by Kate Schmidt
Now we're throwing a party: the Key Ingredient Cook-Off, which will bring together 26 Chicago chefs for a challenge based on the series.
Each participant has been assigned one of five past ingredients: durian, millet, celery, dried shrimp, and (you had a feeling it was coming, didn't you?) Malort. They'll offer tasting portions of their dishes, and attendees will vote for the best in each category, with donations on behalf of the winners going to the Healthy Schools Campaign, as will a portion of the proceeds.
In addition to Ryan LaRoche of NoMi Kitchen, participating chefs include Malort challenger and millet recipient Paula Haney (Hoosier Mama Pie), Paul Virant (Vie, Perennial Virant), David Posey (Blackbird), Phillip Foss (El Ideas), Chris Pandel (the Bristol, Balena), Jared Van Camp (Nellcote, Old Town Social), and Patrick and Mike Sheerin (Trenchermen). Admission also includes a DJ set and complimentary drinks from the likes of Brooklyn Brewery, City Winery, and Tenzing Wine & Spirits, plus (as part of the VIP package) jazz guitar, pre-event bites, and signature cocktails from Scofflaw.
The Key Ingredient Cook-Off is Friday, May 3, from 7 to 10 PM (6 PM start for VIPs) at the Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 31st; tickets are $65 ($100 VIP), available here, where you'll also find a complete list of participating chefs and sponsors.