsTalkWomxn.com .

GIVEAWAY!: There are definitely benefits to being a paid subscriber to SAVOR with Andrew (Future3733.substack.com) and Pop-Eds (Andrew449.substack.com)—including giveaways.

This newest giveaway is a coffee-table book about the Netflix movie Rustin—but, remember, you must be a paid subscriber to have a chance at winning it. (The deadline is March 2.) Thanks and good luck!

If you have tips, hot news, constructive criticism or something else, email me at future3733@yahoo.com . Be sure to put "SAVOR" in the heading.

Note: No reproduction of this column is permitted under any circumstances without express prior written permission.


This article shared 8480 times since Sun Feb 25, 2024
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