Since we left her last June, Jordan Wimby has taken a rational approach to pop-ups.
“The amount of food enslaved people were given by owners was referred to as rations,” says Wimby, aka The Melanin Martha. “Corn or fatback or any of the things that the people in the house didn’t wanna eat. These small portions sustained the lives of Black folks on the plantation. But I’ve kind of reclaimed this term. I’m giving you something that sustains our culture. I’m giving you rations.”
The rations will be rich and abundant this September 12 when the Melanin Martha returns to Monday Night Foodball, the Reader’s ongoing guest chef pop-up at the Kedzie Inn in Irving Park. For the sequel, Wimby wants to put a big prix fixe plate of classic and reimagined soul food in front of you, featuring a beet salad with whipped lemon feta, candied pecans, crispy fatback and microgreens; a sweet fried buffalo chicken thigh; a vegan turnip-mustard-collard green medley; whipped orange sweet potatoes; and a hunk of salted maple poppyseed cornbread to sop up every last dribble.
It’s a Melanin Martha meat-and-four—meat-and-five, really, counting the banana pudding pop that’s going to cool your metabolic engines when it all winds down.
Wimby, who’s lately been working behind the stick at Rogers Park Social, tells me she’s in beet mode, and she’s hinted that the night’s cocktail, executed by Kedzie owner Jon Pokorny, could very well be, ahem, rooted in Beta vulgaris. Show up at 5 PM at 4100 N. Kedzie and find out. Limited walk-in orders will be available, but preorder right now to lock in all that love.
Meanwhile, prepare yourself for a night of global Asian barbecue with Umamicue and friends on September 19, and a brand-new Monday Night Foodball fall schedule. It’s coming. I swear it.