Chef returns to neighborhood to host pop-up dinner

Adrienne Cheatham -Photo courtesy of Melissa Hom

Contributing Writer

Hyde Park native Chef Adrienne Cheatham, runner up of season 15 of the “Top Chef” television series on BRAVO, is returning to her hometown to host a Sunday Best pop up dinner. The dinner will take place from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West.

The Sunday Best dinner, a nationwide pop up dinner series, will include four courses and wine pairings and will cost $125 per person.

“I’d been looking to do the Sunday Best pop-up in Chicago for a while,” said Cheatham, who attended Murray and Ray elementary schools. “It was kind of meaningful to do the first time in my neighborhood. I’m probably more excited about this one than I have been so far.”

Cheatham’s mother was a hostess, then manager of Mellow Yellow and worked in other restaurants in Hyde Park. She said she always felt comfortable in restaurants. Cheatham graduated from Whitney Young High School and went to Florida A&M University.

“College did inform a bit of how I cook,” she said. “It definitely gave me a more nuanced view of what southern cuisine was.”

Carlos Cruz-Photo courtesy of The Promontory

Cheatham said while she started as a pastry chef, working on the savory side helped her loosen up.

“The people on the savory side were cowboys. The more I got into it, I was like, “oh my god, this is pretty awesome,” she said.

Carlos Cruz, executive chef at The Promontory, said the opportunity to work with Cheatham kind of fell into their laps.

“We thought it was a great idea,” he said. “Right time, right moment.”

He said the menu will be focused mostly on her style, which has been described as a fusion of Southern cuisine and fine dining.

“We want patrons to experience Adrienne’s cooking and experience amazing food,” he said.

Cheatham said she will bring a whole lot of love.

“I really hope that I convey love and appreciation for [the] neighborhood on a plate,” she said. “Everything I am is a reflection of my life in Chicago.”