Baconfest Chicago may have been the best co-idea I’ve ever had in all my life (excluding my marriage of course). There I’ve said it. Not only did it culminate in the stellar events at the Publican last Fall and the Mansion on April 10th (see PRESS), it continues to yield fruitful and fun relationships with so many of the great chefs and vendors we met whilst spinning our bacony web.
Last week, Baconfest Michael, along with several of our extended Baconfest inner circle spent some quality, and I mean QUALITY time at Chalkboard Restaurant in Linclon Square. Chef Gil Langlois (great friend to Baconfest Chicago and one of the original 10 pioneer BFC chefs), seriously pulled out ALL of the stops for them.
Two of our posse (Jeff and Beth) went Monday for a little romantic dinner for two, and were treated to such a culinary feast that they decided to return for “Fried Chicken and Champagne Night” on Wednesday with Baconfest Mike and 4 other friends. Upon seeing their return, Chef Langlois customized a menu-based selection of tastings for them. I was not there (DAMN YOU WORK!), but by all accounts, those were two transcendent evenings of eating.
I only wish they took better photos. Below is a blow by blow from Beth of the food sampled, some photos and two video-shorts we shot at Chalkboard over the past year. I was gonna edit down her recap – but couldn’t bring myself to. If you haven’t been to Chalkboard yet, well… FIX THAT SOON!
Stay tuned for announcements regarding some upcoming restaurant-specific satellite events we’ll be co-hosting with some of our Baconfest Chicago chefs – as well as preliminary leaks about our plans for next year’s BACONFEST CHICAGO 2011. Yes friends, there will be a next year!! We learned a TON – and … well… I won’t get a head of myself. Let’s just say, IT WILL BE THE CULINARY EVENT OF THE SEASON or my name isn’t Andre Von Baconvitch!
Video-shorts featuring Chalkboard and Chef Gil Langlois (and his SUPER cute son Owen).
Chalkboard Restaurant Week of May 10, 2010 recap from Beth Spencer.
“Jeff and I went to Chalkboard for dinner on Monday May 10th. This was our second visit to Chalkboard and we had the same wonderful waiter Alex. We started off with a lovely bottle of Easton Zinfandel (one great reason to go to Chalkboard on a Monday night – 1/2 price bottle of wine night!) To begin we had the Cheese Plate. It was delectable! There were 3 different kinds of cheeses, grapes, figs, almonds–the perfect pairings with these cheese selections! For dinner I had their famous Southern Fried Chicken served on a bed of mashed potatoes with white sausage gravy and sauteed collared greens. Perfect. The greens had the perfect amount of crunch and were very flavorful and the chicken was perfectly cooked so that it was juicy on the inside and crunchy and flavorful on the outside. Jeff had the Duck. Simply, it blew his mind. We also shared the Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese which was to die for! But that was not the end of our evening at Chalkboard.
Gil said that if he had some time he would make us some of the Bacon Ice Cream for dessert…and boy did he!! [A HUGE SMASH AT BACONFEST CHICAGO] After our meal, Gil came over with a white coffee cup and two small ramekins. In the coffee cup was the bacon ice cream. And this wasn’t just bacon flavored ice cream-there were big meaty chunks of bacon. In one of the ramekins there was caramel sauce and in the other there was curried bacon cotton candy. First he poured the caramel onto the ice cream and then the cotton candy. There are not enough words to explain how amazing this dessert was! We decided to get two glasses of port to round out this evening of perfection…but it still wasn’t over. Gil brought out a dessert salad. It consisted of a mixture of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and gooseberries. There was fennel pollen and herbs topped with shaved lemonade ice cubes. The amount of flavor going on in this dessert was absolutely fantastic! And, last but not least Gil brought out one more glorious treat…manhattan milkshakes. They were 100% divine. Gil & Alex gave us a wonderful and magnificent evening.
We decided to return to Chalkboard on Wednesday with Mike, Josh, Melissa and Erin. We went planning on partaking in the Wednesday Fried Chicken & Champagne special that they run…but we got something even better! Gil came over to say hello to our table and told us that he was just going to start bringing us food. He astounded us with an amazing tasting! It began with the cheese plate, then scallops, then the pate, then the duck, the fried chicken, bacon ice cream, the dessert salad, chocolate chip cookie dough eggrolls…and lets not forget that he also paired each of these amazing items with the perfect beverage. White wine, red wine, sparkling wine, beer, and lastly the sublime manhattan milkshake! It was quite possibly the best meal I’ve ever had in my entire life.”
Thank you Beth for the report.
BACON NATION, if you’ve not yet been, give Chalkboard a try! Ask for Gil or Alex and tell them Baconfest Chicago sent you and you must try the Bacon Ice Cream! If enough of you ask for it, Chef Gil just might have to make it a permanent fixture on the menu!!
Jeff and Chef Langlois
Beth enjoying the meal.