Category Archives: Chefs in the News

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

On Sale Now!

Buy Tickets

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

woc2016_600x300

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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Andersonville Dessert Crawl October 30

andersonville-halloween-food-event

On Sunday, October 30, from 2-5 p.m., Andersonville will welcome guests to enjoy a sweet stroll through this delightful neighborhood as they participate in the Annual Dessert Crawl.

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 Chris Tong of My Private Chef, an upscale private chef and gourmet dining service, will be serving a delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Parfait with Chocolate Ganache, Whipped Cream and roasted Peanuts.

Look for him on the Caramel Apple Route at one of his favorite wine shops,

In Fine Spirits, 5418 N. Clark.

You can choose between TWO great routes. Tickets for one route are $25. in advance or $30.00 purchased after October 27. (if available)

Participants will pick up their Dessert Crawl “passport” at the Great Lakes Clinical Trials – Andersonville, 5149 N. Ashland Ave and then proceed to the participating restaurants and stores for tasting-sized portions at each location.

 

For more information about the Dessert Crawl and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2597793

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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LARK in Lakeview

best-neopolitan-pizza-chicago

Located at 3441 N. Halsted, in the former Halsted’s Bar + Grill space, Lark offers an ideal environment for drinks seven nights a week, where guests can listen to music from the 80s and 90s until 2 am Sunday through Friday and 3 am Saturdays, as well as watch music videos from those eras playing on the 13 large screen TVs.

“We’re excited to bring this new addition to the bar scene in Lake View, which features the beautiful original wooden bar from the former Cullen’s Bar & Grill on Southport,” said Mark Liberson, LKH president. “Our weekend guests will enjoy having the chance to select albums from our collection of LPs, play retro board games and dine on our artisanal pizzas with their drinks.”

Lark will also offer authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas, as well as pasta, sandwiches, entrées, salads, appetizers and weekend brunch. Lark plans to be among a handful of officially certified Neapolitan pizza establishments in Chicago. In order to obtain certification from The Associazione Verace Pizza Napolitana (VPN), Lark must adhere to strict guidelines, including what ingredients are used, how the dough is made and how long the pizzas are cooked.

We recently dined at the Lark and tried a sampling of foods. Everything was great! They offer an assortment of “Moscow Mule cocktails” in copper cups and Thursday’s you can enjoy them for half off!

best-pizza-chicago-certified

Not many places offer Grilled Calamari. It takes more effort to prepare (and prepare correctly) than fried Calamari. Here it was great! Tossed with fresh green beans, some baby kale and served with a delicious homemade marinara.

I had never had Arancini. It’s a risotto ball that is fried. Very good option! Meatballs were a nice appetizer as well.

For pizza we tried the Chicken Alfredo and the Ducktrap River Smoked Salmon and Pesto Pizza. Usually not a fan of smoked salmon myself, but this was unique and delicious!

burgers-cuban-sandwich

Our waiter raved about the burgers and I love a good Cubano sandwich. So we tried the Mushroom and Blue Jack Cheeseburger and the Cubano. (Needless to say, we had a lot of to-go boxes, with all that food!) Both were excellent. The burger used grilled trumpet mushrooms and this amazing marbled blue jack cheese and was topped with balsamic roasted tomatoes.

The Cubano was piled high with braised pork shoulder, smoked ham, applewood smoked bacon and topped with jack cheese. Pretty much perfection!

All of the food was fresh, tasty and cooked to perfection. Lark proved itself to be a bar AND a restaurant, serving very good quality eats. With prices that won’t break the bank. Pizza’s run $11-$15, Burgers $12, Sandwiches $11-$13, and Homemade Pasta $15.

Chefs Bernardo Ibarra (Girl and the Goat) and Kaz Medhat (Magnolia Café), recently leading the culinary team at Replay and Elixir in Andersonville, leads the Lark kitchen. Creating a menu rich in flavors, the chefs incorporate inspirations from Italy and beyond while Lark’s beverage director, Vlad Novikov, curate’s drink offerings consisting of craft cocktails, extensive wine by the glass options and 16 tap beers.

the-lark-chicago-lakeview

The 2,400 square foot venue will accommodate approximately 90 people, and open onto one of Lake View’s largest existing patios, doubling the venue’s capacity with nearly 100 additional seats. In addition to bar and table seating, guests can choose to sit and watch the chefs prepare and cook the pizzas around the Mugnaini pizza oven, dine and drink at the historic handcrafted wooden bar, or lounge in comfortable seating surrounding Lark’s working fireplace.

Lark is open Monday through Friday 5 pm – 2 am, Saturday from 10 am – 3 am, Sunday 10 am – 2 am. Dinner will be served every night from 5-10 pm. Brunch will be available 10 am – 3 pm Saturday and Sunday. Late-night pizza and limited menu options will also be available nightly until close.

Please visit http://www.larkchicago.com/ to sign up for updates and special events, and “like” us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/larkchicago, Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarkChicago, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larkchicago/.

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Cooking Italian With My Private Chef

my-private-chef-chicago

 

CHEF TONG OF MY PRIVATE CHEF SHARES A DELICIOUS ITALIAN MENU

AT BLOOMINGDALE’S HOME & FURNITURE STORE, MEDINAH TEMPLE

Chef Christopher Tong of the upscale Chicago-based private gourmet dining service, My Private Chef,is enthusiastic about European flavors and cuisine. He has been invited back to present anItalian-themed menu inspired by his travels.

A favorite with Bloomingdale’s shoppers, Chef Tong will prepare:

Lemon Cannellini Bean Bruschetta

Rigatoni with Tuscan-Style Cauliflower, Mint and Pecorino

Tiramisu Mousse

 

People who are casual cooks or lovers of gourmet food get to ask questions, discuss preparation,and come away with fabulous recipes that you can try at home. Chef Tong will give tips on shopping, ingredients, and serving. And, everyone gets to have a taste!

The cooking demonstration will take place on Saturday, September 24, from 2-4 pm, at theBloomingdale’s Home & Furniture Store at Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago.Demo Kitchen on 1.

For more information about this Bloomingdale’s event, contact at 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 doing cooking demonstrations where I get the feeling that audience members will go home and try some new dishes!”

Some recent appearances include cooking classes and demonstrations on local television,at Bloomingdale’s Home & Furniture Stores, Whole Foods Market, Gilda’s Club Chicago,Taste of Chicago and the Garden Chef Series at Chicago Botanic Garden

 

For more information about My Private Chef, call Event Services at 773-370-8131 or visit www.myprivatechef.net.

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Flamingo Rum Club Downtown Chicago

cuba-flamingo-rum-club

Chicago’s newest Cuban-inspired restaurant and cabaret, FLAMINGO RUM CLUB will be opening in the fall of 2015 at 601 N. Wells St. in River North. Two very passionate men in hospitality, Phil Stefani and Adolfo Garcia, are joining forces on the project.

The property at 601 N. Wells St. is owned by Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants.  Stefani and his team had been looking for the right concept – a boutique style restaurant and intimate experience. Having looked up to Mr. Stefani for many years, Adolfo was thrilled to be given the opportunity to bring his latest concept to life in the vacant space.

The meeting happened not long ago while the two were catching up over a drink. News surrounding the Cuban embargo being lifted sparked a conversation about its rich history and culture, the music and the cuisine. Lustful thoughts of Cuban cigars, rum cocktails and the Caribbean led to a promise that they would soon take a trip together to Cuba.While talking about how the embargo lift would affect the hospitality industry and culinary trends it was agreed that rum is already becoming the next big thing. Cuba and its people have brought so much to this world: music, art, culture and delicious flavors. The traditional Spanish recipes made distinct by African influence and local tropical flavor make Cuban cuisine unlike any other.

At Rum Club guests can expect nothing less than the largest rum selection in the country, bartenders in pink tuxedos, waitresses in floral dresses, simple and true ingredients, Cuban cuisine and the feeling of an intimate speakeasy cabaret with a small center stage to host Cuban bands and Afro-Cuban jazz.

The décor will be 1940s and 50s island chic with palm tree wall paper, gold leaf oval ceilings, a brass bar, 8-foot mounted marlin, and cement tiles imported from the Dominican Republic.

Can’t Wait!

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Chicago’s Revival Food Hall

revival-food-hall-chicago

Operated by Chicago hospitality collective 16” On Center, Revival Food Hall is an all-local dining concept spotlighting the best of Chicago’s acclaimed culinary scene under one roof. The massive, 24,000 square foot venue is located in the heart of The Loop on the ground floor of The National—a 20-story restoration of an historic 1907 Daniel Burnham-designed building. This collaborative project will open next week, and will boast 15 fast-casual stalls featuring many of Chicago’s favorite neighborhood restaurants in a grab-and-go setting, plus a handful of all-new, quick-serve concepts debuting from several acclaimed Chicago chefs.

Follow them on Facebook!

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Chicago Chefs Cooking Series July 24th

Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden

JULY 24-CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN GARDEN CHEF SERIES

Chef Tong will appear again this year at the Garden Chef Series sponsored by the Colorado Tourism Board and Food Network Magazine.

Chef Tong will show how to make a delicious dish featuring Colorado bison.
Bison Steak with Ancho Chile Blueberry Sauce and Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Chef Chris will appear on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. in the
Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Illinois.

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.

My Private Chef is enjoying popularity as ne 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 skillsto 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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THE LARK in East Lakeview

the lark pizza restaurant chicago

LKH Management (LKH), the group behind Andersonville’s recently opened Replay and Elixir, announced that its eighth property, Lark, will officially open to the public Thursday, June 16.

The first 50 people through the bar and restaurant’s doors that day, beginning at 5 pm, will receive a voucher for one free pizza, available for redemption by July 31, 2016. Between 5 pm and 2 am, everyone who visits the new venue will be eligible to enter to win free pizza for a year*.

Located at 3441 N. Halsted, in the former Halsted’s Bar + Grill space, Lark will offer an ideal environment for drinks seven nights a week, where guests can listen to music from the 80s and 90s until 2 am Sunday through Friday and 3 am Saturdays, as well as watch music videos from those eras playing on the 13 large screen TVs.

“We’re excited to bring this new addition to the bar scene in Lake View, which features the beautiful original wooden bar from the former Cullen’s Bar & Grill on Southport,” said Mark Liberson, LKH president. “Our weekend guests will enjoy having the chance to select albums from our collection of LPs, play retro board games and dine on our artisanal pizzas with their drinks.”

gay restaurant chicago pizza

Lark will also offer authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas, as well as pasta, sandwiches, entrées, salads, appetizers and weekend brunch.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE  PIZZA  PLACE!  Lark plans to be among a handful of officially certified Neapolitan pizza establishments in Chicago. In order to obtain certification from The Associazione Verace Pizza Napolitana (VPN), Lark must adhere to strict guidelines, including what ingredients are used, how the dough is made and how long the pizzas are cooked.  WOW!   HOW COOL IS THAT?!

Chefs Bernardo Ibarra (Girl and the Goat) and Kaz Medhat (Magnolia Café), recently leading the culinary team at Replay and Elixir in Andersonville, will helm the Lark kitchen. Creating a menu rich in flavors, the chefs will incorporate inspirations from Italy and beyond while Lark’s beverage director, Vlad Novikov, will curate drink offerings consisting of craft cocktails, extensive wine by the glass options and 16 tap beers.

The 2,400 square foot venue will accommodate approximately 90 people, and open onto one of Lake View’s largest existing patios, doubling the venue’s capacity with nearly 100 additional seats. In addition to bar and table seating, guests can choose to sit and watch the chefs prepare and cook the pizzas around the Mugnaini pizza oven, dine and drink at the historic handcrafted wooden bar, or lounge in comfortable seating surrounding Lark’s working fireplace.

gay restaurant boystown chicago LARK

“We can’t wait for everyone to join us and enjoy a taste of something they won’t find elsewhere in the neighborhood,” said Chef Bernardo. “We’re thrilled to share all the special features of the new oven, and to create delicious dishes beyond pizza, incorporating wood-fired items throughout the menu.”

Exposed brick and handcrafted wooden details will line the walls of the new venue. DJs will play 80s and 90s records Thursday through Sunday nights from 10 pm to close.

Lark will be open Monday through Friday 5 pm – 2 am, Saturday from 10 am – 3 am, Sunday 10 am – 2 am. Dinner will be served every night from 5-10 pm. Brunch will be available 10 am – 3 pm Saturday and Sunday. Late-night pizza and limited menu options will also be available nightly until close.

Please visit http://www.larkchicago.com/ to sign up for updates and special events, and “like” us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/larkchicago, Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarkChicago, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larkchicago/.

*One winner will receive one free pizza per week for one year (52 total pizzas) starting Monday, June 20, 2016. Limitations will apply.

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3 Floyd’s Dinner at REPLAY Andersonville May 25

replay andersonville chicago

Replay Andersonville will host a 3 Floyds paired dinner Wednesday, May 25 at 7 pm to kick off IML weekend.

For $55, guests will not only indulge in a five course menu crafted by Chefs Bernardo Ibarra and Kaz Medhat, but also enjoy some of the Indiana brewery’s most popular and delicious craft beers.

 

Course 1: Watermelon Gazpacho with LazerSnake American Pale Ale
Course 2: Shrimp Ceviche with Zombie Dust American Pale Ale
Course 3: Alpha King Poached Pear Salad with Alpha King American Pale Ale
Course 4: Beer-Braised Pork Ossobuco with Black Heart English Double IPA
Course 5: Amaro- and Coffee-Infused Truffles and Berries with Wig Splitter Oatmeal Stout
ADDRESS
5358 N. Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: 773.654.1369
replay-chicago-andersonville

Eat
Looking for something innovative, delicious and comforting? Our fresh dishes are made in-house by our staff of highly trained chefs using sustainably raised, locally sourced ingredients when possible. We proudly serve lunch and dinner daily, with weekend brunch and a late night menu. We offer something or everyone, from light to hearty and sweet to savory. And, we’ve included some classic comfort dishes with a modern twist that elevate ordinary dishes by using unexpected flavor combinations and textures. Get ready to wrap your mind around the big, bold flavors of our menu, and then wrap your hands and mouth around them, too.

Drink
Enjoy the 26 rotating craft beers on draught or explore our extensive premium bourbon and cocktail selection.

Play
Relive the glory days of your youth and play one of our 22 vintage video arcade games or pump your quarters into one of our popular pinball machines.

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Chicago Chef Feeds Homeless

Quentin-Love-turkey shop grill chicago

Chef Wins Reality Show and Uses Money To Feed Chicago Homeless

Thanks to his winning a recent reality television show, Quentin Love can open his big heart to all the big appetites in the Chicago homeless community.

Every Monday for the last two years, Love’s restaurant, the Turkey Chop Grill, would close for business and fire up their grills for anyone in the city in need of a hot meal. With the help of a weekly team of volunteers, Love has paid nearly $2,000 a month out of pocket for over 60,000 free meals.

The compassionate business model, however, was not sustainable enough to keep going on its own.

That’s when Guy Fieri called with an invitation to compete for a $36,000 prize on the Food Network reality television show Guy’s Grocery Games.

It was a gamble, but Love won the action-packed competition and not only used half of the prize money to continue feeding hungry Chicagoans in need, but he also donated the other half to the United Services Organization.

See more of this @  Good News Network!

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Le Bouchon Chef Jean-Claude Poilevey Died

chicago Le Bouchon Chef Jean-Claude Poilevey

Le Bouchon Chef Jean-Claude Poilevey of Oak Park died early Saturday in Eisenhower Expressway collision.

The man killed in an early Saturday morning crash of 15 cars has been identified as chef and restaurateur Chef Jean-Claude Poilevey, a resident of Oak Park and a noted Chicago chef for many decades.

He was 71 years old.

“We are heart broken. The world lost an incredible man, chef, and friend,” the restaurant posted on Twitter Saturday evening.

The chain-reaction crash was caused by icy conditions at about 12:40 a.m. Poilevey was on his way home from his restaurant, Le Bouchon in Bucktown. State Police said a series of crashes took place, with the cars piling into each other. Poilevey reportedly was struck after leaving his vehicle. Three other people were injured and taken to local hospitals.

His profile on GreatChefs.com notes Poilevey was born in the Burgundy region of France, and he began learning his trade at the age of 14. He was a cook in the French army, too. After a stint in the army, he moved to London.

In 1968, Hugh Hefner recruited Poilevey and several other French chefs in London to open The Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, according to his biography. A year later, he came to Chicago.

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Chicago Spring Cooking Class April 11th

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GET A TASTE OF SPRING WITH CHEF CHRISTOPHER TONG OF MY PRIVATE CHEF

AT THE WHOLE FOODS MARKET-LINCOLN PARK COOKING SCHOOL, CHICAGO
Chicagoans appreciate when the calendar turns the corner toward spring. Celebrate spring and attend a cooking demonstration hosted by the popular Chef Chris Tong, of the upscale Chicago-based private gourmet dining service, My Private Chef.
He will present some delicious recipes perfect for spring entertaining. The cooking class is on the mezzanine level in the on-site classroom at the Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park, 1550 North Kingsbury, Chicago. It will be held on Monday, April 11 from 7pm-8:30pm. The cost is $10.00 per person.

People who are casual cooks or lovers of gourmet food get to ask questions, discuss preparation, and come away with fabulous recipes that you can try at home. Chef Chris will provide tips on shopping

for the finest ingredients. And, everyone gets to have a taste!

 

Chef Tong’s Spring menu features:

Fresh Pea Soup, Crème Fraiche and Chives

Sautéed Pork Tenderloin, Red Beet and Heirloom Carrot Salad with Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette

and Jasmine Rice

Fresh Strawberries, Champagne Sabayon

 

Advance registration is requested to reserve 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 payment will hold your place for 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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Duck Duck Goat Opens in Chicago

duck duck goat izzardTHURSDAY  is the big day!

Opening day for Stephanie Izard’s Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant, Duck Duck Goat.

The announcement is big news for Izard’s fans, as the chef announced the restaurant back in February 2015. The opening, once again in collaboration with the Boka Restaurant Group, was originally planned for last year. Reservations are now available on OpenTable.

Izard’s restaurant at 857 W. Fulton Market will initially only serve dinner, offering “reasonably authentic Chinese cuisine,” according to a news release, kicking off at 4:30 p.m. daily. This is Izard’s third restaurant following Randolph Row siblings The Girl & The Goat and Little Goat.

Their  FB  page is HERE

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