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Equality Illinois gala menu inspired by celebrity chef Art Smith

Chicago, IL — The menu for the Equality Illinois 2013 Justice for All Gala on February 9 is a collaboration between celebrity chef Art Smith, the gala co-chair with his husband Jesus Salgueiro, and the Hilton Chicago.

The Hilton kitchens will prepare the banquet in consultation with Smith, the Chicago-based, award-winning chef, restaurateur and TV star, for the more than 1,000 guests at the Midwest's largest formal event celebrating Equality Illinois' advocacy for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Inspired by Smith's Southern recipes, the Hilton's centerpiece main course will be a blackened low country style chicken with a honey Dijon mustard sauce. (See photo below.)

The gala falls as Equality Illinois is fully engaged in the battle for the freedom to marry in the state.

"The annual Equality Illinois gala celebrates the advancements of the LGBT community and the organization's work. This year, we are especially thrilled about the progress toward the freedom to marry in Illinois, which we hope to achieve in the not too distant future," Smith added. "The gala is also important because it helps Equality Illinois raise the funds necessary to do its important advocacy work at this critical time on behalf of LGBT Illinoisans and our families."

Smith and Salgueiro's participation in the Equality Illinois gala follows a Washington inaugural weekend soiree on Saturday night (Jan. 19) – Smith's Chef's Ball – a charity event featuring small bites by Smith and other chefs from the D.C. dining scene.

Smith has cooked for everyone from Oprah Winfrey and Lady Gaga to President Obama, authored cookbooks, and with his husband launched Common Threads, a charity that teaches kids from low-income families how to prepare healthy and delicious food. In Chicago, his signature restaurant is Table Fifty-Two.

The Equality Illinois 2013 Justice for All Gala is Saturday, February 9 in the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave. In addition to the fine dining experience, the gala will feature a slew of public officials, the annual silent auction featuring hundreds of glamorous items, and dancing till midnight.

The mouthwatering, Southern-influenced gala menu inspired by Smith's recipes begins with a first course of fried green tomatoes and a salad of butter lettuce, lola rosa and frisee greens, with local Fair Oaks Dairy cheese, spiced maple pecans and fig preserve dressing.

The main course features the blackened low country style chicken with honey Dijon mustard sauce, plus oven roasted rosemary new potatoes, a bundled wrap of broccolini, yellow squash and red pepper, and Brussels sprouts.

The dessert plate includes a red velvet cake pop, a hummingbird cake square, sour cherry compote and peanut brittle.

More information about the gala is available on the Equality Illinois website

From news release
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