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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, October 20

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Event Thu Nov 20 2014

The Dinner Party: Where It's Okay to Talk at the Dinner Table

Dinnerpartychicago.jpeg"The best conversations happen over dinner," or so started the night at last month's Dinner Party, the monthly show at City Winery hosted by Fear No Art's Elysabeth Alfano.

Every month, vibrant host Alfano invites three local notable names to join her at the dinner table to share conversation and dinner from a known chef. Past appearances have included SNL writer Katie Rich, Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche, Rick Bayless, famed talk show host Jerry Springer and "Chicago Fire" actor David Eigenberg.

On the guest list that evening: filmmaker Joe Swanberg, Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director, Ashley Wheater and all-star female quarterback and singer, Sami Grisafe.

Putting an artistic director of a ballet company, a female quarterback and singer and an independent filmmaker at the same table may not make sense, and I was thrilled to see each panelists share the same thread of sentiment on questions that come with being an artist and their approach to their craft.

Chef Paul Virant (Perennial Virant and Vie) served half-size portions of a chicken liver mousse with cranberry aigre-doux and a Rushing Waters trout with creamed beets, bacon and dill. He also offered the audience a pro tip: food that will be served cold needs to be seasoned more since it will be harder to taste.

For my first Dinner Party, I was partial to this lineup, having spent my first 20 or so years in a dance studio, and hearing Wheater talk about the creation of dance had me reminiscing of days long gone. But it was Grisafe performing her new single, "Brand New Fairytale," that reminded me that we don't need to look too far outside of our own city limits to find great talent and ideas.

The Dinner Party returns to City Winery on December 1 with Chef Chris Pandel of Bristol & Balena, New York Times best selling author Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), actor/comedian David Pasquesi and theater critic Chris Jones.

The Dinner Party
City Winery
1200 W. Randolph St.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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