Cochon555 – Chicago

Cochon555 is a national culinary competition and Sunday they were in Chicago at Morgan Manufacturing. It was a night full of pork, wine, spirits and great people. Five chefs compete using five hogs to create dishes that ticket holders vote on. The winner from each city meets in Aspen June 20th for the Grand Cochon and bragging rights of the best heritage hog chef in the U.S. Congrats, Chef Nicole Pederson from Found Kitchen!

Check out my video to get an inside look at this ultimate pork extravaganza!


Join the Fun at the Christkindlmarket Chicago – Daley Plaza

It’s Christkindlmarket time in Chicago! Check out my Tastemade video to see one of the best holiday markets in the city. Head down to Daley Plaza for some glühwein, prost!

Open through December 24th.

A Little Slice of New York in Chicago – Craft Pizza

Craft Pizza Chicago Devil in the White City

Craft Pizza Chicago – The Devil in the White City

Craft Pizza invited some food bloggers to dinner ahead of their June 3rd grand opening and it was delicious. Inspired by pizzerias like Ray’s and Joe’s in NYC, Craft Pizza is a little slice of New York in Chicago.

Check out this Tastemade episode of Craft Pizza.

Continue reading

I Died & Went to Wine Heaven – Drake Hotel, Chicago

Vintage Portfolio Tasting SignI was lucky to be invited to the Winebow Vintage Portfolio Tasting at the Drake Hotel  by Anna Lisa Tempestini. She is the proprietor and winemaker at Fattoria Resta in Buonconvento, Tuscany.

Winebow Vintage Tasting Gold Coast Room The DrakeHundreds of wines were showcased from around the world.

Vintage Portfolio Tasting Wine GlassesGetting in early was nice as it gave me time to peruse the tables and have some good conversations with the wine makers.  Two that I am really excited to share are Martin del Nero and Root: 1. Continue reading

CHICAGO CHEF WEEK 2014 | March 16-21

Chicago Chef WeekLow(er) key alternative to Restaurant Week with the same bargains (check the menus for price comparison). Nico Osteria is on my list!

You can also win free dinner for a year: “2 lucky guests will be chosen at random to win 52 $50 gift cards from participating restaurants.”

For reservations, participants and menus:

CHICAGO CHEF WEEK 2014 | March 16-21.

Chicago Restaurant Week 2014 – Sepia – West Loop

Sepia Pumpkin & Coconut Tart

se·pi·a [see-pee-uh] noun

1. A brown pigment obtained from the inklike secretion of various cuttlefish and used with brush or pen in drawing.

2.Photography A print or photograph made in this color.

After entering the huge wood door the decor takes on its namesake with rich brown tones throughout the space. A beautiful antique camera greets you upon entering the bar and it’s hard to resist the urge to touch it.

Sepia Camera

There is a small sitting area by the bar to wait for your table which is much more convenient than trying to pack in by the bar. The dining room opens up to a large room with giant chandeliers covered in sheer black lamp shades, glossy cream/brown tiled columns, and deep brown tables with soft fabric chairs contrasted against the dark metal doors and exposed brick. Continue reading

What To Eat/Do/Make on Valentine’s Day in Chicago


Valentine’s Day is two short weeks away and most people have their reservations made and flowers picked out. But for those of you who are looking for something different here are some fun things that anyone can enjoy.


Image via foursided

Image via foursided

How fun is this? Make your own Valentine’s Piñata Bar! Twosided’s Valentine’s Piñata Bar let’s you pick your a piñata and candy to make a gift anyone will appreciate. I might even gift myself one.

Deca Restaurant Whoopie Pies

Image via decarestaurant

Make some Whoopie pies with this cooking class at Deca restaurant on February 14th & 15th.   For more information and reservations check out their website.


tart cherry orecchiette

Why not skip all the restaurant hassle and make a meal at home? Meez Meals has your back delivering pre-chopped and pre-measured ingredients. The special Valentine’s Day menu includes orecchiette with tart cherry alfredo and arugula risotto. Available to order from Feb. 2 – 7 for a Feb. 10 delivery


Image via

Image via

Get your dance on at Global Dance Party at Old Town School of Music with Yuyo Verde. Yuyo Verde is a Tango-based band of Argentinian and American musicians.

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Talk a walk among orchids and palms for free at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. It’s cold outside so stepping inside the warm conservatory will feel like stepping into an exotic locale.

Image via

Image via

St. Valentine’s Day Massacree at The Hideout. This year’s lineup are honky tonk heartbreakers featuring tributes to Patsy Cline. So there might be a tear in your beer but you’ll be in good company at the Hideout. Fri, February 14, 2014 10:00 PM – $10.00

If your just not feeling it at all Timeout has a list of Anti–Valentine’s Day movies.

Chicago Restaurant Week @TortoiseClub – River North

Tortoise Club Dining Room 1

“Comfortable clubhouse and a lively lounge” perfectly sums up Tortoise Club in River North. Tortoise Club is about a year old but feels like your grandparents old school club in a good way because you have all of the fancy schmancy and none of the stuffiness, the vibe is upbeat and fun. Plaid wallpaper covers the walls, old men with beards in paintings, white table cloths, proper service, live jazz band and beautiful Red Room and Library for private events.


Image via

Rich classic comfort food dominates the menu and on cold winter night it’s just what you need. The specialty cocktails are well made, I recommend Continue reading