Starved Rock Lodge To Host Local Honey and Mead Dinner

Special dining experience to feature locally harvested honey

The Starved Rock Lodge, home to one of the region’s top dining destinations, is teaming up with three local honey purveyors for a special evening of chef-curated dishes and mead pairings.

The fine dining experience will take place in the beautiful, wood-lined Starved Rock Lodge restaurant from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. The local honey dinner and cocktail pairing will showcase delicacies by Executive Chef Bobby Riahi and Sous Chef Justin Robbins. Each of the three courses highlighted at the dinner will feature honey from a different, locally based honey vendor, who will be in attendance for the dinner. They’ll give a brief talk between courses, sharing insight into honey production and beekeeping. Guests will be introduced to O’Connell Farms of La Salle, Lonesome Creek Apiary of Marseilles and Thistle Hill Farm of Princeton.

In addition to the honey experts, Catie Hyde of Obscurity Brewing Company will talk about the mead and cocktails that will pair with each of the courses at this event. For those not in the know, mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey and water – often with the addition of fruits, spices, grains and hops, which results in a wide range of flavor profiles, a perfect pairing for this honey-centric evening.

Upon arrival, guests will be checked in and seated at their tables. Each table will have a local meat and cheese appetizer plate paired with a Sweet Berry Mead Cocktail. The salad course will be paired with a Mead Kir Royale. The entree will be a trio of small plates that feature cedar-plank salmon, smoked duck a l’orange and Korean-inspired braised beef short rib. This main course will be paired with the guest’s choice of a Red Pyment Mead (made with Frontenac grapes) or a Braggot Hefeweissen or Prostober Marzen beer. The dessert course of a salted honey pie with a honeycomb candy crumble will be paired with a Honey Apple Cider Toddy.

Honey from each of the featured local vendors will be for sale at the conclusion of the evening.

“We are pleased to be using locally sourced honey in our kitchen as we move into the future,” Riahi said. “It’s another way to bring fresh and pure ingredients to our guests.”

The Starved Rock culinary team also will talk about what went into creating the menu for the specialty dinner, as well as how locally sourced food and drinks help support the community with a fresh approach to dining at Starved Rock Lodge.

Reservations are required for the event. Tickets cost $95 each. Guests must be age 21 or older to attend.

Call 815-220-7386 or book online at