It’s more than a little ironic that Greg Hyder — the man behind some of the most intricate galas, brunches and dinners in the city — spends his Sundays with a simple crockpot and a pork loin. But Hyder, the Director of Catering for the ultra-luxe Peninsula Chicago hotel, prides himself on being a very hands-on chef. “Sunday is the day I like to stay home, putz around my house and cook,” he says.It’s certainly a break from the rest of his party-packed week, which revolves around working with groups to throw the perfect event at the Peninsula. And when it comes to planning a gorgeous gala, Hyder has tips for both partygoers and hosts alike. When selecting an outfit, Hyder — who recently spent time in Beverly Hills working on a renovation of their sister hotel — suggests taking cues from Hollywood, picking out the best trends from the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.
As for the gala hosts, Hyder proposes thinking outside of the box to create a memorable affair. “That makes it more interesting,” he says. “I once did an event that was Havana-themed with cigar girls and a salsa band. If you really want people to come to your event, especially when there are so many to choose from, you have to spend a little more time and effort to make people say, ‘That was a great event that I have to go to again next year.’” Here, the life of the party plans his perfect Sunday.
9 a.m. Hyder wakes up in his Andersonville home and puts a pork loin in his trusty crock pot. “It cooks all day and makes the house smell great,” he says.
NOON Matinees are a favorite Sunday activity, so Hyder heads to the Davis Theater (4614 N. Lincoln) to enjoy a flick — he loves Academy nominees or anything sci-fi.
3 p.m. Sunday is great for afternoon shopping, and Brimfield (5219 N. Clark) is a neighborhood treasure. “It’s like Ralph Lauren on acid,” Hyder says.
4 p.m. More shopping takes him to Gethsemane (5739 N. Clark). “It’s the best home store if you have to get anyone a gift,” he says.
6 p.m. Dinner has been simmering all day, so Hyder and Smith finally sit down and dig into their home-cooked meal.
9 p.m. If they’re still feeling energized, Marty’s Martini Bar (1511 W. Balmoral) is the duo’s go-to haunt. Hyder loves the giant-sized martinis and fun atmosphere.
Story by Zak Stemer