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SteakThere’s no better way to start the summer than with good barbecue! In early June 2015, CFA Chicago members gathered at the Weber Grill Restaurant in Lombard, where patrons can watch Master Chefs grill steaks, burgers, chops, chicken and fish – right before their eyes – on real Weber Kettle Grills.  That’s right; The Weber Grill heats about 2,000 lbs of real charcoal per day to 1,500oF for a unique indoor grilling experience.

Shannon Curley, CFA, Executive Director – CFA Society of Chicago, and Kim Augustyn, CMP, Director of Programs and Sponsorships, warmly welcomed CFA Chicago members to the evening’s three-course progressive networking dinner. The atmosphere was relaxed and jovial with table conversations ranging from hedge funds and derivatives to golf and new babies (congratulations Brendan!).

Kim explained that attendees would switch tables to meet different people after each dinner course, according to the information printed on our nametags.  It sounded great until I realized that my nametag read: Table 4, Table 4 and Table 4.  I was beginning to feel like Marlon Brando, the Don of the Corleone crime family in the Godfather movie, conducting business in a restaurant.

Then, suddenly it all made sense. CFA Charterholders would recognize this as a simple case of serial correlation. Statistically, given the smaller size of the gathering, extreme events like this were even more likely to occur than in larger samples.  It all worked out in the end, but in real life, we must remember that patterns tend to repeat themselves more often than we think they should and this, of course, also explains why Apple had to reprogram its “random” iTunes shuffle algorithm so the same song doesn’t play twice in a row.

Don’t worry if you missed this great networking opportunity—there will be many more in the near future. In the meantime, there’s no reason you need to miss out on good BBQ, so here’s my favorite recipe for great 4th of July BBQ ribs!

Day Before: Put pork ribs in crock pot. Pour in one 16-oz bottle of Coke (to break down connective tissue).  Cover and leave on high for 4 hours.  Wrap ribs in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.  Refrigerate overnight.

Next Day:  Make “The Secret Sauce”: ½ c Ketchup, 1 ½ T Worcestershire Sauce, 1 can tomato soup, 1 can water, 1 good-sized onion diced, celery (to suit your taste).  Bring to boil on stove.  Then, simmer for 15 minutes with cover off.

Brown ribs on grill.  Apply some BBQ sauce on the grill and pour the rest over on plate.