Category Archives: Green and Socially Responsible

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!


Healthy Cooking with Chef Tong at Gilda’s Club

gildas club chicago

Chef Christopher Tong of the Chicago-based private gourmet dining service, My Private Chef, will present another one of his popular healthy cooking demonstrations at Gilda’s Club Chicago.
The meals are designed to inspire people living with cancer, to eat well, serve beautiful food and stay healthy.

This cooking demonstration will take place on Tuesday, December 16 at 6pm. Gilda’s Club, 537 N. Wells Street, Chicago.
Free to anyone touched with cancer. 312.464.9900
For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site:


We hope to see you there!


World of Chocolate Chicago

world of chocolate chicago


The air is getting colder and the holidays are near! With great cheer, we invite you to World of Chocolate. This festive tasting event benefitting the AIDS Foundation of Chicago is our annual commemoration of World AIDS Day.

Guests enjoy an open bar and rich chocolate delights from some of Chicago’s most creative and talented culinarians.

We are overjoyed to be hosting World of Chocolate again in the magnificent Great Hall of Union Station on Thursday, December 4.

Purchase your tickets online and savor the sweet satisfaction of making a difference!

Peace, love, sugar & spice,
-The World of Chocolate Architects

P.S. Keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter. Get exclusive insight into the making of World of Chocolate and a sneak peek at what our culinarians have to offer!


Culinary Food Fight Club May 15th at Park Tavern



Food, drinks , and most importantly  RAISE  $$$  to feed  the homeless.

1 Hour Open Bar from 6-7 PM (challenge starts at 7 PM sharp) + Chef Samples + People’s Choice Voting Ballot + Live music and more!  TICKETS!


Live Monthly Cooking Competitions around Chicago produced by Culinary Fight Club. Each month fires up with a new theme, ingredients, contestants, judges, prizes, and location! See for yourself!


(3-4) Contestants have (60) minutes to impress (4) judges, using (1) 10k BTU Burner and (15) supplied & (4) surprise ingredients, all to be judged on that one perfect bite! Hungry, don’t worry there is also a People’s Choice Award, so the first 100 attendees get (1) ounce samples from each contestant!


With each TasteBud Challenge, we build a bigger and stronger community of people who share a passion for food and giving back. All proceeds benefit a 501c3 Non-Profit Fight2Feed, a Charitable Organization on a mission to “KO” hunger in Chicago.

For more details and developments on the non-profit and/or to get involved, subscribe to our website HERE and “Like” us on Facebook!

Interested in being a Contestant, Judge, or Volunteer? Email us at or visit our website



Thanksgiving Deal AND a Show!

Wednesday, November 27 and Thursday, November 28  5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

On Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day, Lakeview’s Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club will extend a dining discount to those who donate a canned good or nonperishable food item.

 The donations will benefit Vital Bridges’ annual “Harvest for Hope” community food drive.
Guests will receive a 50-percent discount off martinis and cocktails, as well as a 33-percent discount off their dinner tab with canned good donation. 

 Consulting Chef JoAnn Witherell has crafted a special Thanksgiving prix fixe menu that will be offered in addition to Kit Kat’s regular dinner menu. The classic Thanksgiving feast (outlined below) includes a pumpkin pie martini, Kit Kat salad, herb-marinated roasted turkey breast, traditional stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry and pineapple relish, and pumpkin pie tart for only $20 with canned good donation ($40 without donation). 

Diva Kinley Preston will entertain guests on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day starting at 7:30 p.m. For table reservations, please call 773-525-1111.   3700 N. Halsted


Manna Organics Makes Healthy Taste Great


Manna is Home of the best vegan organic
Gluten Free breads, vegan organic yeast-free sprouted breads, raw
organic trail mixes, artisan sourdough breads, organic nut butters,
organic Kale Chips 
and organic ingredients. 

Manna Organics, LLC is a family owned and operated bakery. All  products are vegan, kosher, organic and carefully hand-made. Their signature product is the fully sprouted MANNA BREAD®,
cake-like, free of salt, no oils, no sweeteners, no leavening agents.
Manna bread is moist and delicious, high in protein and fiber. Sold in
the USA and Canada, in the Frozen Foods section.

I LOVE the organic nut butters. These unique artisan spreads are handmade in small batches and are deliciously perfect right off the spoon. Coconut Cashew is my favorite!

Everyone has heard that kale is good for you, but not everyone knows what to do with it. Fret no more! At Manna Organics, their kale chips are the most delectable solution to adding more nutrient-dense foods to your diet.

We love kale because it is high in iron, calcium, Vitamin A, K, and
C, as well as a powerful antioxidant boost and an anti-inflammatory

The highest quality organic, locally grown kale is lovingly mixed by hand with the purest ingredients.

So flavorful and satisfying, you will hardly be aware of anything but
how these kale chips nourish the body and delight the senses. Believe
us when we say these will become your new guilt-free addiction! Flavors like Mocha, Cheese, Curry and Pizza Margherita!



As of 2002, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed national standards and started the National Organic Program for organic food production and handling.

USDA Organic labeling is broken down into 4 subcategories.

  • 100% Organic (contains 100% organic ingredients. E.g. a piece of fruit)
  • Organic (Contains 95% or more organic ingredients)
  • Made With Organic Ingredients (70% or more organic ingredients)
  • < 70% Organic Ingredients ( < 70% organic ingredients)

All Manna Organics products contain between 95% and 100% organic and are therefore certified “Organic” by Quality Assurance International (QAI), which means that an organic certification organization, accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture, has validated that products labeled as “organic” meet the defined organic standards.


Eat out at Taverna 750 this weekend, and they will Plant a Tree for you!

Earth Day is an annual day, celebrated on April 22nd each year on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

 The need for trees in our

National Forests is now greater than it has ever been as wildfires, insects, and disease destroy
millions of acres of trees every year. 
Earth Day is now celebrated in more than 192 countries every year and Taverna 750 wants to join in the celebration and protection of plant earth.
Taverna 750 will be celebrating the entire Earth Day weekend from April 19-22nd in collaboration
with the Arbor Day Foundation. 
For each reservation made for Dinner or Brunch April 19-21 Taverna750 will plant a tree in their honor and on Monday April 22nd Taverna 750 will take it one step further by planting a tree in honor of each guest who dines that evening. 
Reservations are encouraged and can be made by visiting our website at 
Taverna 750 will be serving Dinner Friday and Saturday 6:00-12:00, Late Night Menu Friday and Saturday 11:00-Close, Brunch Sunday 11:00-3:00, and Dinner Sunday and Monday 6:00-10:00.
The concept of Taverna 750 was inspired by Paul D. Cannella’s Grandfather, Paul J. Loverde, and Uncle Chuckie Abruzzini’s restaurant. Grandpa Paul and Uncle Chuckie served up good times, great drinks, and classic Italian food to Chicago’s West Humboldt Park neighborhood between the 1940’s and 1960’s. Their recipes are the basis for several menu items. All of the entrees are small plates, which are meant for sharing with your party. They are served European style, so they will arrive at the table in the order in which they are prepared.
Taverna 750 . 750 W Cornelia Ave. Chicago, IL 60657 . 773-904-7466

Fox and Hound Chicagoland Re-Grand Openings to host Benefit for PAWS

The NEW Fox & Hound
sports tavern will celebrate its million dollar renovation of a brand
new look, feel and flavor with Grand Re-Opening events to benefit PAWS
(Pets Worth Saving) at each of its four Chicagoland locations:

  • Arlington Heights (Tuesday, March 12);
  • Schaumburg (Tuesday, March 19); and
  • Bloomingdale and Aurora (exact dates TBD).


party begins at 6 p.m., when guests are invited to enjoy a buffet of
new and signature menu items, two drink tickets and tons of fun
(including free pool) until 10 p.m. for a $10 ticket price.  All of the proceeds from the tickets will be donated to PAWS CHICAGO,
the Midwest’s largest non-profit, No Kill humane organization.

Guests at the PAWS CHICAGO Grand Opening events will munch on Fox & Hound’s signature dishes, including Drunken Chicken Tenders , our Baked Pretzel Stix and Beer Cheese Dip plus many new items, such as Extreme Mac & Cheese; Dog Bites and Fish & Chips, to name a few.

New CEO of the Fox & Hound Restaurant Group Marc Buehler says, “Come celebrate the new Fox & Hound, with its redesigned spaces and menu to better meet guests’ desires for the best neighborhood gathering spot.”

home away from home offers 30 High Definition TVs; games for everyone
to play; 100 kinds of beers; and a new deliciously crafted menu for
sharing, snacking as well as dining. 

Fox & Hound is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. The new pilot launch locations are: Fox & Hound in Arlington Heights at 910-918 W Dundee Rd. (847.590.9019); in Schaumburg at 1416 N Roselle Rd. (847.884.6821); in Bloomingdale at 370 W Army Trail Rd #410A (630.295.9626); and in Aurora at Yorkshire Shopping Center, 4320 E. New York Ave. (630.236.9183).


Greenest Restaurant in US is UNCOMMON GROUND

In recent years, 4 Star Certified Green Restaurants® across the country have engaged in a lively competition to secure the esteemed title of the World’s Greenest Restaurant®.

Chicago’s Uncommon Ground held this title from December 2011 to March
2012, and has continued to make environmental changes across their
operations. The 4 Star Certified Green Restaurant® has now
earned over 447 GreenPoints™ based on the rigorous certification
standards of the Green Restaurant Association (GRA). With more
GreenPoints™ than any restaurant in the world, the GRA has once again
crowned Uncommon Ground as the World’s Greenest Restaurant®.


Mayor Rahm Emanuel proudly states:

proud to have in our City of Chicago the Greenest Restaurant in the
Country. Uncommon Ground is a great example of what our city can do and
what our country can do, use water and energy more efficiently, grow
more sustainable food, while boasting the world’s most sustainable


Highlights of Uncommon Ground’s Environmental Accomplishments: 

 Uncommon Ground continues to make tremendous
progress by taking 132 environmental steps in the categories of food,
water, waste, energy, chemicals, disposables and building materials,


Near Zero Waste™ Restaurant:

While the average restaurant in
America generates 100,000 pounds of trash each year, Uncommon Ground has
implemented full-scale recycling and composting programs to divert 95%
of its waste from landfills.    


Energy Conservation:

The 4 Star Certified Green Restaurant®
has earned over 156 GreenPoints™ in the environmental category of
Energy alone by updating 100% of its lighting to more sustainable LED,
CFL and T8 Lamps, using high-efficiency equipment, producing renewable
energy onsite, and much more.   


Sustainable Food:Uncommon
Ground consistently sources sustainable food, as 71% of their food
purchases are vegan or vegetarian, and 24% of their food purchases come
from within 300 miles – including the restaurant’s own certified organic
sidewalk & rooftop farms.


Discover the specific environmental steps  

Uncommon Ground has taken to become the  

World’s Greenest Restaurant®  

by visiting: 


“Uncommon Ground is an
inspiration for the restaurant industry. It was just a year ago that we
crowned Uncommon Ground as the World’s Greenest Restaurant®,
and they continue to push the fold even further,” says Michael Oshman,
the CEO and Founder of the Green Restaurant Association. “Uncommon
Ground has motivated restaurants across the country to take that extra
step to become more sustainable – from sourcing truly local food and
composting organic waste, to taking steps to save energy and water. If
every restaurant followed Uncommon Ground’s environmental leadership,
the impact would be enormous.”


About Uncommon Ground

Uncommon Ground is an independently owned & operated restaurant located in in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago.  We
are open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner daily and feature
contemporary comfort cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal, regional,
organic ingredients. The bar features renowned house-infused organic
cocktails, a selection of local craft beers and an eclectic American
wine list.  Enjoy a certified organic sidewalk farm-lined outdoor café in the summer & 2 warm, cozy fireplaces in the winter.  National music acts perform nightly in an intimate acoustic listening room while art openings feature local Chicago artists.


“First Certified Organic Side Walk Farm in the Country” – M.O.S.A. 2012


Recipient of the “Governor’s Sustainability Award” – 2010 & 2011


Winner of the “Mayor’s Landscape Award”, City of Chicago 2009, 2010 & 2011


Winner of the prestigious “USGBC Environ-motion Award” – March, 2009


Finalist in the National Restaurant Association “Innovator of the Year Awards”

– in the category of Sustainability – May 2012


Chefs in Chicago Would have a Field Day if Marijuana Becomes Legal

Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing pot for personal recreational use. In fact, more voted here in favor of pot legalization than voted for President Obama!

And the chefs in Colorado are creating dishes to make you happy and stimulate your appetite!

Longtime advocates for marijuana use, Scott and his wife and business
partner Wanda James (they run Simply Pure Products) have something to
be truly thankful for this week. 

“We have had medical marijuana in
Colorado now for almost three years,” said James. “What we have seen
from that is tremendous amounts of revenue. There has been nothing but
positive in Colorado since medical marijuana has come.

that’s why we’ve seen so many people vote to go ahead and legalize
marijuana here in Colorado, because the sky did not fall underneath
medical marijuana.”

The success of dispensaries has already spawned a whole new business: Edible marijuana.

Cannabis cuisine has come a long way from Alice B. Toklas’ 1954 “haschish fudge” recipe.

For today’s cooking aficionados, cannabis can complement pretty much everything from chilli to olive oil. (Just 2 teaspoons of marijuana-infused olive oil  is equivalent to about three and a half, four joints). 

With quality weed going for up to $450 an ounce, it is way more
expensive than truffles, caviar or foie gras, but Durrah says it’s worth
every penny.

I wonder what Grant Achatz would create……..

Read more at CBS



Chicago’s Uncommon Ground Named GREENEST RESTAURANT in US

This is really impressive!

Uncommon Ground on Devon (their newest location) was just awarded with the title of the Greenest Restaurant in the U.S. by the Green Restaurant Association.  – 

What spot came in second? Uncommon Ground’s Lakeview location near Wrigley Field.

WE  have been a fan of this spot for about 10 years. And they were green and socially responsible, before it was fashionable!

“I’m proud to have in our  City of Chicago the Greenest
Restaurant in the
Country,” ….“Uncommon Ground is a great  example of what our city can  do and what our country can do, use water and energy more
efficiently, grow more  sustainable food, while boasting the
most sustainable businesses.”

– Mayor Rahm Emmanuel

Uncommon Ground had to pass a number of requirements to achieve the title, but according
to the GRA, it passed 116 environmental steps earning it a four-star
rating, 365 green points and taking the No. 1 spot in seven categories.
Owners Michael and Helen Cameron were recognized for
their use of solar panels and reclaimed wood, building the nation’s
first organic rooftop farm, turning used fryer oil into biodiesel fuel
and so much more.



Bobbys Bike Hike Offers New Tour with Food Samplings

Since the advent of the bicycle in the 1860s, Chicago has been distinguished as one of the premier cycling locations in the United States, with such public cycling destinations as Grant Park, Burnham Park and the Chicago Park District’s Lakefront Trail.

Chicago has been  named a cycling capital of the United States by several magazines. The City of Chicago has achieved this goal by investing in bicycling infrastructure and promoting education, awareness and advocacy.


Bicycles arrived in Chicago in the 1860s. By 1900, there were 54 bicycle clubs with more than 10,000 members, and it has been growing every year.


Mayor Richard J. Daley, was a huge supporter of bicycling. When he was inaugurated, the city had a limited number of bike paths. By the 1970s, Daley’s administration had built a large network of lakefront bike paths, bicycle lanes on the road, a 34-mile (55 km) bicycle route and rush-hour bicycle lanes on Clark Street and Dearborn Street.

Chicago currently has more than 110 miles of on-street bike lanes, more than 30 miles of marked shared lanes, many miles of off-street paths (including the 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail), more than 12,000 bike racks, and sheltered, high-capacity, bike parking areas at many CTA rail stations. Daley has said, “My goal is to make the City of Chicago the most bicycle-friendly city in the U.S.”

Since the summer of 2002,
Bobby’s Bike Hike has offered a unique perspective on the sights and attractions of Chicago, incorporating quality information, group interaction, and most of all, fun.

“We provide you a cool, cruiser style bicycle and riders of all ages and fitness levels will find our relaxed-pace tours enjoyable. Bobby’s hand-selected guides make brief stops at Chicago’s most popular sights, providing light-hearted commentary that will keep you entertained and “in the know.”

Whether you live here – or are visiting, Bobbys tours offer something for everyone.

Lakefront Neighborhood tours  and the  City Lights at Night -Tour, are two of the most popular.  


NEW THIS YEAR – the  Bikes, Bites  Brew  tourWorking up an appetite won’t be a problem on this tour!

“We’ll be sampling from each of Chicago’s four favorite food groups — pizza, hot dogs, cupcakes and beer. You’ll learn the history behind the foods and also get a taste for some of Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods as we cruise through Wrigleyville, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lakeview and Lincoln Park. “
Available 11am, Monday thru Friday. What a great way to see- and taste – the city!


Bobby’s Bike Hike continues to set the standard in sightseeing bicycle tours of Chicago.
So come join in the fun – Bobby’s will  be the highlight of your day!

Bobbys Bike Hike    (312) 915-0995


The Signature Room Pays It Forward and Delivers an Amazing Food and Wine Experience

The Signature Room at the 95th
and The Signature Lounge on 96th

offer sweeping views of the city sitting atop The John Hancock Center Building at 875 North Michigan Avenue. Matter of fact, they offer the highest public view from the building as The Observatory is actually on the 94th floor!

The Signature Room’s elegant art-deco interior, contemporary American fare and exceptional wine cellar make it an intimate dinner destination spot for both locals and tourists.

The owners, Rick Roman and Nick Pyknis, believe strongly in giving back to the community and launched their Charity of the Month Program in 1993.

Each month, The Signature Room at the 95th offers the “Signature Selection” menu, an a-la-carte “specials” dinner menu which regularly features 2-3 selections under appetizers, soups/salads, entrées and desserts. The designated non-profit organization of the month receives 10% of the sales from this menu, which is offered throughout the sponsored month.

The staff has a chance to meet with a representative from the respective organization at each month’s kickoff to learn about their program’s mission and ask questions so they will be able to share information with guests. Since the inception of the program, The Signature Room at the 95th has donated over $500,000 to 160 non-profit organizations in the Chicagoland area.

The 2007 Recipients are:
January: Pathways Center – Chicago
February: Variety – The Children’s Charity of Illinois
March: Emergency Fund -Chicago
April: Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center
May: Kids Fight Cancer- Arlington Heights
June: Help Ease Local Poverty – Chicago
July: Kids In Danger – Chicago
August: American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago
September: The Better Boys Foundation- Chicago
October: AIDSCare -Chicago
November: The Salvation Army – Chicago
December: The 100% Foundation- Lake Villa, IL

Local non-profits are encouraged to submit an application to be considered. Each year, applications are accepted through June 15 and then reviewed by the restaurant’s executive committee in the order applications were received, for consideration for the following program year. At the end of July, notifications of selection and non-selection are sent out to all applying organizations.

Then in the following January, The Signature Room at the 95th hosts the “Table for Twelve” Reception, to kick-off the yearly program and honor all upcoming, 12 non-for-profit groups. All profits from the reception go directly to the charity of the month organizations. Thank you Rick Roman and Nick Pyknis for your socially responsible efforts! We’ll hope you serve as inspiration to others to create sustainable venues for paying it forward in their communities.

Derrick Sorles Best of the Best Dining Chicago