I had the unique and wonderful opportunity to attend a barbecue feast that is paired with beer and bourbon. This sounds like a dream for food and drink lovers, does it not?
The restaurant that held this unique experience was none other than Chicago Culinary Kitchen in Palatine.
The event that is considered a classroom experience is held multiple times throughout the month.
The experience consists of multiple tastings and dishes all revolving around barbecue,beer, and bourbon.
These classroom events are run by Kristina and Greg Gaardbo. Greg handles the barbecue and food aspects of the restaurant. Kristina handles all aspects of beer and alcohol. Kristina is in fact a Cicerone, a beer sommelier. It takes years of training to acquire such a title.
The class starts with Greg and Kristina introducing themselves explaining their credentials in food and beer.
They both have traveled the world looking for influence and cooking techniques to fine-tune their craft to present to their customers.
The moment that you walk into Chicago Culinary Kitchen you feel like you are about to experience a party. The owners both display tattoos and the place is filled with lights moving in different colors overhead. There is a large projection screen showing everything from cartoons to BBQ.
There are signs displaying BBQ memorabilia. There is also a large mural with Judas Priest.
The owners are not your typical restaurant owners. They want everyone to have an experience more then just eating food.
The theme of the restaurant is that of rock ‘n’ roll and BBQ. The tables are all communal. This place is really meant for people to have fun with others who love food and drink.
The courses start out small with the first course being a piece of cornbread, paired with a delicious beer from a local independent brewery. The cornbread has a wonderful flavor of sweet and savory and it’s insane how much the beer compliments the flavor of the cornbread. I never thought of beer pairing with my food. I always thought of that being something done with wine only. This really is a great start to the experience.
The next tasting was a large hotlink sausage that was paired with a shot of bourbon. The sausage was extremely juicy and perfectly cooked. The bourbon cut through the fat of the sausage and paired very well. I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I also enjoyed that with each course Greg the owner explained how it was made where their meat is sourced.
The next course was one of my favorite, if not my favorite overall. It consisted of a half smoked chicken with slow cooked beans and flaming macaroni and cheese.
This was hands-down the best smoked chicken that I have ever had in my life and I’ve had quite a bit.
I am also not a huge fan of beans, but the beans were so creamy and delicious.
We also were served Elote style corn with a cream sauce and cheese. It was very tasty.
The only negative that I can say about this course was that my mac & cheese did not have any cheese on it. I do not know if it was just missed on my tasting, but the noodles were cooked perfectly. I did love the fact that they added hot Cheeto dust to the top of the pasta. This course was also paired with bourbon and beer.
We were then given a course of pulled pork. The pulled pork was extremely tender and had a great smoky flavor to it. The bourbon that was given paired very well.
The chicken was so juicy and perfectly cooked. I cannot think of a more perfect way to prepare this chicken. It really must be tried to be appreciated.
The next course consisted of a large piece of brisket. The brisket was extremely tender and cooked perfectly.
The Ribs were cooked perfectly with a fantastic flavor and bite.
There was homemade barbecue sauce on the table, but I did not need to add any. I did try the barbecue sauce though. It was delicious with a nice sweetness to the sauce.
The final course was a dessert of fireball infused bread pudding. The bread pudding was very moist and had delicious notes of cinnamon. The fireball liquor worked very well in the dish.
There is so much more to this experience that, of course, I can't capture in a simple rundown of all of the courses. The owners are so fabulous. I especially loved to see how passionate they both were in their craft of food and drink.
They serve food throughout the week as a normal restaurant. I highly recommend doing this class though. I will say to sign up quickly because the class does fill up quite fast.
I will post the link here to their website where you can sign up and check pricing.
I gave Chicago Culinary Kitchen a rating of 9 out of 10. I gave it this rating because of the uniqueness of the entire experience, from the food to the owners and the atmosphere. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is like a party. It's an all-around great time if you love BBQ and booze.
Do not forget to mention that the Chicago Food King sent you.
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