Category Archives: Chefs in the News

Garden Chef Series September 15th

Chef Christopher Tong of My Private Chef, one of Chicagoland’s most versatile Chefs, will share one of his favorite recipes at Chicago Botanic Garden’s popular annual Garden Chef Series.

He will appear on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Illinois.

People who are casual cooks or lovers of gourmet food get to ask questions, discuss preparation, and come away with recipes that they can try at home. Chef Tong will give tips on ingredients, and serving. And, everyone gets to have a taste! Seating is limited and on a first-come, first served basis.

Admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden and Garden Chef Series is free. For more information about this Garden Chef Series event and parking fees, please call 847.835.5440 or visit www.chicagobotanic.org.

We hope top see you there!

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July 12 Cooking Demo at Taste Fest with Chef Tong

TASTE OF CHICAGO! Is the world’s largest FREE-admission outdoor food festival. The annual lakefront extravaganza lets you fill up on all the flavors of the city, from classic Chicago specialties to international cuisine to chef-inspired creations. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a bite of some of the best Chicago restaurants and chefs!

 

A favorite whenever he appears, Chef Chris Tong of the private gourmet dining service, My Private Chef returns to Taste of Chicago to present a healthy summer recipe.

Chef Tong’s cooking demonstration at the Taste of Chicago is one of My Private Chef’s most popular annual appearances. People who are casual cooks or lovers of gourmet food get to ask questions and discuss preparation. It is a very well attended feature of this annual Chicago summertime fest!

He will appear on Friday, July 12 at 12;30 p.m. at the Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen on the northwest corner of Buckingham Fountain Plaza.

Taste of Chicago runs daily July 10-14, 2019. Taste of Chicago is the nation’s free admission outdoor food festival. The annual lakefront extravaganza lets you fill up on all the flavors of the city, from classic Chicago specialties to international cuisine to chef-inspired creations. For more information about the Taste of Chicago event, visit www.tasteofchicago.us

My Private Chef is enjoying popularity as one of Chicago’s favorite private gourmet dining services. Trained in European-style fine cuisine, Chef Tong established his reputation at fine restaurants and hotels in Florida, California, and Chicago. Now he has adapted his impressive skills to the world of private entertaining. My Private Chef offers enticing cuisine for a wide range of events, from intimate dinners to weddings to corporate parties.

Chef Chris says: “Every event is different and I’ve met some wonderful people including many celebrities. Being part of very special occasions makes my work worthwhile. I also love conducting cooking demonstrations where I get the feeling that audience members will go home and try some new dishes!”

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

We hope to see you there!

JULY 10 14, 2019

Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph St.
Free admission (ticket purchase required for food)
Wednesday – Friday: 11a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

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Fogo de Chao Mouth Watering Summer Selections

Enjoy  several new menu items  this summer, for a limited time, at  the fabulous Fogo de Chao!  Temperatures  are finally  heating up in Chicago and the internationally-renowned Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão is inviting guests to beat the heat with refreshing menu additions perfect for summer. Fogo’s summer innovations offer something for everyone to enjoy at Fogo, from a new light but decadent cut of meat, seasonal fruits and vegetables to a zero-proof mocktail.

I LOVE  WATERMELON!

And they have  a delicious Watermelon Fresca Cocktail (Non-Alcoholic): Made with ripe watermelon, lime and ice, this refreshing mocktail is a seasonal addition to Fogo’s non-alcoholic beverage lineup, which includes fan favorites Grapefruit Elderflower Spritz and Pineapple Mint Lemonade. – But you can add a  dash of your favorite  vodka as well!

And on their Market Table  you have to have some of  Watermelon Feta Salad (juicy watermelon tossed with feta cheese, summer basil, fresh mint and black pepper) and Tomato Mozzarella Salad (ripe tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and whole milk Buffalo mozzarella).

I also really love  cheese!  Whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant I love the Queso Fundido!  – Fogo does  something kind of similar.   Queijo Assado: A Brazilian-style cheese that, when grilled, becomes crispy on the outside, yet warm and melted on the inside, finished with a spicy malagueta honey.

A new summer meat choice is Grilled Pork Belly & Pineapple: Smoked pork belly is served with a balsamic glaze and roasted cinnamon pineapple. Simply delicious!

 

“At Fogo, every one of our tables is inspired by the best flavors of Brazil’s farms. Grilling has always been important in Brazil, but never more than during the summer season. That is why our new summer menu launch makes for the ideal time to introduce fire-grilled pork belly and queijo assado, a grilled Brazilian-style cheese, as a complement to churrasco,” said Barry McGowan, Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão. “Our guests can enjoy our light takes on summertime favorites, alongside our year round offerings that have made us a go-to destination for those looking to escape to Brazil on a moment’s notice.”

All summer innovations pair perfectly with Fogo fan favorites like Picanha, the prime part of the top sirloin and signature steak at Fogo, or delicately prepared seafood options, such as Mango Chilean Sea Bass.

For any summertime celebration or getaway, Fogo de Chão offers group and private dining options at all locations. From graduation dinners to wedding rehearsals, Fogo is well-suited for groups of all sizes with customizable menus, private and semi-private dining spaces, and complimentary A/V equipment. In addition, the Full Churrasco Experience is always complimentary for children under six years old and half price for those aged seven – 12.

For more information about Fogo de Chão, the new culinary and cocktail additions or to make dining reservations, please visit http://www.fogo.com.

 

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Cooking with Chef Tong May 14th

Chef Tong Presents a Taste of Spring at

Whole Foods Market, Lincoln Park

Celebrate the arrival of Spring!

Chef Christopher Tong returns to present Spring fare that is sure to satisfy your gourmet tastes.

 

His demonstration will be held on Tuesday, May 14 from 7-9:00pm.

 

 

Chef’s Menu:

  • Asparagus salad with red and yellow bell peppers, Champagne-saffron vinaigrette
  • Lemon spaghetti, Parmesan cheese, basil, lemon zests, focaccia crisp
  • Strawberry flambé with green peppercorns, vanilla bean ice cream

Chef will give you step-by-step directions and shopping tips, while answering all of your questions. And, everyone gets to have a taste!

The cost is $20.00 per person. The cooking class is on the mezzanine level in the on-site cooking classroom at the Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park,1550 North Kingsbury, Chicago.

Feel free to bring a bottle of wine as well! BYOB

Chef Tong’s classes are popular at Whole Foods Market so we suggest you sign up early to guarantee your place in the class.

To register for the class, call Whole Foods Market, Lincoln Park at 312.587.0648 or sign up at the Customer Service Desk. Credit card or cash payment will hold your place in the class.

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

We hope to see you there!

 

ABOUT CHEF;
Christopher Tong is the owner of My Private Chef, the elegant Chicago-based private chef and gourmet dining service.

Born and trained in Germany, Chef Christopher Tong has been creating distinctive contemporary Continental and French cuisine for more than twenty five years. After he was recruited to join the culinary staff of Ciel Blue, a famous award-winning restaurant in Chicago, he continued his career at prestigious establishments around the U.S., including the Walt Disney Swan Hotel in Orlando, the world famous Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills and the Sutton Place Hotel and Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

Chef Tong’s cooking demonstrations are a favorite. He regularly appears on local television, at Bloomingdale’s Home & Furniture Store, Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, Gilda’s Club Chicago, Whole Foods, Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago’s Green City Market and In the Kitchen with Mariano’s at the Taste of Chicago.

Christopher was named one of the top 100 Chefs in Chicago and received the 2000 Gold Medal Award by the American Tasting Institute. He has served as a judge at the Illinois Institute of Art and is a member of the James Beard Foundation. He teaches his skills to students in the Culinary Arts Program at St. Augustine College.

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Cooking Demo Downtown with Chef Tong March 16th

A favorite whenever he appears, Chef Chris Tong of the private gourmet dining service in Chicago. My Private Chef returns to the Bloomingdale’s for a South American cooking demonstration.

Chef will prepare a mouthwatering menu and give tips about ingredients and serving. And, everyone will enjoy a taste of each dish.

Chef Chris will serve some of his favorite recipes:

Hearts of Palm, Avocado and Tomato salad, Lime-Cilantro dressing

Marinated Flank Steak, Chimichurri Sauce
Argentinian Potato salad

He will appear on Saturday, March 16 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Bloomingdale’s Home & Furniture Store, Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Demo kitchen on 1.

For more information about this free Bloomingdale’s event, please call 312.324.7678

My Private Chef is enjoying popularity as one of Chicago’s favorite private gourmet dining services.
Trained in European-style fine cuisine, Chef Tong established his reputation at fine restaurants and hotels in Florida, California, and Chicago. Now he has adapted his impressive skills to the world of private entertaining.

My Private Chef offers enticing cuisine for a wide range of events, from intimate dinners to weddings to corporate parties.

Chef Chris says: “Every event is different and I’ve met some wonderful people including many celebrities.
Being part of very special occasions makes my work worthwhile. I also love conducting cooking demonstrations where I get the feeling that audience members will go home and try some new dishes!”

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

We hope to see you there!

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Chicago Restaurant Week

JAN. 25 – FEB. 7, 2019

Don’t miss the biggest restaurant event of the year! Chicago Restaurant Week returns for two weeks of dining deals from hundreds of celebrated restaurants all across the city.

This year’s Chicago Restaurant Week will be the largest ever, with nearly 400 local restaurants participating. That includes over 100 first-time participants and 45 suburban restaurants.

The 12th annual culinary celebration features special prix fixe menus starting at $24 for brunch and lunch, and $36 and/or $48 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). It’s the perfect excuse to visit an old favorite or try somewhere new.

2 of our favorite places  in Lakeview  will be  Participating!

MAKE A  RESERVATION!

El  Mariachi   3906  N Broadway

and  Revolucion  3443  N  Broadway

 

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Fogo 32 Ounce Aged Tomahawk Ribeye

Our favorite Brazilian steakhouse, Fogo de Chão, enhances the guest experience by unveiling new ways to indulge just in time for the holidays.

For a limited time, guests have the option to add a decadent, shareable Dry Aged Tomahawk Ribeye to any dinner experience or they can indulge in premium seafood appetizers including lobster & shrimp or a chilled seafood tower. A recent partnership between Fogo and Coravin will also allow guests to regularly taste and select high-end wines from the new Reserve Wine List without the need to commit to the whole bottle.

“Since Fogo was founded about 40 years ago, we have been leaders in offering premium aged meats to ensure guests have access to the best Brazil has to offer as part of our authentic Churrasco experience,” said Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão. “Each guest experience is uniquely tailored to individual preferences. Now guests can celebrate the season with a premium Dry Aged Tomahawk Ribeye, perfect for groups, family holidays, or parties that are prime sharing occasions.”

Our 32oz. Tomahawk Ribeye is dry aged for a minimum of 42 days for an even richer flavor to enhance any Fogo dining experience. The cut is available a la carte and is now offered at all Fogo de Chão locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico for a limited time only.

“Menu innovation is at the core of what we do and who we are at Fogo. We’re always looking to add new, seasonal ingredients to the authentic Brazilian staples on our Market Table,” said Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão. “Just like gauchos on the family farms in Southern Brazil, we harvest and source seasonal ingredients for the Market Table to complement our fire-roasted meats. Fall brings an abundance of flavors for guests to indulge as they celebrate the season.”

The fall menu features are available at all locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico for a limited time and include:

  • Butternut Kale Salad: Roasted butternut squash, fresh kale, chickpeas and feta are mixed with protein-rich pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, then tossed in a honey- citrus vinaigrette.
  • Gigante Bean Salad: Marinated gigante beans are combined with bell pepper, onion and fresh herbs before being mixed with a vinaigrette dressing.
  • Autumn Lentil Soup: French green lentils, carrots, onions and celery are simmered with tomatoes, garlic and spinach in this savory, gluten-free and vegetarian soup.
  • Apple Fig Crostada: Spiced apples are baked with butter and brown sugar inside a flaky puff pastry that is topped with homemade fig compote, balsamic glaze and fresh whipped cream.
  • Find  a Fogo de Chao  Near You!

 

    • For an inside look into the history and heritage of the gaucho culture, watch the NBC Olympic Games vignette “The Gaucho Way” or visit Fogo.comFacebookTwitter and Instagram.
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Cooking with Wild Game Dec 4

Chef Tong Presents a Wild Game Menu
at Whole Foods Market, Lincoln Park

Are you “game” for some exotic and delicious tastes? Then you will love “Wild Game Night” with Chef Chris introducing you to exciting rarely served selections.

Chef’s Menu:
Appetizer: Quail Egg, Dill Cream Cheese, Salmon Caviar on Pumpernickel Bread

Entrée: Seared Bison Tenderloin, Blueberry Chili Ancho Sauce, Sweet Potato Croquettes and Haricots Verts

Dessert: Pomegranate and Lime Parfait

Chef will give you step-by-step directions and shopping tips, while answering all of your questions. And, everyone gets to have a taste!

His demonstration will be held on Tuesday, December 4 from 7-9:00pm. The cost is $25.00 per person. (BYOB if you would like!)

 

The cooking class is on the mezzanine level in the on-site cooking classroom at the Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park,1550 North Kingsbury, Chicago.

Chef Tong’s classes are popular at Whole Foods Market so we suggest you sign up early to guarantee your place in the class.

To register for the class, call Whole Foods Market, Lincoln Park at 312.587.0648 or sign up at the Customer Service Desk. Credit card or cash payment will hold your place in the class.

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

We hope to see you there!

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Fogo de Chao and VIK Wines

There is nothing better than a fantastic glass of wine with dinner!

We recently visited the Fogo de Chao (pronounced fogo-dee-shown) in River North for their announcement of a new partnership with award-winning Chilean VIK Winery. These VIK wines are only available at Fogo!

The VIK vineyard is affectionately called the “Place of Gold”, offering a variety of unequaled terroir, small microclimates, coastal breezes; giving their wines the complexity sought after to create the best wine in South America.

If you get to Chile, they have an unbelievable hotel and grounds! You can visit the vineyards, the wine spa, hotel and spectacular grounds. (photo to left).

Fogo has partnered with VIK, which is a holistic Chilean vineyard creating world class wines, to offer its award-winning and best in category wines at Fogo de Chão locations nationwide.

 

These 3 wines join the Wine List:

La Piu Belle, Red Blend, Cachapoal, Chile, 2011
Intense and well-balanced with notes of berries, wildflowers, spices and a touch of oak. Flavor of cranberries, the palate is incredibly fresh, silky smooth, with body and structure.

Milla Cala, Red Blend, Cachapoal, Chile, 2013
Incredibly vibrant red fruit aromas, elegant tannins and incredibly smooth mouth feel. Fresh spices, perfume and berry aromas accented with hints of toast and maple. In the mouth, black cherry and plum are underscored by a hint of black licorice.

VIK, Red Blend, Cachapoal, Chile, 2012
Elegant and balanced wine, dynamic with high precision of tannins and great structure that deliver an exquisite mouth feel. A mixture of aromas, including strawberry, raspberry and vanilla. Spicy and savory dark berry fruit on the tongue, tempered by an elegant structure.

 

The founders of Fogo de Chão grew up on a traditional Southern Brazilian farm in the Serra Gaucha. It is here that they learned to cook in the churrasco grilling tradition that would become the backbone of their story.

The founding brothers left the quaint, mountainous countryside of Rio Grande do Sul to Rio and São Paulo for formal churrasqueiro training, all while developing the Fogo concept. They had several resturants in brazil before coming to the US. premiere.

At the requests of loyal American guests, the Fogo concept was exported to the U.S. with a stateside debut in Dallas, Texas, in 1997. Between 1997 and 2013, this pioneering churrascaria continued its expansion in Brazil and the U.S. opening 29 new restaurants.

The culinary team has continued the tradition of developing new menu creations rooted in the Brazilian tradition that push forward the Brazilian churrasco experience. In 2013, new seafood dishes were introduced. Later that year, the Bar Fogo concept emerged within Fogo restaurants, introducing guests to new Brazilian-inspired small plates, award-winning wines and cocktails. The culinary team is always testing and tasting new items for possible inclusion.

 

With the holidays just around the corner, consider Fogo de Chao for a group dining experience!

An elegant Brazilian dining experience presented by their helpful and knowledgeable staff will make Fogo de Chão the perfect location for your group or private dining event. Holiday parties, Corporate events, Lunch and Learn, any celebration!

 

661 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, IL 60654. (312) 932-9330

(see the website for suburban locations)

About Fogo de Chão

Fogo de Chão is a leading Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria, which has specialized for more than 37 years in fire-roasting high-quality meats utilizing the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco. Fogo offers guests a wide variety of simply seasoned meats that are carefully fire-roasted to expose their natural flavors. The company was founded in 1979 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and expanded into the U.S. in 1997. There are currently 47 locations throughout Brazil, the United States, and Mexico, including locations in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Mexico City.

 

Additionally, Fogo offers a gourmet Market Table & Feijoada Bar, which includes seasonal salads, soup, fresh vegetables, feijoada (traditional black bean stew with rice, fresh orange and yuca flour), and much more. Southern Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, and caramelized bananas are served family-style. To further complement the dining experience, the restaurant offers an award-winning wine list, tempting dessert menu, and creative and classic cocktails. Guests can also choose between lighter seafood selections, or enjoy the gourmet Market Table only option. For more information, visit Fogo.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

For a visual representation of the story of Fogo de Chão, watch “The Gaucho Way,” a documentary-style video shot through the eyes of real Fogo de Chão Brazilian gauchos and explores the restaurant’s deep cultural roots in Southern Brazil.

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Oct 20th Cooking with Chef Tong at Bloomindales Home

Always a favorite, Chef Tong of the private gourmet dining service, My Private Chef returns to the Bloomingdale’s for a cooking demonstration.

Chef Chris will prepare a mouthwatering menu and give tips about ingredients and serving. And, everyone gets to have a taste!

Chef Chris will serve some of his favorite recipes:

• Fattoush Salad with Lemon Pomegranate Dressing
• Duroc Pork Chop, Apple Calvados Sauce
• Chocolate Risotto

Mark your calendar for October 20, 2-4 p.m. at the Bloomingdale’s Home & Furniture Store at Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago. Culinary Kitchen on 1.

For more information about this Bloomingdale’s event, contact Gerardo Valadez, 312.324.7678.

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131
or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

 

My Private Chef, Inc
312.914.5225
www.myprivatechef.net

Become a Facebook Fan: www.facebook.com/ChefChrisTong

Elite Traveler Magazine – Global Black Book – Chicago’s Most Accomplished Luxury Private Chef
Chicago Magazine, “63 Ways to Pamper Yourself” – Luxury Private Chef Service
North Shore Magazine “Cooking Your Heart Out” – Luxury Private Chef for Romantic Dining

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Taste of Chicago and Chef Tong July 15th

Once again, Taste of Chicago is delighted to welcome one of Chicago’s favorite Chefs, Christopher Tong of the upscale Chicago-based private gourmet dining service, My Private Chef. He will present a delicious dessert featuring Lifeway Kefir – the ingredient that every cook needs in their kitchen.

The demonstration will take place on Saturday, July 14, 2018 at 12:30pm at the Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen on the northwest corner of Buckingham Fountain Plaza.

Chef Tong’s cooking demonstration at the Taste of Chicago is one of My Private Chef’s most popular annual appearances. People who are casual cooks or lovers of gourmet food get to ask questions and discuss preparation.

The Annual Taste of Chicago is July 11-15 in Grant Park. Admission is free.

For complete details, visit www.TasteofChicago.us.

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

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Easter Cooking with Chef Tong March 31st

If you want to prepare a special meal for Easter, Chef Chris of My Private Chef is your man. One of Bloomingdale’s favorite chefs returns to show you how to prepare a gourmet style treat.

Chef Christopher Tong of the upscale Chicago-based private gourmet dining service, My Private Chef will give tips about ingredients and serving. And, everyone gets to have a taste!

The demonstration will take place on Saturday, March 31, 2018 from 2-4 p.m. at theBloomingdale’s Home & Furniture Store at Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash Avenue,Chicago. Culinary Kitchen on 1.

Facebook Event page HERE

Follow Chef Tong HERE for lots of news and other upcoming events!

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

 

We hope to see you there!

 

 

 

My Private Chef, Inc
312.914.5225
www.myprivatechef.net

Become a Facebook Fan: www.facebook.com/ChefChrisTong

Elite Traveler Magazine – Global Black Book – Chicago’s Most Accomplished Luxury Private Chef
Chicago Magazine, “63 Ways to Pamper Yourself” – Luxury Private Chef Service
North Shore Magazine “Cooking Your Heart Out” – Luxury Private Chef for Romantic Dining

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Winter Cooking Class with Chef Tong Feb 27

SHAKE OFF THE WINTER BLUES WITH CHEF TONG OF MY PRIVATE CHEF

AT THE WHOLE FOODS MARKET-LINCOLN PARK COOKING SCHOOL, CHICAGO

 

Are you ready for some interesting combinations of ingredients? Are you ready for some marvelous flavors? Then you are going to want to attend Chef Christopher Tong’s demonstration on making hearty winter soups. It’s a great way to beat the February chill.

Chef Christopher Tong, of the popular Chicago-based private dining service, My Private Chef, elevates your cooking skills by giving you step-by-step directions and shopping tips, while answering all of your questions. And, everyone gets to have a taste!


Chef Chris will serve some of his favorite bowls of comfort:

Roasted Cauliflower soup with Cumin

Tunisian Tomato with Chickpeas and Lentils topped with Yogurt and Fresh Mint

Tangy Greek Avgolemono Chicken soup (Egg-Lemon)


The cooking class is on the mezzanine level in the on-site cooking classroom 
at the Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park, 1550 North Kingsbury, Chicago. 
It will be held on Tuesday, February 27 from 7:00pm-9:00pm. The cost is $15.00 per person. This is SUCH A GREAT DEAL!  Grab a bottle of wine  from the wine department, come  learn  some new cooking  tips,  and  taste  awesome  food!  Bring a friend!

 

Chef Tong’s classes are popular at Whole Foods Market so we suggest you sign up early to guarantee your place in the class. To register for the class, call Whole Foods Market, Lincoln Park at 312.587.0648 or sign up at the Customer Service Desk. Credit card or cash payment will hold your place in the class.

My Private Chef is enjoying popularity as one of Chicago’s favorite private gourmet dining services. Trained in European-style fine cuisine, Chef Tong established his reputation at fine restaurants and hotels in Florida, California, and Chicago. Now he has adapted his impressive skills to the world of private entertaining. My Private Chef offers enticing cuisine for a wide range of events, from intimate dinners to weddings to corporate parties.

Chef Chris says: “Every event is different and I’ve met some wonderful people including many celebrities.

Being part of very special occasions makes my work worthwhile. I also love conducting cooking demonstrations where I get the feeling that audience members will go home and try some new dishes!”

 

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

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Andersonville Dessert Crawl Oct 29th

Join My Private Chef
For a Gourmet Trick or Treat Experience
at the Andersonville Dessert Crawl

On Sunday, October 29, from 2pm-5pm Andersonville will welcome guests to enjoy a sweet stroll through the neighborhood as they participate in the Annual Dessert Crawl.

This neighborhood celebrates the festive spirit of fall. It’s a gourmet Trick or Treat experience with delectable desserts at every turn. Participating restaurants are sure to “wow” visitors with delicious and decadent gourmet desserts.

Chef Christopher Tong, of My Private Chef, the upscale Chicago-based private gourmet dining service, will be serving a mouthwatering Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse with Nutella Ganache.

Look for him on the PEPPERMINT FOREST ROUTE at one of his favorite wine shops, In Fine Spirits, 5418 N. Clark Street.

This year, you can choose between TWO great routes.Tickets for one route are $25.00 prior to the event. (if available)

For more information about the Dessert Crawl and to purchase tickets, visit:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3095528

Participants can pick up their Dessert Crawl “passport” at The Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., starting at 1pm on Sunday, October 29, and and then proceed to the participating restaurants and shops for a tasting-sized portions at each location .

One dollar from each ticket sold goes to benefit Care for Real, Edgewater’s community Food Bank.

My Private Chef is enjoying popularity as one of Chicago’s favorite private gourmet dining services.Trained in European-style fine cuisine, Chef Tong established his reputation at fine restaurants and hotels in Florida, California, and Chicago. Now he has adapted his impressive skills to the world of private entertaining. My Private Chef offers enticing cuisine for a wide range of events, from intimate dinners to weddings to corporate parties.

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

We hope to see you there!

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El Mariachi – Revolucion Owner Passes

Chicago lost a great business man recently, Antonio Estrada, founder of  El Mariachi and Revolucion restaurants.

1996. On a quiet section of North Broadway in Chicago, Antonio Estrada opened a cozy, 10-table Mexican restaurant he called El Mariachi. It was, he admits, a risk: the area, several blocks from Wrigley Field in East Lakeview, was then a not-so-nice section of the city.

“The neighborhood wasn’t yet gentrified…three years after I opened, they found dead bodies in a nearby hotel!” Estrada once told me.

Mexican food is a staple in most communities today. But back in 1996, the cuisine was in its infancy in the United States—even in a food-savvy town like Chicago. At first,  customers didn’t really comprehend what El Mariachi’s concept—fresh, authentic Mexican food that went beyond tacos and burritos—was all about.

Times have certainly changed—and so has the Estrada family’s business, now comprised of three restaurants under the Mariachi Hospitality Group banner.

Anchored by the flagship El Mariachi Restaurant, still in the original small storefront, the enterprise also includes El Mariachi Tequila Bar & Grill and Revolución Mexican Steakhouse—all within a five-block stretch of North Broadway populated by restaurants, bars, boutiques and upscale grocery stores.

 

A native of San Juan Jalisco, near Guadalajara, Antonio Estrada emigrated to the U.S. in 1969. Then just 15 years old, with no restaurant experience under his belt, he landed a part-time job as a bus boy, and then server, at Chicago’s M&M Club. He moved on to the Hilton Hotel, where he was a member of the dining room staff for 20 years. Then, he decided, it was time to venture out on his own with El Mariachi.

“I had to learn to cook—but that was pretty easy for me,” Antonio recalls. The formula was fairly simple: he made recipes; the ones he liked became part of the menu.

Antonio built a reputation for serving authentic Mexican dishes including but not limited to tacos—offerings like carne asada suiza and grilled chicken breast dressed in mole poblano—all presented in a warm, intimate setting where high-quality ingredients and friendly, personal service proved a formula for success.

That formula is at the heart of all  Mariachi Hospitality Group operates today.

His sons Jorge (Tony) and Adrian, who were raised in Lakeview and grew up in the business, are key figures in the family enterprise.  “How long have I worked in the restaurants? All my life,” Tony laughs. “I was 11 when I was officially added to the schedule.” – and the brothers have been working in the business ever since!

Antonio Estrada was a hard working  man and his businesses have made a great impact in Lakeview. He always made time to spend with his family.  He always had a smile on his face whenever I saw him! His  favorite quote was, “Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life it’s about what you INSPIRE others to do.”

He will be greatly missed.

Thanks to writer Kathleen Furore. Her full article can be seen here.

* When El Maricahi Tequila Bar & Restaurant opened in 2004, the painters put an image of Antonio in the ceiling, by the bar, shining down thru the clouds. Next time you stop by, have a Margarita  and  Salute this awesome man!

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Benihana Brings Grills back to Chicago!

BENIHANA is back in downtown Chicago! Bigger and better than ever  inside  the John Hancock building, 875 North Michigan Avenue.

Benihana, the nation’s leading operator of Japanese-inspired Teppanyaki and Sushi Restaurants, is excited to announce the opening of its newest Benihana Restaurant August 23, on the Concourse level at the foot of the John Hancock Center at 875 North Michigan Avenue (across from the landmark Water Tower)

To celebrate this grand opening, Benihana will donate 10 percent of first-day revenues to nearby Lurie Children’s Hospital and will host patients and their families prior to the opening

“We are thrilled to return to historic downtown Chicago after 10 years,” said Benihana Chief Executive Officer and President Tom Baldwin. “At Benihana, we pride ourselves on ‘Creating Great Guest Memories’ and providing our guests with delicious food, warm and friendly service, and an atmosphere for every occasion and celebration. Our Benihana Restaurant will be a wonderful addition to Chicago, a city truly known for its incredible food scene. Downtown Chicago is the perfect spot for visitors and residents alike to enjoy the Benihana experience.”

Guests can enjoy the iconic Benihana dining experience at any one of 22 Teppanyaki tables. The restaurant also features a contemporary sushi bar, three private dining rooms, an inviting cocktail lounge and outdoor patio seating where guests can indulge in fresh sushi options and vibrant cocktails while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the Magnificent Mile. Additionally, guests can enjoy Benihana at home, the office or a special event with our To Go Menu.

Benihana is proud to welcome Chicago’s newest staff members to their family.

Starting August 23, the restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Sunday 10 p.m.). Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Reservations are available online at Benihana.com or by calling (312) 780-3110.

Guests can enjoy the iconic Benihana dining experience at any one of 22 Teppanyaki tables. The restaurant also features a contemporary sushi bar, three private dining rooms, an inviting cocktail lounge and outdoor patio seating where guests can indulge in fresh sushi options and vibrant cocktails while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the Magnificent Mile. Additionally, guests can enjoy Benihana at home, the office or a special event with our To Go Menu.

Benihana is proud to welcome Chicago’s newest staff members to their family.

Starting August 23, the restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Sunday 10 p.m.). Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Reservations are available online at Benihana.com or by calling (312) 780-3110.

Guests can enjoy the iconic Benihana dining experience at any one of 22 Teppanyaki tables. The restaurant also features a contemporary sushi bar, three private dining rooms, an inviting cocktail lounge and outdoor patio seating where guests can indulge in fresh sushi options and vibrant cocktails while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the Magnificent Mile. Additionally, guests can enjoy Benihana at home, the office or a special event with our To Go Menu.

 

Benihana is proud to welcome Chicago’s newest staff members to their family.

 

Starting August 23, the restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Sunday 10 p.m.). Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Reservations are available online at Benihana.com or by calling (312) 780-3110.

About Benihana

Benihana Inc. is the nation’s leading operator of Japanese-inspired Teppanyaki and Sushi restaurants with more than 100 nationwide Benihana, Haru Sushi, RA Sushi and Samurai restaurants.

Additionally, 10 franchised Benihana restaurants are operating throughout the United States, Caribbean, and Central and South America.

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Free Cooking Demo at Botonical Gardens

 

OUR FAVORITE CHICAGO CHEF, Chef Christopher Tong of the upscale Chicago gourmet dining service, My Private Chef, will share one of his favorite seasonal dishes at Chicago Botanic Garden’s popular annual Garden Chef Series.

Chef Chris will appear on Sunday, September 17 at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Illinois. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first served basis.

Admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden and Garden Chef Series is free. For more information about this Garden Chef Series event and parking, call 847.835.5440 or visit www.chicagobotanic.org.

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Taste Fest Chicago 2017

July 5-9, 2017 • Grant Park • FREE Admission

Wednesday-Friday: 11am-9pm, Saturday & Sunday: 10am-9pm

Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park on the city’s magnificent lakefront has been home to the world’s largest food festival.

 

Seating Tickets for the Petrillo Music Shell Concerts

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Tickets for Celebrity Chef du Jour On Sale Now!

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What is the city’s recipe for a fantastic food festival? Chefs and musicians, combined with entertainment for all ages and several thousand tasting servings of favorite Chicago bites.

Fill up on all flavors of Chicago — from classic local dishes, to specialty cuisines from ethnic neighborhood restaurants, to inspired chef creations — at the annual lakefront festival Taste of Chicago. Then top it off with musical talents every evening.

The quintessential summer event, Taste (as it’s known to the locals) appeals to all of your senses: Smell and Taste the best of Chicago’s booming restaurant scene; See culinary experts share their secrets at daily cooking demos; and Hear music artists as they take to the big stage of Petrillo Music Shell.

There are plenty of NEW additions for 2017 to enjoy. Walk through the Street Art & Graffiti Alley featuring live painting by local artists. The Stomping Grounds Chicago area will showcase performances by local dance companies. Watch a daily procession of The March of the Puppets. On July 6, Sabor de Chicago will celebrate the culture of Chicago’s Latino community throughout the day with dining, dancing, music performances at the Petrillo Music Shell and Bud Light Stage and much more.

Iconic Buckingham Fountain, dazzling Lake Michigan and the magnificent skyline form the backdrop to the five day event in Grant Park, July 5-9. Plan your trip today, and be sure to bring an appetite!

For the latest updates, visit tasteofchicago.us.

 

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Fogo de Chao Brazilian Bites Bar Menu

FOGO DE CHÃO ROLLS OUT LARGEST U.S. BAR MENU INNOVATION TO-DATE

New Brazilian cocktails, bar bites and Happy Hour offers, plus eagerly anticipated seasonal menu additions offer guests three new reasons to experience Fogo nationwide

Fogo de Chão debuts three significant menu enhancements, taking guests on a captivating culinary adventure through Southern Brazil without leaving the comfort of their table or bar seats. As part of the Brazilian steakhouse’s largest bar innovation since it arrived stateside nearly 20 years ago, Bar Fogo – a casual alternative for guests looking to enjoy the Brazilian art of churrasco – now features an expanded menu that includes a refined array of new Brazilian Bites, Brazilian-inspired craft cocktails and South American wines. Coupled with an enriched Bar Fogo Happy Hour program at attractive price points, these two enhancements perfectly complement Fogo’s new spring menu additions that include seasonal salads and soup.

“Menu innovation is at the core of all that we do at Fogo, and with our new Bar Fogo menu, Happy Hour and seasonal spring offerings, we’re thrilled to be providing our guests with new ways to experience the authentic flavors and Southern Brazilian hospitality for which Fogo is known,” said Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão.

 

 

Bar Fogo’s new offerings were designed with everyday occasions in mind and offer uniquely craveable items found only at Fogo de Chão. A sample of the new small plates include:

 

  • Braised Beef Rib Sliders: Brazilian Xingu beer braised beef is topped with caramelized onions and smoked provolone, served on a brioche bun.
  • Brazilian Empanadas: Flaky pastry filled with seasoned picanha and onions served with Chimichurri aioli for dipping.
  • Garlic Shrimp: Four jumbo shrimp sautéed in garlic butter with sweet peppers and onions, served with passion fruit dipping sauce.

The expanded Bar Fogo menu also features new hand-crafted Caipirinhas and Brazilian inspired cocktails including:

  • Strawberry Hibiscus Caipirinha: Silver cachaça is mixed with hibiscus-infused syrup, fresh strawberries, and lime for a tasty twist on Brazil’s national cocktail.
  • Mango Habanero Caipirinha: Limes, mangoes and habanero peppers are muddled with silver cachaça for a sizzling kick destined to jumpstart any Happy Hour.
  • Brazilian Gentleman: Knob Creek Rye Bourbon, passion fruit, tawny port, Amargo Chuncho bitters and honey blend together seamlessly in this premium cocktail.
  • Brazilian Nights: Belvedere Vodka joins forces with passion fruit, cinnamon honey, lemon ginger tincture and La Marca Prosecco for the ultimate evening drink.
  • Bar Fogo Happy Hour is available Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and features new Happy Hour prices that everyone can appreciate – from $4 Brazilian Bites & Beers to $6 South American Wines and $8 Brazilian Inspired Cocktails.

Finally, Fogo’s spring seasonal menu items have been crafted for those ready to embrace warmer temperatures using the freshest ingredients of the season. Select menu items include:

 

  • Blackberry Arugula Salad: This flavorful arugula salad features fresh blackberries and spring onions and is topped with goat cheese, crispy prosciutto and served with a blackberry balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Lentil Quinoa Salad: This colorful salad features quinoa and green lentils, finely diced red onion and red bell pepper and is garnished with fresh chopped parsley and basil.
  • Carrot Ginger Soup: Sweet spring carrots are blended with coconut milk and ginger for a delicious vegan treat.
  • Mango Ginger Martini: Ketel One Citroen, fresh mango, South American ginger and honey lemon elixir is garnished with fresh basil.

For more information on the new Bar Fogo and spring menu offerings or to make dining reservations, please visit http://www.fogo.com.

 

661 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, IL 60654. (312) 932-9330

(see the website for suburban locations)

About Fogo de Chão

Fogo de Chão is a leading Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria, which has specialized for more than 37 years in fire-roasting high-quality meats utilizing the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco. Fogo offers guests a wide variety of simply seasoned meats that are carefully fire-roasted to expose their natural flavors. The company was founded in 1979 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and expanded into the U.S. in 1997. There are currently 47 locations throughout Brazil, the United States, and Mexico, including locations in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Mexico City.

 

Additionally, Fogo offers a gourmet Market Table & Feijoada Bar, which includes seasonal salads, soup, fresh vegetables, feijoada (traditional black bean stew with rice, fresh orange and yuca flour), and much more. Southern Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, and caramelized bananas are served family-style. To further complement the dining experience, the restaurant offers an award-winning wine list, tempting dessert menu, and creative and classic cocktails. Guests can also choose between lighter seafood selections, or enjoy the gourmet Market Table only option. For more information, visit Fogo.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

For a visual representation of the story of Fogo de Chão, watch “The Gaucho Way,” a documentary-style video shot through the eyes of real Fogo de Chão Brazilian gauchos and explores the restaurant’s deep cultural roots in Southern Brazil.

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World of Chocolate Chicago Dec. 1st

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The biggest and best way to kick off the holiday season!
On Thursday, December 1, Revel Fulton Market is the place to be. Transcending traditional boundaries, World of Chocolate 2016 commands full sensory attention. This year, prepare to awaken your spirit as you discover the pleasures of FIRE and ICE.

From classic confections to surprising savories, 20 of Chicago’s best chefs are offering their talents at Chicago’s premiere World AIDS Day event. Admission grants you more chocolate than in your wildest dreams; an open bar with cocktails that will warm your spirits; and music to get you in the holiday groove—all the makings of an unforgettable night.

Purchase your general admission ticket for $135 or join us for premium tastings in the VIP Lounge for $235.

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