Avec's Koren Grieveson - Best Chef: Great Lakes
Gotta hand it to the James Beard Awards. What started out two decades ago as a way to recognize the best restaurants, chefs and cookbooks, has turned into an all-glamour, star-studded (if you think Wolfgang Puck is a star) event. Moved from the dowdy Marriot Marquis in Times Square a few years ago, the event is now held at Lincoln Center, complete with the phalanx of cameras and reporters camped out front, hoping to have a few words with "Iron Chef" Michael Symon or Andrew Zimmern.
Last night, as I reported, only two Chicago winners brought home the Beard: Cliff Doerksen from The Chicago Reader and Kevin Pang from chicagotribune.com. Tonight, a handful of locals are poised (fingers crossed) to take home their own Beards: HotChocolate's Mindy Segal is up for Best Pastry Chef in the country, and Spiaggia is back again to attempt to claim the most coveted prize of the night - Best Restaurant in the Country.
I'll be blogging live from the event tonight, grabbing interviews with any and all Chicago-area winners.
May. 3, 2010
The last few missions have had an "outward" nature to them, like go out and do x, y or z, and then we'll regroup about it later. (x being the Cartwheel Mission, y being the Polaroid Mission, z being the Synchronized Texting Mission.)
So this week we're gonna spend the whole week huddling around home base, more specifically, connecting with each other in comment section land.
MISSION: I'd like you to think of something that you need good luck with/on, and ask for it. And in return, you'll wish the person right before you good luck. Simple as that. Sort of like we're trading personalized "good luck" yelps.
You'll see Justin Kaufmann and I have kicked things off... just take it from there...
And here's the soundtrack to this week's mission, a super fun song by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo titled "Luck."
May. 3, 2010
(photo by Lee Bey)
We're having a warm May so far. A year ago, it was still chilly in June.‚ There's an early thaw in the cold weather city and its denizens took to the streets over the weekend, grateful. The wind had a little crispness still, but we'll take it--especially when it comes with temps that topped 67 degrees.
Kevin Pang savoring his first James Beard Award
It wasn't exactly a stellar opening round for Chicago's best at the 2010 James Beard Awards for media and cookbooks last night. Despite several nominees in the room, the only Chicagoans to bring home the gold were the Chicago Tribune's Kevin Pang (above), who won for Best Multimedia Food Feature, for "The Cheeseburger Show" on chicagotribune.com; The Chicago Reader's Cliff Doerksen also won for Best Newspaper Feature Writing, for his piece, "The Real American Pie."
May. 3, 2010
One of the joys of growing up here in the '60s and '70s was the common connection we shared with the hosts of our favorite children's shows. In those days, "Chicago's Very Own," as WGN-Channel 9 was called, employed a cadre of talented performers whose careers revolved around amusing, engaging and entertaining us kids. Ray Rayner, Roy Brown, Ned Locke and the greatest of all, Bob Bell, became members of our collective family. As Bob Sirott noted in his foreword to the book Chicago Television: "They greeted us, kept us company and never left without saying goodbye."
One more personality on that list (though he differed from the others in many respects) was Frazier Thomas, whose 34 years on the air here left an indelible impression on local television -- and on the countless kids who watched him every day. Twenty-five years after his death, his name still evokes warm, nostalgic memories of afternoons in front of the tube.
Apr. 30, 2010
It's more than just coincidence that "Mother's Day" and "brunch" are nearly inextricable. Celebrating the day with a shared meal is one of the best ways to pay homage to Mom, Grandma, or any special woman. Brunch invites reminiscing, laughter and memories of family meals through the years. Whether your mother prefers a traditional brunch or something with a twist, choosing the perfect restaurant is sure to make your Mama proud.
Markethouse's contemporary, seasonal buffet will offer something for every Mother's classic taste. The brunch buffet prepared by Executive Chef Scott Walton will be served from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. Buffet choices include eggs Benedict with Swan Creek scrambled eggs; cream cheese and snipped chive-stuffed pancakes with oak-aged Vermont maple syrup and Applewood smoked bacon; Miller Farms honey cayenne-mopped chicken with fingerling potatoes and Carr Valley White Cheddar macaroni and cheese gratin. Desserts include assorted pastries as well as Markethouse's signature warm butterscotch bread pudding. The cost is $35 for adults and $15 for children ages ten and under, excluding tax, beverages and gratuity. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling (312) 224-2200. Markethouse is located at 611 N. Fairbanks Court.