Guest Chef Night with Chef Dana Cree of Blackbird

  Photo: Caleb Condit

Photo: Caleb Condit

Chicago, you’re in for a special treat this week. 

This Thursday, we are delighted to feature Chef Dana Cree, two-time James Beard award nominated pastry chef of the culinary institution Blackbird, on the Sprig menu. Our dinner offing this Thursday, September 3rd, will feature dishes prepared by Sprig in collaboration with Chef Dana. 

Dana’s illustrious career has taken her through some of the world’s most celebrated kitchens in the world, including The Fat Duck in the UK, WD-50 in NYC, and most recently, Blackbird and Avec here in Chicago. Dana’s passion for accessible, complex, delicious dining experiences have inspired her to take on a new role as Culinary Director at 1871 Dairy. Her menu will showcase the delicious grass-based dairy products from the 1871 farm. 

The mission to make quality meals accessible motivates Chef Dana, and is an inspiration she shares with Sprig. In her words:

“The idea that delicious food that nourishes you should be as fast and as accessible as other casual options appeals to me. When I tasted the dishes the culinary team at Sprig created, I knew my own recipes would be perfected in their hands.”
 Braised Moroccan Chicken in 1871 Yogurt-Tahini Sauce

Braised Moroccan Chicken in 1871 Yogurt-Tahini Sauce

I love to make this dish for myself because it’s warm, cinamon-y, and comforting, and really brings out phenomenal flavor of the minimally touched tahini-yogurt sauce.





Grilled Thai-Beef Salad with 1871 Farmer's Cheese

I really enjoy the bright flavors of thai beef, especially in the summer, and I've added sliced beef to my favorite summer salad flavors of stone fruit, jalapeno, sliced and shaved garlic, and a fresh farmer’s cheese 



Mediterranean Snap Pea and Mint Salad served with 1871 Lebne

When I lived in Los Angeles, I regularly walked to a nearby mediterranean restaurant to get three things out of their deli case, fresh baked pita, and eat that for dinner. I would always get Lebne. I’m serving this with a mint-pea salad that brings out the Shabazi spice in the lebne. It’s a delicious vegetarian meal.

Tres Leches Cake

The cake will be like a web, that holds together all of the sweet, caramalized goodness. It will showcase the quality of our milk, which needs nothing added to it to be perfect for the desser. 





Per Sprig Guest Chef tradition, Sprig will be donating a portion of the proceeds of this menu to Chef Dana Cree's charity of choice, Pilotlight, which partners chefs with educators to empower children to make healthier food choices.

Dana concludes:

“I realized I was pouring my entire life into creating an experience that only a select demographic could have, and I would not have had access to it. I want to create something that I could give to everybody.” 

This Thursday she has. We can't wait!