Friday Foodie Forecast: Earth Day and chef collaborations

April 22, 2011

While Easter brunches and Passover Seder dinners have all but taken over food talk this week, the coming days also feature some noteworthy chef-driven collaborations. Death’s Door Spirits will be serving up specialty cocktails at Province where Chef Randy Zweiban joins forces with City Provisions Chef Cleetus Friedman, creating a multi-course, seasonal, sustainable dinner in honor of Earth Day. Chicago’s Blackbird will be teaming up with Napa’s BlackbirdVineyards that is – for a customized dinner and wine pairing, while Quartino is throwing a bash showcasing Chef John Coletta’s fare and Italy’s fine wines as well. Here’s to classic couplings and the spirit of teamwork – cheers!

Province Celebrates Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, Chef Randy Zweiban of Province invites Chef Cleetus Friedman of City Provisions over to his West Loop kitchen for a one-of-a kind collaboration Friday, April 22, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Guests will be treated to multi-course, sustainable finger foods sourced from three local farms – including skirt steak taquitos with ancho-chipotle aioli and Cuban pork sandwiches with pickles and mustard salsa – paired with cocktail creations from Death’s Door Spirits. Tickets are $55 per person and include food and drink (as well as tax and gratuity). A portion of the proceeds will benefit Chefs Collaborative – a nonprofit network of chefs promoting sustainable cuisine by teaching children, supporting local farmers, educating one another and inspiring the public to choose good, clean food – Organic Valley will also match all donations. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Province at 312-669-9900. Province is located at 161 N. Jefferson St. For more information, visit

Blackbird Vineyards Dinner

While the snow gives way to rain and the blackbirds fly back to Chicago as a beacon of spring, Blackbird the restaurant meets Blackbird - the Napa-based winery - for a customized dinner of food and wine pairings this Wednesday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m. Held in the restaurant’s private upstairs dining room, chefs David Posey and Paul Kahan join forces with Paul Leary of Napa’s Blackbird Vineyards for a menu including English pea soup with hamachi bacon, eucalyptus, and yogurt; roasted duck breast with pastrami, garbanzo beans, golden raisin custard, and rye; and lamb loin with fried lentils, salsify, smoked olives, and licorice pudding. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312-715-0708. Tickets are $125 per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity). Note: Blackbird also offers an ongoing, $22 three-course prix fixe lunch menu Mon. thru Fri. Blackbird is located at 619 W. Randolph St. For more information, visit

Quartino Throws a Wine Bash

Quartino invites you to taste the wines of Italy and join in on its April Wine Bash this Wednesday, April 27 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. The event – now in its third year held on the last Wednesday of every month - showcases wines from a particular region or style, with Sicilian wines the focus of this evening’s soiree. The tasting will include samples of Caldora Chardonnay; Cusumano Syrah; Nero d’Avola; and merlot. Wines will be paired with festive bites and seasonal specialties by Executive Chef John Coletta including; roasted peppers; beet and walnut salad; assorted Neapolitan pizze; bruschetta; and grilled vegetables. Guests are invited to take home a bottle of the featured wines for $10 per bottle. Tickets are $20 per person and registration begins at 6:30 at the door (reservations are not accepted). Quartino is located at 626 N. State. For more information, call 312-698-5000, or visit