By Brian Kleemann
Indulge in an evening to remember by purchasing tickets to Unique Pairings for a one-of-a-kind dining experience that includes interaction and insight into the genius of some of Chicago's top chefs.
The dinner (which is SOLD OUT!) is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, and begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. in the College's top-level Escoffier Dining Room. Tony Hu of Lao Sze Chuan and other restaurants in Chicago's Chinatown and Dominique Tougne of Bistro 110 will incorporate their individual styles into a unique, multi-course dining experience.
Throughout the evening, the chefs will interact with diners, sharing their food selections and approach to the preparation behind each course. The evening also includes professional wine pairings provided by Gallo's International Boutique Wineries. Each course will be paired with unique wines, and expert winemaker David Mirassou will be on hand to explain the choices.
In addition, during the reception, Mirassou will partner with Gaetano Auricchio from
Belgioioso Cheese for a one-of-a-kind pairing of exquisite wines and gourmet cheese appetizers.
Diners also can purchase an opportunity to go behind the scenes and share the kitchen experience with the selected chefs and COD culinary students.
Tougne graduated from Ecole Culinaire de Blois, one of the top culinary schools in the world. He has studied with renowned chefs Joel Robuchon and Jacques Senechal and completed an apprenticeship at the celebrated Hotel Intercontinental restaurant in Paris. He received two of France's most prestigious awards for young chefs – the Journée du Champagne of Moët and Chandon and the Tour du Monde by Hennessy. He also was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as "Rising Star Chef, 2000."
Hu graduated from the Culinary Institute of Sichuan, China, in 1989. After coming to Chicago, he worked for Houston Kou's Szechuan House Group before founding the Tony Gourmet Group in 1993, a chain of five Chinese restaurants in Chicago and Connecticut. He introduced Chinese small-plate dining and pairings with wine featuring Asian flavors, and in 2002, he received the "Asian Pacific American Outstanding Leadership Award" in Chicago. His four restaurants in Chicago's Chinatown are Lao Sze Chuan (named by Zagat as Chicago's top Chinese restaurant), Lao Beijing, Lao Shanghai and the recently opened Lao You Ju.
Proceeds from Unique Pairings go to equip the new Culinary & Hospitality Center currently under construction at College of DuPage. The Center, scheduled to open for fall semester 2011, is being built to become the first green, LEED-certified culinary institute of its kind in the nation.
For more information, visit www.uniquepairings.com.