The Splurge of a Lifetime


When you get 5 very passionate food bloggers together in Chicago, there’s only one thing to do.

Hoard as many free soda crackers and pretzels as you can to be able to save money and splurge on one evening.

at Alinea.

The 5 of us: Sara of Ms. Adventures of Italy, Elise of Simply Recipes, Kathy of Panini Happy, moi and Deb of Lunch in a Box decided that one evening during Blogher 09 in Chicago, we were going to devote our mind, soul and stomach to one man. All night long.

If you don’t know who Grant Achatz is, all you need to do is read this article “A Man of Taste” by The New Yorker and you will understand our obession. He sets things on fire.

You know how it’s so flippin’ annoying when someone whips out a camera at a restaurant for the sole purpose of food blogging? I hate it. With a passion.

Which is why I hid my camera in my shirt. And that’s why I wore a loosey-loosey flowy shirt.

I had planned to duct tape the camera around my body and then lift up my shirt to snap a stealth shot.

Yeah….I’m soooo Bond. Jaden Bond. Until I got caught:


Not once, but TWICE:


This was our lovely waiter…who was really pleasant and polite in a very “fancy schmancy restaurant” sort of way.


Until I lifted my shirt again to snap a pic.

“Excuse me, madam…but WTF are you doing flashing me?! AND I DON’T MEAN YOUR CAMERA.”


Naaahhh…he was cool. Waiter even gave us a little hocus pocus. I think Elise was impressed.


Please don’t expect a play-by-play of our 14-course menu. That would be cruel, because there’s nothing worse than seeing something incredibly mind-blowingly delicious…and then you can’t have it. (isn’t there a crude expression for that feeling?)

But I will say that when dessert time came around, I had no idea what to expect.

Because the waiter rolled out a latex-y, rubber-y type of tablecloth.


And then I just about fell outta my chair.

Grant magically appears at our table! HOLY BACON TIGHTROPE! He’s so quick! so quiet! so nimble!


Oh baby, you look so skinny! Come to Steamy Kitchen and let me feed you!!!!

And then my camera spied that Grant gave Elise his sex-ay bedroom eyes.


And here I am, lifting up my shirt every few minutes to stealth-click a photo and he doesn’t even look my way.

Grant continues on…and begins to paint on our tablecloth with his executive chef.


Gems, jewels, baubles and a flying saucer.


The 5 of us greedily take in the entire experience…

And then.

As quickly as it began….

It was over.


That was way too fast.


Thank goodness the dessert after dessert after dessert was a cigar-like thingy. We needed it.


And then get this….

We were invited into the KITCHEN!

Oooooh….so neat. clean. carpet!


End of evening…the chefs were scrubbing the….everything.

Hey, guys! can you come to my house and do that too!? Puleeeeeze?


That dude in the photo…I can just hear him say, “Girls…JUST GO HOME, will ya?!!!!”