How do you measure a year? Here's a sampling of FIG stats from 2018 :
2018 was a year of change for the company, saying goodbyes and also welcoming new talent to the FIG team. But maybe that restlessness was to be expected in our 13th (tween) year! We also think it's in the air. We’ve noticed new tastes and preferences from our clients and the Chicago events scene in general, and adapting to Chicago’s changing hospitality needs is a challenge FIG embraces. 2018 was the first year without Justin Hall, FIG’s co-founder and former Executive Chef. While it was a big transition for everyone, the FIG tree has deep roots and continues to grow. Now that we’re well into 2019, we had some time to wax nostalgic.
Here’s what we celebrated in 2018… or at least a digestible amount of FIG happenings :
For the first time, FIG opened availability for larger (200+) events. We had the privilege of catering the Smith Nature Symposium and Benefit with guests of honor Robert Redford and artist Sibylle Szaggars Redford.
FIG owner Molly traveled to Turin, IT as a Slow Food Chicago delegate at Salone del Gusto.
We started conversations with new producers (like Metro Farms, Sitka Salmon, Closed Loop Farms, Chicago Mushroom Company, to name a few). The fact that two of these suppliers are on hiatus or closed speaks to the difficulty of sustaining a small farm. As a local food business that supports small and local farms whenever possible - CAN SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE AN APP FOR THAT (to order and track local ingredients)? Just putting it in the ether.
We expanded our hosted event series and gave it a name - FIG Presents. These include partnered events and farm dinners, and cooking classes. Check out recaps and pictures from Spring Finale and Not Another Farm Dinner.
FIG Drinks started a co-hosted series with Chicago Prohibition Tours. Learn how you can “drink like a grownup” at the Prohibition Cocktail Workshop.
We were honored to help food advocacy nonprofits raise funds through sponsored special events. Highlights included executing former White House chef Sam Kass’ pasta recipe for the Urban Growers Collective inaugural gala, and the Camp FIG VIP area at the Green City Market Chef BBQ.