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Fighting Hunger with Naha and the Greater Chicago Food Depository

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jan 17, 2011 5:00PM

Last Wednesday, we attended the latest "86 Hunger" dinner at Naha, benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository. This series of dinners, hosted by some of Chicago's best chefs, brings together food lovers who care about problem of hunger in the city. They got a chance to eat some great food and donated a fairly serious chunk of money to charity. When the dinner is cooked by Sarah Stegner (of Prairie Fire) and Carrie Nahabedian (of Naha) it goes without saying that the food will be worthy of the cause. If you like what you see, there are two more 86 Hunger dinners coming up in the next few weeks, hosted by Custom House and Boka - check for details after the jump.

Food Depository Executive Director Kate Maehr gave a moving announcement about the importance of the dinners. She reminded us that more and more people were coming to the food pantries in need up help - 1 in 8 people in Cook County required food assistance last year. But, thanks to the hard work of the food depository and many generous donations, "No one was turned away, and there was food for everyone." The ticket price of the dinner went straight to the food depository, and the chefs offered their services for free.

The food was impressive. The dinner started with a house-made lamb sausage from Mint Creek Farms lamb, served with candied fennel, roasted garlic and polenta. Our favorite course of the evening was the Chesapeake Bay striped bass served alongside dungeness crab legs. Grey Goose vodka provided two speciality cocktails, and each course was paired with a wonderful wine.

Interested in participating in Lets 86 Hunger? The next dinner is on January 27th, at Custom House Tavern. After that, on February 1, an all-star lineup cooks at Boka. Stephanie Izard, Ryan Poli (of Perennial) and Carl Shelton and Kady Yon (of Boka) will be in the kitchen, for a one-time-only meet up. Even if the money wasn't doing so much good, this dinner would be worth the $150 price tag! Buy tickets online - but hurry, these events will likely sell out.