TYT Supper Club: Chicago Edition (+ A $500 Whole Foods Giveaway!)
UPDATE: I'm extending the $500 gift card giveaway two more days! I'm going to send out my Supper Club newsletter Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. EST, and will announce the winner then!
To kick off the fall – and the first weekend of October! – I'm thrilled to share photos from our first official Yellow Table Supper Club! As I announced a few weeks ago, I'm launching a monthly supper club in partnership with Whole Foods Market, and I'd LOVE for all of you to join. All you have to do invite 6-8 friends to commit to throwing a communal dinner party each month, and sign up for my #tytsupperclub newsletter. (Just type in your email address in the box on the right hand side of the blog.) At the beginning of each month, I'll send out a newsletter with a seasonal menu of recipes from The Yellow Table cookbook, plus wine pairings, a prep plan, table decor inspiration, and a playlist. The idea is that each of your friends pitch in to make a dish, or bring a bottle of wine, so one person isn't stuck with all the work or expense. To get you excited to throw your own dinner party, I'll be hosting a dinner once a month (sometimes in NYC, sometimes elsewhere!), and I'll share photos and details on the blog.
Also, each month, Whole Foods is offering special gift card giveaways!! A few weeks ago, blog readers Traci Johnson and Susan Ryan each won $100 gift cards in our first giveaway, and today – to kick off the first month of The Yellow Table Supper Club and to celebrate Whole Foods Customer Appreciation Month - we are offering one lucky reader a $500 Gift Card!! (P.S. Every Whole Foods Market location is also giving away a $500 gift card every week through October!) To enter, sign up for the monthly newsletter, share this blog post on social media (making sure to tag #tytsupperclub and #wholefoods), and comment below: what's your favorite fall dish to make for friends? One winner will be randomly selected, and will be announced in the newsletter on Monday, October 5.
Our kickoff #tytsupperclub dinner was held a few weeks ago in Chicago, in collaboration with my fab friend Shea Gilliam. A food-lover through and through, Shea's the friend who always knows the best new restaurant you've never heard of, who will travel across the country for the perfect burger or bowl of pho, and who will invite you over for a home cooked meal the first time she meets you. She's actually in the process of launching a blog (get excited!), but in the meantime, you can follow her food-loving pursuits on Instagram at @thefoodiest.
Shea and I have been talking about throwing a dinner party together literally for years, so once I knew I was coming to Chicago on my book tour, I reached out to her about actually making it happen. No hesitation on her part - from the moment I gave her my dates, she was already planning a guest list. It was a total dream throwing a dinner with Shea, as she took care of everything: all I had to do was plan the menu and cook the food! She invited a small group of her good friends – who happen to throw their own Sunday Suppers every week – and I invited a few of mine. Her friend Jeni Pecard agreed to let us use her building's lovely rooftop (with THE most incredible view of the city), but alas, it rained that night, so we moved the party indoors. Luckily, there was a cozy brick communal space (complete with a fireplace!), which was actually perfect for an intimate fall dinner.
Shea truly went above and beyond: she had cute menu cards printed, borrowed tables and chairs, bought tablecloths and linens, and she and Jeni combined efforts to wrangle together enough silverware, plates, and glassware for 12. And finally, the very talented Heather Talbert – who's just days away from having a baby! – agreed to come take photos of the evening. It was such a pleasure to host a party with such an incredible team of people. At the end of the night (when I'm often the one stuck with cleanup duty), every single person at the party pitched in to tear everything down, wash dishes, and carry stuff out to the cars. It was truly a team effort. (A HUGE thanks to Shea, Jeni, Heather, and all their amazing spouses and friends who gave their time to make this dinner party happen! I couldn't have done it without you guys!)
For the dinner, I created a simple fall menu from The Yellow Table that's healthy, beautiful, and that can be made almost totally in advance. (An added bonus: it's nearly all gluten-free!) I paired each course with an affordable wine from Whole Foods, and we even picked up locally-sourced fall flower arrangements from their floral department. (The bouquets came in little mason jars, and cost just $11.99 each - a total steal!)
Devon Broglie, Whole Foods' master sommelier, picked a white and red to pair with the main course of the meal (see below for his notes), and I picked a Loire Valley cremant to start (as it just so happens to be one of my favorite aperatif wines).
THE YELLOW TABLE SUPPER CLUB: October Menu + Wine Pairings
(Sparkling) De Chanceney Crémant de Loire - Made for Whole Foods Market by a group of 30 families in France’s Loire Valley, this sparkler can be easily compared to Champagnes costing two to three times the price. Crisp and minerally, with hints of green apple – this bottle is the perfect partner for the crostini and spicy rosemary-maple cocktail nuts.
(White) Casas del Bosque Sauvignon Blanc - This Chilean sauvignon blanc has intriguing wafts of jalapeño pepper, with fresh green melon and pear flavors balanced by attractive grapefruit acidity. A plush heft in the body moves to a bright clean finish. Fresh and crisp with bright citrus notes that will brighten the salmon and Brussels and endive. Anjou pear and wet stone aromas greet you from the glass.
(Red) Bula Montsant - This is a medium bodied red wine from Spain, perfect for the earthy richness of butternut squash, spinach and Brussels without overpowering the rich fatty salmon. Attractive floral aromas mingle with black pepper and red fruit notes. Real depth here, with layers of raspberry, rocky minerality and a subtle cherry sweetness. Richness in the finish, balanced by robust tannins. Floral notes show throughout.
Pumpkin Madeleines with Spiced Whipped Cream & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
We had such a fun night chatting, eating, and telling stories. It was cool seeing how this group of friends really treated each other as family – supporting each other through the ups and downs of life, and making time to gather for a meal each week. Even though I'm back in NYC, I feel like I now have a new group of friends in Chicago!
I hope the idea of #tytsupperclub doesn't intimidate you, but rather inspires you to gather your own friends around the table for a fun evening of great food and conversation. No need to go all out with decor or host it on a rooftop (Shea and I are a little nuts like that!) – the goal is just to get your friends together for a meal once a month in whatever way makes sense for you.
With no further ado, here are some more photos from the evening (courtesy of Heather Talbert!). Be on the lookout for your #tytsupperclub newsletter on Monday, along with the $500 Gift Card Giveaway winner!
Photos: Heather Talbert
Table Decor: Shea Gilliam
Ingredients/Wine/Flowers: Whole Foods Market
Menus: Hawkins Print Shop
Space: Jeni Pecard + River West Lofts
Recipes: The Yellow Table