Kristina and Greg Gaardbo plan to use their prowess in authentic Texas-style barbecue and craft beer for up to a dozen food-centric events, possibly starting in May outside their Chicago Culinary Kitchen in Palatine.
Chicago Culinary Kitchen is a hybrid business with cooking classes, catering, special gatherings and a weekend barbecue restaurant in the North Quentin Plaza mall, 773 N. Quentin Road. Chicago Culinary's brisket, pulled pork, spare ribs and other items on a limited menu are served from 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays until they run out.
Before the Palatine village council gave final approval for up to 12 outdoor events, Councilman Doug Myslinski jokingly asked when the restaurant will start making more food on weekends.
"Let us cook outside more," Kristina Gaardbo replied with a laugh. "It's not us."
Smoked or grilled meat known as churrasco will be the centerpiece of the outdoor events in the eastern section of the mall's parking lot. The al fresco gatherings, which will require prepaid tickets, will take place from May through November, running four hours on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon or night, or Sunday afternoon.
Chicago Culinary also will be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages and play music at the events. Tables and chairs will be available to patrons.
Kristina Gaardbo, a certified craft beer expert whose husband is a pitmaster, said a tent will be used to protect the food preparation area. She and her husband answered a couple questions from the village council before receiving the special-use permit amendment needed for the outdoor initiative.