Thursday, December 13, 2012

Yule Logs Rule…Come To A Sweet Party

Filed Under: Blog , news

Buche de Noel will be the star of a party Monday night (photo: Hotel Sofitel)


I never really grew up with Buche de Noel, but I do remember the Kemp’s ice cream logs as a kid, does that count? I’m also no Martha Stewart, but I realize this holiday dessert is subject to creative interpretation. Apparently, the Hotel Sofitel thinks so, as it gears up for its 2nd annual “Holiday Rock & Roll” party Monday night, where seven of Chicago’s top pastry chefs will vie for bragging rights when it comes to who makes the coolest Yule Log in town.


Traditionally, the creation features yellow sponge cake and a chocolate ganache, but there will be a lot of jostling for creative license, since some of the city’s top toques are involved: Dana Cree (Blackbird), Amanda Rockman (Balena, The Bristol), Elissa Narow (Perennial Virant, Vie), Meg Galus (NoMI Kitchen), Thomas Raquel (Acadia), Nate Meads (RM Champagne Salon) and Cindy Schuman (Sepia) are the seven competitors; chefs from Stout Barrel House, Maison and Carnivale will be serving up savory “rolled” items to balance things out.


The event benefits Share Our Strength and runs from 6 – 8 p.m., with yours truly serving as MC and host; a panel of five seasoned judges will decide who wins. There’s going to be live music, courtesy of Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press, plus punch bowl cocktails and a little after party at the hotel’s Le Bar. Should make for a fun (and sweet) Monday night…all for just $35 on Eventbrite. Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Beer of the Week: Christmas Beer from Anchor Brewing

Filed Under: Adult Beverages , Blog , Features , Videos

Usually, a brewer will be more than happy to let you know what’s inside the bottle. But this week’s pick – courtesy of the Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco – is a mystery. Even though they don’t tell you what’s inside their Christmas beer, The Hopleaf’s Michael Roper has a pretty good idea. Here’s wishing you a thirst-quenching holiday season. Cheers.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Be A Baconfest VIP

Filed Under: Blog , news

Looking for that special gift for the bacon lover in your life? VIP Tickets for Baconfest Chicago, 2013 go on sale beginning at 9 a.m. today. They cost $200 each plus a $5.99 ticket processing fee.


The event takes place on April 20, 2013. As with last year, it occurs in two shifts – lunch and dinner. Each shift will feature more than 50 Chicago chefs serving creative bacon tasting dishes, while liquor partners/sponsors simultaneously serve bacon-based or inspired  beverages. Each shift will have a VIP hour before the 2.5-hour General Admission period. VIP ticket holders gain access to the festival floor one hour before General Admission ticket holders. They can taste chef dishes without waiting in line, connect with press and chefs before the crowds descend (and boy, do they descend en masse). Organizers plan to release 175 VIP tickets for each shift.


Last year, VIP tickets sold out in three days. General Admission tickets sold out in hours. Here’s the link to purchase VIP tickets; it becomes active at 9 a.m. CST today. By the way, General Admission tickets aren’t on sale yet. They’ll most likely open those floodgates in February. General Admission tickets will cost $100 each plus a $3.49 ticketing fee.


And now for the really good news: for the fourth straight year, a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. In 2012, Baconfest donated $50,000, hosted a raffle and food drive and organized a volunteer re-pack session at the GCFD. For information about last year’s charitable impact, check out this link. May the pork be with you…

Friday, December 7, 2012

Foraging for Frogs, Snails and Ricotta with Bacon in Lakeview

Filed Under: Blog , Features , Hapless Intern

Frog n Snail’s bacon-sprinkled ricotta dip atop avocado is a tiny but well-assembled starter (Photo: Rachel Tan)

By Rachel Tan
Hapless Intern

It’s rare these days, finding a “seasonal” menu that does more than simply roast pumpkins or pickle beets.


In Lakeview, there’s a menu with an international worldview to boot, courtesy previous Top Chef finalist, Dale Levitski. The menu weaves from frogs legs with barbeque sauce to snail ragout and gutsy combinations of beef and salmon or chicken and shrimp. Read More

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Beer of the Week: Enjoy By 12/21/12

Filed Under: Adult Beverages , Blog , Features , Videos

Better hurry up. Time is running out on this one. If you’re a fan of Stone Brewing’s IPAs, their latest release is designed to sell out at some point in the next two weeks or so. It’s called “Enjoy By…” and once you listen to Michael Roper’s reasoning, you’ll see why you need to pick some of this up sooner, rather than later.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tasty (and Tasteful) Holiday Gift Parties

Filed Under: Blog , news


If you’d rather not hit the malls, there are two fun ways to do some holiday shopping this week, and party a little bit in the process. Read More