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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

The Healthier Pumpkin Spice Frappe

Posted by | Drinks, Recipes | 10 Comments

The Healthier Pumpkin Spice Frappe – Enjoy your favorite seasonal drink without the guilt with this delicious Pumpkin Spice Frappe recipe.

Do you just have those days where you want to eat or drink something sweet and decadent forgetting all your hard work to eat healthy? I know I do! As soon as fall starts, all you hear about are drinks with pumpkin in it. You know the ones, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Spice Frappuccinos, Pumpkin Spice ice cream, donuts and so many other choices. No matter how tasty they are, the calories you get with every sip are not necessarily the ones you want.… Read more

Celebrating National Cheese Lover’s Day with Cabot Cheese

Posted by | Favorite Finds, Foods, Recipes | 23 Comments

Did you know today is National Cheese Lover’s Day? In honor of this special day, we are going to celebrate with two recipes using the delicious cheese made by Cabot. The more you learn about this brand, the more you understand the commitment to high quality products that the 1200 Dairy Farm Families in NY and New England who own Cabot, promise their customers.

They are a cooperative owned and operated by their members, dairy farmers and families throughout New England and Upstate New York. Their offerings include yogurts, butter, dips, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream and whipped cream.… Read more

Instant Party with Vitani Martinis

Posted by | Alcohol, Favorite Finds, Foods | 27 Comments

I admire people who see a need for a product or service and make it happen. Especially when we are talking martinis! That is exactly what Vitani’s founders, Eric and Jackie Gichner, did four years ago when they created craft martinis in a ready-to-go design.

After meeting with Jackie to hear what inspired her to launch this brand as well as what she and Eric wanted consumers to know about Vitani martinis, I left with the following insight. It really all started very simply. Jackie’s go to drink is a Dirty Martini. Making them at home just didn’t happen due to (in)convenience and taste.… Read more

Culinary Heaven Chicago Gourmet Food n Wine

Posted by | Culinary Event, Education, Festival | 19 Comments

Chicago’s grandest food and wine event, Chicago Gourmet, took place this past weekend. Whether you are local or a tourist, dining in Chicago is always a fun and sometimes adventurous experience. For the eighth year, Chicago Gourmet was held in the heart of the city’s Millennium Park. The in-demand tickets sold out well in advance of the first day’s activities. (Heads up if you want to go next year!)

This culinary heaven showcases Chicago’s greatest chefs, restaurants, Master Sommeliers, wine, spirit and beer makers. In addition, celebrated chefs like Emeril Lagasse, Lorena Garcia, and Jean-George Vongerichten just to name a few, hosted cooking demonstrations on Bon Appetit’s Main and Culinary Stages.… Read more

How to Buy Fresh Eggs

Posted by | Education, Foods, Healthy | 10 Comments

How much do you know about the eggs you buy at the grocery store? I will admit to knowing not nearly enough! I thought words like “farm raised” and “healthy” were what I needed to hear. That is until I learned about a company called Blue Sky Family Farms and their philosophy on caring for the hens that provide us with the eggs we eat.

Their tagline, which truly is represented in how they do business, is “Ethical Eggs for the Humane Race”. With a 120-acre homestead in Port Washington, Wisconsin, Blue Sky Family Farms raise hens that live naturally with plenty of room to roam, enjoying the fresh air, green grass and sunshine.… Read more

Experiencing The Taste of Chicago Food Festival

Posted by | Culinary Event, Festival, Foods, Tourism | 25 Comments

Chicago is known for so many amazing things from the architecture of the city to the beautiful beaches to the Magnificent Mile of shopping to the arts to our sports teams and of course, to the food and restaurant scene. For five days in July, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events welcomes everyone to the Taste of Chicago Food Festival held in Grant Park on Chicago’s glorious lakefront.

Inspiring Kitchen Taste of Chicago

Since 1980, visitors have been offered a wide range of food options, musical acts and cooking demonstrations among other reasons to attend the fest. This year, there were more than 60 restaurants, pop-ups and food trucks including 19 new restaurants serving their specialties.… Read more

No Guilt Sweet Gummy Candies

Posted by | Candy, Dessert, Fruit, Gluten Free, Healthy, Retailers, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Isn’t there always that moment in the day when you just must have a sweet snack? A little treat that isn’t loaded with calories, ingredients you can’t pronounce and yet still fulfills that need for something sweet. Personally, I love chewy candies. My challenge though is that I don’t want to eat anything made with traditional gelatin as it is made with animal products.

 Inspiring Kitchen goody good stuff candy

So, when I learned about Goody Good Stuff all natural gummy candy, (http://goodygoodstuff.com/en/), I was excited to try them (especially since that sweet tooth just doesn’t go away!). What I like about this candy is that not only did they remove the gelatin issue for me, but they also created candy with only natural fruit and vegetable extracts, nothing artificial.… Read more

Mariano’s Italian Celebration: Eggplant Parmigiana

Posted by | Celebrations, Desserts, Italian cuisine, Recipes, Wines | 17 Comments

In celebration of La Tavola Italiana, Mariano’s grocery stores offered classes celebrating Italian culture. Chef Tony Priolo from Piccolo Sogno (http://piccolosognorestaurant.com/) shared his recipe for Eggplant Parmigiana and homemade cannoli. No meal is complete without a delicious wine to compliment each dish. And Terlato Wines presented the perfect accompaniment to each course. Never underestimate all the amazing cooking, food and beverage related tips you can learn in your grocery store!

Mariano's Italian Celebration: Eggplant Parmigiana

 

Mariano's Italian Celebration: Eggplant Parmigiana

The evening began with an introduction to the different types of ricotta cheeses that are offered in the market.

Mariano's Italian Celebration: Eggplant Parmigiana
1) Whole milk ricotta had a whipped consistency that was creamy and light.… Read more