Eat Right Around Chicago

LuxeHome Chill Benefit


Mercat a la Planxa

As you may have read, I attended the LuxeHome Chill Wine & Culinary Event last night.  Amidst the world's largest collection of luxury boutiques for home building and renovation, we wandered from suite to suite, dined, wined and tasted sweet and savory dishes from over 30 top Chicago Chefs paired with wines from all over.  The event and silent auction was held in cooperation with Wine Spectator and sponsored by the Tribune Media Group to benefit the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago.  
I have been to charitable events, dinners and auctions, with wine tastings and small plates, but this venue was like no other.  If you are familiar with the LuxeHome suites, then you know that it is room after room of displays ranging from door knobs to bathtubs and everything in between.  Now imagine if they put 3-4 bottles of wine, a sommelier and a chef from your favorite Chicago restaurant ready to serve you a small plate of goodness in each of these luxury chambers.  There were so many wines to try, so many bites to take, that it was a challenge to try all the offerings - I know I had to miss a few. But that's the LuxeHome Chill Event - it's a must attend (it's annual in case you missed this year).

How do you eat right when there is food at every stop, wine around every corner, fine dining along side hot dogs, Stella Artois next to Gloria Ferrer Carneros Pinot Noir and fois gras, pork belly and cream sauced pastas?  Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Plan ahead.  If you know you are attending an event that promises to push the calorie limits, eat smart at breakfast and lunch (fruit and vegetable rich, low fat, whole grains, lean protein) and enjoy a piece of fruit mid-afternoon.  You don't want to arrive famished, but you certainly don't want to overeat your calories in the day leading up.  
  • Be active.   If you exercise regularly, turn up the volume just a bit.  I'm not suggesting that you go nuts and have a crazy workout to compensate for the feast you are about to have, I'm saying that you could add another 15-20 minutes to give yourself a little wiggle room.  If you don't exercise, well, today is your day to start!  Take a walk! 
  • Be picky.  With so many options, it's unlikely that you will love everything, so do not force yourself to lick the plate of a dish that was only so-so.  Save your calories for the "worth it" items.  This is not the place to try a hot dog (you know what they taste like) nor should you fill up on fried, frequently found options.  Make each bite special - make it worth the calories. 
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    Province Restaurant

    Look for the chefs serving the most nutritious dishes.  Given that there were over 30 restaurants represented, this is a great way to evaluate and choose your next dinner out.  Every one of the chefs presented lovely dishes and are fabulous for participating, but I need to call out and give an Eat Right Award to Chef Randy Zweiban from Province restaurant.  He chose to serve up a Farm Raised Shrimp & Green Acres Farm Vegetable Salad with almonds and orange mojo.  It was seasonal, beautifully prepared and gave tasters nutrient-rich root vegetables that were delicious and nutritious.  Thanks Chef Randy!  
  • Sip, don't chug.  Lastly, you are there to taste wine, not chug it.  You'll save on calories if you don't drink your face off. 
I encourage you all to seek out benefits that come with culinary creations.  It's a great way to participate in your community, help raise money for a charity you care about and taste fabulous food! 



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