Chicago 2016 – The OC Menu Version

I think Chicagoans are mostly torn about the whole, city administration’s rush to get into the good graces of the Olympic Committee (OC). I really don’t get a vibe of overwhelming positivity from Chicagoans in my office, nor when I go downtown. As a matter of fact, I was privy to a horde of protesters on bicycles last Friday, when I was driving on N. Michigan Ave. past Millennium Park. Lots of cop barricades too. I’m personally hesitant to be for the Olympics because there are more vital places where the money could be spent, like securing public high schools in the inner city, and meal programs for disadvantaged citizens…and children. Transportation improvements like improved local train and public transportation services…intra-suburb train service…pot hole filling… etc. etc.

I was peeking through local coverage of the recent visit by the Olympic Committee. Mostly looking to learn where the committee comes from, whether the members are from all sorts of countries, etc… stuff like that. Well no such luck, I’m still ignorant. What I did come across, was an interesting foodie-related article on the Chicago Tribune website covering what the committee ate while in our windy city.

I was a little set back by a statement one of the luminary chefs made: “I wanted to try and do as much locally as I could,” Smith said. “And a portion of the group eat mostly vegetables, so even if they don’t eat beef [Smith’s main course], they’ll have plenty.”

What was the menu like?: Guests will start with Smith’s signature goat-cheese biscuits and deviled eggs, followed by Oprah’s tomato pie dressed with local greens and bleu cheese from Fair Oaks Farm in Winamac, Ind. Then there’s beef tenderloin with redeye gravy (made with smoked turkey, not ham), grits and vegetables, along with wild-mushroom risotto and Smith’s mac and cheese. Dessert will be “tweets,” or miniature versions of Smith’s signature hummingbird cake.

I don’t know that I would have served grits to internationals, since it’s a bit of an acquired taste even in the US, but otherwise, it seems like a nicely-balanced meal. If there were any vegetarians, they would have avoided the beef tenderloin, and probably the risotto because most chefs make it with chicken stock. If there were any vegans, they would have avoided 90% of the menu because of cheese or eggs. We were left with un-specified “vegetables” accompanying the beef.


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