3/26/2012 07:49:00 PM

Live Blog: Chicago 30 Under 30 Launch Party!

This week, we blew into the Windy City (ba-dum-dum) to honor the hottest up and comers in Chicago's culinary scene. Our 30 Under 30 list went live this AM, and now that it's the PM, it's par-tay time. We're camped out on the second floor of The Paris Club - that's in River North, not on the banks of the Seine - where the young honorees are gonna join us and drink it up. Stay tuned for updates from the party, and if you're in the room be sure to come say hi to your friendly live blogger - he's the one doing an impression of Sandra Bullock, c. 1995.

6:51 PM: T-minus 9 minutes until the shindig begins - two folks from list are already in the house, cause they work here! Jerrod and Molly Melman are helping oversee the setup - and both are looking as dapper as the space.

7:02 PM: The Paris Club has a swanky black-and-white theme going on, and a  signature design element is black and white photos of party people lining the wall. We sure hope this guy shows up to the party, if only because we want to steal his hat.

7:12 PM: Also in the house is Chuy Valencia, from Chilam Balam and Top Chef Texas - and he knows how to keep things classy. We tried to stop him from pulling his wallet out (open bar, natch) but he takes care of his peeps: "You still gotta tip the bartender..."

7:23 PM: Those of you following at home can scope out a live Hangout RIGHT NOW on our Google Plus page! See how cool it looks in the picture?

7:30 PM: Desiree Napolitano, an honoree from the Chicago Cut Steakhouse just stopped by to say hi to the live blogger. We snapped a photo or two, and she didn't hesitate to be honest: "It feels like a prom photo." We asked if she had any messages for the kids at  home. She laughed - "What has everyone else said?"

7:43 PM: Whiskey seems to be the drink of choice with this crowd. We caught up with Double A's Jay Schroeder, who is drinking a glass of bourbon with a lovely lady friend. They also called out "prom photo!" and  his friend confirmed that she pinned his name tag on, just like a corsage. Awwww. But, how is it different than high school? "We're going to have sex in the bathroom later," Schroeder's friend said. When asked if this was true, his laugh neither confirmed nor denied said restroom adventure.

7:59 PM: More scandal - and we're not talking about the fun-loving duo above (be sure to knock before you use the lady's - just sayin').Another black and white photo on the walls of this swanky joint features this guy. Dude - standing at your window like that might feel swell, but think of your neighbors!

8:06 PM: The room is starting to fill up, and this live blogger just had his first drink. Holla. Be kind and forgive the spllng mestakes from now on.

8:10 PM: Of course there are plates of food being passed around, and everyone is gobbling them up. Things the shrimp in the individual shrimp cocktail are bigger than:

1 .A baby's shin.
2. A creeepy old woman's long, witch-like fingers.
2. Shrimp from other, lamer cities - Chicago rocks!!!

8:23 PM: And ladies and gentlemen, here they are, our Chicago 30 Under 30! Oh, and once everyone started screaming "smush in closer! smush in closer!" for the photo, even we started having prom flashbacks. Presentation is done - 32 more minutes to drink. Go go go!!
8:37 PM: Next year's crop of nominees is in the house - at least when we come back to town to do Chicago's 30 Under 30 people with totally bitchin' hair. Dude, we salute you.

9:47 PM: Awesomeness - all of the honorees featured on our list came out for the party (we're sure the free drinks had nothing to do with it). The second floor of the Pairs Club is the place to be tonight kids. Also - did you see the dude with the cool hair??

9:54 PM: And things are winding down at The Paris Club, everyone we talked to said they had a great time (and we can tell because they were saying it through slurred words and stopped mid sentence to "go chase after some girls.") Of course, no live blog would be complete without a little self portrait. If you weren't able to stop over, there we are on the right. Good night kids, we'll see you at the next shindig. Just hope we don't get....deleted....


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