with Executive Chef/Partner Ashlee Aubin

Monday, June 19, 2017 –

6:30 pm reception
7:30 pm dinner

621 West Randolph


Season Finale at Salero

Story and Photos by Vice Chargé de Presse Todd Arkebauer

On June 19, 2017, seventy-two members and guests attended Chaîne Chicago’s 2016-2017 season finale at Salero Restaurant with Executive Chef/Partner Ashlee Aubin. The Alinea alum and his formidable team immersed attendees in brilliant Basque country cuisine coupled with splendid Spanish wines and warm hospitality that made for an unforgettable epicurean evening.

The festivities began with a boisterous Cava reception that rapidly spread throughout the entire eatery. Accomplished servers weaved through the crowd offering a delectable array of pintxos (the Basque region’s equivalent to tapas) that included succulent smoked pork croquettes with pickled ramps and aioli verde and spherical “olives”, a nod to El Bulli’s renowned molecular masterpiece.

Once attendees were seated and a toast was offered, the perfectly paced family-style meal commenced with more pintxos that incorporated only the freshest ingredients and authentic Spanish traditions, including gin and cucumber topped oysters and grilled baby octopus with merguez sausage. Platos Principales comprised Cochinillo Asado (roasted suckling pig), which was adeptly carved and plated by Chef Ashlee before captivated confrerés, and mouth-watering seafood paella that was widely proclaimed “the best I’ve ever tasted.” Bottles of interesting Spanish wines from the Chaîne cellar and Salero’s impressive Spanish wine list were placed on tables and poured freely by guests and servers alike.

As the convivial evening drew to a close, Chambellan Provincial/Bailli Mon Roldan presented Chef Ashlee with a Chaîne plaque and expressed heartfelt appreciation to Events Director Ashley Seaman and the entire Salero team for creating an extraordinary culinary event. Members were thrilled to be momentarily transported to San Sebastian for an inspired and authentic Basque experience, a marvelous conclusion to Chaîne Chicago’s season.