Scratchboard Kitchen Hosts New Women in Culinary Driving Change Dinner Series
Pop-up events were still part of Scratchboard Kitchen’s business plan in Arlington Heights, but when the restaurant opened in April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic put those plans on hold.
“When COVID happened we had to pivot our business model a bit and we had to get into the full take-out model and we weren’t able to do the things we decided to do right away” , said the executive chef of Scratchboard Kitchen. and Grace Goudie, originally from Hinsdale. “There came a time this winter where we looked at our business model and said, ‘What can we do now to help the community and how can we do it in a fun and engaging way? “.
Last month, the restaurant launched a new monthly dinner series called A Recipe for Empowerment: Women in Culinary Driving Change. The next event in the series is Saturday April 24 and will feature Elmhurst’s Brewpoint Coffee, which will open a new location in Oak Park on Tuesday April 27.
“We’ve been one of Scratchboard’s coffee suppliers for a little while now and have worked really well with them,” said Melissa Villanueva, CEO and Founder of Brewpoint. “We have a lot of similar values when it comes to being female entrepreneurs trying to do cool things in the food and beverage world.”
Oyster schnitzel with mustard emulsion was one of last month’s offerings for the first Recipe for Empowerment dinner series at Scratchboard Kitchen in Arlington Heights.
– Courtesy of Isaac White
Scratchboard Kitchen is owned by Arlington Heights resident Danielle Kuhn, and she and Goudie wanted to empower other women in the hospitality industry.
“Throughout my career I’ve had a lot of challenges due to the fact that I’m a woman,” Goudie said. “It took me a little longer to prove myself in a kitchen where I was the only woman. I thought that teaming up with other women who have had similar experiences or just supporting these businesses (would) make a positive change in the community. “
For the $ 75 dinner, guests will enjoy a five-course tasting menu with food and wine pairings available for an additional $ 35. Goudie will incorporate Brewpoint products into each dish, such as coffee vinegar with asparagus and kampachi crudo tea. For the fourth course, she will prepare bites accompanied by a tasting of three Brewpoint coffees.
“A lot of people don’t realize how complex coffee really is,” Villanueva said. “It’s similar to wine that way where different coffees have different flavor profiles, different flavor notes. When you have a coffee and eat different foods with it, it brings out different tastes in the coffee.”
Lindsey Anderson-Perez, owner of Chicago’s Uvae Kitchen & Wine Bar, teamed up with Scratchboard Kitchen in Arlington Heights for the first in a series of dinners featuring women from the culinary world.
– Courtesy of Isaac White
The inaugural A Recipe for Empowerment Dinner took place on March 27 with a Goudie menu and wine pairings chosen by Lindsey Anderson-Perez, sommelier and owner of Chicago’s Uvae Kitchen & Wine Bar.
“We had a very good turnout,” said Goudie. “People really loved the menu and the wine pairings. A tasting menu is a bit different for the suburbs so I think people had a lot of fun with it. They didn’t have to travel to town to get there. this gastronomic experience. “
While Scratchboard Kitchen is normally only open for breakfast and lunch, these pop-up dinners allow Goudie to use the dinner-focused fine dining experience she gained while working out by California from The French Laundry chef Thomas Keller. She enjoys combining the Central European cuisine she grew up with with Californian cuisine, which focuses on fresh produce and Asian-inspired ingredients.
“It’s a way for me as a chef to really let my creativity flow,” she said.
In addition to collaborating on the menu, the guests at each dinner also choose a charity that will receive a portion of the proceeds from the event. The March event benefited the Night Ministry while the April event will help the Farmers Project.
Steak tartare with caramelized rye, egg yolk jam, horseradish, pickled mustard seeds, and shallots was one of last month’s classes at Recipe for Empowerment, a culinary series at Scratchboard Kitchen in Arlington Heights.
– Courtesy of Isaac White
“(Thomas Keller) really anchored in me that it is important to serve your community whether we are in troubled times or not,” said Goudie. “You’re there to make people happy. I thought it only made sense with this pop-up series to put the charity component into it. Obviously, there are so many people in need of this. moment and everyone holds a different charity near and dear to their hearts. “
Scratchboard has already planned its next two dinners in the series, teaming up with Michelle Folk from Eris Brewery on Saturday May 22 and Jessica Oloroso from Black Dog Gelato in June.
“It’s something that we’ll definitely be continuing as a once-a-month thing,” Goudie said, “and if people are really into them, we’ll be looking to do it a little more often.”
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A Recipe for Empowerment: Women in Culinary Change
Where: Scratchboard Kitchen, 5 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, (847) 749-3103, scratchboardkitchenah.com/
When: The next dinner is Saturday April 24. Seats are from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: $ 75 for a five-course tasting menu; food and wine pairings cost an additional $ 35. Go to exploretock.com/scratchboardkitchen/ for tickets.