There Is Nothing Like a Dame
Les Dames d’Escoffier is a global group of women in all manner of culinary professions, dedicated to celebrating feminine foodie achievements and raising money for educational programs and charities. The Chicago chapter, which counts as members such A-list ladies as Gale Gand, Ina Pinkney, Alpana Singh, and Carrie Nahabedian, is giving a garden party on Sunday, August 14, 4–8 p.m., and it looks like a heaping helping of fun—you know the food’s going to rock, for sure. Chefs will be grilling artisanal sausage sandwiches and making pizzas to order, Jo Snow will be serving boozy snow cones from an old-timey machine, Tommy Zarlengo of Zarlengo’s Gelato will be making milk shakes and “zar bars,” and, since it is a garden party, landscape designer (and my pal) Marcelo Mendonça will be on hand to talk shop and answer questions. Dame Tami Mizrahi Stone (of Chicago Coffees and Teas) is hosting in this award-winning home garden on the North Side, and you can join the summer soiree for $55 ($45 for members). Get tickets here.
In other charitable kitchen related news, Designs for Dignity is stirring up interest in the upcoming October 15 Kitchen Walk with a benefit VIP party August 4 at the drool-inducing Sub-Zero and Wolf Showroom (pictured) on the first floor of the Mart. It’s next Thursday from 6–8:30, tickets are $75, and S-Z-W executive chef Craig Bell will be pairing foods and wines for the evening. D4D is a group founded by Susan Fredman to lift spirits and improve living and working conditions at nonprofit organizations, and they are always looking for donated supplies, time, and money to keep the stylish ball rolling.
It seems as if Ikram Goldman’s new location and reinvention has garnered as much speculation and buzz as the Royal Wedding (the edgy style maven’s shop would be just the place to pick up a five-figure fascinator, come to think of it). After months of delays, the suspense is over. Yesterday Ikram’s brazenly crimson boutique opened at 15 East Huron Street, in the heart of River North, and it’s a sparkly stunner. It already has a nickname, “the Red Box,” and in addition to high-end couture the 16,000-square-foot-space has a café serving precious salads and organic juice concoctions (why yes, that is fur wallpaper), a gallery of art, and a selection of Ikram-approved home items such as tableware and candles.
On the evening of June 30, all hail broke loose in Chicago with an epic deluge—I was having dinner at Rustic House, and everyone took a break from their spit-roasted organic chicken and wood-grilled octopus to marvel at Mother Nature’s sudden maelstrom. The storm wreaked major damage on the glass panes topping the 103-year-old Garfield Park Conservatory, which it’s scrambling to repair before ponds overflow and plants die. Local ceramicist Amanda Gentry is a big fan of the conservatory and spends a lot of time there, and was heartbroken when she heard of the damage to one of her favorite haunts. “For many of us, the flood of green it provides is the only way we make it through the long cold winters,” she says. Gentry is opening her home this Sunday, July 31 from 10–2, for a Pots for Windows sale of her functional crockery to benefit the Conservatory, and all pieces will be pay-what-you-want (open your wallets, please, as this place really needs your help). The sale is at 2153 West 24th Street (between Pilsen and Little Village), and Gentry, who sells her wares on Etsy, will be serving iced coffee and homemade biscotti. Cash and checks only.
Vintage dealer Lynne McDaniel has really got it going on this weekend, conducting a two-day liquidation estate sale on top of holding the third annual half-off sale at An Orange Moon, the smartly curated Southside furniture shop she runs with her husband, Ty. When Lynne holds a sale, the discounts are refreshingly plain and simple: take 50 percent off everything in the store (and get free home delivery if you mention Domestica). Orange Moon is located at 2436 West 59th Street, and the sale rises tomorrow and sets on Sunday afternoon. The off-site home sale will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 8–4, at 8514 South Karlov Street in the Scottsdale neighborhood, and there will be lots of mid-century trappings, including Heywood Wakefield bamboo furniture, tiki kitsch, jewelry and art, dishes, and memorabilia.
Although it doesn’t cut the official opening ribbon and smash the celebratory inaugural Dom until the grand opening on September 15, the new Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams bi-level, 10,500-square-foot furniture store is now open at 1555 North Halsted Street (at Clybourn, across the street from the new Apple Store). The North Carolina–based manufacturer has built a quality reputation on its comfortable upholstered sofas and chairs, modern angular tables and etageres, and classically handsome lighting, and this is one of its first stand-alone ventures. To ease up to opening day, and assuage any bumps in the prepping of new staff and the introduction of new lines, Mitch and Bob are offering 15 percent off anything in the store, and a free copy of their latest book, The Comfortable Home, with any purchase. You’ll need to print out this coupon, and redeem it before August 24. Oh and I should mention that the new store boasts one of the most perilously endangered features of Chicago life: free parking.
Remember when I introduced you to Highland Park’s Kenzy, specializing in handmade silver items, last fall? It’s running an “indoor sidewalk sale” now through Saturday, discounting clearance items 50 to 60 percent, and offering 25 percent off one full-price item, and free lemonade. Lots of other neighboring stores will be sticking with the traditional outdoor-style sidewalk sale, including Adesso, Usborne Books, and Jolie Maison (taking 50 percent off bed linens—that’s what SHE said!). Plan your shopping strategies by checking out participants here, and stick around for a showing of My Big Fat Greek Wedding in Port Clinton Plaza at dusk.
Photograph: (Ikram storefront) katrina wittkamp