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Piccolo Buco & Cooper’s Hawk Introduce Authentic Roman Pizza

Posted by | Beverage, Cocktails, Foods, Restaurant Opening, Restaurants, Tourism, Travel | 4 Comments
Have you ever traveled to an international city on vacation and discovered the most amazing food and then tried to figure out how you can bring it home with you?  Well, Tim McEnery of Cooper’s Hawk had that same experience, only he made it happen! Read about how Piccolo Buco and Cooper’s Hawk are bringing Roman Pizza to Chicago.
 

Piccolo Buco by Luca Issa & Cooper’s Hawk

Piccolo Buco Cooper's Hawk Roman Pizza

Introducing Piccolo Buco, by Chef Luca Issa of Piccolo Buco Roma and Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants, where you will find the most delicious and unique Roman pizza. 
chef luca issa
⁣The magic of Chef Luca’s pizza comes down to the extraordinary crust that is light and airy inside and yet has a tall crispy edge.
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NRA sign

2022 National Restaurant Show Trends and Innovations

Posted by | Foods, Restaurants, Trade Show, Trends | 6 Comments

The National Restaurant Show took over Chicago’s McCormick Place last week showcasing the latest restaurant innovations. This four-day event that brings together over 60,000 food service professionals came back to life after the pandemic as it introduced us to the latest trends in the industry.  What do you think of the 2022 National Restaurant Association trends?

NRA exhibit floor

Exhibitors and attendees alike were happy to be seeing colleagues once again and talking shop. There was definitely an energy throughout the halls to get back to business as we knew it. This is a very big show which means lots to see and explore.… Read more

A Culinary Exploration of Finland’s Food and Drink World

Posted by | Cocktails, Restaurants, Travel | 9 Comments

Traveling to Northern Europe to explore Finland’s food and drink world should be high on your list of culinary adventures given the enormous talent found in the country. 

Finland may be known for the Northern Lights, snowy-white winter beauty of Lapland, Salla Reindeer Park and Santa Claus Village, but there is so much more to be found in this stunning country. An under-the-radar culinary world that rivals that of cities far larger is quietly but powerfully making enormous impressions on those with an appreciation for the talent that creates dishes worthy of award recognition.

Without the glitzy fanfare of their neighbors, this low-key, yet sophisticated country has an impressive food and beverage space.Read more

A Seafood Lovers Vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast

Posted by | Restaurants, Tourism, Travel | 10 Comments

Exploring the Ringling, shopping on St. Armand’s Circle and dining at seafood restaurants across Tampa, Sarasota and Long Boat Key while on vacation on the Florida Gulf Coast.

Sandy white beaches, sunshine, seafood and a slower pace were the goals of my recent trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast. My ultimate destination was Long Boat Key, exploring Sarasota’s dining and art space along the way.

Flying in to Florida’s Gulf Coast

While choosing the airport you fly into is usually based on other factors than the food scene within the terminal, this was actually a decision maker for me. Having learned that the Tampa International Airport did a massive $154 million renovation with a focus on their design, culinary and concessions, I wanted to see what this meant from a traveler’s standpoint.… Read more

17 Finds from the 2019 National Restaurant Show

Posted by | Foods, Restaurants, Trade Show | No Comments

eli's cheesecake from the National Restaurant Show

2019 is the 100 year anniversary of the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. Record attendance with more than 65,500 exhibitors, restaurant operators, retail foodservice professionals, equipment dealers, food distributors and many others. This massive show takes over three halls at McCormick Place in Chicago. Given the demand, in 2020, their will be a fourth exhibit hall! 

17 Finds from the 2019 National Restaurant Show

Chicago’s own, Eli’s Cheesecake, created a 1,200 pound cheesecake that was cut during the opening ceremony. Chef Rick Bayless and LT. Governor, Juliana Stratton were present. 

Chef Rick Bayless, LT Governor Juliana Stratton

As I walked the show, my goal was to find new products, cooking tips, tabletop ideas and overall trends.… Read more

A Night Out: Gourmet Dinner and a Movie at CMX Cinebistro

Posted by | Entertainment, Restaurants | No Comments

Dinner and a movie. An evening out with some good food and entertainment. A way to temporarily escape real life and immerse yourself in some drama, intrigue, comedy or action packed stories. Such a fun plan, right? We just need to choose a movie and then coordinate our dinner reservation so that we get to the theater in time. And we can’t forget traffic! But there is good news as Cinebistro has got this all figured out for us as we discovered on a recent evening out. 

With Halloween around the corner, we found a theater that was showing a classic show: Beetlejuice.… Read more

Highlights from Chicago’s Premier Food and Wine Festival – Chicago Gourmet

Posted by | Bon Appetit, Chefs, Culinary Event, Illinois Restaurant Association, Restaurants | No Comments

Highlights from Chicago's Premier Food and Wine Festival - Chicago Gourmet

Highlights from Chicago’s Premier Food and Wine Festival – Chicago Gourmet – We ate, we drank and we #RockedTheFork at this year’s culinary event.

 

Chicago’s Millennium Park was the place to be as we celebrated the 11th year of Chicago Gourmet. The theme of #RockTheFork had hundreds of chefs, master sommeliers, wine and spirit makers and others sharing their specialties.

Chicago Gourmet Opening Ceremony

Highlights from Chicago's Premier Food and Wine Festival - Chicago Gourmet

Music played a big role in entertaining the more than 14,000 attendees with sounds ranging from guitar to the Blues to Mariachi’s to rock (of course!). 

Highlights from Chicago's Premier Food and Wine Festival - Chicago Gourmet

This world class culinary festival started off with an opening ceremony led by Illinois Restaurant Association President and CEO, Sam Toia, Bon Appetit’s Editor In Chief Adam Rapoport, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Illinois, Mike House, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with celebrity chefs Rick Bayless, Carla Hall, Lorena Garcia, Bravo’s Top Chef, Joe Flamm and others. … Read more

Hyatt Cooks Up The Good Taste Series Culinary Competition

Posted by | Culinary Event, Restaurants, Travel | No Comments

Hyatt Cooks Up The Good Taste Series Culinary Competition – Eleven chefs from Hyatt hotels compete Iron Chef style for winner to attend global competition.

If you are a fan of Food Network shows Iron Chef or Chopped or Bravo’s Top Chef, you can imagine how nerve-wracking it must be for the chefs competing to win that coveted title. Their culinary knowledge and creativity are all tested in a fast paced environment. To say the kitchen is “hot” is an understatement!

In the spirit of these shows, I was invited for the second time to judge a chef competition for the Hyatt Corporation. In… Read more

Beer, BBQ and Country Music at Windy City Smokeout

Posted by | Culinary Event, Festival, Restaurants, Tourism | No Comments
 
Grab your cowboy boots and hat and make your way to the Windy City Smokeout happening this weekend in Chicago. Gates just opened for the 5th year of this food and music fest with two stages filled with artists from around the country entertaining fans all weekend long. 

Beer, BBQ and Country Music at Windy City Smokeout

With over 25 country music bands playing throughout the three day festival

Beer, BBQ and Country Music at Windy City Smokeout

and 20 of the world’s best pitmasters sharing their BBQ creations, this is an event you just can’t miss. … Read more

sprecher beer and pretzel

A Foodie’s Day Trip to Milwaukee

Posted by | Restaurants, Tourism, Travel | 11 Comments

A Foodie’s Day Trip to Milwaukee – Exploring 5 culinary spots from Danish pastry to coffee roasting to craft beer to custard to seafood in the area. 

When you think of Milwaukee, what foods and beverages come to mind? I bet I can guess: brats, cheese and beer. All true! Yet, Milwaukee has a vibrant culinary scene that you need to hear about.

Exploring the food world within a city doesn’t just mean what you find in the city’s downtown. In fact, creative and innovative options can be found all around town. The first gem on my road trip to Milwaukee started in Racine.… Read more