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Art And Cuisine Combine At Makin' It

By Erika Kubick in Food on Jul 16, 2014 7:30PM

Last night, Rhône Valley Wines and Underground Eats came together to present Makin’ It, the second of a series of pop-up dinners pairing audacious artists and courageous chefs. (I attended the event on a press comp.)

The night commenced with the musical stylings of DJ Vourteque, a steampunk-influenced Chicago DJ, who served as a background to Jason Brammer’s live painting. As the sun set over Chicago’s skyline, Brammer detailed his incredibly realistic three-dimensional seascape using little more than paint, plaster and canvas, though the naked eye would expect several more mediums. Once the finishing touches were made, Brammer stepped down and gave the stage to a duo of fire dancers who performed under the city lights.

Once the live art concluded, the evening gave way to the incredibly inventive culinary stylings of EL Idea’s owner/executive chef Phillip Foss, showcased his fearless, refined culinary talents, from chicken liver mousse-infused twix hors d'oeuvres to the final entrée, a steak frites meets beef bourguignon featuring a 45-day aged steak from Slagel Family Farms. In addition to displaying the artful combination of flavor and texture, the dinner also revealed the impressive versatility of Rhône Valley Wines, from the cool, strawberry notes of the Tavel Prieuré de Montézargues 2013 to the brown buttery quality of the Côtes du Rhône Gabriel Meffre Louis Bernard 2012.

Overall, the evening took the combination of performance art and cuisine beyond dinner and a show, Rhône Valley Wines and Underground Eats created an entire wine-pairing experience, transforming the concept of a wine dinner from pretentious pairing to a lively encounter. I’ll be looking forward to more innovative events akin to this one in the future.