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Segal Rounds Up All Star Cast For Hot Chocolate's 5th Anniversary Dinner

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 22, 2010 8:30PM

Venison loin and roulade with celery root puree and preserved Door County blackberry from Hot Chocolate's Mark Steuer

Although it happened in February, Hot Chocolate's fourth anniversary dinner still stood as my favorite overall dining experience last year. It was a seven-course marathon that increased in intensity and flavor with every dish, paired with some heavy duty beers and a music soundtrack that ranged from early Black Sabbath to pre-"Black Album" Metallica to the Twilight Singers. The proceeds from the dinner went to Share Our Strength, the DC-based non-profit dedicated to eliminating hunger in America by 2015. Quite simply, I was exhausted at the end of the meal.

Hot Chocolate owner Mindy Segal told me in November that she was looking to raise the expectation levels of both the diners and chefs she invites to cook for the fifth anniversary dinner. To that end, Segal is paying respects to those who helped her find her way as a chef. mk's Michael Kornick and Blackbird's Paul Kahan will each prepare a dish for the dinner. Urban Belly/Belly Shack boss Bill Kim returns from last year. Rounding out the lineup are Vie's Paul Virant, Nick Lessins of Great Lake and Aric Miech. Like last year, the dinner will feature beer pairings from six different breweries.

Hot Chocolate's fifth anniversary dinner is scheduled for February 22. The cost is $150 and will benefit Share Our Strength. the dinner will sell out; RSVP to 773-489-1747 or by emailing Natalie Lauzon, Hot Chocolate's event coordinator. (In the interest of full disclosure, I need to point out that Segal, Kornick and I are on the planning committee for Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation event fundraiser.)