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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chef's Gala

 Last night Nico, Leo and I attended the CF event, Grand Chef's Gala. It is a great event and we went as guests of my sister Gina and her husband, Deo. This year, Natalie, her 14 year old daughter and Nico went. I was more excited that Nico was going than I was that I was going and I really enjoy going. I am a big fan of Top Chef and it reminds me a lot of that. Several chefs are there presenting hors d'oeuvres from their restaurant. One year, Dale from Top Chef was there. This year, Beverly was there. Nico was so star struck, it was cute. He talked to her for awhile and we got a picture with her. We ate for two hours sampling food with my favorite being a sea bass with a coconut/vanilla sauce from Inovasi. It was so good, I was afraid the chef thought I was stalking him. It is in Lake Bluff  and if I am every out that way, I am definitely going to dinner there. If the rest of their food is as good as that sea bass, then I'm in for a great meal. Nico liked a braised beef one and Leo liked a steak slider. You can vote on your favorite and the winner last night was a pork shoulder and mashed potato that was really good from Purple Pig. There was a lot of pork dishes, tuna and ceviche ones. I like pork but the others, I am not a fan so I stuck close to the sea bass. The meal was a Cuban one but I was so stuffed from the hors d'oeuvres that I didn't really eat any of it. It was a little spicy for my taste. I am an Augustino's girl at heart so fancy shmancy food really doesn't impress or satisfy me. I felt bad for Nico because in years past, there was a whole room for desserts and this year it was split between desserts and alcoholic beverages. I thought one was a fruit punch and took it and gulped it only to start choking and crying because it was all alcohol (had a nice but short-lived buzz after that).  
This turned out dark but the guy tried taking it for 5 tries. This was the best we could get. Deo walked away and Rochelle and Tommy weren't there yet so they are missing.

The food part lets me forget the reason why there is a fundraiser to begin with. Once the speeches start, I am forced to remember and even now, it gets me. The best part of the event is that you have some of the wealthiest people in the room and there are 700 people there. The worst part is that because it is so big and I am convinced people don't even know what the cause is as much as they know that everyone who is anyone in Chicago is there so they should be too, no one stops talking during the whole thing. There was chaos during the live auction where we had no idea what was going on and people were incredibly rude during the emotional bid for a cure video. Nico leaned over to me and said, "If this is such an expensive event, couldn't they get someone to actually come in and speak?" I can't fault them much because in ticket sales alone, I think they brought in $350,000 and bid for a cure (or maybe the whole live auction part, I'm not sure since I couldn't hear over the talkers) raised $190,000. Any money raised for CF is a good thing and I am grateful; for it. I do have to say that I still liked our event, All I Want for Christmas is a Cure, better. It was more personal and homey and I'd like to think uplifting but we'd never be able to bring in that much money and I was okay with that but that is not what fundraising is about, is it?

I had asked Leo 12 times to take the picture of Rochelle and me so my face was showing a little aggravation.


Not sure what Leo and Deo are doing here or where Tommy C was during this picture.

All in all, it was a great night out. Thanks so much, Deo and Gina!  I had some great babysitters (and might even have some for a much needed weekend away for Leo and me) that made sure I was able to enjoy the evening. I had fun with two of my sisters, my cousin, my niece and my BFF. The husbands and Nico were fun, too. :) On a funnier note, I actually had some sort of allergic reaction to being dressed up and wearing make-up. I swear...I broke out in hives. I don't think my feet will ever be the same from the heels I was wearing. While itching on the way there, I said to Leo, "Why can't sweats be considered sexy?" (I got that from Pinterest.) He said, "I think they are." I replied, "And that is why I will never leave you."


At January 28, 2012 at 3:46 PM , Blogger Kendra Mareva said...

You guys all look so elegant! Very noice. Wish I could have been there. Huggies.

At January 29, 2012 at 7:00 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

I wish you were there, too. As we were driving into the city, I thought of how downtown will now always remind me of our fabulous weekend!


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