Taste Talks Chicago Style

Set aside Friday-Sunday,October 3-5 for the Chicago edition of Taste Talks, a weekend devoted to food and the culinary arts. Described as “an experimental food symposium” by founder Daniel Stedman (Northside Media Group) and local organizer Paul Kahan (One Off Hospitality Group), the multi-faceted event kicks off with Friday night’s Mother of Pearl dinner spotlighting... Read more »

From Paris to Pierre

My summer travels began with a week in Paris, followed by a family event in New Jersey and three days in New York City. And then there was Nashville (more on this later) with ten of my pledge sisters. (Don’t even think about asking the year we pledged.) All of which brings me to Pierre,... Read more »

Ingesting Italy

If you’re interested in attending the first Italian Food & Wine Festival (Tuesday, October 14-Thursday, October 16) at Eataly Chicago, you’ll have to act quickly. The only events still available are the two seminars on Thursday, October 16. The first, scheduled for 12:00-1:00 pm, focuses on truffles. Hosted by chefs Ugo Alciati (Guido-Serralunga d’Alba, Cuneo)... Read more »

Great Dishes: The Fig and Gorgonzola Tartlet at Fig & Olive

One bite of the Fig and Gorgonzola Tartlet at Fig & Olive and I knew I’d found a dish I’d want to enjoy on a regular basis. Creative, attractive and wonderfully flavorful, the tart is made with two of my favorite ingredients: fresh figs and prosciutto. Gorgonzola adds depth to the dish’s flavor profile, the... Read more »

So Where Did You Eat?

“So where did you eat”? That’s everybody’s first question when I’ve been away, which isn’t surprising given that I’ve been writing about food for multiple decades. But as it turns out, my recent trip to New York City included two plays in three nights, and with a 7 pm curtain, dinner on both nights was... Read more »

What Makes a Sandwich a Sandwich?

What makes a sandwich a sandwich? If you’re thinking “hand held,” consider the Kentucky Hot Brown, an open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich topped with cheese or a rich Mornay sauce. Either way, the sandwich, which originated at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, is broiled until the top layer is bubbly. Eating the Hot Brown with... Read more »

Sandwiches to Savor

You know how you get hooked on a particular dish at a favorite restaurant and can’t bring yourself to order anything else? That’s what happens when I stop in for a sandwich at the downtown Pastoral (53 E. Lake St. Chicago 312.658.1250). The “Blue Pig and Fig,” complete with a locally sourced fig and black... Read more »

Heading Downstate: Road Trip

If you think good restaurants are strictly a “big city” phenomenon, check out the scene in Champaign/Urbana (C-U). Home to the University of Illinois’ main campus, the adjacent towns were a veritable food desert back when I lived in Urbana. Not anymore. In fact, there are so many good bakeries and restaurants in C-U that... Read more »

Pile It On: The Local Sandwich Scene

August is National Sandwich Month, and I’m already feeling pressed for time. National Watermelon Day (August 3) has come and gone, and I’m probably going to take a pass on National Brownie at Brunch month. But who doesn’t like sandwiches? So here’s the first post on the topic, a brief round-up of some of the... Read more »

The Road Less Taken

In a food scene dense with Italian, contemporary American, Asian, Mexican, South American, Spanish and French restaurants, Bohemian House and Table, Donkey and Stick have taken a less traveled route. As it turns out, the focus for both is the often overlooked cuisine of Central Europe. Ask executive chef Scott Manley about the food served... Read more »