Presented by Douglas Sohn
While the Chicago-style hot dog has gained international fame, no one has put more relish in our town’s wienie history than Douglas Sohn. His encased meat emporium, Hot Doug’s (2001-2014), was arguably THE most celebrated hot dog stand between New York and California, located on Chicago’s northwest side. Food authority Anthony Bourdain declared Hot Doug’s as “one of the thirteen places to eat before you die.”
Sohn ran his crowds-lined-round-the-corner establishment by manning the cash register and writing down every order. Customers went into wienie ecstasy over the cornucopia of hot dogs and fresh-cut fries, all dished out up with a healthy dose of Sohn’s bunside manner. One of his sausages, concocted of foie gras and duck meat, gained him a $250 fine and headlines during the Chicago City Council’s short-lived ban on selling foie gras. Goose liver aside, Sohn also gained endless publicity with write-ups in the likes of Bon Appetit and the New York Times, and incessant local print and TV coverage.
Then, at the peak of his savory success, Sohn cut the mustard and closed Hot Doug’s in 2014, leaving legions of aficionados dogged as to why.
Well ponder no more. Sohn will be here to give us the real skinny. In his own words: “I will talk about how I ended up in the hot dog business, the curious and unforeseen events that occurred in the 14 years of owning Hot Doug’s, and what went through my mind when I decided to close a rather successful restaurant.”
Bio: A graduate of the culinary program at Kendall College, Doug Sohn has worked as a vendor at both Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park in the 1980s; was a frequent server/bartender/prep cook for All on the Road Catering in Park Ridge in the 1990s; and cooked in restaurants, catering companies and corporate dining facilities before becoming a cookbook editor. One day a friend of his ate a bad hot dog, inspiring Sohn to open Hot Doug’s, the Sausage Superstore, in Chicago in 2001, and the rest was culinary history. Sohn documented his success with “Hot Doug’s: The Book,” published in 2013.
Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015
10 a.m. to Noon
Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts
900 N. North Branch Street, Chicago
(Located just north of W. Chicago Ave. at N. Halsted St.)
Free Parking in lot on north side of school
Cost of the lecture program is $5, $3 for students and no charge for CHC members and Kendall students and faculty.
To reserve, please e-mail your reservation to: Culinary.Historians@gmail.com