Kapos: After winning the Series, Theo Epstein ate goat
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Theo Epstein and his team have said they didn’t give much thought to that superstitious billy goat curse.
But when the president of Chicago Cubs operations returned from Cleveland with the World Series championship, he made an interesting request. Epstein asked some restaurant friends to deliver something special for lunch: a roasted goat.
“We were on the phone with Jed. He was recapping the game, and in the background, Theo says he wanted roasted goat for lunch,” restaurateur Kevin Boehm said, referring to Jed Hoyer, the Cubs’ executive vice president and general manager. “I said we’d make it happen.”
The restaurant serves goat liver mousse, goat carpaccio, goat empanadas, goat shank and goat legs.
For Epstein’s executive team, Izard oven-roasted a 9 1/2 pound goat.
Boehm, Katz, and Boka Vice President Ian Goldberg delivered it to Epstein. “They were all sitting in the left-field bleachers in an empty Wrigley Field. They ate it right there,” said Boehm, who described the lunch as one of last week’s many moments of wonder. Between them, he and Katz attended 23 post-season games, including the championship.
No word from Epstein’s crew on what they thought of lunch.
“They’ve said there are no curses, that it was just a matter of putting together a great baseball team,” Boehm says. “But they were happy to eat that goat.”
Can tech save Syria?
Tech entrepreneur Sam Yagan is just wrapping up a $39 million fundraising effort for his latest venture capital fund. It’s going to help entrepreneurs solve the world’s problems.
Maybe even in Syria.
“I want to try to help with what’s going on there,” he told a room full of 30-somethings gathered last week to hear him speak at an Ivy social-networking event.
Yagan is Syrian American; his parents immigrated here more than 40 years ago. The atrocities and war crimes going on there worry him.
The tech world knows Yagan for founding SparkNotes — the online version of CliffsNotes. He went on to start OkCupid, the online dating site bought by Match.com. And he now heads ShopRunner (like Amazon Prime but for the brands you love).
Yagan’s success allows him the luxury of supporting other entrepreneurs looking to change the world.
“Immigration is the ultimate entrepreneurship,” he said, explaining the difficulties of starting with nothing and having the spirit to achieve your dreams.
Justice of the Pies
The story of Maya-Camille Broussard, owner of Justice of the Pies bakery, is as rich as the delicacies she bakes.
Broussard’s father was Stephen J. Broussard, a noted Chicago criminal trial attorney who died in 2009 from complications from a brain tumor. He was passionate about the law, community theater and baking. In fact, he was a self-described “pie master,” remembers his daughter. “He’d say no one makes a better crust than me. We thought it was funny because everyone in my family bakes.”
The younger Broussard grew up watching her dad cook, but she was drawn to the arts. She earned fine arts degrees from Howard and Northwestern universities and then opened a gallery in the Loop not long after her father’s death.
A flood in 2011 forced her to close shop, so she turned to baking. There was solace in the craft her father loved. She spent a year developing recipes before starting up Justice in 2014.
She uses “unique flavors” and artistic presentation to differentiate her pies from other bakeries. She capitalizes the pie names as she would a piece of art such as Sweet Basil Key Lime Pie. The most popular is Blue Cheese Praline Pear Pie. Customers are intrigued by the title and then fall for the taste, she says.
Two Whole Foods stores are selling Justice pies, and there are plans to expand on that. Broussard is a regular at the Daley Plaza Farmers Market. Now she’s taking Thanksgiving orders online at www.justiceofthepies.com.
‘Windy City’ soap stars
Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini make guest appearances this week on “General Hospital,” the soap opera that follows their “Windy City Live” talk show on ABC Channel 7.
“We do live TV every day but it’s different on an acting set. In broadcasting, you’ve got to be a little more energetic. Acting, you’ve got to come off as natural as possible,” says Chiaverini. “The hardest part was making sure not to forget your lines.”
All five of them.
Warner, who plays an attorney, shared a scene with Skokie native Nancy Lee Grahn, a regular actress on the soap. She showed up in a Cubs hat.
“Windy City” takes a behind-the-scenes look of the experience Nov. 8, right before the soap airs.
Read more Taking Names at shiakapos.com.