a fried green tomato sandwich from Diaspora
A fried green tomato sandwich from Diaspora Credit: Courtesy the artist

I told you it was coming.

The world is burning, but there’s plenty of patio time left in the year. I have here the eight chefs who are going to fill it—and feed you—at Ludlow Liquors, the home base of Monday Night Foodball, the Reader’s weekly chef pop-up—now in its third year!

announcement for the fall 2023 season of Monday Night Foodball pop-up series at Ludlow Liquors in Chicago
Credit: Kirk Williamson

Kicking it off we have Vie veteran Rob Carter of Diaspora, who cooks the food of the Black Diaspora. Rob threw down in the kitchen with Dozzy a few weeks ago, and I know he has the chops to pull off the fetching menu he’s written. Read about his menu here.

Old friends and new are on this lineup. The great Melanin Martha makes her third Foodball appearance the very next week with the sweets of the South, followed by newcomers Dive Bistro, who make, as they say on their Instagram, “Food for chefs and scumbags. Brought to you by scumbag chefs.”

Our old pal Mike Shaker of Shaker Barbeque, well rested after the end of his long-running weekday residence at Ludlow, gets back in the kitchen October 2, while newcomer Laimoon, aka former Galit cook Brandon Dumot, will throw down some very seductive Middle Eastern food October 9.

On the 16th, it’s Filipino barbecue from rookies Mabu Yami, and on the 23rd our pals from Piñatta return with another menu of precolonial Mexican food. On Devil’s Night, Ludlow pop-up regulars Chubby Boy’s Burger make their Foodball debut. They say they’re “excited to start working on the menu for the spooky season.” Finally, renownedweird kidRafa Esparza has signed on for November 6 in celebration of the 90th Malortiversary.

lineup announcement for Monday Night Foodball fall 2023 chef pop ups at Ludlow Liquors
Kirk Williamson

As always, follow each of these chefs on Instagram, along with @chicago_reader and @mikesula, for the very first word on weekly menu drops, ordering info, updates, and the stories behind Chicago’s most exciting foodlums.