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A Night of Folly and yummy sensation

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On Friday, February 24th, Grammy award winning Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and Grace restaurant's Michelin Star Awarded Chef Curtis Duffy joined forces to create an exclusive evening of thought-provoking cuisine and innovative entertainment to benefit PAWS Chicago, an animal welfare organization dedicated to saving homeless cats and dogs. This Night of Folly was both curated and hosted by the two superstars; an event of their own design.

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Twelve lucky auction bidders won the exclusive tickets during the 12th Annual PAWS Chicago Fur Ball when a live auction was conducted last November. Proceeds from this exclusive annual event went to benefit the homeless pets rescued by PAWS Chicago.

Duffy and Corgan are both supporters of PAWS Chicago and its No-Kill mission, They say they were inspired by the extravagance and revelry of the Great Gatsby-era. “Our goal was to create an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind evening that couldn't be repeated if you tried!” Corgan explained.

Corgan promised the “Night of Folly” would contain ‘music, theatre, music-theatre, and theatrical musings that challenge both the intellect and senses’ and he delivered. The evening started with an illusionist, The Spellbinder, who performed parlor tricks.

At the first intermission, Corgan played the keyboard, accompanied by Chloe Mendel on saxophone. The second intermission of the evening included an Oracle, Josephus with Eve from Corgan’s wrestling company Resistance Pro, who provided words of wisdom and answered questions from the guests.

Corgan’s grand finale included debuting a song from a possible musical based on the 10 biblical plagues with help from Jessica Reddish, director of The Music Theatre Company of Highland Park. He performed an acoustic set and was accompanied by three dancers.

Chef Duffy created a completely original menu tailored specifically for the event with a focus on highlighting the purest ingredients at the height of season. The twelve guests feasted on a seven course tasting menu which included:

1. Salsify
golden char roe, apple, oxalis

2. Alaskan King Crab
kalamansi, cucumber, lemon balm

3. Winter Vegetables
huckleberry, amaranth, tarragon

4. Périgord Truffle
crème caramel, sherry, chive

5. Miyazaki Beef
summer pickles, aged grits, dill

6. Buddha’s Hand
passion fruit, brown butter, lemon balm

7. Pear
black sugar, licorice, lemon vergena

The entire event was set in a true masterpiece of architecture – a stunning, lakeside North Shore home which was the perfect complement to the unique entertainment and progressive, imaginative cuisine prepared for the 12 special guests.

"I've been an animal lover all my life,” says Duffy. “I believe firmly in the work PAWS has been doing for the last 16 years. I'm thrilled that Chicago is so close to being the first major metropolitan No Kill Community -- that's amazing!”

This year, PAWS Chicago will find homes for more than 6,000 pets from its cage-less, state-of-the-art No Kill Adoption Center. To follow them and their fantastic local work, go to www.pawschicago.org or follow them on facebook.com/pawschicago.

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