Monday, April 30, 2007

Cooking with The Ghet

Saturday night was my initiation with The Ghetto Gourmet. You may have heard of these renegade foodies. In the past few months they've been featured everywhere from Bon Appetit to Gaper's Block. The folks at The Ghet host underground dinner parties, complete with local musicians. Guests purchase tickets in advance for a preset menu at a secret location that is disclosed just prior to the event. It's a food rave, if you will.

The space for Saturday night's event was a community center on the south side. The walls were covered in original paintings and artwork, and the ceiling was draped in organza of various colors. Members of the center pitched in to serve the guests, bus tables, do dishes, and hula hoop. No joke.

Cooking with Chef Efrain was a blast, and much more laid back than I expected. We hosted somewhere between 30 and 40 guests. It was great to do things that I don't get to do at my job - savory items, plating, etc. And when it came time to make the rosemary caramel sauce for dessert, you know I was all over it. This was the menu:

Forbidden Empanadas
Ground Pork, Granny Smith Apples and Dried Cherries.
W/ Truffled Onion Jelly

312 Beer Cheese Soup w/ Brie, Soyrizo, and Manchego

Marinated Flank Steak w/ 2 Sauces
Fresh Tomato w/ Hawaiian Black Sea Salt
Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper and Sweet Onion
Crispy Lentil Cakes w/ Parsley
Avocado Macadamia Muffins w/ Herbed butter

Almond and Hazelnut Tart w/ Poached Apples and Rosemary Carame

Everything was fantastic, but the soup really stood out. It was chock full of cheese and veg, such a nice, hearty option. Efrain's a talented guy.

If you're in the Chicago area and are interested in coming to dinner, The Ghet is hosting two more dinners this weekend. I'll be cooking with them again on Saturday night. They also host events in San Fran, LA, and New York City. Get more info at www.theghet.com

(food)Rave On!

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