“Check, Please!” host Catherine De Orio is bringing together some of the city’s finest chefs to participate in a Fried Chicken & Champagne Fest August 22 to raise scholarship money for Kendall College culinary and hospitality students.
De Orio, executive director of the Kendall College Trust, said she didn’t have to twist any arms to get the chefs to agree to make fried chicken.
“Most said ‘Hell yeah, that sounds awesome,'” De Orio said.
“One of the things that’s so wonderful about the Chicago food community is the people are very supportive of one another. These scholarships benefit future hospitality and culinary professionals, and the chefs know what it’s like to start out,” De Orio said.
The event will be held at Kendall College’s Skyline room, 900 N. Branch Street on Goose Island, and is scheduled to run from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tickets are $75 and $150 and will be limited to 250 attendees.
“One may think it sounds strange, but it’s a fairly classic combination. Fried chicken is obviously very rich and there’s a lot of fat in it because it’s deep fried, and the acidity in champagne cuts right through that fat. It’s a perfect pairing,” De Orio said.
Fried chicken from top chefs including Beverly Kim from Parachute, Kevin Hickey from Duck Inn, Takashi Yaihasi from Slurping Turtle and nine others will be paired with champagne from Pops for Champagne proprietor Craig Cooper.
“We plan to make it an annual event. Next year we hope to have twice the amount of chefs and have it be an even bigger event.”
De Orio, who was first interviewed by The Chicago Ambassador in February, is also currently shooting a new season of “Check, Please!,” which will premiere in October.