I typically toss the freebies and swag into the garbage or put them out on my desk for co-workers to devour. But when the folks at Echelon Foods (a former Canadian company that has moved to Chicago) asked if they could send me an Original Turducken, I was intrigued. I had never had one, let alone cooked one, and the thought of a duck inside a chicken inside a turkey – with layers of breadcrumb and sausage stuffing for extra richness – proved an irresistible allure. Read More
I spent a few hours over the weekend working on my entry for the 2014 James Beard Awards, which will be held in May. The deadline is right after the first of the year, and the nominations come out on March 18th. But a few years ago, the Foundation started releasing the semi-finalists, that is, all of the chefs, restaurants and regions that received more than a couple of votes (there are no semi-finalists in the cookbook and broadcast categories) which means the PR machines will have a few weeks headstart so they can start generating buzz. Why did they start this practice, when, for years, we just waited until mid-March for the official nominee list? Perhaps it has something to do with the recent flood of awards programs that continues to dilute the process. Read More
Tasting Table is getting ready for what looks to be the first market of its kind in Chicago. The Tasting Table Open Market, a food bazaar and holiday shopping experience, takes place December 6 and 7 downtown. The two-day market will feature a handpicked group of more than 50 of Chicago’s best chefs, pastry chefs and artisan producers selling products, food and gifts, to help raise funds for Share Our Strength, the event’s official beneficiary.
The Market will kick off on Friday with a night market showcasing more than 30 restaurants from across the city, including Mott St., La Sirena Clandestina, Blackbird, Acadia, Fish Bar and Travelle. All of these vendors will be offering a selection of creative bites with bars pouring custom cocktails and Negro Modelo beer. The market continues on Saturday with a daytime artisan food fair featuring a curated list of 40+ vendors peddling small-batch products, holiday gifts and more signature food items to enjoy on-site. See the full list of vendors here.
Tickets ($5 plus tax for general admission, $30 plus tax for VIP) at tastingtable.com/openmktchi2013.
The artisanal, prepared-food market that’s already making a delicious splash at Logan Square’s Sunday market is heading downtown next week, albeit briefly. The NOSH at Block Thirty Seven will be a twist on the usual market, running every weekday for lunch, from 10:30 am to 2 pm, beginning December 3rd (starting at noon on this day only) and ending December 13th. Block Thirty Seven’s Dearborn Avenue entrance will open its garage-style glass doors to allow food trucks (Doughnut Vault Van, The Salsa Truck, Bergstein’s NY Deli are among the trucks that will be in rotation) to park inside the building for the event. (The entrance will close up again once the trucks are inside – so no need for mittens and gloves).
Joining the trucks will be 15 other local food vendors, such as Bang Bang Pie, Pecking Order, Bento Box, Mixteco Grill, Lindy’s Chili and Dia De Los Tamales. Vendors will line Block Thirty Seven’s second floor corridor, which overlooks Daley Plaza and the Christkindlmarket. Like The NOSH’s other iterations, The NOSH at Block Thirty Seven will have no admission fee and all dishes will be freshly prepared and carefully curated. As a Loop worker, I’m beyond thrilled with this news! Sorry Pret.
The NOSH at Block Thirty Seven
Dec 3rd, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Dec 4th – Dec 13th, Mon – Fri, 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
More than two dozen artisans and producers will pack the 1st Ward space in the back of Chop Shop this Sunday, for what is shaping up to be a pretty tasty market. I happened to attend Dose a few weeks ago. But since they don’t tell you out front what the theme is (unless you’ve already gone online ahead of time), random visitors who happened to be strolling by – like me – paid $5 to enter and were probably less-than-thrilled, as I was, to see tons of baby clothes and other kiddie-related stuff (food options were limited to coffee, candy and some meatballs from Chop Shop). But they’ve turned things around this Sunday, considerably. Read More
The countdown is here. But if you don’t feel like cooking for that crazy aunt or that gluten-free cousin, and spending all day in the kitchen isn’t your forte, multiple Chicago restaurants are offering Thanksgiving dinners – both in their dining rooms or as meals to go:
Shaw’s Crab House (21 E. Hubbard Street, 312-517-2722) is offering a to-go Thanksgiving dinner including all-white herb roasted turkey, traditional sides, pumpkin, apple, or pecan pie, and a leftovers preparation kit for $35 per person. Each order comes with one pound of turkey, four sides, one slice of pie, and all leftover fixings. Read More