TomatoFest w/ Danielle Klinenberg

Posted on 08/04/10 in Past Events, 10 Comments

It was time for a meat break. It seems I had been pork obsessed for quite some time. I blame Chef John  from Entre Underground and the Mangalitsa pork for causing my overdose. (And what a glorious overdose it was)

Not to mention I had over 100 pounds of tomatoes from my garden that I had to use asap. We started out with caprese lollipops with some heirloom cherries. Then it was on to the full blast tomato feast.

Our lovely hostess for this dinner was Chicago artist Danielle Klinenberg. There is movement in her watercolor paintings, and layers of color that inspired us to cook like placid banshees.

My favorite bite (hands down) was the tomato gelato. I used raw milk from Southpork Ranch in Chatsworth, IL. Other ingredients in the gelato: tomatoes (of course!), balsamic vinegar, sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, bourbon, and sea salt.

I used tempeh made by the Simple Soyman in Milwaukee for the main course. It marinated for 4 hours in a homemade vinegar based sauce, then grilled. I found it to be quite meaty and delicious. We all agreed though that it would have been enhanced to enlightened tempeh realm if it simmered in the bbq sauce for a while after it was grilled. Wanna try it? Get it at Green Grocer.

The TomatoFest Menu

  • Cocktail: Bloody Maria: Smoked tomatillo tomato serrano, tequila anejo, pickled green tomato garnish
  • Amuse: Caprese Lollipop
  • Roasted Chiogga Beet and Anaheim Chile, cocoa mole and tomato jam
  • Housemade spaghetti, sage pesto, tomatoes, and raw milk cheese
  • Tomato galette w red onion jam, heirloom tomato salad
  • BBQ Tempeh, red kale and purslane salad, tomato gastrique, raw milk gruyere
  • Basil Corn Cake, tomato (raw milk) gelato, balsamic caramel


  1. Candace

    argh…i am SO disappointed!! we live in Michigan and I follow your dining experiences all the time. I just booked us a trip for Labor Day weekend to visit Chicago and i was SO hoping to catch a meal AND I’m vegetarian!!!

    darn….i sure hope i get the chance next time.

    have fun!

    Posted 8-18-2010 , Reply

    • chEfrain

      No worries Candace. Have a great time in Chicago!

      Posted 8-19-2010 , Reply


    I’m very interested in the tomato dinner. How much is it for one person?


    Posted 8-18-2010 , Reply

  3. Patricia Yeray

    I’ll attend.

    Posted 8-18-2010 , Reply

  4. Elaine Gould

    Please make my reservation for 2: the other party is Julie Nye. please confirm that she is on the RSVP list also.

    Posted 8-18-2010 , Reply

    • chEfrain

      Hi Elaine,
      I haven’t seen anything from Julie yet in the confirmed reservations. There is a pre-payment required to reserve your spot.
      You can do this through the website, there is an RSVP link there:
      After that, I’ll send out an email both 48 hours and 24 hours before the dinner with all the final details including location, etc.
      Let me know if you have any questions., 312-890-9987

      Posted 8-19-2010 , Reply

  5. Amy

    Please save a spot for four. Looking forward to your confirmation and details.

    Posted 8-19-2010 , Reply

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