On Wednesday, we headed to Chicago for an author dinner hosted by Chicagourmets at the fabulous French restaurant 160 Blue. I learned about Chicagourmets from Scott Warner while waiting for an overpriced glass of substandard chardonnay at the IACP conference in Chicago last year. Scott is very active in the group, a loose organization of about 500 members who host a vast array of dining events, many with authors, visiting chefs and some to just showcase interesting cuisines or restaurants. (If you like food and live in Chicago, check them out.) About 40 guests attended, all enthusiastic eaters and not an apparent vegan in sight as everyone tucked into the lovely veal strip with sweetbreads and chanterelles duxelles sauce prepared by chef Martial Noguier. They were gracious, lovely hosts. This author thing isn’t so bad sometimes.
Of course, the next night, I had an event at the DePaul University Bookstore. My good friend Marietta had sent out an evite to friends and about 18 had RVSP’d they would show up. Of course, it was only a half hour prior to the event that I realized I’d been blissfully unaware there are two DePaul bookstores – one in Lincoln Park in my old neighborhood and one downtown. I told Mar that the event was at the Lincoln Park store and of course, it was downtown. So, about a dozen people showed up at the wrong location. Downtown, I had an audience of about eight or nine, but it was a quality crowd. They asked questions, listened enthusiastically and virtually all of them bought a copy of the book.
The adorable event organizer, Deborah, proudly showed me an end stand with my book prominently displayed between Phillip Roth and Ann Coulter, something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.