I’ve been waking up in the morning and there has been a chill in the air. The leaves are starting to turn and the calendar says the first day of fall is less than a week away. As with every turn of summer to fall, my mind starts to think a little bit about the comforting joy I get from autumn food. (Sort of like a toasty warm hug to your belly.) My good friends at Mercat a la Planxa must have been reading my mind when they decided to host a Fall Dinner with some innovative new menu options from Chef Jose Garces &Read More →

What do you get when you add the following: 1 big paella pan x 8 talented chefs + 4 celebrity Judges? You get 1 happy foodie!!!! (I love new math!) Monday night (June 23, 2014), I had the pleasure of attending Mercat a la Planxa’s First Annual Paella Cook-off. Far from an elementary feat, Chicago Gourmet 2014  (Tickets on sale NOW) paired up with Iron Chef Jose Garces to create a quintessential cook-off with eight of Chicago’s most creative and daring chefs. (Or maybe darling chefs…they were all super nice.) Jess De Guzman, Sunda New Asian Kevin Hickey, Bottlefork Bar & Kitchen Brian Jupiter, Frontier JonRead More →

As a fan of all things food, I love to see the development of a meal.  I watch television shows on cooking and read an innate amount of cookbooks just so I can study and mimic how exceptional meals develop. One of my preferred shows to watch is Iron Chef because of the great skill it takes to truly think outside of the box.  I always cheer for Jose Garces for a couple of reasons.  First, he is a “local” guy with one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago.  (Mercat a la Planxa).  Second, his cookbooks (Latin Evolution and The Latin Road Home) are not onlyRead More →

I love the cliché a picture is worth a thousand words.  When a person says it, you can comprehend easily the feelings they are trying to convey.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am RARELY speechless.  (Inarticulate, yes.  Speechless, no.)  So when I am dumbstruck for words, you know it has to be big. Well today’s post is going to consist of A LOT of pictures because I had the experience of a lifetime on Tuesday night and I can barely think straight. I had the honor of sitting at the Chef’s Table at Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago) during theirRead More →