LAKEVIEW — A new pop-up dinner series in Lakeview will offer perspectives from immigrant chefs across the city at a time when some believe immigrant communities are being "demonized."
Southport & Irving will host its first of six planned "Unity in Diversity" pop-up meals at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23, at 4000 N. Southport Ave. Each chef will design a menu drawing from their family recipes, offering tastes of home-cooked meals from Mexico, India, Ireland, Iraq and Poland — many of which have thriving immigrant communities in Chicago.
"No matter your upbringing, there is togetherness in food and sharing a meal with others," said Ardit Dizdari, the restaurant's general manager. "Through food, we learn about culture, and through culture, we learn about the lives of our fellow humans."
February's pop-up will feature a Mexican meal by Berta Navarro, who "helps out" at Southport & Irving, Dizdari said.
Her five course, $55 dinner includes mini chorizo sopes, or small flatbread sandwiches, flan and tres leches. Entrees range from the pozole pork stew to the slow-cooked, fragrant birria on housemade tortillas.
And hailing from Jalisco — the state where all tequila is made — has its perks; the Feb. 23 dinner will begin with a cocktail hour featuring tastes of tequila cocktails and appetizers.
Profits from the informal, family-style dinners will go to the chef's chosen nonprofit. Navarro selected Mujeres Latinas en Acción, which provides services to Latina women like counseling, parent support and leadership programs.
"We are a nation where a multitude of ethnicities, backgrounds and flavors all melt together, and these dinners are intended to showcase that zest of life," Dizdari said.
To make a reservation, call Southport & Irving at (773) 857-2890.