An Evening At Publican Quality Meats

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When someone asks you if you’d like to attend a private dining event at Publican Quality Meats with Chef Paul Kahan, the only questions you ask are what day and time.  What he plans to serve, who will be attending or do I have a babysitter are questions that don’t go through your head. Instead you prepare yourself for a truly amazing evening with great food and conversation.

Publican Quality Meats

My husband and I arrived at the Mastercard Priceless Chicago event at 7:30 and instantly became enamored in our surroundings.  From the lunch menu written in chalk to the various gourmet foods sitting on the shelves, we knew that we were going to have a fantastic time.  After all, any place that has Zombie Dust bottled and ready to drink, has to serve the kind of food we’d enjoy.

Cosmo getting ready to give us the best tour ever!

Cosmo getting ready to give us the best tour ever!

Though we were warned, we filled up on appetizers while we waited for all the diners to arrive.  With a fresh glass of rose and an empty stomach, I over indulged without even realizing it.  Sitting next to diners who all had a passion for food, we talked about everything from gambling (seems craps was the game of choice) to making kimchi.  After everyone had arrived, we were given a tour of the store by Cosmo Goss.  Cosmo led us down the back stairwell where we were greeted by a stainless steel prep table that would also serve as our dining table.  After a brief tour of the kitchen, he led us to the holy grail.  The meat locker.

Publican Quality Meats Meat Locker

For my vegetarian friends. I’m sorry.  The pictures you have seen will probably scar you for life. If you love meat, you’ll appreciate the time and patience that is taken dry-aging and curing the meat.  Though there were differences in opinion by the chefs on the prime number of days for aging.  That’s the beauty of food, there is no right or wrong answer, it’s whatever your palate decides.

publican quality meats menu

I could spend hours talking about the food but upon reflection, that’s not what made this evening priceless.  While the hamachi was buttery and the wine was always flowing, what made this evening stand out from all my other experiences was the atmosphere and the conversation.  Being downstairs in the kitchen was the coolest way to spend the evening.  As we ate course after course, the bread makers went on doing business as usual making loaf after loaf of bread.  While Jennifer and Cosmo cooked, we all talked and learned more about the behind the scenes of the restaurant.  Listening to Chef Paul Kahan gave me an even greater appreciation of the local food movement.

publican quality meats courses

I made a couple of promises the night of this event. I promised that what was said in the kitchen, stayed in the kitchen and was not to be blogged about, especially those things said about competing chefs (I kid, even though we tried, no one would dish any dirt).  I also promised myself I would make more of an effort to understand where my food comes from and to eat locally. And finally, I promised Chef Kahan I would see if anyone had any Danish pepper mills they wanted to sell him since he’s just starting his collection.  Anyone?

Chef Paul Kahan

Danish pepper mill collection.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event as a member of Social Fabric but I was not required to post about it on my blog.  I did so because it was truly an amazing event and because I loved the experience at Publican Quality Meats. They weren’t kidding when they said this would be priceless.

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About Sarah

Mom. Blogger. Runner. Hiker. Insomniac. Not necessarily in that order.


  1. That looks like an awesome time! You’re so lucky to be in Chicago, where there’s some of the best food!

  2. That’s such a cool experience!!

  3. Wow looks like a fun place!! Wish we had one of those near us, looks like a fun place to go, and love all the cool pictures you did!!

  4. I’m not sure if it would be possible for me to attend a dinner like this without over indulging so I hope you didn’t feel too guilty about it later! The food looks great, I wish it were possible for me to check it out for myself 🙂

  5. Jenna Wood says:

    Wow! Everything looks delicious!

  6. This looks like someplace that would be featured on Food Network. Looks awesome!

    • I believe Chef Kahan said he’s been on Chopped and was interviewed by Anthony Bourdain. I know he doesn’t like that kind of stuff but his restaurant would totally fit!

  7. Oh yeah!! I remember seeing a few of your photos come through on my IG feed. I just love hearing you talk about food. Wish I could have joined you.

  8. That looks like a really cool experience.

  9. What a neat experience!!! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I love quality time with quality chefs! Sounds like a fab night 🙂

  11. Another reason why I can’t wait to retire to the Chicago area! I wish my hubby and I were able to get out more and experience stuff like this! I’m trying to make the commitment to eating more locally too. All in all, sounds like a neat experience and thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. You had me at meat!~ Though that bread in your picture looks absolutely amazing! I loved your vegetarian comment “scarred for life” mwhahaha. That had me in stitches!

  13. Wow! That is absolutely amazing! Seriously, that would be an amazing experience to go to such a place and tour it. And then also taste the food! It looks delicious!

    I don’t know of any place with pepper mills like that, but that is very cool!

  14. I better not show this to my husband, he will want to take a road trip there! All those sausages hanging… lol

  15. Wow! What an amazing experience. I’m totally jealous! It all looks so good! And, I LOVE meat <3

  16. Oh my that looks delicious! I’m glad you had a wonderful time!

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