On May 11, The Boarding House’s all-female team gets bigger for a one-night-only collaborative dinner featuring the culinary talents of Zoë Schor (of the soon-to-be Split-Rail) and Diana Davila (most recently of Cantina 1910 and in the process of opening her own restaurant). Together with The Boarding House’s James Beard-nominated Chef Tanya Baker and Pastry Chef Julia Fitting, each chef creates a signature course inspired by a female figure in their lives, complemented by wine pairings by owner and proprietor Alpana Singh. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., and tickets to the exclusive event are $145. For every ticket purchased, $25 goes directly to Deborah’s Place, a non-profit that provides supportive housing for single women experiencing homelessness.
“We are thrilled to welcome Zoe and Diana, and we can’t think of a better way celebrate their achievements than through creative culinary collaboration,” Alpana Singh says. “In this industry, we need more women restaurateurs and chefs, and The Boarding House team and myself are eager to support them in their latest endeavors.”
The menu for the evening includes:
House-made Veggie Dumpling with Tamari Aioli and Chili Flake (Chef Tanya Baker)
Cold Smoked Chile Relleno (Chef Diana Davila)
Seabass Tartare, Asparagus, Ramps, Rhubarb Aioli, and Crispy Chicken Skin (Chef Zoë Schor)
Sorelle Bronca Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Italy
First Course (Chef Diana Davila)
Shrimp in Adobo, Nixtamal Corn, Sugar Snaps, and Radish
Jules Taylor, Pinot Gris, Marlborough, New Zealand
Second Course (Chef Zoë Schor)
Bread, Ham & Cheese Broth, 64 degree egg, Crispy Jambon de Bayonne, English Peas, and Pea Shoots
Domaine Catherine Le Goeuil, Cotes du Rhone Blanc, France 2013
Third Course (Chef Tanya Baker)
Korean Spiced Lamb Loin, Lamb Shank, Spring Onion, Oyster Mushrooms, and Braised Fingerlings
Mendel, Lunta, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 2015
Dessert (Chef Julia Fitting)
Cherry Pit Crepe Cake and Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel Gelato
Ferreira Tawny Port, Portugal
Taking place in The Boarding House’s Cellar, guests experience an intimate and collaborative culinary evening by some of the nation’s leading female chefs.
A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, Chef Baker joined The Boarding House’s opening team after serving as line cook and chef de cuisine in restaurants throughout the city. She was appointed executive chef in 2014 and was quickly recognized a chef on the rise by the Chicago Sun-Times. She has since been featured prominently in the Chicago Tribune, Northwest Indiana Times, Mandarin Quarterly, Thrillist and more. In 2015, the James Beard Foundation named Chef Baker as a finalist in the Rising Star Chef category for the organization’s annual, prestigious Awards.
Chef Davila got her start in the kitchen at an early age in her parent’s taquerias, washing dishes and filling salsas in the fourth grade. By age 18, she was working her way up at the late Courtright’s in Willow Springs under Chef Greg Lutes. Soon after, she joined Hacienda Jalapenos as the Executive Chef, receiving rave reviews from Chicago food critics Phil Vettel and Pat Bruno. She then landed a position at Butter with Ryan Poli, and later at Boka under Giuseppe Tentori. In 2008, Chef Davila relocated to Washington D.C., where she served as Executive Chef of Jackie’s, creating eclectic seasonal menus that caught the attention of the Washingtonian and Washington Post. After five years in D.C., she returned Chicago to join the team at Cantina 1910 as Executive Chef, where she created Mexican dishes with Midwest accessibility. Now, Chef Davila is pursuing her lifelong dream of opening Chicago’s first antojeria, showcasing her favorite cuisine while highlighting her love of culture, roots and travels combined with good drinks and a “mi casa es su casa” intimacy.
Fitting began her baking career in 2006 in her native Colorado where she worked at Crested Butte Cookie Company, and later served as the Assistant Manager at the bakery of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. In 2010, Julia opened Object of My Confection, her own baking business in Crested Butte, before joining L'Art de la Pâtisserie Program at The French Pastry School in Chicago where she studied under acclaimed artisans. Julia honed her craft in Chicago in kitchens including The James Hotel, Alliance Bakery, Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter, and L2O Restaurant. She most recently served as the Pastry Cook at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. Time Out Chicago named Julia one of “Four Pastry Chefs to Watch in 2013.” She helms the bread, cheese and pastry program at The Boarding House.
Schor began her culinary career in Los Angeles, where she worked under a number of renowned chefs, including Todd English, Tom Colicchio, and the legendary Thomas Keller. In 2011, she moved to Chicago to join the DMK Restaurant Group as Executive Chef of their upscale casual small plates restaurant, Ada Street. After nearly four years at the helm there, she left to pursue a solo project. Now she is working on opening the highly anticipated Split-Rail in late 2016.
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