Once a year, a dozen unique contributors to Chicago’s innovative cultural landscape come together under Spudnik’s roof for food, games, celebration, and healthy competition.
The Hashbrown brings a democratic “pay-it-forward” approach to fundraising. Organizations who place first through third each receive a cash prize. Spudnik Press Cooperative, which presents The Hashbrown, invites organizations that work in many different fields and neighborhoods. “Directly or indirectly, these organizations support and contribute to each other’s missions. By working together, we create a more vibrant city,” says Angee Lennard, Spudnik Press Founder and Executive Director.
This year’s competition, taking place on February 28th at 6:00pm in the Hubbard Street Lofts, invites back “2014 Best Chili” winner Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) to defend its title as well as Corner Farm, who placed second. Other past chefs that are returning for another chance to take home the golden ladle are North Branch Projects and Homeroom Chicago.
Seven organizations are competing for the first time. Latitude Chicago is a community digital media lab and is the newest tenant in the Hubbard Street Lofts houses Spudnik Press Cooperative and many other creative businesses. MAKE Magazine and The Perch both support the literary community through unique publishing projects. Another new competitor is The WasteShed, a recently opened “upcyling” center in West Town. Eyeworks Animation Festival focuses on abstract animation and unconventional character animation and occurs every November. While many of the participants are relatively new organizations, The Hashbrown also welcomes two well-established organizations known for their exhibitions and innovative programming: Chicago Art Department and Woman Made Gallery.
Guests are able to taste as many chilis as they desire, then vote for their favorite recipe. Admission starts at $10 and includes 4 tasting tickets. The VIP package is $22 and includes 5 tasting tickets, a drink, and entry in the drawing. The Royalty Package covers two VIP passes, and a special edition tote bag for just $65! Tickets may be purchased at spudnikpress.org.
New in 2015, The Hashbrown will include dessert tastings from area restaurants, a drawing, and printmaking-themed carnival games. Beverages, curated by Certified Cicerone® Adam Schulte, will include Aspall cyder, Trooper, an English Pale Ale created by Iron Maiden and handcrafted by Robinson’s Brewery; plus cocktails and a digestif. All beverages are provided by Artisanal Imports, an importer of specialty beers and spirits from England, Germany, Belgium and beyond.
While Spudnik Press is unable to provide the details of what secret ingredients might find their way into tasting cups on February 28th, past chilis have featured candied bacon, chocolate, buffalo meat, and even actual hash browns.
Eyeworks Animation Festival
North Branch Projects
Woman Made Gallery
General Admission: $10
Includes 4 tasting tickets.
VIP Package: $22
Includes 5 tasting tickets, a free drink, and a golden spoon. All VIPs will be entered into the drawing.
Royalty Package: $65
Includes two VIP Packages, a commemorative poster, and an artist designed totebag.