Listen up meat and wine-lovers — campfire cooking is set to take on a new meaning at Babygold Barbecue, 6615 W. Roosevelt Rd., Berwyn. The restaurant, known for serving approachable barbecue, has partnered up with Ridge Vineyards for a one-night only event designed to showcase exceptional single-vineyard wines and the open fire cooking expertise of Chef John Manion. The much-lauded chef is the Culinary Director at Babygold and Executive Chef/Owner at El Che Bar in Chicago.

“Generally, people think of steak and red wine as being a great pairing,” said Will Duncan, owner of Babygold Barbecue and FitzGerald’s nightclub. “But we started asking why not pair wines with smoked meats?”

The event scheduled for Nov. 2 will feature a five-course dinner and wine pairings for a small group of 40 guests. The offerings will stay true to Babygold’s tradition of serving barbecued meats with Cajun influences while elevating the dishes beyond standard patio fare.

Chef John Manion cooks steak over an open fire. The same technique will be on display for the upcoming Fire and Wine dinner at Babygold Barbecue. (Provided)

“We are transitioning out of peak patio season,” said Duncan. “We are looking to create experiences that will bring people in. This is a premium, one-of-a-kind event, and all the dishes are off menu. We are looking forward to sharing an intimate dining experience.”

As ticket holders arrive, they will be invited to gather around the campfire for a hot toddy where Chef Manion will be preparing his signature style ribeye steak. The scent of beef cooking over coals is sure to set the tone for the evening as the chef hangs the steaks over the fire exposing them to smoke. The dramatic live fire cooking technique reflects Manion’s years growing up in South America. 

Inside the well-appointed Babygold dining room, Poppi Monroe, Ridge Wine sales representative, will be onsite to guide guests through tasting the rare-release wines allocated for the Fire and Wine dinner. Ridge Vineyard has been crafting single-vineyard wines since 1962 and guests should expect to savor the noteworthy MontBello Vineyards 2019 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with Manion’s fire-cooked Cajun Creekstone ribeye with horseradish, broccolini, and potato puree. 

Chef John Manion (Provided)

Manion is also pulling out all the stops to bring some fine dining flair to barbecue fare in the courses leading up to the slow smoked ribeye entree. The menu is set to include smoked oyster Sardou, an interpretation of a Louisiana creole egg dish featuring artichokes, spinach and rich hollandaise sauce. Monroe plans to pair the dish with a bright, mineral-rich Grenache Blanc prized for notes of green apple, lime and freshly cut grass. Duck Jambalaya with Andouille crackin’s will pair with the 2020 Benito Dusi Ranch Zinfandel and Manion’s barbecue lamb rib with pit beans and wilted greens will pair with a garnet hued Three Valleys red blend with notes of raspberry, fig, clove, and fresh mint essences. The meal will end with S’mores deluxe and a good brown spirit.

As an added bonus, Fire and Wine dinner attendees will be given the opportunity to purchase Ridge Vineyards wines at retail prices for home delivery within 48 hours. 

This premium experience is limited to 40 guests. A deposit is required to secure a reservation. Interested parties can visit FitzGerald’s website to secure a spot for the  dinner.

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