‘The World’s Most Expensive Ham’ Dinner at EL Ideas, May 19

Foss carves the Cinco Jotas 5j Jamon de Bellota.
Foss carves the Cinco Jotas 5j Jamon de Bellota. Photo: courtesy EL Ideas

Here’s one you’ll want to pounce on fast, especially since it’s happening in the middle of the NRA restaurant show. “The World’s Most Expensive Ham” is Spain’s Cinco Jotas 5j Jamon de Bellota, a 100% acorn fed and purebred Iberian ham that has been cave aged for two years for unrivaled porky-umami-bomb depth of flavor. Our leading importer of magical things, Rodrick Markus of Rare Tea Cellar, now brings it in to Chicago, and he’s teaming up with one of our leading creators of magical dining experiences, Phillip Foss of EL Ideas, for a one-night dinner highlighting this ham which Foss describes as having flavor “more complex than a divorce.” (Ouch.) Besides a dozen-plus courses by Foss and chef de cuisine Matt DuBois, most incorporating the ham in some way, there will be beverage pairings by Dave Thomas of H2Vino, including Spanish rarities of various kinds such as a 1975 sherry, and cocktails featuring the truffle bitters made by Markus and Adam Seger; Saul Sola of Cinco Jota will be present at the dinner to talk jamon, as well. It’s $250 per person plus tax and gratuity, on Sunday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m.; seating is very limited. Email reservations@elideas.com.