James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner

Can you ever really go to too many of these delicious dinner events? You don’t really need a reason, but since boyfriend & I are trying to cut back on spending so much at events… who says you can’t celebrate his new job more than once?! I say more celebrations!!!!

So the James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner was at the famous Publican, one of Paul Kahan’s babies :D

We had an early reservation so we were there by around 5pm to munch on h’orderves and drink champagne.

Delicious fresh cheesy spicy pork rinds. Completely addicting and they kept coming…

East Coast vs West Coast oysters. I preferred the East Coast (chyeaaah!!!) they were lighter… while the West Coast ones were meatier, they were more in your face, sea-tasting.

Smoked Black Cod.. this was soooo good :D

After chitchatting for awhile, we were seated…. our waiter came over and explained the whole menu and started us off with some bread.

Yummy bread with chewy outside and soft fluffy innards.

sweet delicata squash – koren grieveson
heirloom apples, sicilian pistachios, fiore sardo, baby chard

paired with 2008 blackbird vineyard “arrivisite” napa valley

YUM! You know I love squash and delicata squash is so “corny” and tasty :] But how come my roasted delicatas never come out this flavorful?!… I loved it!

turbot & crispy sweetbreads – paul kahan
golden turnips, orange & lucques olives

paired with sophie, goose island brewery, chicago il

This was the favorite savory dish of the night (well for me and boyfriend) I have been wanting to try sweetbreads for awhile, so this was the absolute best setting to do it. Thaks Paul Kahan :D I also really enjoyed the beer that went with it.

slow roasted goat & crispy goat prosciutto – mike sheerin
crab apples, dates & hazelnut oil

paired with 2006 blackbird vineyards “arise” napa valley

This was a bit too goaty tasting for me. Surprisingly, this is the first goat dish I’ve had that actually tasted a bit too gamey for me.

suckling pig – brian huston
canadice grapes, matsutake mushrooms, cavolo nero & verjus

paired with 2006 blackbird vineyards “illustration” napa valley

You can never go wrong with suckling pig. It was delicious, a tad on the salty side, but delicious none the less. I loved the mushrooms and the little grapes on the side!

sweet potato panna cotta – becky broeske
smoked cider, milk chocolate & bourbon ice cream

paired with conquistador de la meurte, three floyds brewery, munster, in

BEST. DESSERT. EVER. It was the best dish of the night and it was surprisingly amazing.  According to boyfriend, it totally changed his life. All the flavor components and texture. The crunch, the smooth and velvetyness. The coolness of the ice cream. Simply amazing. We actually ate this in complete silence. YES. It was THAT. GOOD.


Curious about what we ate beforehand? Boyfriend tried out a pumpkin soup for lunch.

Pretty, isn’t it? :] Read about it on his blog here.


  1. that dessert looks DIVINE. i need to look at your food porn AFTER lunches. =D


  2. that dessert DOES look divine. ur so pretty and u guys make such a cuuuute couple! i love how ur always going to these awesome dinners. update more often!!



  1. […] These are so delicious. I had my first sweetbread (finally) a few weeks ago at Publican at the James Beard Dinner…  sooo […]


  2. […] remember having these awhile back at the James Beard event/dinner here at Publican – freaking life changing. Cheesy, spicy crunchy super fresh, crispy and not […]


  3. […] James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner was at the famous Paul Kahan’s Publican in Chicago […]


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