If you’ve spent anytime eating in Chicago or perusing the Farmer’s Markets, you’ll be very familiar with Nichols Farm. Based in Marengo, IL, the family farm has been a part of the growing food scene here for well over a decade. More recently, their apples have become the basis for Virtue Cider’s latest cider, which resembles an American Colonial-style brew. It’s quite a bit different from Virtue’s Mitten and Red Streak, but food-friendly and quaffable nonetheless. Obviously, it’s available at The Hopleaf, and your finer beverage purveyors. Cheers.
There are three things I crave when the weather is as cold as its been this week in Chicago:
1. Matzo ball soup, to satisfy my inner child.
2. Pho, to provide not only a steaming, clove/cinnamon/star anise facial, but also a beefy broth with vermicelli noodles.
3. Samgyetang, to actually make me feel better. Read More
Montreal – I knew I was in trouble long before the 45 minute ride to the bucolic town of St-Benoit de Mirabel. Mainly because my body had been responding adversely to the suddenly massive amounts of butter, fat and foie. I had only been in Montreal for about two days, but already I had eaten poutine, Portuguese rotisserie chicken and a few quenelles of chicken liver mousse, on top of a Québécois feast at the legendary Joe Beef that will go down as one of my top 10 all-time. By the time I got to Maison Publique on Friday night, after a chilly day of walking around and exploring in the freezing rain, I didn’t feel very well. It only took a few dishes there – perhaps the creamy swiss chard or the cheesy baked oyster, as rich as Bill Gates – to push me over the edge and into the bathroom, where I hovered over the toilet like a 19 year-old at a frat party. Yet in a way, my Roman purge was actually helpful, as it got me ready for what was about to come the next day. Read More
Lovers of locally-sourced food rejoice! From March 13th-15th, FamilyFarmed.org’s Good Food Festival and Conference returns to Chicago. This year’s event will be held in the UIC Forum, at 725 Roosevelt Road. In its 10th year the festival promises participants great speakers and chef demos featuring Rick Bayless, Paul Virant (Vie, Perennial Virant) and Erling Wu-Bower (Nico Osteria). Topics of concentration for sessions include advancing healthier foods in schools and food policy sessions and networking. On Friday evening from 7 to 9:30 p.m., FamilyFarmed.org and The Nosh present Localious, a food and wine tasting event featuring local restaurants and growers. Ticket prices and packages vary, starting at $10 for a Saturday ticket to $220 for an all access pass for the entire conference. More information on the Good Food Festival and Conference and on local food sourcing can be found here.
It felt a little weird, seeing Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford on my plane ride home yesterday. His country had just won the gold medal, and he was on the other side of the world from all of the action. He was clearly heading back to work after spending some time with family. But more important than any hockey-related query, this thought kept nagging away at me: did he get some poutine while he was home, and if so, how does his family make it? Read More
Click below to hear my report from Montreal on “La Poutine Week,” an annual bacchanal of all things covered in cheese curds and gravy.