Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend, which after last weekend’s birthday busy-ness, was much-needed.

Sunrise Yoga

On Saturday morning, I headed down to the Cleveland American Heart Association Heart Walk for a sunrise yoga class with my girl Alicia.

GrooveRyde, where Alicia teaches on Monday nights (take her GrooveFlow class…your thighs will hate you, but thank you), was one of several local businesses supporting the Heart Walk with additional fitness offerings, fun booths, and more.

I forgot how different it is to practice on the grass, though. You’re using different muscles to stabilize and you’ll definitely feel the difference the next day!

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The view of the city at sunrise makes it worth it though!

Soccer

So, I’m officially a soccer mom!

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Jeffrey joined the school soccer team and had his first two games on Saturday morning. From learning which way to kick the ball (mostly because of kicking it the wrong way) to agreeing to play defense, then immediately asking “What’s defense?,” it was equal parts heartwarming and hilarious.

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But I’m so proud of Jeffrey for trying something new and for the coaches for doing a great job exposing the kids to soccer specifically and sportsmanship generally.

Birthday Dinner

I also snuck in one last birthday dinner at my parent’s house. We had delicious, huge crab legs from Lobster Brothers, tasty sangria, and a decadent ice cream cake from Mitchell’s.

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Despite the candles literally singeing my hair (the hazards of a bigger number birthday), it was a lovely celebration. My presents also added two new leopard-print items to my ever-growing collection!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Children’s Hunger Alliance Eat Like a Kid Again Giveaway!

Children’s Hunger Alliance wants you to experience the fun of being a kid again, all while helping hungry children in Ohio.

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Eat Like a Kid Again is taking place on Thursday, September 26 at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. You’ll enjoy grownup versions of your favorite childhood food and drinks, a silent auction, wine pull, and live animal encounter. The event includes private access to select exhibits in the museum and free parking.

At the event, 18 local chefs will be competing in the Best of Taste competition. Chefs and restaurants include Zack Bruell Events, Barrio Tacos, Elements Bistro, Annie’s Signature Sweets, and more.

Funds raised at the event go towards providing healthy meals to food-insecure children in Northeast Ohio.

Tickets are available online for $75 for an individual ticket or $140 for a couple’s ticket. Or you can enter to win two tickets right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1. Leave a comment here letting me know your favorite food from childhood.

2. Visit Children’s Hunger Alliance and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @childrenshungeralliance and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @CHAOhio and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win tickets to Eat Like a Kid Again with @CHAOhio thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/09/18/why-childrens-hunger-alliance-eat-like-a-kid-again-giveaway 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, September 22 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Taste of the Browns!

Despite losing on the field in the home opener, the Cleveland Browns still scored a big win this week at FirstEnergy Stadium. The 21st annual Taste of the Browns fundraiser to benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank was hosted on Monday night and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed the hungry in our community.

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The event brought together Browns players and alumni, fantastic chefs and restaurants, and fans of the team and the city, all to help those in need. Fifty percent of the people served by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank are children or the elderly, so this event truly benefits those least able to help themselves.

From Chomps…

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to stadium views…

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…to foodie friends…

…to the delicious dishes, this event was a taste touchdown!

Some of my favorite dishes included the braised lamb with corn masa from Momocho

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…the tuna tartare tacos from Fahrenheit

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…the sliders with OBJ sauce (spicy!) and my favorite pork cracklins from B Spot Burgers

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…the wild boar bolognese from Johnny’s Downtown

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…and the scallop ceviche from Barrio Tacos, which I gobbled without getting a picture!

I’ve always been impressed with the Browns organization’s commitment to the community and the star power that helped make last night a success is no exception.

Cheers to a successful fundraiser for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and a successful season for the Cleveland Browns!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Taste of the Browns. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Beyond Chefs Unbridled, there was lots of other fun to be had this weekend…here’s what we were up to:

Date Night at the ZOOvies

On Friday night, Matthew and I attended one of our favorite Zoo events: Cleveland Zoological Society‘s Date Night at the ZOOvies.

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This evening is always such a fun, chill way to experience the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo after hours. The Australian Adventure and African Savanna areas were open for exploration.

There were tasty small bites from Driftwood Catering, including grilled chicken and veggie sliders, flatbreads, and chips and salsa.

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Graeter’s had mini scoops of their delicious ice cream.

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Sponsor Vitamix provided a handy picnic blanket giveaway, as well as some incredibly tasty punch and Cajun popcorn.

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There was also beer, wine, and movie theater snacks to enjoy!

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Then we headed to the Savanna Theater to enjoy “The Goonies,” complete with a Goonie costume contest and Truffle Shuffle demonstration before the film started.

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It’s always fun to be at the Zoo after-hours, but I particularly love ZOOvies because I get to be there and have fun, all while just relaxing and taking in a great throwback movie.

The Cleveland Zoological Society’s next upcoming after-hours event is Brew at the Zoo, happening Thursday, October 10. There will be craft beer, live music, animal encounters, and lots of seasonal fun. Costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $50 for general admission and $80 for VIP admission through September 30. For more information and tickets, click here.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Date Night at the ZOOvies. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Things Remembered Personalization Bar

On Saturday, I stopped by the new Personalization Bar at Things Remembered at Legacy Village.

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You may have shopped at Things Remembered awhile ago and it may still be on your radar for keepsake gifts, but if you haven’t been in recently, you must go back. The Personalization Bar makes selecting and personalizing your keepsake items easy, interactive, and seamless.

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I was generously gifted lots of items to personalize from Things Remembered, some of which I’m definitely keeping for me and some of which will make fantastic gifts. For each item, I got to see it on the screen; play with the spacing, fonts, and design; and make sure that my customized pieces were exactly what I wanted.

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From jewelry to wine glasses to butcher block cutting boards, there’s an item that’s right for each important person or event in your life. And being able to see exactly how the item will look once it is completed ensures your complete satisfaction with these special gifts.

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Stop in to see the modern side of Things Remembered. And you can save 10% off your purchase with code BA2R!

***Disclosure: I was invited by Things Remembered to visit the new Personalization Bar and received complimentary items. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

So that was our weekend. How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Chefs Unbridled!

One of my favorite foodie events of the year is Chefs Unbridled, to benefit Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center. Not only is the food always outstanding, but the setting is picturesque too.

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The weather was just perfect on Saturday night for this year’s event. Outside the tent, we enjoyed samples from Tom’s Foolery Distillery

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…and Crooked Pecker Brewing Company. The Driftwood Group food truck was also on hand with delicious offerings like hangar steak, halibut, and their famous tater tots with yum-yum sauce.

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Inside the tent, there were tasty morsels from some outstanding Cleveland chefs, along with live music, a spirited live auction, a wine pull, and a special appearance from Willie, one of Fieldstone Farm’s therapy horses.

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The dishes I most enjoyed from the evening were the flavorful duck breast with fried farro from Flour Restaurant

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…the truffled bologna sandwich from The Black Pig (bonus points for serving it on an English muffin…I love those!)…

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…the Tinman burger from Tinman, which is one of the tastiest burgers I’ve had in ages…

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…the lobster mac ‘n cheese with a delicate sauce that didn’t detract from the lobster from The Driftwood Group

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…the apple tart, which was fall dessert at it’s best, also from The Driftwood Group…

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…and the simple, delicious cacio e pepe agnolotti from The Union Club.

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All of this food, wine, and fun raised money for Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, which serves over 1,000 children and adults with special needs by connecting them with horses and teaching them independence, social skills, and more.

It was another year of perfection (and accidental outfit twinning with Jen) at Chefs Unbridled!

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***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Chefs Unbridled. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Playhouse Square Partners!

Last night, Playhouse Square Partners kicked off our programming for 2019-2020 with an Oktoberfest-themed membership open house at Hofbrauhaus Cleveland.

From cheap liters of beer to yummy pretzels to the chance to get to be among the first to know the theme for the upcoming Jump Back Ball, there was a lot of fun to be had!

Speaking of Jump Back Ball, this year’s theme is From Jukebox to Boombox. The party of the year takes place on Saturday, February 29 and tickets go on sale on October 29. You won’t want to miss it!

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But Partners is so much more than just Jump Back Ball. We plan monthly events that range from networking to socializing to volunteering and fundraising. Our fundraising efforts support Playhouse Square’s Community Engagement and Education initiatives, such as Disney Musicals in Schools and the Dazzle Awards.

I’ve been involved with Partners for eight years now and am completing my sixth and final year on the Board. I’ve seen firsthand how much fun we have, how much good we do, and how amazing it is to be connected to Playhouse Square, which is truly an icon in the Cleveland community.

If you’re interested in joining Partners, you can learn more about our membership levels and benefits here. You can also join me at one of our upcoming events:

  • September Monthly Members Meeting on Monday, September 16. Join us for a Happy Half Hour, followed by committee break-out sessions where you can learn more about the various Partners committees and help us plan upcoming events.
  • Partners Dine Around on Monday, September 23. Choose one of four restaurants in the Playhouse Square District and dine with Partners members. Afterward, all the groups will meet up for a nightcap at Parnell’s Pub.

I hope to see you at one of these events and that you’ll save the date for Jump Back Ball!

***Disclosure: I am the communications co-chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

What a beautiful weekend in CLE! Here’s what we were up to:

Lola Bistro

On Friday night, Mom and I met up for dinner at Lola Bistro. It was the perfect night to sit outside and take in the great weather and the game night crowds on East 4th Street.

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Lola Bistro is in the process of unveiling a new menu. Our server told us Chef Symon was recently in town to help develop the new dishes. For our appetizers, we selected one new dish and one classic one.

The Beef Cheek Pierogi, with mushrooms and horseradish crème fraiche, is still on the menu and is so delicious!

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We also enjoyed the seasonally-perfect Tomato Salad, with fresh and pickled tomato, peaches, almonds, dill, and farm cheese.

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Mom had the Strip Steak, with stilton au poivre, frisee, pickled shallots, and chives. The steak was perfectly done, simple, and delicious.

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I had the Duck and Foie Gras Meatloaf, with celery root puree. The slices of meatloaf were thin, almost like terrine, and the flavor was smoky and rich, with just the right amount of foie gras.

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For dessert, I couldn’t pass up the 6am Special, another item I’m so glad stayed on the menu. This decadent dessert has brioche French toast, maple-bacon ice cream, and roasted apple.

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Mom had the My Dad’s Favorite Cake, with lemon cake, strawberry buttercream, lemon curd, raspberry jam, and vanilla bean ice cream. I love the combination of berries and lemon!

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It was a fantastic dinner! The new menu at Lola Bistro is definitely worth a visit or two!

House of Blues Foundation Room

Then we headed down the street to the Foundation Room at House of Blues Cleveland.

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The Foundation Room is a membership-based space at House of Blues, with a great menu of cocktails and food;

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a funky vibe, with lots of cozy spaces;

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and a gorgeous new flower wall from CLE Flower Walls on the patio overlooking East 4th Street.

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Foundation Room membership benefits range from food and beverage discounts to exclusive presale access to backstage tours. Click here to learn more about the various membership levels and elevate your House of Blues experience.

***I was invited to a complimentary event at the Foundation Room, with cocktails, food, discounted parking, and a swag bag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland Garlic Festival

On Saturday, Jeffrey and I had a stinkin’ good time at the Cleveland Garlic Festival.

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This annual event is a fundraiser for North Union Farmers Market and supports not only the markets around town, but also their Access Programs, Mighty Locavores, and more.

I had the cool opportunity to be a judge for the beef competition of the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off. Chefs from Nomad Culinary, CLE Kraut, and EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute presented their beef and garlic creations.

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I was blown away by the creativity, plating, and downright deliciousness of all the food!

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Congratulations to Nomad Culinary, who won the competition. It was a tough choice picking a favorite, for sure!

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We also checked out all the varieties of garlic for sale, the live entertainment, and the kids area! There is so much to do at the Cleveland Garlic Festival! This is definitely an annual tradition for us.

***Disclosure: I was asked by North Union Farmers Market to help promote the Cleveland Garlic Festival and to judge the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off. In exchange, I received four weekend passes to the Garlic Festival. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

We actually had a few other things this weekend, including another festival, stopping by Matthew’s regatta, and a baptism, so you get the picture…it was a busy weekend!

Since Jeffrey starts school this week, I’m glad we squeezed in so much fun! How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Allison Rose Foundation Rascal Flatts Giveaway!

When Michael and Rebecca Suhy lost their daughter, Allison, to a food allergy reaction in 2017, they turned their tragedy into purpose by founding the Allison Rose Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to changing the lives of food allergy families through education, awareness, research, and advocacy.

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I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural ARF Founder’s Event, which drew more than 600 people and raised over $100,000.

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It was a powerful evening seeing the community come together to support the Suhy family and help make the Allison Rose Foundation’s goals a reality.

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In the past year, the Allison Rose Foundation has had national reach and is now educating teens and young adults in high schools and colleges, as well as school staff, on food allergy severity, signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and how to manage a food allergy emergency—especially as teens begin to transition to their own independence.

The Allison Rose Foundation has also granted a scholarship to an Independence High School senior who is starting her freshman year at Ohio University, begun work on changing legislation and created a video guide on how to set up and access the Medical ID on smartphones.

On Saturday, January 25, 2020, the Allison Rose Foundation will be holding its second annual fundraising event at the Embassy Suites in Independence: The Yellow Brick Road Celebration. You won’t want to miss this inspirational and fun evening. Stay tuned here for more details!

As a supporter of Allison Rose Foundation, I have the opportunity to give away two pavilion seats to the Rascal Flatts concert at Blossom Music Center on Friday, September 20! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite Rascal Flatts song (mostly because I cannot decide which one I love the most).

2. Visit Allison Rose Foundation and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @allisonrosefoundation and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @allisonrosefdn and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win @rascalflatts tickets from @allisonrosefdn and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/08/23/why-allison-rose-foundation-rascal-flatts-giveaway 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Wednesday, August 28 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Allison Rose Foundation. In exchange, I will receive two tickets to the Rascal Flatts concert for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Zoo Clues and Brews!

I’m having a “challenge my brain” kind of week! Last night, Matthew and I met up with Julia and Ben for the Cleveland Zoological Society‘s Zoo Clues and Brews scavenger hunt.

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We started out by fortifying ourselves with snack and adult beverages. I swear, whatever Cleveland Whiskey brings, I’m drinking!

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Driftwood Catering provided tasty bites, like sliders, Mediterranean and avocado bruschetta, corn dogs, and pretzel bites with cheese.

Then it was time for the scavenger hunt. Some teams wore costumes or matching shirts to show their spirit and creativity. My two favorites were the team dressed as “Sorry” game pieces and the team that named themselves “Bear Crawl.”

Our team, the Drama Llamas, did pretty well, although we didn’t complete all the questions. There is a lot of ground to cover at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo! You can have up to six people on your team and it’s definitely your best strategy to have more people and split up during the hunt.

We did get to see lots of the Zoo’s cute critters, from rhinos to bears to takin to tigers.

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We also learned some interesting new facts about the Zoo’s animals. I confess to not always reading the exhibit signs when I’m there with Jeffrey, so this was a chance for me to do that and then dazzle the other moms on our next play date at the Zoo (I shouldn’t be that Mom, right? Right.)

It wasn’t just factoids to find on the scavenger hunt. There were photo challenges too!

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Anytime you can be somewhere after hours, beer in hand, engaged in some friendly competition, you’re bound to have a good time.

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Zoo Clues and Brews was put on by The Herd, the young professionals group of the Cleveland Zoological Society. They plan events throughout the year, including Sunday Strolls through the Zoo and networking nights at Terrestrial Brewing. If you’re a YP looking to get more involved with the Zoo and its conservation efforts, check out The Herd!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Zoo Clues and Brews. In exchange, I received a complimentary team registration for the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Chefs Unbridled!

As thoughts start to turn toward fall, one of my favorite annual foodie evenings is just around the corner: Chefs Unbridled presented by the Harrington Family Foundation on Saturday, September 7.

Jen Rome and Alicia Hansen sample Chefs Unbridled dishes

This event not only brings together some of Cleveland’s finest chefs, but it does so in a beautiful setting at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club Polo Field.

Photographs of "Chefs Unbridled" fundraising event for Fieldstone Farm-09/16

Stroll around the decorated tent and enjoy the food and drinks, wine pull, and live auctions or pop outside for food and dessert trucks, a bourbon tasting from Tom’s Foolery, and horse-drawn carriage rides with Cleveland storyteller Dan Ruminski.

Of course, the stars of the evening are the chefs who will create delectable dishes to enjoy.

Scott Kuhn 2018 Chefs Unbridled

This year’s Chefs Unbridled chefs are:

  • Scott Kuhn and Chris Hodgson of Driftwood Restaurant Group
  • Matt Mytro of Flour Restaurant
  • Arnaud Berthelier of The Union Club
  • Will Burke of Revival Social 216
  • Vince Thomascik, Brett Sawyer, and Nolan Tidwell of Good Company
  • Brett Zubek of Sol
  • Joe Pinzone of Forno Wood-Fired Catering
  • Demetrios Athenos of Bold Food and Drink
  • Mike Schoen of Tinman
  • David Kocab of Black Pig

Chefs Unbridled is a fundraiser for Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, which serves over 1,000 special needs children and adults by connecting them with horses for care, lessons, and friendship. Some of the horses make an appearance at the event, too!

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Last year’s event raised nearly $300,000 and this year promises to be even bigger and better!

Tickets are currently on sale for $140 and can be purchased online. You can also purchase Golden Ticket raffle tickets for $100, which puts you into a drawing for a 5-course meal for 20 people with wine pairings, prepared in the winner’s home by Chefs Kuhn and Hodgson. These tickets are available now and will not be sold at the event. Winner need not be present to win.

I hope to see you under the tent and under the stars at Chefs Unbridled!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Fieldstone Farm to help promote Chefs Unbridled. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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