Wonderland Cafe. Help start the first 100% vegan cafe in Chicago.

We’ve been working for a while on opening Wonderland Cafe, which will be the first 100% vegan cafe right here in Chicago! The mornings will feature vegan pastries, breakfast sandwiches, grab ‘n’ go food, and of course, coffee! The evenings will feature many of my signature dishes, special events, guest chefs, and serve as a vegan business incubator for testing new ideas and concepts here in Chicago!

You can check out our Kickstarter campaign here!

Here’s some of the menus we have planned, both for the cafe mornings, and the dinners.
Not all of these menu items will be available at the same time, and we’ll be adding more ideas as we go along, but consider this a rough draft:

Wonderland Cafe Seasonal Sample Menus
Spring
List of Morning Offerings
Just Egg Breakfast Sandwiches. Smoked Seitan ‘Canadian Bacon,’ Chao Cheese
‘Bacon & Cheese’ Scones or Drop Biscuits
Bagels & House made Vegan Cream Cheeses: Original, Onion, Lox, Fermented Pepper,
‘Saag Paneer,’ Pesto, and Tomato
Pistachio Biscotti
Tunisian Orange Cake
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake
Strawberry Plum Bars
Cherry Strudel Coffee Cake
Cinnamon Rolls with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
Croissants

List of Evening Offerings
Small Plates

Poached Asparagus with Preserved Lemon Hollandaise, Arugula, and Fried Capers
Cucumber Pirikara (Japanese salt rolling technique, marinated with chile, and sesame)
Trumpet Mushroom, Macadamia, and Avocado Poke: Served with Tortilla Chips and Lime
Fried Green Tomatoes: With Tarragon Remoulade
Fresh Shelling Peas with Dandelion Green Pesto and Almond Pecorino
Parsnip Apple Soup with Cashew Crema and Rosemary Oil
Japanese Sweet Potato and Squash Croquettes: With Shungiku-Lemon Aioli
Cauliflower Baked in a Pot: With Blood Orange, Chives, and Red Curry Oil
Deviled Potatoes: Black Salt, Paprika, Chives
Wonderland Cafe Cheese Plate: With Crostini, Pickles, and Compote
Mains
Chermoula Braised Artichoke: Seasoned Bulgur, Black Beluga Lentils, Green Tomato Pickle, Herbs
Seared Polenta Cake: With Seared Fresh Corn, Maitake Mushrooms, Tomato, and Black eyed Peas
Cabbage Rolls: Shiitake, Preserved Tomato, Smoked Lentils, Sauerkraut, Whipped Cashew, Dill

Summer
List of Morning Offerings
Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies
Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake
Plum-Pistachio Biscotti
Apricot Crumble Bars
Strawberry Plum Crisp
Summer Fruit Tart With Lavender Syrup
Cannoli with Almond Cream and Raspberries
Upside-Down Peach Bundt Cake
Bagels & House made Vegan Cream Cheese: Original, Onion, Lox, Fermented Pepper, ‘Saag Paneer,’ Pesto, and Tomato.
Just Egg Breakfast Sandwiches. Smoked Seitan ‘Canadian Bacon,’ Chao Cheese
Cinnamon Rolls with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
‘Bacon & Cheese’ Scones or Drop Biscuits

List of Evening Offerings
Small Plates

Caprese Salad: Heirloom Tomatoes, Cashew Mozzarella, Basil, Olive Oil, Balsamic Reduction
Sumomono Salad: Accordion Cut Cucumbers, Wakame, Marinated Yuba Strips, Tosa Vinaigrette
Trumpet Mushroom, Macadamia, and Avocado Poke: Served with Tortilla Chips and Lime
Sweetcorn Pakoras: Corn, Summer Squash, & Red Onion fried in Chickpea Batter, with Pluot Chutney
Preserved Lemon and Fig Salad, Mixed Greens, Almonds
Japanese Style Eggplant: Shiitake Mushroom Dashi, Ginger, and Fresh Horseradish Greens
Country Fried Okra: Fermented Pepper Remoulade, Cucumber Pickles
Salted Cucumber and Melon Salad: Fennel Puree, Urfa Chile
Deviled Potatoes: Black Salt, Paprika, Chives
Wonderland Cafe Cheese Plate: With Crostini, Pickles, and Compote
Mains
Oyster Mushroom Gumbo. Served with mix of Japanese Haiga Mai and Minnesota Wild Rice.
Eggplant Ravioli: Tomato Dough filled with Eggplant, Almond Ricotta, and Herbs. With Corn Puree, Basil, and Shaved Almond Parmesan
Ratatouille: Summer Squash, Eggplant, and Bell Pepper thinly shaved and layered over a rich tomato sauce, topped with Cashew Burrata and Basil.
Trofie Pasta: Served with Blanched Green Beans, Pesto, and Toasted Walnuts
Meze & Pita: Skordalia, Tzatziki, Dolmades, Almond Feta, Basil, and Tomato Salad, and a Smoky Grilled and Chilled Eggplant and Parsley Spread, all served with fresh pita.

Fall
List of Morning Offerings

Chocolate Babka
Ginger Molasses Cookies
Gingerbread Men
Pumpkin Crumb Cake
Lemon Poppyseed Cake
Apple Strudel
Pear-Brandy Crumb Cake
Cherry-Almond Biscotti
Carrot Cake Muffins
Bagels & House made Vegan Cream Cheese: Original, Onion, Lox, Fermented Pepper, ‘Saag Paneer,’ Pesto, and Tomato.
Just Egg Breakfast Sandwiches. Smoked Seitan ‘Canadian Bacon,’ Chao Cheese
Cinnamon Rolls with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
‘Bacon & Cheese’ Scones or Drop Biscuits

List of Evening Offerings
Small Plates

White Bean, Garlic, and Potato Soup. French Onion Soup. Potato Leek, Etc.
Broccoli Raab Salad: Preserved Lemon, Dates, Cashew Burrata.
Arancini: Panko-Fried Risotto Ball, Filled with Cashew Mozzarella, Served with Tomato and Basil
Sunchoke-Smoked Apple Salad: With Sorrel, Rosemary Oil, and Cashew Cream
Kuri Squash, Pepita, Arugula, and Sesame Snow Salad
Seared Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Persimmon Marmalade
Maitake Mushroom Pate: Crostini, Rosemary, & Cornichons
Deviled Potatoes: Black Salt, Paprika, Chives
Wonderland Cafe Cheese Plate: With Crostini, Pickles, and Grilled Grapes
Mains
Confit Trumpet Mushroom Bourguignon
Chimichurri-Roasted Portobello: Sunchoke-Herb Hash, Roasted Poblano Pepper Cream
Seared Polenta Cake: Seared Broccoli Raab, Tomato, Garlic Confit, Marrow Beans
Lasagna: House made Noodles, Smoked Lentil Bolognese, Tomato. Basil, Cashew Mozzarella

Winter
List of Morning Offerings

Chocolate Babka
Chocolate Cbip Cookies
Candy Cane Cookies
Molasses-Tea Cookies
Classic Stollen
Cherry-Cheese Stressful
Russian ‘Honey’ Cake
Linzertorte
Earl Grey Tea and Poppyseed Bundt Cake, Meyer Lemon Cream Frosting
NY Crumb Cake
Cinnamon Rolls with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
‘Bacon & Cheese’ Scones or Drop Biscuits
Bagels & House made Vegan Cream Cheese: Original, Onion, Lox, Fermented Pepper, ‘Saag Paneer,’ Pesto, and Tomato.
Just Egg Breakfast Sandwiches. Smoked Seitan ‘Canadian Bacon,’ Chao Cheese

List of Evening Offerings
Small Plates:

Cauliflower Baked in a Pot: With Blood Orange, Chives, and Red Curry Oil
Potato Leek Vichyssoise: Chives, Bread
French Onion Soup, White Bean, Potato, Roasted Garlic, etc.
Smoked Beet Pate: Lemon, Sumac, Olive Oil, Urfa Chile, and Pita Chips
Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes: Molasses-Tamari Foam, Chives
Saag Paneer Spinach Dip & Crosier
Arancini: Panko-Fried Risotto Ball, Filled with Cashew Mozzarella, Served with Tomato and Basil
Sunchoke-Smoked Apple Salad: With Sorrel, Rosemary Oil, and Cashew Cream
Seared Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Persimmon Marmalade
Maitake Mushroom Pate: Crostini, Rosemary, & Cornichons
Deviled Potatoes: Black Salt, Paprika, Chives
Wonderland Cafe Cheese Plate: With Crostini, Pickles, and Grilled Grapes
Mains:
Ramen: Seared Trumpet Mushroom, Braised Tofu, Bamboo, Shiitake Mushroom, Scallion, House made Vegan Egg, and Black Garlic Chile Oil
Confit Trumpet Mushroom Bourguignon
Lasagna: House made Noodles, Smoked Lentil Bolognese, Tomato. Basil, Cashew Mozzarella
Mushroom Goulash with House made Spaetzle and Cashew Sour Cream
Smoked Potato Schnitzel with Spaetzle, Creamed Spinach, and Beet Kraut

That’s quite a list!

That said, here’s a description of our goals, as well as the perks we’re offering for contributions to our Kickstarter campaign:

Risks and Challenges:

We understand that many challenges face opening a vegan business, and for any new business in Chicago. It takes a village. We do have many good things going for us:

*Or rent is very reasonable, and we’re in a great location.
*We have a prep kitchen/walk in refrigerator, literally right around the corner at Kitchen 17.
*We have many revenue streams. The cafe in the morning, the dinners in the evening, grab and go food, meal delivery, office catering, cooking classes, and wedding and event catering as well.
*We have a very committed and diverse team. Kevin has run 4 successful restaurants in SF, and has cooked for thousands of people here in Chicago. We’ve forged great relationships with many vegan food companies, restauranteurs, animal rights nonprofits, and local Chicago organizations.
*We have a very devoted team. Building people up who work with us has always been a priority, and we have solid people working with us who take on leadership roles, organization, and dedication.
We could never have done any of the ambitious projects we’ve done without their reliability and support.
*We are adaptable. We will always be 100% vegan, but we’re very sensitive to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to trying out new vegan dining concepts in the evening. Creativity and risk require honest criticism, and we’re adaptable to changing demands and circumstances.
We’ll always be 100% vegan, Given this, we can always adapt.

Rewards:

1) Wonderland Cafe Sticker $10
2) Wonderland Cafe/Fancy Plants Apron $30
3) Wonderland Cafe/Fancy Plants Tote Bags $30
4) Founders Page Listing. Be listed as a founder on our website! $25
5) Coffee Punch Card. Enjoy a punch card, where you can have 6 of any of our drinks when you visit. Soy or Almond milk doesn’t cost extra! $25
6) Box of 6 of our Morning Pastries. Choose 6 of our pastries, and take them with you! Share them, or keep them to yourself, we won’t judge. Makes a great gift! $30
7) Breakfast for 2: Sample our morning pastries, breakfast sandwiches, bagels with housemade cream cheeses and toppings, as well as drinks, with 2 pastries of your choice for each of you to take home.  We’ll take care of you! Makes a great gift as well. $45
8) Founders Plaque Listing in Cafe. Have your name engraved with the other dedicated founders in our cafe! Be a part of history. $50
9) Fancy Plants Recipe E-Book: We’ll give you a recipe book of 75 of our time honored recipes, and your name will be on our founders page, as well as on the plaque of founders on the wall in our restaurant. $50
10) Founders Dinner. We’ll have an inaugural 5-course dinner, with a few fun surprises (call it a 7-course dinner if you like) to commemorate the opening of the cafe. The menu will be broad, most dietary restrictions will be honored, it will be on a Saturday, and we’ll be sure you are fed, happy, and honored. We will announce the dinner 2 weeks prior, and if you cannot make it, you can pass on your seat to a friend, and we will still honor a 5-course meal for you in the future. $65
11) Come to our Casual Pre-Opening Party! We’ll be serving TONS of fun passed appetizers, and have a high-end Vegan Buffet. Stuff yourself, drink as much as you like (we’ll have drinks), and be merry. Space is limited! $65
12) Out of Town Special: You’ll get our E-Book of 75 time-honored recipes, a Wonderland Cafe/Fancy Plants Catering Apron, a Wonderland Cafe/Fancy Plants Catering Tote Bag, and a jar of Kevin’s Garden Pepper Salt $75
13) 4-course Dinner for 2 on us: Choose from our evening menu to make a wonderful 4-course menu for you and a friend, and we’ll provide N/A drinks (or mixers) for you as well. This makes a great gift, and we are happy to honor most requests! $90
14) Your Appetizer: Work with Kevin to design an appetizer that will be named after you (i.e. Janelles Brussel’s Sprouts) which will be on the menu for at least 1 week, and you get a free 4 course dinner including your namesake appetizer when you come in that week! $100
15) Office Catering: We’ll bring coffee, a diverse assortment of vegan pastries, and bagels with our vegan cream cheese in the morning to your place of work for 10 people. Let them see how good vegan food can be! $160
16) Vegan Meal Delivery: 3 weeks of your choice. Our vegan meal delivery includes 3 entrees, 2 sides, a dessert, and a ‘pantry staple’ you can use to supplement your own cooking, all delivered to your door. You can choose 3 weeks of delivery within Chicago and Oak Park, receive a Wonderland Cafe tote bag, and have your name listed on our founders page, and plaque in the restaurant. $250
17) Private Cooking Class with Chef Kevin: Kevin will design with you a 4 course cooking class in your home for up to 6 people. You’ll get a lunch, and recipe book with your class. You also get your name on the founders page, and on the plaque at the restaurant. What would you like to learn? $600
18) Private Fine-Dining Dinner with Chef Kevin: Kevin will work with you to design a private dinner in your home, or in the restaurant for up to 6 people. We’ll take care of all the cleaning. You also get your name on the founders page, on the plaque at the restaurant, AND get a 4 course meal for yourself when you come into the restaurant on a given night. $600
19) Private Fine-Dining Dinner with Chef Kevin for up to 12 people in California: I’ll come to California and cook an exquisite 5-course vegan dinner for you and your guests in your home. I’ll work with you to fine-tune the menu to your preferences, hire some excellent kitchen help and staff, and create an unforgettable dining experience in your home. $1800

Once again, please check out our Kickstarter campaign here!

Thank you so much for your time,

Sincerely,

-Kevin and Team

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