On Saturday, October 26th, BoConcept is excited to team up with Élever Chicago and executive chef Markus Ford for STYLELIFE, a night of fashion, music, drinks and fine food!
Private Chef and Event Planner Markus Ford is known for his uncanny ability to appeal to the senses through the fusion of taste and style with his edible creations. Daring to pair unique combinations of traditional favorites with today’s culinary sophistication, Markus has presented his fare to former President Bill Clinton, the late Princess Diana and celebrities including Bette Midler, Candice Bergen and Michael Jordan.
A world traveler with 20 years of experience, Markus is constantly inspired by people, other countries’ cuisines and almost everything around him, while remaining motivated by his own will to please the palate of those he serves. Markus’ journey has just begun, as he is on a never-ending search for the perfect meal, and to make his next event more grand than the last.
Recently featured on ABC’s “The Taste” Markus is now on a new quest; working with and becoming a celebrity Chef. Thus far his food has been tasted by Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, Ludo Lefebvre and he has cooked alongside such greats as Cat Cora & Chris Consentino and shared the spotlight with Paula Deen, Todd English and Duff Goldman.
In preparation for our event together, BoConcept Chicago wanted to ask Markus a few questions about his history, STYLELIFE and of course, Chicago!
How did you get started in Culinary Arts?
I had to fix my mothers meat loaf! It was terrible! No but seriously, I was a junior in high school. I went to The Chicago High School For Agricultural Sciences. I went there because I wanted to be a landscape architect.
For French class, Madame Z instructed us to all make a French dish. While other guys were making French toast & French fries, I decided to make crepes.
Back then I didn’t know you could buy them pre-made and just add a filling. I made them from scratch. I didn’t burn off the alcohol, so everyone was VERY happy that day!
Madame Z told the principal and they asked me to cater a high school function, and that’s all she wrote! I got my first check for catering at age 16 from my high school principal.
When it came time to sign up for the landscape architecture class, I waited too late; It was full. So they threw me into food science. Seemed like a good fit!
Do you have a proudest culinary accomplishment or moment?
My proudest moment recently… when Da Coach Mike Ditka said “Damn those are some good lamb chops!” But in all of my history, I would say it would be in 1996 during the Democratic National Convention here in Chicago.
I cooked for Bill Clinton, the First Family (back when Chelsea was allergic to grapes), and TONS of celebs!
What’s inspiring you for STYLELIFE?
Pure Style. The showroom of BoConcept is understated, but stunning! I plan to tie in high-end food, a glamorous home decor showroom, live classical music and elegant fashion.
Chicago has so many lame parties for the “Chicago Fake & Fabulous” as I call them. People just want to show up to be photographed. This is about great food and having a great time with amazing wine and good friends.
What was it like making a dish for Anthony Bourdain?
Nerve-racking! I had one hour to create my seared lamb loin medelion with crab & cranberry ravioli with a pink & yellow tomato butter-cream and brussel sprouts caramelized in granulated honey & white balsamic.
But the experience was unforgettable. And Nigella Lawson is gorgeous!
What are your Top 3 favorite things about Chicago?
I was born here and I might not leave! Good pizza, all the cultural & ethnic diversity and the 10 weeks of summer (6 weeks this year).
As he continues to quench his thirst for new ways to delight his clientele, Markus is looking forward to his next venture, an ongoing series of “Pop Up” restaurants, where he will turn a naked space into an amazing restaurant for one night only. BoConcept is thrilled to host his next Pop-Up on October 26th!
For more information and to reserve tickets, visit eleverchicago.com.