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"Rock Your Palate" Blends Art, Food, Music

By John DiGilio in Food on Sep 17, 2012 9:20PM

What do you get when you combine the culinary creativity of some of the hottest local chefs with the sound stylings of eclectic live musicians and the visual wizardry of celebrated artists? Some experiences are meant to savored by all the senses. Few opportunities exemplify full-sensory fun better than MasterCard's "Rock Your Palate" series.

This series of musical and culinary events consists of three different "pop-up exhibitions", designed to celebrate Chicago's musical heritage. The first of these happened last week, but there are two more in November and December. Each exhibitions is themed and consists of daytime and nighttime events. The September kickoff was held at the Floating World Gallery in Lincoln Park and featured the works of music photographer Michael Weintraub.

We took part in the evening event that was featured last Friday. A pop-up feast was prepared by Spaggia's Executive Chef Sarah Grueneberg and Dirk Flanigan, James Beard “Rising Star” 2011 and Chef at Henri and The Gage. The menu included appetizers like baby artichokes with buffalo ricotta and seared octopus with melon and black pepper cream sauce and entrees such as Flannigan's loin of venison with mustard greens, hen of the woods mushrooms, and huckleberries. The cocktails that were paired with each course ranged from crisp Cucumber Cup, made with Effen Cucumber Vodka, to the heady, heavy Rye Main Course, made with Knob Creek Rye and Cabernet Sauvignon.

While guests dined amidst Weintraub's photography, the night was made complete by the snappy tunes of percussionist Ricardo Gonzalez. It was hard to sit still and dancing soon followed dessert.

Tickets are $90. If you missed it, you can still check out "Rock Your Palate" in either November or December. The November program will feature three evenings of fun and food from the minds of Chef Chris Pandel from Bristol and Belena and mixologist Ravae Scheinder. Details are not avalable just yet, but keep an eye on the MasterCard Priceless Chicago site to snag tickets when they are!

Photos courtesy of Caroline Dixey.

Floating World Gallery is located at 1925 N. Halsted St.