Burgers to Banana Splits

Check out the burgers-to-banana splits menu at Maillard Tavern, Tony Priolo and and Ciro Longobardo’s new restaurant, and odds are, you’ll find a lot of your favorite dishes on it. According to chef Tony Priolo, that’s not an accident. “Nothing beats a burger,” Priolo observes. “It’s been a favorite ever since a creative cook sandwiched... Read more »

Airline Food: An Update

Remember airline food? You know, the stuff airlines used to routinely feed you when you were cruising at 35,000 feet and didn’t have a lot of options. Well, if you’re bothered by change, I have some good news. Airline food has neither disappeared nor changed. It has been updated, however. The “Hot Wrap” served on... Read more »

Pokeworks: A Hot Trend for a Cold Day

Envision bowls of rice strewn with two kinds of sushi-grade tuna or a salad topped with shrimp, scallops, diced mango and a topknot of shredded nori. Sound good? Then head to Pokeworks (79 E. Madison, 312.866.0261), a fast casual newcomer that brings a taste of Hawaii to a city poised for falling temperatures and single... Read more »
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"The Complete Slow Cooker"

“The Complete Slow Cooker” The Editors at America’s Test Kitchen, $29.95 I’m definitely a fan of America’s Test Kitchen’s cookbooks. Whatever the format, the editors offer interesting, easy-to-follow recipes that deliver good results every time you use them. “Why This Recipe Works,” an explanatory paragraph that precedes every recipe, is also a plus. The newest... Read more »

The Best Holiday

I love Thanksgiving. It’s an “everyone” holiday with a great menu and no “musts.” Getting everything cooked and served can be daunting for the hosts, but it doesn’t have to be. Thanksgiving dinner is typically a potluck, which works especially well for this holiday. According to the game plan, everyone brings something, and everyone tells... Read more »

On the Other Hand...

Remember the hunt for a soup made with butternut squash and apple cider, the recipe I thought I saw in a slow cooker cookbook, the recipe that kicked off the internet search that led to an article on the possible demise of cookbooks? Well, I found it, as in “found the recipe.” Let me explain.... Read more »

Are Cookbooks an Endangered Species?

Are cookbooks an endangered species? Given the ready availability of hundreds of thousands of free recipes on the internet, does it make more sense to use Google to find a recipe than it does to thumb through a dozen cookbooks? As much as I love cookbooks, even I find myself sourcing recipes on the internet... Read more »

Celebrating Chicago

With the publication of “The Chicago Food Encyclopedia” (University of Illinois Press, $34.95), Chicago joins New York to become only the second city in the United States to merit a well-researched, well-written and thoroughly enjoyable book focused on its role, both as a hub for the manufacture and transport of food and food products and... Read more »

Eye Candy

It can’t get better than this… handmade, mini chocolate ghosts done with a chocolate pumpkin spiced cider ganache enrobed in white chocolate. Or is it the milk chocolate mouse with toasted almond ears and a dark chocolate ganache blended with espresso that takes three days and twelve different steps to create that gets the nod... Read more »

A Toasty Tale

“Mise en place or you’re toast,” read one of the posters displayed in a “can’t miss” spot at The Culinary School of Kendall College when it was still in Evanston. I smiled every time I saw it, yet I never really absorbed the message. Simplifying the translation, “mise en place” is shorthand for having all... Read more »