FLAVORS of chicago '10 - chef shawn mcclain of spring

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

thanks to all who entered my contest to win tickets to the Taste of the Browns, a benefit for the Cleveland Foodbank that gives attendees the opportunity to enjoy food and wine samplings from the regions most amazing culinary talent and mingle with Browns players themselves.

well it's finally time to announce the winner... congrats to Stephen Hall, whose 10th entry was chosen from 80+ entries via random.org.

sad you didn't win?

well lucky for you i can still offer everyone a fabulous discount of $25 off their ticket price to the Taste of the Browns by purchasing your ticket online through this very special cleveland's a plum promo code link - hope to see you there!

and now in the most perfect segue a girl could ask for i'm going to share with you the delicious way that i spent my last night in chicago.

this past monday night i was lucky enough to attend the American Liver Foundation FLAVORS of Chicago event at the galleria marchetti downtown.

after having been to and written about FLAVORS of Cleveland in
'08 and '09 i was very excited to be able to attend the first annual chicago version.

we were honored to be seated at Chef Shawn McClain's table who's the chef/owner of Spring (the restaurant our meal came from), Green Zebra, and Sage restaurants - all you need to do is google him to know how awesomely talented he is and his meal definitely did not disappoint.

starter: crispy pork belly steamed bun, house made pickle with thai chili sauce and cilantro. this is a specialty at Spring and holy crap this was one of the most delicious things i've ever had.

first course: Summer Salad of Local Nectarines - Aged Goat Cheese/Toasted Pistachios/Crystallized Wasabi (i could eat this salad everyday with the above sticky bun on the side, yes please!)
wine pairing: NV Brut Blanc 'Privilege', Varichon & Clerc, Savoie, France

second course: Lemongrass & Coconut Soup - Thai Basil/Fresh Crab (the most flavorful soup i've ever had, fyi)
wine pairing: 2009 Pinot Grigio, Alois Lageder 'Riff', Venezie, Italy

third course: Pan-Roasted Barramundi - Wild Mushroom and Toasted Sesame Gnocchi (barra what? think cod, and while i'm not a sesame seed fan i still ate every bite)
wine pairing: 2008 Chardonnay, A to Z, Willamette Valley, Oregon

fourth course: Wagyu Flat Iron - Short Rib Dumpling/Eggplant Masala/Pickled Orange (i tried to order 25 of the short rib dumplings to take back to cleveland with me)
wine pairing: 2008 Pinot Noir, Au Bon Climat, Santa Barbara County, California

dessert: Citrus Panna Cotta - Summer Berries/Black Figs/Cookies (no words can describe the deliciousness that was this panna cotta)
wine pairing: 2008 Moscati d'Asti, "Bricco Riella", Cascina Pian D'Or, Piedmont, Italy

seriously? i don't know how to describe the food any better, i wish there was a way you all could get a taste.

lucky for me i get to attend another FLAVORS event in cleveland in just a few weeks. i should probably start fasting now...

happy wednesday (and september) all!


  1. Now you've got me even more pumped for the Northeast Ohio version on the 27th! Mmmmm...

  2. That meal looks outstanding! I ate at Spring within the first few months it opened ... and that was YEARS ago. It's nice to see a restaurant do well in a city where restaurants come and go, especially during down financial times!

  3. Mmmmmm...Shaun McClain. Love his food. What an amazing experience though I'm sorry I missed your Chicago trip this time around.

  4. Wow that food looks amazing and your photos turned out great too! What camera are you using? I've never heard of this in Chicago but it's on my list to be watching for next year. Glad you had fun, I went to Green Zebra and it was delish. Spring is on my list. Oh and sorry I'm an a**, last week was not my best showing.

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