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No Pumpkins at "Sound Opinions" dinner

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Two music critics, five courses, five wines and a whole lotta music -- that's the formula for an unusual and intimate dinner on Friday, June 19, to benefit WBEZ-91.5 FM.

The Sun-Times' Jim DeRogatis and the Tribune's Greg Kot of WBEZ's "Sound Opinions" will host the five-course dinner, which is limited to 40 seats and is being held at an undisclosed spot on the South Side.

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Each course will be paired with an album and wines from Candid Wines. Or rather, each course will be crafted according to the album chosen (a collaborative process between DeRogatis, Kot, Cuevas and his cooks).

Chef Efrain Cuevas of Clandestino, an underground dining club, is still finessing the menu. But here's how the night of music and grub is shaping up:

Course 1: "Hoodoo Man Blues," Junior Wells and Buddy Guy
Memphis-style pulled pork. "We're still playing around with that," Cuevas says.

Course 2: "Like Water for Chocolate," Common
The Chicago rapper is a vegetarian. Hence, a salad of grilled beets, carrots and other veggies roasted in a chocolate and ancho chile mole, with watercress.

Course 3: "Superfly," Curtis Mayfield
The movie "has two different things going on -- exploiting street life but at the same time, showing all the problems in the inner city." Chicken and greens, with the chicken two ways -- the dark meat used in agnolotti, the breast flattened and made into a roulade.

Course 4: "Throb Throb," Naked Raygun
Hanger steak, with fire-roasted tomatoes, various sauces. Plating is "going to be graffiti, roadkill-type of scene."

Dessert: "We'll Never Turn Back," Mavis Staples
Juneberry cobbler, an "old-school dessert," because "her last record is kind of a throwback to the '60s civil rights movement." (Juneberries, Cuevas tells us, grow on the UIC campus. That's where he hopes to harvest them.)

More details are to come on Cuevas' Clandestino"Web site.

The dinner is a steep $250. As Cuevas says, "It's important. And music's important."

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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