During a recent trip to Chicago I had the dining experience of a lifetime. I was the “date” to my cousin Kellie who was invited to a personal dinner party featuring world class Chef Rene De Leon. I thought this dinner party would “merely” involve indulging in his fine cooking. Imagine my surprise when he actually put us to work, chopping vegetables and stuffing dumplings. From spring rolls to dumplings to whole fish, we assisted Chef Rene in preparing a feast of flavors. I spent most of the night in awe of this amazing chef who has cooked at acclaimed restaurants such as Next & Alinea. What an incredible night with great conversation and stellar food.