Congratulations to Greg Carso, Executive Chef at The Metropolitan Club, who recently won the 2014 Battle of the Metal Chefs. The Chicago Community of clubs teamed with House of Blues Chicago for the 10th anniversary of this year’s Battle of the Metal Chefs cooking competition, which was held in the Music Hall at the House of Blues.
Chef Carso had some stiff competition, cooking against Michael Pivoney, Executive Chef at The Mid-America Club, and John Hughs, House of Blues Foundation Room Chef, to create original culinary delights around this year’s mystery ingredient – brie (the French cheese was aptly chosen as the cooking event took place on France’s national holiday Bastille Day). Takashi Yagihashi, of Slurping Turtle and Takashi restaurants and who was featured on Iron Chef America and Top Chef Duels, served as the celebrity guest judge.
More than 300 attended Battle Brie which featured a French décor, French Champagne tastings, passed hors d’oeuvres throughout the night, live entertainment, a DJ and an emcee and raised more than $4,000 for the House of Blues Foundation.
Congratulations to Chef Carso and to all involved in the success of this year’s Battle of Metal Chefs.
The Metropolitan Club in Chicago recently partnered up with Breakthrough Urban Ministries and the Club’s vendors to put on an eight-week cooking class for local seventh and eighth graders, incorporating invaluable life lessons.
Both Club General Manager Rick Kroner and Executive Chef Greg Carso were looking for ways to give back to the community when they were introduced to Breakthrough Urban Ministries at a not-for-profit presentation at the Club.
Rick had coffee with the director and visited their facility, which prompted his idea to collaborate with the organization and offer an after-school cooking class for the children.
Chef Greg put together an extensive curriculum that included everything from basic cooking techniques, safety and hygiene to reading recipes and even making homemade pasta from scratch.
Additionally, he incorporated lessons teaching ClubCorp’s Three Steps of Service (warm welcomes, magic moments and fond farewells), integrity, business etiquette, and interviewing skills.
The response and reception was wonderful and everyone Rick spoke with wanted to get involved. The Club’s vendors donated chef coats, linens and knives and every Tuesday for eight weeks, Chef Carso, Rick and employee partner volunteers drove to the facility for the classes.
The semester culminated in a memorable fashion, with the students preparing a meal for their families, a group of more than 200.
The children did everything. In addition to doing all the prepping, cooking and serving, they planned the mouth-watering menu: classic caesar salad with brioche croutons and shaved romano; four cheese baked penne pasta with fennel marinara and chicken picatta with a lemon caper butter sauce; and signature featured desserts created by the students, such as caramel and strawberry cheesecake.
As a special touch, they develped a “warm welcome” signature beverage, sparkling cider poinsettia with mango puree, and handed out “fond farewell” candy bars wrapped with their group photo.
“The kids worked so hard and stayed focused the whole evening," said Rick. “It was neat to see so many people get involved with this."
Breakthrough Urban Ministries is an organization working towards transforming East Garfield Park, a low-income community in Chicago, by providing homeless intervention for more than 1000 people annually, a fresh food pantry and an after-school youth development program.
Congratulations and Thank You to everyone who helped make this wonderful event possible!
With the Summer Olympics fast approaching, former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton visited The Mid-America Club in Chicago recently as part of a Cigna Forum Motivation One-Day Seminar held at the club.
More than 150 attended the event, during which Retton served as the guest of honor and motivational speaker. Retton catapulted to international fame when she scored perfect 10's on the floor exercise and vault to win the gold medal in the all-around competition during the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles, becoming the first women form outside Eastern Europe to win the gold medal in the all-around.
Congratulations to Greg Carso, Executive Chef at The Metropolitan Club in Chicago and winner of the Chicago Society’s 8th Annual Metal Chef competition. The competing chefs were given a basket of three mystery ingredients including ponzu for the appetizer course, pork belly for the entrée and mangoes for dessert.
On hand to assist with judging this year was celebrity judge, Victoria Ordoñez of Jorge Ordoñez Wines in Spain. Ordoñez introduced a "twist" to the competition by providing – midway through the competition - her 2007 vintage dessert wine, "Victoria," for the Chefs to use in their dessert course.
The event was a great success with more than 175 Members and Guests attending and raised more than $1,100 for the Greater Chicago Food Depository and a flat-bed cart of non-perishable food donations.