WBEZ | Taste of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/tags/taste-chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Attendance up at Taste of Chicago 2013 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/attendance-taste-chicago-2013-108049 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/taste_moniquewingard.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Organizers say attendance was up about 25 percent at this year&#39;s Taste of Chicago food and entertainment festival.</p><p>The five-day event drew 1.5 million people to downtown Chicago&#39;s Grant Park before ending on Sunday. That&#39;s up from 1.2 million people last year.</p><p>City officials haven&#39;t yet said how much revenue the event brought in. But participating restaurants say crowds were hungry.</p><p>Tutto Italiano served nearly 58,000 pieces of toasted ravioli while Star of Siam served up about 100,000 pot stickers. And the Cubby Bear served more than a ton of chicken wings.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 08:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/attendance-taste-chicago-2013-108049 A taste of Taste dispels the love-hate http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-07/taste-taste-dispels-love-hate-100835 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tastewelcomesign.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Welcome to the Taste of Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p style="text-align: left; "><span style="text-align: left; ">After all the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/eight-forty-eight-071112-100784">talk</a> about this year&#39;s <a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrative/events___special_events/special_events/mose/taste_of_chicago.html/">Taste of Chicago</a>&nbsp;</span>&mdash;&nbsp;much of it on the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/shorter-slimmer-taste-chicago-kicks-week-100698">turkey legs</a> that wouldn&#39;t be there and the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/asian-carp-samples-available-taste-chicago-100791">Asian carp sliders</a> that would be free&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;&nbsp;I hopped on the bus from Navy Pier to check out opening day for myself.</p><p style="text-align: left; ">I did indeed taste the slider. You should know by now that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-09-15/finding-beauty-beast-asian-carp-92026">I love the fish and hate that it&#39;s called an invasive species</a>. This thick, hardwood-grilled patty &mdash; made with fresh garlic, lemon zest, oregano and nutmeg, bound lightly with olive oil and panko and crowned with a tomato jalapeño chutney&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;was a lovely, summery bite. The firm-fleshed fish flashed flavors from the Mediterranean and the Caribbean Seas.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tastecarpslider.jpg" style="width: 600px; " title="Asian carp slider with tomato jalapeño chutney by Dirk's Fish (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Dirk and Terry Fucik, the husband and wife team behind&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dirksfish.com/">Dirk&#39;s Fish and Gourmet Shop</a>, created the sliders at the request of the <a href="http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Pages/TargetHungerNow.aspx">Illinois Department of Natural Resources&#39;s Target Hunger Now!</a> program. According to IDNR, &quot;Target Hunger Now! is one of the largest humanitarian efforts undertaken by the State of Illinois.&quot; The state and its corporate partners hope &quot;to encourage hunters and anglers to donate deer and Asian carp for processing into healthy, ready-to-serve meals.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">The Fuciks served all of the 750 sliders they made for opening day by early afternoon. People waited in a line half a block long to get one, and the general consensus was that they were good &nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;surprisingly good&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;which was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicagoans-take-bite-out-asian-carp-100820">the point</a>; though research now suggests this &quot;Asian invasion&quot;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/research-murky-danger-asian-carp-invasion-100833">may not be</a> dangerous after all.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">If you missed this batch of sliders, Dirk&#39;s grills up free samples every Saturday. The restaurant also sells Asian carp burger patties for $8 per pound.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tasteterrydirk.jpg" style="width: 600px; " title="Terry and Dirk Fucik grill Asian carp sliders (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Another new, must-see Taste feature was the Celebrity Chef du Jour booth, which kicked off with <a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrative/events___special_events/events/mose/taste_of_chicago_-14.html">Carlos Gaytan</a> of <a href="http://www.mexiquechicago.com/">Mexique</a>. His dinner was long sold out, but diners could buy his signature <em>jamaica</em> glazed pork belly on a celery root slaw (the dish was made and served by Washburne students, as WBEZ&#39;s own&nbsp;Niala Boodhoo <a href="http://www.wbez.org/washburne-culinary-students-pair-some-chicagos-top-chefs-100778">reported</a>). <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus_tea">Jamaica</a> (pronounced HUH-my-kuh) are the blood red hibiscus <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calyx_(botany)">calices</a> used to make <em>agua fresca</em> that looks like punch.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tasteporkbelly.jpg" style="width: 600px; " title="Jamaica glazed pork belly by Carlos Gaytan (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">I didn&#39;t actually taste this one myself. This dish pictured above was ordered by George Nydza of Chicago, and his friend, Rita McGuire of Grayslake, Ill. They&#39;ve been friends for 30 years and have been coming to Taste since the beginning. &quot;I saw the chef making it on WGN this morning,&quot; said Nydza. &quot;I&#39;ve heard a lot about pork belly but never had it, so I thought this one has got to be good &mdash; and it&#39;s not that expensive.&quot; At ten tickets, Gaytan&#39;s huge pork belly portion came out to $6.67; at Mexique, a lunch-sized pork belly sandwich rings up at $12.95.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">I hear the complaints: that Taste is too hot and crowded, that the food&#39;s no good, that&nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.eater.com/archives/2012/07/12/poll-results.php#reader_comments">nobody goes anymore</a>. I&#39;ve made those complaints myself. But a walk-through on a relatively cool opening morning reminded me why other people still love it and have always loved it. It&#39;s big city life &mdash; or at least a taste.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tastedinerspork.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Rita McGuire and George Nydza at Celebrity Chef du Jour booth (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 13 Jul 2012 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-07/taste-taste-dispels-love-hate-100835 Weekender: A cure for cultural indigestion! http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-07/weekender-cure-cultural-indigestion-100853 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3671503283_6c8d6ff6b9_z.jpg" style="height: 387px; width: 600px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; " title="Taste of Chicago (flickr/Kate Gardiner)" /></div><p>I&rsquo;ve been taking a photography class for a while now, and this week, at our final session, a discussion about how to shoot photos in a crowd turned to talk of <a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrative/events___special_events/special_events/mose/taste_of_chicago.html/">Taste of Chicago.</a></p><p>In outraged tones a couple of people declared, &ldquo;They&rsquo;ve ruined the Taste!&rdquo; &ldquo;They&rdquo; of course is the city and ruined meant a bunch of things: <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-12-28/news/chi-taste-of-chicago-shortened-to-5-days-20111228_1_taste-cultural-affairs-marc-malnati">a shorter fest and no firework</a>s, fewer food vendors but more expensive food tickets, and having to <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/ct-ent-0713-jennifer-hudson-review-20120713,0,4260874.story">pay for seats at the music acts.</a></p><p>All of this even before they found about there&rsquo;d be no barbeque turkey legs, at which one point one of them threw up her hands and said, &ldquo;But that&rsquo;s what the Taste is all about &nbsp;&ndash; food on sticks!&rdquo;</p><p>Clearly the &quot;they&rdquo; who are &ldquo;ruining&rdquo; the event are, to some, further signs of the new Chicago &ndash; more upwardly mobile definitely, less old-school Chicago possibly. Talk to newer city dwellers and many view the Taste with horror &ndash; one colleague who moved here recently was told to steer clear to &ldquo;avoid being stabbed.&rdquo; But if you grew up with the Taste, chances are you view it like an oddball relative &ndash; sometimes annoying but still family.</p><p>If familiar, frumpy Taste has been undergoing an upgrade, what&rsquo;s the big deal? For such an established Chicago event, change has been the mantra of the Taste &ndash; from <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/here-we-go-again-taste-chicago">the size of the portions to the rules about which food vendors actually qualify as local</a>, to who actually runs the thing (it&rsquo;s gone from the city to the Park District and back again in the past two years).</p><p>And as long as its crowd-pleasing run has been (since 1980, with <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/February-2011/Taste-of-Chicago-Forever-free-clear-and-musical/">a one-year hiatus in the early &#39;80s</a> due to political infighting), the Taste in recent years has been equally divisive: plagued by <a href="http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2009/07/was-the-taste-of-chicago-violence-accurately-reported/4512">violent altercation</a> and <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-06-22/health/ct-x-0622-festival-food-inspection-20110622_1_booths-food-safety-food-temperatures">anxiety about food poisoning</a> (<a href="http://consumerist.com/2007/07/over-500-people-ill-after-taste-of-chicago.html">though apparently that really only happened once</a>, at least on a grand scale). Add in declining revenues at Taste, plus general belt tightening at the city, and is it any wonder something&rsquo;s got to give?</p><p>But I think all the talk about stuff going away isn&#39;t just about new economic realities or tougher policing. It&#39;s also a reaction to a cultural sea change, a shift in mindset about what kind of city Chicago should be. What, these days, is our city&#39;s character? And how well-behaved should its citizens be? Are we &quot;Taste&quot; &ndash; or are we in good taste?</p><p>My fellow shutterbugs talked about the event&rsquo;s unruly nature as a positive feature &ndash; not the outright stabbings, but the Fest&rsquo;s tendency to spill over official boundaries and regulations. If the upscale foodies take over the Taste, <a href="http://theluxurylife.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/taste-of-chicago/">as they seem to be doing</a>, how long before Grant Park&#39;s a sea of orderly white tableclothes rather than a mess of grease-stained cardboard containers?</p><p>In that sense changes at the Taste are a bellwether of a little more order and (to some) a little less fun and personality to be found on our city streets and at our community celebrations. Gay Pride tightened up its act this year and the St. Patrick&rsquo;s Day parade in Bridgeport went away and then came back with a radical makeover. Celebrations of Cinco de Mayo or Puerto Rican Independence have also been curtailed over the years. When I moved to Chicago 12 years ago, traffic in and west of Humboldt Park came virtually to a standstill on those holidays &ndash; as an impromptu bumper-to-bumper parade of flag-waving motorists took over. Not so much these days.</p><p>So far the City seems to be making an effort to keep the Taste an event that can accomodate both old and new Chicago, both giant cheesecakes and celebrity chefs (a line deftly navigated by <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/07/10/get_your_free_samples_of_asian_carp.php">Asian carp sliders?)</a> But you tell me &ndash;&nbsp; are the changes to Taste of Chicago a timely re-do? Or is the Fest ruined beyond recognition?</p><p>Weigh in below &ndash; and while you&#39;re there, check out the rest of <em>Weekender&rsquo;s</em> picks!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ramadan.jpg" style="height: 180px; width: 240px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong><a href="http://www.greatermidwestfoodways.com/index.php/page/CFRJuly2012.html">1. Ramadan Food Rituals</a></strong></span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Saturday 10 a.m.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The culinary and spiritual elements of the annual Islamic fast.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">900 N. North Branch Street</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/flying_lotus_456_002.jpg" style="height: 147px; width: 240px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="" /></div></div><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong><a href="http://flying-lotus.com/">2. Flying Lotus</a></strong></span></p><p>Saturday 4:15 p.m.</p><p>The slap-happy, experimental beat meister is back!</p><p><a href="http://pitchfork.com/festivals/chicago/2012/">Pitchfork Music Festival</a>, Union Park</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/BlackSix.jpg" style="width: 240px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDU9bv7jJhQ"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>3. The Black Six</strong></span></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Saturday 7 &amp; 9 p.m.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">NFL football players transformed into big, bad bikers!</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://docfilms.uchicago.edu/dev/">Doc Films</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; Max Palevsky Cinema</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.uchicago.edu/index.shtml">University of Chicago</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; Ida Noyes Hall</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/folk.jpg" style="height: 209px; width: 240px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="" /></div></div><p><a href="http://woodstockfolkmusic.com/folkfestival/"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>4. 27th Annual Woodstock Folk Festival</strong></span></a></p><p>Sunday 12:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.</p><p>Folk legend Tom Paxton and more in the town <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7NHCy13ZLk"><em>Groundhog Day</em></a> made famous!</p><p>Woodstock Square</p><p>Woodstock, Ill.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ericandrep4k.jpg" style="height: 205px; width: 240px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.bottomlounge.com/shows/adult-swim-pitchfork-official-after-party-featuring-eric-andre-show"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>5. Adult Swim Pitchfork After Party: The Eric Andre Show Live</strong></span></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Sunday 10 p.m.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">A manic take on the late-night talk format &ndash; as if it could get crazier?!</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.bottomlounge.com/">Bottom Lounge</a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">1375 W. Lake Street</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/fermi.jpg" style="height: 160px; width: 240px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="" /></div></div><p><a href="http://www.137films.org/The-Atom-Smashers.aspx/"><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>6. The Atom Smashers</strong></span></a></p><p>Monday 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.</p><p>Fermilab&#39;s race to find the elusive Higgs Boson particle &ndash; we know the ending now!</p><p><a href="http://higgsboson.eventbrite.com/">Landmark Century Cinema</a></p><p>2828 N. Clark Street</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br />Click&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/weekender/id469524810" target="_blank">here</a>&nbsp;to subscribe to the&nbsp;<em>Weekender</em>&nbsp;podcast.</p><div>What&#39;re you up to this weekend? Let us know in the comments below or email weekender@wbez.org</div></p> Fri, 13 Jul 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-07/weekender-cure-cultural-indigestion-100853 Taste of Chicago to charge for concert seating, special meals http://www.wbez.org/story/taste-chicago-charge-concert-seating-special-meals-97298 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-28/2643095145_b5b5ee8f3b_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is making more changes to the Taste of Chicago, including charging festival goers for concert seating and specialty meals prepared by well-known chefs.</p><p>"Year in and year out it has lost money and then the tax payers paid, and not everybody went," said Emanuel after introducing the ordinance at Wednesday's City Council meeting.</p><p>The mayor wants to charge $25 for seating at the Petrillo Music Shell and $40 for three-course specialty meals prepared by renowned Chicago chefs. Stephanie Izard of Girl and The Goat and Jimmy Bannos of The Purple Pig are among the chefs who have expressed interest in cooking at the annual event.</p><p>The city reports the Taste of Chicago has an operating deficit of $2.7 million over the last three years. Attendance has also declined by nearly 35 percent since 2008.</p><p>Former Mayor Richard Daley has said the Taste of Chicago should always be free, and he rejected a proposal to privatize the event.</p><p>Under Emanuel's ordinance, entrance to the food fest and lawn seating for concerts would remain free.</p><p>The mayor has already shortened the taste from 10 days to five and moved it from Fourth of July weekend to later the same month.</p><p>The additional changes still need approval from City Council.</p></p> Wed, 14 Mar 2012 22:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/taste-chicago-charge-concert-seating-special-meals-97298 Mayor defends decision to shorten Taste of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/mayor-defends-decision-shorten-taste-chicago-95290 <p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is defending the decision to shorten the Taste of Chicago.</p><p>Officials from the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, which is organizing this year's event, announced last week the annual food festival would be cut down to five days in 2012. The department also said the summer event would be moved to July 11-15 instead of centered around 4th of July weekend, as has been the tradition.</p><p>Emanuel said Wednesday that re-evaluating the event was one of his campaign promises and that families will still be able to enjoy the shortened event.</p><p>"After 20 plus years of tinkering around the edges, we're bringing fundamental changes to it," said Emanuel. "But I have all the confidence that people will continue to enjoy it."</p><p>Last year the city tried to privatize the 10-day event but couldn't come to an agreement with a vendor.</p><p>The city said it likely lost money on last year's Taste of Chicago.</p></p> Wed, 04 Jan 2012 21:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/mayor-defends-decision-shorten-taste-chicago-95290 Mayor Emanuel weighs in on future of Taste of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/mayor-emanuel-weighs-future-taste-chicago-88745 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-05/rahm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wouldn't give any hints Tuesday about whether the city will once again seek to privatize the Taste of Chicago. The Taste of Chicago just wrapped up on Sunday, but already the park district is bracing to take a financial loss on the food festival, according to the district's interim CEO.</p><p>This was the first year the Park District ran the Taste. The city tried to privatize the event, but those plans fell through when the only bidder threatened to charge admission.</p><p>Emanuel said the Taste was a success because people from around the world visited it.</p><p>"I want that to continue," he said. "It doesn't mean we still do it the same way we've done it. We'll ask some core questions."</p><p>Emanuel said he'll wait to make a final assessment of how the Taste went until he gets a formal report.</p><p>Meantime, Emanuel also wouldn't promise the city will bring back its big 3rd of July fireworks display next year. In an effort to save money, Chicago canceled its holiday fireworks and relied on a scaled-down display at Navy Pier.</p></p> Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/mayor-emanuel-weighs-future-taste-chicago-88745 Park District head: Taste of Chicago likely lost money http://www.wbez.org/story/park-district-head-taste-chicago-likely-lost-money-88700 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-05/Taste of Chicago_Flickr_Richard Comish.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The head of Chicago's Park District says this year's Taste of Chicago was a success, even though he says the city likely lost money on the festival.</p><p>Leading up to this year's Taste of Chicago, which ended Sunday, the city had considered privatizing the event in an effort to grab some quick cash. But when the only bidder suggested charging admission to the food festival, the city instead turned the 10-day event over to the Park District.</p><p>"I don't think this thing made money, but I don't think it lost a lot of money, either," said Michael Kelly, the interim head of the Chicago Park District.</p><p>Kelly said it's too early to know the exact net loss for the Taste. He said he considers the event a success, in part because crime wasn't a big problem as it has been in the past. He said by ending the event half an hour earlier each day, police had more daylight.</p><p>Kelly said he's not sure if the Park District will still have control of the Taste of Chicago next year, but if it does, he said he'd try to keep a focus on events for kids and families.</p></p> Tue, 05 Jul 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/park-district-head-taste-chicago-likely-lost-money-88700 Teen antismoking 'Truth' Truck at Taste of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/teen-antismoking-truth-truck-taste-chicago-88446 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-28/114959321.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The "Truth" tour aimed at preventing teen smoking is coming to the Taste of Chicago.&nbsp;</p><p>The tour includes a truckload of teens making stops around the country to talk with their peers about the dangers of tobacco.&nbsp;</p><p>They're teaming up with the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project and will be parking their orange truck at the Taste on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.&nbsp;</p><p>The truck features a DJ booth, sound system, dance floor and lounge area where teens can hang out and share information about tobacco products.&nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project aims to cut youth smoking in the city by 25 percent.</p></p> Tue, 28 Jun 2011 15:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/teen-antismoking-truth-truck-taste-chicago-88446 City ramps up security for the Taste http://www.wbez.org/story/city-ramps-security-taste-88139 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-21/IMG_0120.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The Taste of Chicago is opening this Friday, and the city is adding more security compared to previous years.</p><p>Recent robberies downtown involving groups of young people have police changing their strategy for the festival.&nbsp;Garry McCarthy is the city's police superintendent.&nbsp;He said there will be the same amount of uniformed officers as in previous years, but extra officers will take up support roles.</p><p>"Some of the technical assistance I was referring to will be manned by officers. And at the same time, we're going to have a deployment of plain-clothed officers throughout the crowd which for obvious reasons I don't want to give you those numbers," McCarthy told reporters at a press conference in Grant Park.</p><p>McCarthy said those extra plain-clothed officers will mainly be targeting pick-pockets and monitoring crowd activity.&nbsp;He said video surveillance will be ramped up, and police will also use a helicopter to observe the festival.&nbsp;Other security measures include bag searches at entry points and police presence at transit centers.</p><p>Unlike in previous years, the Taste of Chicago is being coordinated by the Chicago Park District. The festival runs from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, July 3. On most days the festival will last from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., except for the last day when it ends at 6 p.m.&nbsp;</p><p>A Park District official said there will be no firework display to mark the last day of the festival. Instead, the district has scheduled a Disney performance to close out the Taste.</p></p> Tue, 21 Jun 2011 19:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/city-ramps-security-taste-88139 Poor Pat Quinn: Are you ready for your legacy? http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-06-01/poor-pat-quinn-are-you-ready-your-legacy-87275 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-01/AP110318141204.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Yay. New budget. Yay. New casino in Chicago. Yay. Quinn has 60 days to slow this story to a crawl, giving more and more media outlets the chance to speculate on what is next. Yay.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="436" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-01/AP110318141204.jpg" title="" width="512"></p><p>Poor Pat Quinn. Remember when his job was all about walking across the state to raise awareness for health care? Or telling us the dangers of household cleaners?</p><p>The one-time liberal crusader is now faced with the unthinkable: Approving a casino in Chicago. And not to mention approving a budget that will short-change education and social services. All that adds up to a legacy, gov'nor. It will definitely be historic and will tie Governor Quinn's name to gambling forever. All this while his <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-denies-he-used-state-action-force-donations-87173">former boss tells his life story</a> in Chicago.</p><p>And did you see this <a href="http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/news/local/chibrknews-chicago-casino-bill-advances-in-senate-20110531,0,891826.story">front page picture of State Senator Terry Link</a>?</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="225" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-01/trib-link.jpg" title="" width="400"></p><p style="text-align: center;">"YES. YESSSSS. YESSSSSS!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSS VICTORY IS OURS!!!!! YESSSS, NOW LET"S DESTROY THE JEDI KNIGHTS!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS."</p><p><strong>B story</strong>: <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-daley-joining-big-chicago-law-firm-20110601,0,5866658.story">Daley joined a law firm</a>. Not just any law firm, but the law firm that brokered the infamous parking meter deal. C'mon Rich. Seriously? Were you that hard up for work that you took the only offer on the table? This does nothing for your reputation.</p><p>But this is the way of the world of Chicago politics. Once you serve the public, you serve the corporations who want to benefit from the public. Daley says he won't have anything to do with city contracts, but that certainly woulnd't stop him from saying to colleagues, "Oh, that contract? Yeah, just call my buddy Jimmy..."</p><p><strong>C story</strong>: It's sort of like when an employer cuts a bunch of jobs and then when the economy turns around, they still don't fill those jobs. That's what it's like, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/5700733-417/chicago-cancels-july-4-fireworks-leaves-shows-to-navy-pier.html">these 4th of July fireworks</a>. You are ruining the sacred ritual of drunk teenagers who come out in the cover of darkness to watch pretty fire.</p><p>Who wins? Lollapalooza. They get the runoff of drunk teens, looking for that one summer trip on the Metra.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Weather</strong>: I missed the news cycle on Monday, but caught up with <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/05/31/emanuel-heat-related-illness-forced-north-avenue-beach-shutdown/">Emanuel's presser about the closing of North Avenue Beach on Memorial Day</a>. Too much heat, he said. The Tribune has an <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/videobeta/d140e6f1-9168-43e0-aafa-3a0c26d8a692/News/North-Avenue-Beach-The-morning-after">awesome next morning video</a>, right out of a zombie movie. But in the end, was the unusual closing really about too much heat? Or <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/5694076-452/did-street-gang-activity-really-close-north-ave.-beach">was it about gangs</a>?</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: Last night, the NBA Finals began with a Game 1 win for the Miami Heat. I watched the 4th quarter and during a timeout, noticed a big celebrity sitting courtside. His name is Julius Peppers and he plays defensive line for the Chicago Bears. In the Eastern Conference Finals, Peppers was spotted sitting courtside with a Chicago White Sox hat on. I gave him mad props for supporting the Chicago team. But now, I'm not so sure. Is it possible that <a href="http://mvn.com/2011/04/05/photo-of-the-day-julius-peppers-beaching-it-with-his-girlfriend/">Peppers is a Heat fan</a>? And if that's the case, should the Bears just cut him outright? Forget what I said earlier about how great he is on the football field, what I mean to say is that he is lazy, unproductive and a liability.</p><p>Because of this betrayal, I hope football never comes back.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 01 Jun 2011 14:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-06-01/poor-pat-quinn-are-you-ready-your-legacy-87275