I knew it was going to be a spectacular night when I stepped off of the elevator.   My nostrils literally flared with joy as the scent of all different dishes passed my nose.  This was my first (and hopefully not last) Grand Chef’s Gala benefitting The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and I did not know what to expect.  (More on the event in my previous post today.) I walked into the International Ballroom and stood still for a moment to take it all in.  It was the Academy Awards of food! There was table after table of some of the best restaurants and culinary artists thatRead More →

Last night I had the honor of attending the 15th Annual Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Grand Chefs Gala and Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence, benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Havana themed night started at 6 p.m with a 2-hour showcase of 40 of Chicago’s finest chefs preparing and presenting their signature hors d’oeuvres.  (More on the detail on the food in my next blog, Grand Chefs Gala Part II.) After guests loosened their belts, the party was directed to the Imperial Ballroom for a 3-course dinner and the live program.  Chefs Scott Harris (Mia Francesca, The Purple Pig) and Jimmy Bannos (Heaven onRead More →

As promised last year, I wanted to give people a head’s up on a few wonderful food and wine events that are taking place in the near future. First, the 15th annual Fairmont Hotel and Resorts Grand Chefs Gala/Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence is taking place THIS Friday night, January 27 at the Fairmont Chicago in Millennium Park.  The evening’s events are to support The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  (I’ll write more about the event on Saturday). The evening’s events will include a cocktail reception featuring some of Chicago’s finest chefs, a dinner program featuring the Jean Banchet Awards, Founder’s Award, Eurest People’s Choice AwardRead More →

Happy New Year!  Or as they say in China Happy New Year!  (I translated for you since most of my readers don’t speak Chinese).  It is my favorite of all Chinese holidays.  (Okay, I don’t know any of the other holidays.)  It is the year of the Dragon, the only legendary animal on the Chinese zodiac calendar.  It signifies that the year will be filled with strength, wealth and good luck.   The year of the dragon is considered the luckiest of all of the Chinese Zodiac Symbols.  (I’m a dog: Loyal and trustworthy) There is another celebration taking place today, my sister Cheryl’s birthday!  So asRead More →

It is rich.  It is warm.  It is a little sweet and a little salty.  Its depth of flavor will make you close your eyes in delight.  And it can easily be found on menus but not necessarily what you want.  (Okay, where am I going with this?) I am talking about French Onion Soup.  My first memory of this soup was when I was in Canada with my dad.  We went out for dinner and the menu, which was written in French, was very intimidating.  I tried to reach into my brain for some words I may have picked up in my few monthsRead More →

One of my biggest challenges as a foodie is knowing my audience. I’m not talking about an audience like when I used to line up my stuffed animals and do stand up in front of them.  (Betty Teddy never got my jokes.)  I’m talking about making the right food for the people who will be eating it. We were invited to a New Year’s Eve party this year with a newer group of our friends.  Everyone was to bring some food and I was so excited to show off my mad skills.  (Actually my “mad” skills were shown off earlier in the day when IRead More →

One of my resolutions this year is to entertain more.  No, I’m not talking about entertaining like in song, dance or ventriloquism.  (Because we all know ventriloquism is real craft that only can only be done by seasoned professionals.  Did you see my lips move when I typed that?  I didn’t think so!) I’m talking about entertaining as in hosting people in my home with fabulous cooked meals.  (Okay, my husband tries to stick his hand up the back of my shirt to make me talk but the only words this dummy utters is NO!) We had company over this week.  They are a coupleRead More →