I first met Jeni Wahl at the Pilsen Community Market. She looks like the the kind of girl I might see at a rock show if I could stay up late enough to go to rock shows anymore. When I heard that she was a rock and roll caterer, I loved the concept and I loved the sample of her food, deliciously porky chick peas (her grandmother’s recipe).
She told me about their catering company, Get Off the Couch Catering and their upcoming tamale shop called Dia de Los Tamales to be located at 939 W. 18th Street in Pilsen. I knew then and there that Jeni was the kind of woman I wanted to know.
Jeni, her husband, Sam Wahl, and their friend and chef Kieth Carlson are behind the future tamale empire. Sam is a local musician and event promoter who started a music showcase called Get Off the Couch. Jeni took to cooking for the artists and their friends after the show, her food was a hit and the concept for a rock and roll catering company was born. With their background in the music industry, they know what it takes to cater to touring bands and musicians.
Luckily for you and me, we don’t have to be in a band to enjoy some of the delicious offerings from Get Off the Couch Catering and Dia de Los Tamales. I recently got to sample some of their food like their delicious roasted corn and black bean tamale with homemade salsa. It was hearty and spicy like a tamale should be. I really loved their media noche sandwiches on sweet Hawaiian bread, bringing a little Cuba to Pilsen! The threesome is currently finishing construction on their commercial kitchen and tamale stand on 18th Street. In order to raise money and awareness for their business, they are running a Kickstarter campagin. You can learn more about it here. They aren’t just soliciting donations on Kickstarter, they are selling Dia de Los Tamales gear and catered party packages to raise the money. This is your opportunity to have a fancy, shmancy catered party with your friends or to go all out next Bears season. Check out their dinner for 12 for $1000 or tailgating party for 8. You can pledge $500 to the Kickstarter campaign and the Get Off the Couch team will literally meet you at the parking lot of Soldier Field with all the food and beverages you would need for you and seven of your friends to tailgate in style. That is only less than $65 per person. How about a tamale party for 40 people for only $400? If you wanted something a bit more accessible then, you can get a Dia de Los Tamales iron-on patch for $10 or a dozen tamales for $25. Any way, you will be supporting a business that we should all be proud to have in our community. They have until February 22nd to raise the $30,000 they need or, according to Kickstarter rules, they don’t get a single penny. Every pledge makes a big difference toward their larger goal! Please take the time to check out their Kickstarter campaign, or visit Get Off the Couch Catering at the next Pilsen Community Market on February 17th or at www.rock-n-rollcatering.com/ .