I thought I’d seen (and tasted) most of the key dishes from the Caribbean over the years. In Jamaica, I’ve devoured jerk chicken, festival and breadfruit, not to mention plantains and beef patties. But I had no idea the food from Trinidad was equally as impressive. Maybe not as spicy (unless you douse your food in the provided bottles of scotch bonnet-laced hot sauce) as Jamaican food is, but beguiling nonetheless. Chicago’s own Heather Headley, a Grammy and Tony Award-winning singer and actress (The Lion King, Aida, The Bodyguard) happens to be from Trinidad, and on Friday, she met me at Cafe Trinidad in Bronzeville, to introduce me to her beloved Doubles. Read More
This year, rather than just post a bunch of photos from all of the fun, educational and inspiring seminars, I thought I’d try something a little bit different, and let you hear what a visit to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen sounds like; just click here to listen to my interviews with chefs Tim Love, Marcus Samuelsson, José Andrés and one of this year’s Best New Chefs, Paul Qui from Austin, TX.
This upcoming week has a couple of great food events on tap, from ribs to Midwest corn. First up, Bub City (435 N. Clark) is kicking off summer with a Sunday Night Ribs special – a weekly dinner created by Chef Doug Psaltis featuring St. Louis style and baby back ribs with hot black pepper BBQ sauce. They’re also hosting a weekly music event, Down Home Dueling Pianos, starting June 25th. If you like country music (or if you just want some ribs), head over any Wednesday from 9 p.m. to midnight. But wait, there’s more.
Chicago summers are chock full of food festivals. If you’re into Thai food, be sure to check out the annual Thai Festival Chicago this week. It’ll take place from June 18 to June 20 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. in Federal Plaza (Adams and Dearborn). The best part? Admission is free. The festival will kick off with a vibrant opening ceremony, while other highlights include dancing, drumming, booths for kids, and cooking demonstrations. Chefs Wilairat Komnoppakao and Chounphit will teach visitors how to make panang curry, pad thai, and fresh papaya salad. Over 20 Chicago Thai restaurants will be participating in the event, including Siam Rice, Star of Siam, Manee Thai, Silom 12, and My Thai. Dishes to look forward to include pork or beef meatballs, grilled dry squid with a sweet and spicy sauce, and tapioca pearl pudding. Singha Beer will also be served. Prices for food and drink will fall between $2 and $7. It’s right in the heart of downtown, so stop by for your lunch break or make an afternoon of it and take the kids.
Given the weather we’ve been having recently, it seems like summer may never come. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the perks of seasonal summer ingredients. Quartino (626 N. State Street) has the perfect summer add-on to take your dish to the next level: black truffles. Dine at the restaurant any time between June 1st and July 31st and you can add a generous portion of thinly shaved black truffle for $5 to any dish on the menu. Executive Chef John Coletta says it’s the perfect way to “take the edge off summer.”
Click here to read my story in The Chicago Tribune about the burgeoning Hong Kong ex-pat community in Richmond, BC.
BONUS: Here’s a video version of my story: