[photo by Al Podgorski/Sun-Times]
Love to cook? Hugh Amano wants you. Haven't a clue how to cook? He wants you. Love to eat and talk? You're in, too.
Amano, a Chicago food blogger and cooking school instructor, is starting what he's calling a food-based "salon series" that he hopes will draw both novices and pros to the table to cook, eat and converse.
"It's a setting somewhere in between a class and say, an underground dinner, presenting simple food, instruction, then the sharing of the meal over conversation," Amano says.
His Lincoln Square apartment will be the salon, and he will provide the ingredients and equipment.
It's meant to be intimate -- roughly six at a time -- and "non-exclusive," and geared toward making you a better cook, he says.
"I want to connect those of you who are experts in, say, theater, with those of you who keep bees. Those of you who eat regularly at places like Alinea, and those of you who visit taquerias and hot dog stands on a daily basis," he wrote on his blog, Food on the Dole.
Amano started the blog in late 2008 after being laid off from his sous chef job. His theme, on the blog and in life, has been about eating well on limited means by cooking at home. To that end, he has organized occasional potlucks and "pie-offs."
He hopes to turn the salons into a weekly event, adding morning sessions and, come summer, trips to farmers markets to precede the cooking and eating.
The first Food on the Dole salon is March 10, and the cost is $50. Roast chicken will be the main course.
For location details and to sign up, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to foodonthedole.blogspot.com.