The Speakeasy Throwback: A Summit of Local Spirit Producers and Chefs to Benefit Shawn Koch

A few months ago, as I was getting ready for my 40th birthday party, I had the good fortune of having Adam Seeger of Hum Spirits and John Kinder of Death’s Door Spirits assisting me in the creation of the drinks to be paired with the miracle berry I was planning on handing out for my guest bartender gig at Pop’s for Champagne. Towards the end of the tasting, we spoke of getting together all of the local spirit producers and a bunch of chefs for a cocktail party in Potter’s – the bar here at the Palmer House.

With John’s assistance, we coordinated the spirit producers and met at the bar about a month later. Realizing how unique of an event this would be, the idea came to me of holding the event in the historic Empire Room – which used to be the center of the cultural community here in Chicago. I walked them over, the hotel ok’d it, and here we are.

The idea all along was to donate any proceeds to a charity, and some groups were thrown out at our initial meeting. About a week later, I met cancer patient Shawn Koch and his wife Katie when at long last, my daughter Talia and I brought over the donations from the aforementioned guest bartender shift. As I was driving home that afternoon, the idea of making a difference with a single individual hit me like a brick. It makes even more sense when one considers the tie in to the distilleries as Shawn was a bartender at the Paramount Room before being stricken with a rare form of brain cancer.

So without further ado, I am proud to announce what will be one of the better parties in Chicago this year. Hope you can make it and please spread the word! Reservations are now closed, but there is availability at the door. The entry is  $95.

Unfortunately, Chef Curtis Duffy will not be able to join us this evening. He has been replaced by Chef Todd Stein from Cibo Matto. Patrick Sheerin from the Signature Room has also been added to the bill.

5 Responses to “The Speakeasy Throwback: A Summit of Local Spirit Producers and Chefs to Benefit Shawn Koch”

  1. [...] House Hilton, posted about what appears to be an incredible event on his blog, The Pickled Tongue. Speakeasy Throwback, a “Summit of Local Spirit Producers,” will be held on Thursday, August 5, from 6-9 pm [...]

  2. [...] Thursday, August 5, the Palmer House and Lockwood’s executive chef Phillip Foss will throw a Speakeasy Throwback to support Shawn Koch, a former bar manager, as he battles brain cancer. The Empire Room will be [...]

  3. [...] The best thing about being a chef is that is is possible to touch people’s lives every day through the simple but intimate act of preparing food. For most of us, this takes place day to day in our kitchens, and we toil away behind closed doors doing our best to connect with people through the meals we prepare for them. Sometimes the opportunity presents itself to get out in public and meet people face to face while working charity events to affect people’s lives in other ways. I’ll simply say I’m honored to be doing my part in this summit of amazing chefs and distillers. I’ll leave my friend Phillip Foss to muse about the background of the Speakeasy Throwback Party on his blog here. [...]

  4. L Lipman says:

    Sooo excited to attend this event. Thanks to Tasting Table for posting. Also trying to gather as many friends to come for hte great cause!

  5. [...] packed the Palmer House Hilton’s opulent Empire Room to attend last night’s Speakeasy Throwback, which was organized by Lockwood chef, Phillip Foss, and raised money for the Shawn Koch [...]

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