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Events & DayTrips

The Best Chef's Dining Club! For years, members have been asking for a monthly dining club whose main purpose is to enjoy good food with other foodies at a different restaurant each month. Registrations will be taken within a few days each month and there's no minimum or maximum. No class credit is allowed for this dinner. Advance Registration Required.
     Watch for the announcement of our future restaurant choices. Some will be in the suburbs, and some in the city. If you have suggestions for Chicago and suburban restaurants, please email with your ideas!     1 member $28            2 members $56            3 members $84                4 members $112
                                        1 nonmember $38      2 nonmembers $76      3 nonmembers $114
       4 nonmembers $152


This Daytrip will be held the Saturday following Valentine's Day
Perfect for couples or singles!

The Butcher, The Baker, and The Candlestick Maker
...and a Great Luncheon, will be held Saturday, February 16, 2012, on Chicago's Northwest Side in Lincoln Square and Wrigleyville. A first class coach will be provided with two pickup locations for this day trip. The trip will begin with a pickup in the West burbs, and move on to the northwest suburban pickup point. The luxury coach, equipped with a bathroom, will go to its first stop, at Paulina Market, on North Lincoln Ave.
     Chicago attendees can meet us at the rear entrance to Paulina Market at 8 a.m. The legacy of Sigmund Lekan who started Paulina and his smoked meats and sausage business more than 60 years ago, is continued by Bill Begale, its current owner and long time employee. Bill and his professional staff of meat cutters and sausage makers, have been employed by Paulina for most of their lives. A tour of the meat cutting and sausage making areas, and smokehouse, will be given. Tastings will be provided anda tour of the retail store which includes every cut of prime and choice grades of meat you can think of, and also gourmet food items. There will be room on the coach to bring a cooler with ice bags to bring a special Thanksgiving Turkey or ham home, along with other meats, and food products.
     The second stop will be at one of Chicago's oldest and moved beloved bakeries, Lutz Bakery and Café, on West Montrose, and owned by the Gould Family. Lutz has dazzled Chicagoans for more than 60 years and has been a favorite of Best Chef's Restaurant Tours. Lutz is unapologetic about its old fashioned and old world bakery and pastries. Robyn, Howard Gould's daughter, says "We have a great morning planned to creat a memborable and delicious experience," showing us "how to decorate our ever-so popular strawberry whipped cream cake, constructing a hand-made marzipan rose, watching our bakers prepare a display case of a few German classics, and discovering what goes into making our remowned Baumkuchen. We're giving away all of our secrets and your Best Chefs group won't want to miss out!" For those who have never been to Lutz Café and Pastry Shop, the first thing you'll notice is the wonderful aroma, and the second will be the incredible and very large variety of pastries and other items. After our demonstrations, there will be adequate time for purchasing marzipan, cookies, pies, breads, and many other European pastries.
     The next stop will be at Waxman Candles, founded in 1971. Sara Hernandez, the store manager, will teach us how to dip candles and give a demonstration on pouring candles, as well. Waxman has some of the most unusual handmade candles in the United States. There will be buying time for holiday gift giving.
     The final stop will be at The Raw Bar & Grill located right across from Cub's Park. A long time member of Wrigleyville, Raw Bar & Grill is a very comfortable seafood restaurant, mixed with tapas, steaks, and Persian and Mediterranean cuisine. A cash bar will be available. Our three-course luncheon will include a homemade crabcake with sweet ginger and chive mayonnaise for the appetizer. Four entree choices: Raw Bar Caesar Salad with either Salmon or Chicken; Blackened or Grilled Mahi Mahi, Sauteed Chicken with Baked Shrimp served with penne and white garlic basil sauce; or Koubideh Plate, fresh choice ground beef with Persian seasonings, placed on a skewer and cooked on an open fire with white or dill rice. For those entrees that don't already come with a side, sauteed garlic new potatoes will be included. Tiramisu, with a yellow sponge cake soaked in coffeeand filled with custard, fresh whipped cream, mascarpone cheese and sprinkled with coco powder will be served for dessert.
     Our group will be limited to 24 persons. Registration, which includes tax but not gratuities or drinks, is $105 per member and $125 per nonmember. No class credit is allowed for this day trip. Advance Registration Required. Late registration increases $10 per person on and after 02/01/13.
     Each stop will be visited for about an hour. There will be room to bring a ice chest (with ice packs) for purchases made at the various stops. Comfortable shoes and casual clothing will be the order of the day. Chicagoans can park in the Lincoln Square neighborhood and ride the coach from stop to stop and will be returned to their car after the event. Anyone from out of town joining our daytrip can contact Bill for discounts at nearby hotels. First come, first served. Use the convenient email link below to register for this event. If we sell out for this event, we will announce it on this page with the number of seats available, if any. We possibly may schedule another date and will notify you of the second date, if you email  we'll place you on a waiting list and email you when we announce a second date (also a Saturday).

1 member $105         2 members $210          3 members $315           4 members $420
1 nonmember $125   2 nonmembers $250    3 nonmembers $375
     4 nonmembers $500