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Plan: 2008 Heartland Gathering in Chicago Aug 8-10


Alex
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Cooking volunteers so far...

Amuse - tammylc

Soup - Alex

Salad - CaliPoutine

Meat - NancyH/Bob/Edsel

Bread - Tino

Dessert - CaliPoutine, KerryBeal, Jean Blanchard (Dessert people - given that there are multiples of you, and we're always stuffed by dessert, you should be thinking in terms of regular size desserts, not each of you making something that will feed everyone. So a single pie or cake or whatever is totally fine)

Pretty light meal so far! With 90 people signed up to come on Saturday, I'd think there'd be a few more cooks wanting to wow the crowd. Who else would like to do something? You don't have to have a solid plan yet, just a willingness to put something together.

Chef's ... I would like to be part of a team - I'm a good cook with good knife skills.

I am not in the industry, yet I did take an introduction to culinary skils at CHIC. 30 hours of kitchen basics. I can bring a mandoline, good assortment of tools.

Aprons A professional emulsifer. I am local in the city, just off the expressway where 90 and 95 meet (the junction.) Very close to Smoque BBQ. I also have coolers. With the menu above I still don't see a vegetable entree ( no I am not a vegetarian) so I may still make the Confit Byaldi - Thomas Kellers Ratatouille. It's quite good, and with the summer vegetables in their peak it would be nice.

I guess I would prefer the Amuse or the Soup team.

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I'd like to help out, too, but I don't have good knife skills, and I'm slow. But I'm organized! I really can be quite helpful if you ignore the slowness and lack of good knife skills. And if nothing else, I can just stand around and be comic relief.

I feel like I want to make something, but have no idea what and am a bit daunted by the logistics of the whole thing. I'd like to make sausage rolls (which I suppose fall under the amuse category), but I would need a source for puff pastry. (Is there a Trader Joe's in Evanston?)

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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If we do the shopping tour on Saturday, I'd probably be interested in that and can transport 2, maybe 3 people in our car. I'll also bring a cooler or two for anything we buy.

I'm going to bring my dishes already made but I want to be a sous chef on somebody's team and I don't care which one.

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Is it too late to offer to make a course? I've been debating between two recipes:

1. Cold shrimp dish - Rick Bayless recipe, or a

2. Corn, pasta, bacon, cream dish. One of our summer time favorites. Though I would have to ask some of the expert caterers here on the best way to make the cream/bacon sauce for 70-90 people!

Tammy, let me know if would prefer if I do a course or act as a sous.

I am also local, so I can bring coolers and other items. I already plan on lending my Kitchen Aid to the bread class on Friday. If we need a food processor or blender let me know.

Also, I can help drive people around during the weekend.

Edited by santo_grace (log)

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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Is there going to be some kind of charity-related silent auction or something happening?

I ask because I'm leaving Japan in a couple of weeks, and was thinking of picking up something here if I can find something that will last more than a month and won't add to my already topped duty-free alcohol limit.

And I ditto Randi, Ron.  Thanks for all your hard work!  :smile:

That would be kinda cool. I have some neat items( culinary) I could possibly donate.

I would be interested in this also.

Were books exchanged last year also?

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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Is there going to be some kind of charity-related silent auction or something happening?

I ask because I'm leaving Japan in a couple of weeks, and was thinking of picking up something here if I can find something that will last more than a month and won't add to my already topped duty-free alcohol limit.

And I ditto Randi, Ron.  Thanks for all your hard work!  :smile:

That would be kinda cool. I have some neat items( culinary) I could possibly donate.

Were books exchanged last year also?

Last year there was a book sale( money going towards church rental and to the Society) that I organized. Months ago I had planned to organize a similar sale, but time just got away from me. Since I'm not driving this year, I couldnt have books sent to my address in MI.

If members still want to bring cookbooks, its probably not too late to have an informal sale.

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Is there going to be some kind of charity-related silent auction or something happening?

I ask because I'm leaving Japan in a couple of weeks, and was thinking of picking up something here if I can find something that will last more than a month and won't add to my already topped duty-free alcohol limit.

And I ditto Randi, Ron.  Thanks for all your hard work!  :smile:

That would be kinda cool. I have some neat items( culinary) I could possibly donate.

Were books exchanged last year also?

Last year there was a book sale( money going towards church rental and to the Society) that I organized. Months ago I had planned to organize a similar sale, but time just got away from me. Since I'm not driving this year, I couldnt have books sent to my address in MI.

If members still want to bring cookbooks, its probably not too late to have an informal sale.

I would be willing to organize this. I'm assuming the sale was on Saturday with the dinner?

If people want to send their books to me to avoid having to haul them (and waste precious luggage space), I can bring them to the dinner on Saturday. Just PM me and I'll send you my address.

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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I enjoyed the book sale we did last year and I have a few books to contribute if we do it again this year.

I like the idea of the ethnic market trip. My husband and I are game for that.

Tom, I'm still undecided about the bread class but if you would add Steve and me as tentative for the afternoon portion that would be great.

As for the gathering meal, I like the idea of doing it the way we did last year where some dishes were served family style and some were plated as appropriate. I am thinking of doing a three-way beet plate which would include a preparation with the beet itself, a preparation with the stems and one with the greens. This is about the third thing that has crossed my mind as what I would like to do this year so I'm not ready to commit to the exact dish yet but I am committing to do some dish.

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2.  Corn, pasta, bacon, cream dish.  One of our summer time favorites.  Though I would have to ask some of the expert caterers here on the best way to make the cream/bacon sauce for 70-90 people! 

If you post the recipe/method you use to normally make this, that might help others to get a feel with the proper way to expand the recipe for 90 people.

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Tom, I'm still undecided about the bread class but if you would add Steve and me as tentative for the afternoon portion that would be great.

An update to the list ...

Heartland Gathering Bread Workshop

Friday, August 8th

So far, I have:

edsel

karen m

Amy Viny

CaliPoutine (*)

Jean Blanchard

santo_grace

torakris (*)

LuckyGirl (*) +1 (*)

prasantrin's +1

(*) = probable

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Updated list

HEARTLAND GATHERING CHOCOLATE WORKSHOP

Originally planned for Friday Aug 8th - may have to change the date due to availability of workshop space. Still in negotiations.

Jean Blanchard

Alex

prasantrin

Heather M

tammylc

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Cooks and potential cooks - please read these important note on expanding meals to feed 90 people!

With so many courses and so many dishes, the best way to think of this meal is as a tasting menu. So you should be thinking in tasting menu portions. For example - if your corn/cream/bacon dish would usually serve 4 as a side dish to a main course, you should consider it to serve ~12 for sizing purposes in the scale of our group meal. If you are planning to do a pasta dish, you should be allocating only 1 oz of dried pasta per person, and sizing the rest of your recipe to that measure. This should make the prospect of cooking for this many people much less stressful, I hope!

Cooks should check in with me before shopping so that I can review your purchasing plans and give you some feedback on your sizing. Let's plan to have a cook's meeting on Friday night. I believe I'll also be the one doling out the money to cooks to spend.

In terms of presentation, I have to check with Ronnie re. the table configuration of the church, but for argument's sake, let's assume we have rounds of 10, so you'll be plating up 9 family style plates each for 10 people. You will have to make a very persuasive argument to me to do individual plating - if you have a composed dish, think about how you might be able to present 10 portions on a large platter instead.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Heartland Gathering Cooks Update

Course Cooks

Tino - Bread

tammylc - Amuse

Alex - Soup

CaliPoutine - Salad

Marmish - Salad or Side

LAZ - something mostly prepared in advance

Lucky Girl - Beets 3 Ways or something else

santo_grace - Cold Shrimp dish or Corn/Bacon/Cream dish

Ronnie Suburban - BBQ

NancyH/Bob/Edsel - Meat

Jean Blanchard, Kerry Beal, CaliPoutine - Dessert

nyokie6 - Dessert or Pasta

Sous Cooks

Fresser

KarenM

Prsantrin

Possible Components people could bring prepared if cooks want them

Fig jam - CaliPoutine

Caponata - Jean Blanchard

I can already see some groupings coming together - we could serve CaliPoutine and Marmish's salads side by side. The corn/bacon/cream dish would probably go well with Ronnie's BBQ. Things will no doubt change on site depending on what people end up making, but I see lots of potential.

I've put people who were undecided on if they wanted to be a head cook onto the sous cooks list. The limiting factor on number of courses (besides our stomachs!) is likely to be managing oven and stovetop space. I think we're at a good number now, but we could certainly add a couple more, so don't hesitate to speak up. CaliPoutine has suggested a cheese course - does anyone want to take charge of shopping for that? We could put it out with dessert, or as afternoon noshing.

Do we have any wine aficionados attending? We'll be devoting some of our budget to wine/beverage purchases for the group, and if there was a team of 2 or 3 people who wanted to be responsible for doing that shopping, that would be another great way to participate!

Edited by tammylc (log)

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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If it would be okay, transfer me to doing the cheese course. I would enjoy doing that and if anyone else has some homemade or bought thing that they like with cheese they can add them. I will provide cheeses, crackers sliced fruits and some nuts.

Tobi

PS we're in Europe right now, I'll try to bring some cheese home from France with me to add to what I get in Chicago.

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If it would be okay, transfer me to doing the cheese course.  I would enjoy doing that and if anyone else has some homemade or bought thing that they like with cheese they can add them.  I will provide cheeses, crackers sliced fruits and some nuts.

Tobi

PS we're in Europe right now,  I'll try to bring some cheese home from France with me to add to what I get in Chicago.

If you're willing to collaborate, I can do some of the cheese shopping. I have a wonderful source for artisanal American cheeses here in Chicago. (Unfortunately, too far from Evanston to work in a visit or I'd try to arrange it.)

What kind of budget would we have?

Ethnic shopping tour

Niles ethnic grocers (list)

tammylc

Jean Blanchard

Lucky Girl + husband

It sounds as if people are interested in doing this Saturday in lieu of the farmers' market. Some of the stores open as early as 8 a.m., so we ought to be able to visit several and still be on schedule to get to the church.

My recommendations for places we ought to visit include H-Mart, a vast Korean supermarket with terrific produce and fish departments; Schmeisser's, a German-style butcher that smokes its own sausages and meats; and at least one of the Polish or Serbian delis. Others could depend on what people are most interested in.

There are plenty of good options for lunch in Niles, too.

LAZ

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If it would be okay, transfer me to doing the cheese course.  I would enjoy doing that and if anyone else has some homemade or bought thing that they like with cheese they can add them.  I will provide cheeses, crackers sliced fruits and some nuts.

Tobi

PS we're in Europe right now,  I'll try to bring some cheese home from France with me to add to what I get in Chicago.

If you're willing to collaborate, I can do some of the cheese shopping. I have a wonderful source for artisanal American cheeses here in Chicago. (Unfortunately, too far from Evanston to work in a visit or I'd try to arrange it.)

What kind of budget would we have?

Unknown at this point, I haven't started running any numbers yet. Probably somewhere in the $100-$150 range?

We should be careful in thinking about the cheese course. It's often been our downfall. Served as pre-dinner noshing, everyone is too full for dinner. Served after dinner, we rarely make a dent with the typical quantities purchased. I'd recommend planning on no more than 1 oz per person, or around 5.5 lbs total.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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We should be careful in thinking about the cheese course. It's often been our downfall. Served as pre-dinner noshing, everyone is too full for dinner. Served after dinner, we rarely make a dent with the typical quantities purchased. I'd recommend planning on no more than 1 oz per person, or around 5.5 lbs total.

Words of wisdom, my friend, words of wisdom. :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I've just made travel plans so I will be attending. Sign me up for wherever I'll be most helpful/least destructive. P.S. Staying at Best Western University Plaza in Evanston.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I've just made travel plans so I will be attending. Sign me up for wherever I'll be most helpful/least destructive. P.S. Staying at Best Western University Plaza in Evanston.

I'll be happy to have you in your usual role as my partner in crime on the expediting front. I'd been worried about doing this on on my own, glad you're going to be able to make it!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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So I can just do what I do online: act important, boss people around, do nothing.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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