Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Hopkins, and Even More Elza

The producers of ABC's Hopkins recently announced that they will air a seventh episode of the popular documentary miniseries, which had originally been scheduled for only six episodes. That means we get one more night of real-life drama accompanied by music from talented solo artist Elza.

Hopkins' seventh and final episode, airing next Thursday, August 7 at 10 p.m. EDT, will feature Elza's "I'll Carry You." Listen for the song to play at the end of the show, and don't forget to tune in tonight to hear more of Elza's tunes. Tonight's episode airs at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.

Her new album (not yet released) "Gettin' Free" can be heard on iTunes and at You can also learn more at For more information on Hopkins, please visit

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Karma - New Photos Now Available for Mundelein Hot Spot

If you haven't visited Karma in Mundelein recently, you're missing out. Talented chef Robert Packer dishes out the best contemporary pan Asian cuisine on the North Shore. Karma, fyi, was named one of the best new restaurants in Chicago by North Shore magazine when it opened several years ago and it continues to live up to its reputation. If the great food isn't enough, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the "downtown"d├ęcor which is drop-dead gorgeous and the pan-Asian cuisine is simply outstanding.

Chef Packer has designed a varied and exciting new menu that journeys throughout Asia. The dining room is stunning and the lounge is one of the hottest spots around (perfect for after work or weekend cocktails for those in the area or willing to travel north).

In preparation for next week's media dinner, Cindy photographed the delicious new menu items. Here's a sneak peak of some of the items!

Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad, Asian Pepper Short Ribs, Blood Orange Creme

(Left to Right) Whole Tempura Striped Bass, Asian Pepper Short Ribs, Sticky Five Spice Honey Glazed Spare Ribs, Togarashi Seared Ahi Tuna

Cocktails everyone!

Check out these great drinks to go along with the savory dishes: Karma’s refreshing Mai Tai is a delicious blend of Malibu Coconut Rum, Meyers Dark, grenadine, and orange and pineapple juice.

The Geisha Martini is crisp and refreshing with its combination of Absolut Mandarin, Passionfruit, Pom and cranberry juice. Yes please!
Check out more Kurman photos at: Karma

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

By George, they've done it. Deerfields Bakery launches Gluten-Free goodies

We are now blogging to you live from Deerfields Bakery! We are here at the media event to introduce Deerfields' gluten-free baked goodies. The event is a huge success. Nearly 100 local people with Celiac disease and other gluten intolerances are flocking to get their first taste of the new products. While we don't have gluten intolerance, we couldn't get enough of the creamy cheesecake with light flaky crust, wildly delicious chocolate cupcakes (moist and light; made with rice flour and our favorite quinoa!) and the balsamic strawberry shortcake with caramel whipped cream - totally yummy.

We sampled all 20 gluten-free products, including a first taste of Deerfields' new gluten-free bread, hot out of the oven today. We can't get enough of the Rice Bran Artisan Bread Roll. The local experts told us that it is unheard of to get crusty bread with great texture and moisture! Well, our hat's off to Lisa. By George she's got it!
There have been a lot of guests at today's event, including members of the media and the gluten-free community. Media were even able to chat with people living with Celiac disease, and Deerfield baker and the Gluten-free Queen Lisa Albertson led everyone on a guided tour of the bakery's gluten-free production facility. The room was buzzing. We heard cries... delicious. I can't believe it's gluten-free. One woman said that it's been over 15 years since she had cake like this. Several people had tears. The children all had smiles. Thank you Kurt and Lisa! You've outdone yourself.
To check out all of the bakery's gluten-free product line and for more information on Deerfields Bakery, please visit

Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer almost at Shochu!

...from Laura Hansen's blog "Best of the Best Dining Chicago" ...

You can barely see Jennifer A., but there is a good shot of Shochu!Why am I posting this? Because you would not beleive how many people in Chicago search on Jennifer (and Vince Vaughn). They also want to know every other single place in Chicago that ”the stars” go to eat. Call it a shameless way to gain visibility (and you would be right!). They would certainly want to know where these celebs dine more that the places I haunt! LH Rocker John Mayer had a concert just outside of Chicago on Friday night at the First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre in Tinley Park, Illinois. Although girlfriend Jennifer Aniston wasn’t spotted at the show, that didn’t mean she wasn’t there!After the show the two lovebirds cooped up in a posh Chicago hotel and weren’t spotted again until Saturday. Trying their best to be elusive, the couple secretly headed to one of Jen’s favorite Windy City restaurants for dinner, Mia Francesca’s in Lincoln Park.The couple dined on a two hour long dinner, that went well past the restaurant’s usual closing time, in a private room upstairs. Check out the picture above that a Boots reader sent us of John and Jen swiftly exiting the restaurant into their chauffeured SUV!“They seemed really happy to be together,” a source told us. “But they weren’t very friendly or receptive to a few fans waiting to say hi!”Mayer and Aniston checked out on Sunday and headed to Colorado where John had a concert that night.Post courtesy of:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Alice Waters will be at Green City Market this Saturday July 26

Get an unprecedented chance to learn from Alice Waters, the woman largely credited for pioneering the sustainable and slow food movements in the US, as she takes you around Green City Market tomorrow, Saturday, July 26, to shop for local sustainable foods in preparation for a lunch (at the Palmer House) honoring Michelle Obama. Waters insisted that the food being served to luncheon attendees on Monday, July 28, come from the market. See firsthand how she plans for this event. The free shopping trip is from 8 to 9 a.m.. You can buy her book and have it signed by from 9 to 11 a.m. Proceeds from the book-signing will benefit Green City Market. The shopping trip and book-signing will happen rain or shine. No reservations are necessary. For more information about Alice, visit her website at: Chez Panisse.

More about the sold out benefit: cooking with Alice is the Palmer House executive chef Stephen Henry. On the menu, a Chicken Nicoise Salad with loads of market fresh vegetables as well as a baked stuffed Peach with Vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Free Cookies!

If you didn’t get a chance to check out baker Lisa Albertson at the Lincoln Park Whole Foods last Saturday, have no fear! Lisa will be distributing samples of Deerfields Bakery’s gluten-free cookies at the South Loop Whole Foods (1101 S. Canal St.) this Saturday July 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and at the Wheaton Whole Foods (145 Rice Lake Square) this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Be sure to check out these yummy cookies, which are now available at select Whole Foods locations, online at and at Deerfields Bakery’s three suburban locations. Yum!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Get ready for Green City Market's Summer BBQ Festival Thursday, July 17, 6-8 pm

Don't miss Chicago's best bbq food feast ! It's the annual Green City Market Summer Barbecue taking place Thursday, July 17 from 6-8 pm in Lincoln Park! Sample delicious tastings featuring a bounty of market products prepared by more than 50 of Chicago's top Chef's.

Day of Event:
$60.00 (adults)
$15 (children)

One of the best summer events in Chicago, this grand picnic is held in the lovely Lincoln Park, with the fabulous Chicago skyline as a backdrop. This beautiful venue is ideal to showcase some of Chicago’s finest chefs. All of their dishes are prepared using the bounty of the market.

Locally made wine, beer and other tasty beverages are all included. Indulge all of your senses with Chicago’s best food, gorgeous views and great music.

Please visit the Green City Market Summer BBQ for all sorts of information about the Green City Market events.

The following prominent Chicago chefs will be participating in the Summer BBQ:

Rick Bayless - Frontera Grill and Topolobampo
Nancy Brussat and Noe Sanchez - Convito Cafe and Market
Helen Cameron - Uncommon Ground
John Caputo - A Mano
Greg Christian - Greg Christian Catering and Events
Federico Comacchio - Phil Stefani's 437 Rush
Terry Crandall - Peninsula Hotel
Christopher David - NoMi at the Park Hyatt
David DiGregorio - Osteria Via Stato
Kendal Duque - Sepia
Herb Eckhouse - La Quercia in Dubuque, IA
Kevin Erving - Ritz Carlton Hotel
Paul Fehribach - Big Jones
Tim Graham & Meg Galus - Tru
Susan Goss - West Town Tavern
Roger Herring - Socca
Kevin Hickey - Four Seasons Hotel
Stephanie Izard - Chicago Top Chef
Paul Kahan & Koren Grieveson - Blackbird and Avec
Bill Kim - Le Lan
Christine McCabe - Park Grill
Shawn McClain - Custom House, Green Zebra, and Spring
Mark Mendez - Carnivale
Carrie Nahabedian - NAHA
Martial Noguier - 160 Blue
Ina Pinkney & Barry Sorkin - Ina’s and Smoque BBQ
Freddy Sanchez - Adobo Grill
Mindy Segal - Hot Chocolate
Debbie Sharpe - The Goddess and Grocer
Bruce Sherman - North Pond
Brian Shustrick - Limelight: Food Illunminated
Pamela Fitzpatrick - Fox and Obel
Sofia Solomon and Judith Schad - Capriole Farms Goat Cheese and Tekla, Inc.
Mark Sparacino - Prosecco
Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris - Prairie Grass Cafe
Jason Stern, Christine Cikowski & Joshua Kulp - Sunday Dinner / Eat Green Foods
Giuseppe Tentori, Ryan Poli & Benjamin Browning - Boka, Perennial, and Landmark Grill
Heather Terhune - Atwood Cafe
Paul Virant - Vie
Carol Wallack - Sola
Eric Young - Scoozi!
Shelley Young - The Chopping Block
Dean Zanella - 312 Chicago
Bennison's Bakery
Eli's Cheesecake
The Plitt Company, Premium Seafood
Purdy Family Fisheries

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sample Deerfields Bakery Gluten-Free Cookies this Saturday at Whole Foods on North Lincoln in Chicago

Lisa Albertson, the awesome gluten-free baker at Deerfields Bakery, will indulge Whole Foods customers with a treat this Saturday, July 19th at the store’s 3241 N. Lincoln Ave. location! From 11a.m. to 3 p.m. Albertson will distribute samples of yummy gluten-free products. Customers can try decadent Triple Chips Cookies, refreshing Lemon Buttons topped with lemon icing, and Day Dreams, made with chocolate and white chocolate chips. These gluten-free products from Deerfields Bakery will be sold at three Whole Foods locations, including 3241 N. Lincoln Ave., 1101 S. Canal St., and 145 Rice Lake Sq. in Wheaton. The gluten-free line from Deerfields Bakery includes a wide variety of delicious desserts, coffeecakes, cupcakes, cookies, and breads. For more information, or to buy the treats online, check out

Monday, July 14, 2008

ABC 7 Grills with Sweet Baby Ray's

During the busy lunch hour, passers-by and hungry shoppers on Lake Street eagerly stood outside the ABC 7 studios today to watch Duce Raymond (nephew of 'Sweet Baby Ray') as the smell of barbecue wafted along the street.

During the 11 a.m. news, Chef Raymond explained the difference between St. Louis Spare Ribs vs. the better-known Baby Back Ribs. Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Restaurants has both on the menu, but sells more Baby Backs (9 to 1).

Anchors Linda Yu and Sylvia Perez were eager to taste Chef Raymond's New Orleans Style Barbecue Shrimp and Green Chili Mac 'N' Cheese which he also demonstrated live in front of a crowded sidewalk of fans. Recipes for the Barbecue Shrimp and Mac 'N' Cheese can be found at the ABC 7 Chicago Web site.

Sweet Baby Ray's has two restaurant locations (249 E. Irving Park Rd., Wood Dale; 630-238-8261; and 800 E. Higgins Rd., Elk Grove Village; 847-437-9555). For the complete menu and other information about the restaurant and catering program, visit or

(Photo Credit: ABC 7 Chicago)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Top Honors for Sweet Baby Ray's at Ribfest

With 17 world-class rib vendors and dozens of other food vendors, the annual Naperville Exchange Club’s Ribfest is always a Mecca for barbecue lovers. This year’s event, which ran from July 3 through July 6 at Knoch Park in Naperville, Ill., featured Sweet Baby Ray’s restaurant, which won first place in the event’s Best Ribs competition, and earned second place in the Best Sauce competition.

Accepting the prize money and trophies included the Sweet Baby Ray's cooking competition team, consisting of "Sweet Baby Ray" himself, Dave Raymond, along with his nephew, Duce Raymond, and cooking competition partner Ron Nunes.

Duce recalls feeling speechless when their names were announced as victors. “As we prepared for this competition, we were just ecstatic to be welcomed back to the festival,” Duce Raymond said after the event. “When the panel of judges announced our names and said that we won, my jaw dropped. It was an amazing moment.”

Interested in trying the award-winning fare? Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Restaurant has two locations: 249 E. Irving Park Rd., Wood Dale, Ill. (630) 238-8261, and 800 E. Higgins Rd., Elk Grove Village, Ill. (847) 437-9555.

The Sweet Baby Ray's gang will even be displaying their winning trophies at the Wood Dale location, and in two weeks the hardware will be moved to the Elk Grove Village location.

To learn more, visit

Monday, July 7, 2008

Deerfields Gluten-Free a hit at 4th of July Parade

On a beautiful 70-degree day, Deerfields Bakery handed out 10,000 gluten-free Triple Chocolate Brownies and Lemon Buttons to an enthusiastic crowd of parade goers along a 1-mile route in Deerfield. "Gluten-free brownies, gluten-free cookies," we shouted to the crowd. One man ran up to the truck and said to me, "I'm a celiac and I just tasted both the cookie and brownie and they're delicious. Thank you so much for what you are doing!" From non-celiacs we heard comments like, "Wow, this is gluten-free!" and "That's cool."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Watch "Hopkins" Thursday Nights on ABC and pay attention to the background music by breakthrough singer songwriter Elza

Don't miss the show Newsday reporter Verne Gay calls, "The best unscripted show on commercial television this season." "Hopkins" is ABC's newest documentary mini-series, and airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST (9 p.m. CST). The story continues this week, taking viewers inside Baltimore's renowned John Hopkins Hospital to meet both the seriously ill and the doctors who treat them. Molded from 1500 hours of footage, "Hopkins" showcases a raw and honest look at the dilemmas and decisions of some of the world's most talented doctors and the turmoil-ridden families of the patients they treat.

You may be asking: "Why is Kurman telling me this?" Our client Elza is the featured female singer/songwriter debuting 12 future hits (we hope) during the series.

There's been a lot of media interest in "Everything to Me," from Elza's namesake album "Elza," and "Wide Open." Her new album (not yet released) "Gettin' Free" can be heard on iTunes and at You can also learn more at

Elza's music is not new to the television scene; she has been featured on numerous network series including the WB's Smallville. Her soulful, acoustic sound forms a compassionate musical score and compliments the struggles and heroic efforts of the doctors featured on "Hopkins." This spotlight on Elza'a talent as a singer and a songwriter has catapulted her to new heights. We expect her to keep rising as the star she is!

To schedule an interview with Elza, please contact Cindy Kurman at Kurman Communications 312-651-9000.

Press here to check out Elza's website or here for the press release.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Deerfields Bakery Launches Gluten-Free Baked Goods

Deerfields Bakery, the much loved North Shore gem, has recently launched a gluten-free product line. Available at the bakeries three locations in Schaumburg, Deerfield, and Bufffalo Grove, the line includes delicious baked goods, pastries, desserts, and custom sweets. "You won't even be able to tell these products are gluten free," said owner Kurt Schmitt. Since so many households have to buy separate food to accommodate allergies, Deerfields bakes their gluten-free products for everyone to enjoy. In the mood for Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffecake, Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache, or Triple Chocolate Brownies? Check out Deerfields new gluten-free products! For more information, or to buy the treats online, check out