Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Beer of the Week: Madame Rose

Filed Under: Adult Beverages , Blog , Features , Videos

Spending two years in oak, along with some Michigan cherries, Goose Island’s Madame Rose is truly a unique brew. This week, The Hopleaf’s Michael Roper urges you to go out and find some, before it’s all gone. Better yet, pick up a few extra bottles and cellar them for awhile; it will only improve with age. Cheers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Brisket Bibimbop at Smalls Smoke Shack & More

Ever since I tweeted from Smalls about their brisket bibimbop, I’ve been having dreams about it (I know, I’m sick). It’s so obvious and yet, no one in Chicago has dared combine the rich, earthy, smokiness of slow-cooked brisket with the bold, assertive Korean chili paste (gojujang) and crisp, blanched vegetables and rice that are endemic in Korean restaurants. It’s not served in a giant stone bowl, but rather, a simple, aluminum sheet tray. One recommendation: rather than get the standard white rice, ask for the Filipino-inspired garlic rice; you’ll thank me later. (Videography courtesy Todd Rosenberg Photography – @toddrphoto).


Smalls Smoke Shack & More

4009 N. Albany


Monday, September 15, 2014

Food Network Taking Over Ravinia

Filed Under: Blog , news

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 6.11.46 PMIt’s no secret food is the new rock, but the Food Network is taking things literally this Saturday, Sept. 20th. The all-food cable channel will join forces with musicians like John Mayer and American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips – along with dozens of Chicago-area chefs – to create a unique, all-day concert filled with food and music.  Among the highlights: a venue called “The Greatest Hits” featuring bites from 50 chefs and more than 100 wineries. Other experiences include a BBQ-themed country cookout, a Farm to Turntable; Rock ‘n Rolls (sandwiches with a twist); Hot Hot Hot! with some of the spiciest dishes from around the world and “I Want Candy,” a dessert-themed tasting hosted by the Network’s Anne Burrell, along with 15 pastry chefs from around the country.


A portion of the proceeds benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign; for more information on tickets, check out their website.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Where to Eat in Lima, Peru

Filed Under: Blog , news
Potatoes with edible Chaco clay at Central

Potatoes with edible Chaco clay at Central

LIMA, Peru – The earthenware dish was set before us, samples of raw potatoes, sourced from more than 3900 meters above sea level, were pointed out by our server, who spoke in both halting English and fluid Spanish. On a stone in the center of the plate, three small discs, resembling grey skipping stones with jagged edges, reminded me of something you’d find at the side of a lakeshore, but these were completely edible. Each one represented a silky puree of those potatoes, coated in edible chaco clay from some remote part of Peru. No, this was not René Redzepi doing a pop-up, but rather, young Robbie Benson look alike Virgilio Martínez Véliz and wife Pía León’s take on their native Peru, in which they utilize ingredients that are foraged or grown in the Andes and then manipulated or processed to create a new level of Peruvian cuisine at Central Restaurante; it’s light years away from the causal cebicheries and chifa restaurants (Chinese-Peruvian) you see all over this city of 10 million. Read More

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mistura Celebrates All Things Peruvian

Filed Under: Blog , news
Chancho al Palo-style roasting at Mistura in Lima

Chancho al Palo-style roasting at Mistura in Lima

LIMA, Peru – The smell of smoked and roasted pig, or lechon, fills the air near an otherwise unremarkable stretch of the beach here along the Pacific Ocean.  It’s not the result of some weekend warrior Food Network Star wannabe contest, but rather, a Super Bowl of sorts, at least among Peru’s highly competitive barbecue professionals. I’m at the annual Mistura Food Conference, a 10-day festival located along the beach, extending more than a mile long. The annual gathering brings together the country’s farmers, artisans, chefs and restaurants, in an exhibition the likes of which I’ve never seen.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

“Beer” of the Week: Vandermill Cider

Filed Under: Adult Beverages , Blog , Features , Videos

We’re deviating a bit from the hops and barley theme this week, as we take a sip of a refreshing cider from the well-regarded Vandermill Brewery in Spring Lake, Michigan. This particular cider features both ginger and peach, for a light, refreshing, totally quaffable cider that is well suited to drinking with food or all by itself. Cheers.