Alycia Mondavi & Chef Markus Ford Midsummer Night’s Wine Dinner at Marchesa

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Courtesy of Sami Keinänen (Flickr CC0)

Alycia Mondavi and Chef Markus Ford’s midsummer night’s wine dinner at Marchesa will be held for one night only!  On Wednesday, June 29, Marchesa is throwing open the doors of the luxurious three-story venue for guests to meet Alycia Mondavi of Charles Krug and Aloft Wines for a five-course dinner curated by celebrated Chef Markus Ford, and featuring some of her family’s favorite wine selections.

Three dinner seatings will be served on two of Marchesa’s floors. Each seating will be served over several hours. The first dinner seating begins at 5:30 p.m. in the art-filled Main Dining Room, the second seating begins at 7:00 p.m. in the luxe Parisian salon, The Apartment. The last seating of the night, at 8:30 p.m., will be served in the Main Dining Room. The Champagne Cave, Marchesa’s subterranean lair, will be open for pre-dinner aperitifs and post-dinner digestifs. An aperitif is an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite and a digestif is a drink or portion of food drunk or eaten in order to aid the digestion.

Each seating will start off with a reception featuring an amuse of Peruvian Potato with Crème Fraîche and Caviar served alongside a ­­­­­­­coupe of Schramsberg Vineyards, Brut Blanc de Blancs, North Coast.

The dinner menu includes the following delectable courses with wine pairings:

Second Course

Courtesy of Simon Willison (Flickr CC0)

Marchesa will be offering their guest a choice between Frutta di Mare Bisque, served with an Armagnac, or White & Green Asparagus Panna Cotta, Seasonal Greens, served with a Floral Crostini. They will have an Aloft Chenin Blanc which has ‘Bright acidity, creamy finish with bold aromatics of kafir, lime, Meyer lemon curd, orange blossom, and jasmine.’


Marchesa will then offer guests a Cantaloupe Sorbet and a Splash of Sparkling Wine.

Third Course

Next, Marchesa guests will be able to choose from Grass-Fed Filet of Beef, Red Wine Demi-Glace, Celery Root Potato Purée, Vegetable Bouquet or Fish du Jour ‘En Papillote,’ Spring Vegetables, New Potatoes, Saffron Tomato Court Bouillon or Duck Confit Ravioli, Braised Rapini, Sautéed Apples, Sage Beurre Noisette or Roasted Vegetable Tian, Truffled Risotto, Ramps. Marchesa will have a Charles Krug Chardonnay which has a ‘Complex bouquet with lemon blossom, baked pear, white floral and toasted marshmallow…long citrus finish with an elegant balance’, or a Charles Krug Generations Bordeaux Blend which has an ‘Aromas of berries and pomegranate dominate with notes of tobacco, bay leaf, and dark chocolate…full-bodied with a firm…texture; it entices with flavors of mixed berries, vanilla, and toasty oak’ for guests to enjoy.

Fourth Course

Marchesa will be offering a Chef Markus’ Decadent Summer Dessert Selection with a 2017 Aloft Cabernet Sauvignon Intense combination of blackberry and red raspberry [with a] hint of lavender. Full-bodied with…freshly black tea and semi-dark chocolate. Bigger tannins, but extremely round and well-integrated.’

The cost of the dinner experience is $150.00 per person plus sales tax & gratuity. Supplements for each course are available, including half bottles of Champagne, Petrossian caviar bumps, and shaved Umbrian truffles.


Courtesy of Like_the_Grand_Canyon (Flickr CC0)

Born into the heart of both Napa Valley and California’s premier wine family, it is no exaggeration to say Alycia Mondavi and her three sisters were part of the wine industry from birth. Their family has owned and operated C. Mondavi and Family since 1943.

Just like her father and her sisters, Alycia received her first paycheck at a young age, working odd jobs at the winery, from the laboratory to the hospitality center. In 2005 she launched the Mondavi Sisters’ Collection, which now includes Aloft and Dark Matter wines.

In 2012, she joined her sister Riana as a fourth-generation family member working for C. Mondavi & Family managing the family’s high-end brand Aloft, a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon made by Napa Wine guru Thomas Rivers Brown. In addition to her full-time job, she focuses on the joint-venture, Dark Matter Wines. With the help and brainstorming of her sisters, Mondavi oversees the marketing and customer relations for Dark Matter Wines for both the Zinfandel and the Limitless Cabernet Sauvignon.

In addition, Alycia manages the daily operations for Mondavi Sisters’ Collection as CEO and Co-Proprietress with her three sisters – Angelina, Riana, and Giovanna. She also continues to work closely with her family as a Brand Ambassador for C. Mondavi & Family to share the stories of the brands and her family’s legacy, one of the most storied in California wine history.

Although quite devoted to the Mondavi Sisters’ Collection, Alycia spends much of her free time helping charities throughout the U.S. In 2018, she and her three sisters had the honor of chairing Auction Napa Valley as the youngest chair and successfully raised $13.6 million for their community.


Chef Markus Ford is known for his over-the-top dining experiences. Whether it be a new release for Dom Perignon, a private dinner for two with a staff of 45, a European holiday extravaganza, or being the signature Chef of Burning Man, Chef Markus has done it all.

Markus studied at Le Cordon Bleu, where he began to first turn his love of fine food into an art form as a professional chef. In the past years, Chef Markus has traveled to over 20 countries and 40 landmark cities. Chef Markus believes in opulence and all his events reflect his refined personal style. This mantra allows him to transcend culinary boundaries and exceeds his client’s expectations. Chef Markus has worked for local and foreign business people, political figures, celebrities, and royalty.

From TV appearances to private jets whisking him off to elite remote areas, Chef Markus keeps himself busy. His food has been tasted by Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre. He has cooked alongside such greats as Cat Cora & Chris Consentino. Chef Markus has shared the spotlight with cooking greats such as Todd English and Duff Goldman. He is looking forward to creating a culinary experience at Chicago’s Marchesa.


Marchesa is a chic, yet approachable, River North eatery serving delicious modern continental cuisine in an art-filled space inspired by Venice’s Guggenheim Museum. Knowing Chicagoans visit for charcuterie, escargots, caviar, steak frites, duck a l’orange, lamb chops, and more with a full-service bar and extensive wine and Champagne cellar. Open five nights a week for dinner – Tuesday through Saturday at 5:00 p.m. featuring a daily ‘Bubbles & Bites’ happy hour. Warm and polished service. Private events in a luxe Parisian salon with a charming treetop view of Wells Street. Jewel box Champagne Cave is open Thursday through Saturday at 5:00 p.m. with a DJ and dancing. Visit their website ( or take a virtual tour at and follow the restaurant on Facebook or Instagram @Marchesa312.

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Sami Keinänen’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Simon Willison’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Image Courtesy of Like_the_Grand_Canyon’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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