Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Saturday, April 27 – 3rd Annual Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Fest

Pastoral’s Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine will be hosting the third annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival. The event will include talented and award-winning culinary artisans from around the world. Those who attend will experience these products through small portions of food, beer, spirits and wine from more than eighty culinary producers. Held on April 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., Chicago, IL 60661), the festival is recognized on a national and international level for being entirely free and open to the public.

The festival features more than double the amount of artisans from when the event started in 2011. The list of those participating include award-winning cheesemakers from coast to coast and even a few being represented from Switzerland, Germany and Italy through Columbia Cheese in New York. Cypress Grove Chevre in California, Dutch Girl Cremery in Nebraska and twenty other companies will all be showing off their best cheeses in Chicago.

Sweet and savory will be represented in many forms through Pastoral’s distinctive food and beverage selection. There will be artisanal imports in small batches of beer from Germany, Belgium, England and the Netherlands. Meanwhile local breweries such as Uncle Jon’s Cider and 5 Rabbit will represent the Chicagoland area. Vodka distillers, such as Pinot from Oregon, and whiskey distillers in Illinois will example spirits. France will show off their mustard making skills while Wisconsin artists will demonstrate hand crafted jam. Together the festival will illustrate the hard work of culinary artists on both a national and international level.

Aside from the food and drink offerings, events will take place throughout the day to entertain all. There will be book signings with the distinguished author and food enthusiast Ari Weinzweig, who also is the co-founder of Zingerman. There will be the “Best of the Fest” competition, where food industry celebrities will be voting for their favorite featured artisans and products. The competition will offer a VIP ticket to Cochon 555, the one and only heritage pig and chef competition held in the United States. Cochon 555, taking place in Chicago on Sunday, April 28, has been working in collaboration with the Pastoral festival.

Other festival events include a BBQ butchering demonstration with Butcher & Larder’s Rob Levitt, Lillie’s Q’s Charlie McKenna, and Cochon 555’s founder Brady Lowe. The three will show the audience how to butcher and prepare an entire breed pig from in “Butchering for a Better BBQ.” Vendors at the Chicago French Market will also feature items such as wines and burek from City Fresh Market, rich chocolates from Delightful Pastries, Pastrami from Furmare Meats, and more.

The Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival brings Pastoral and Chicago French Market together to host the third annual festival. Sponsors include national media Culture Magazine and local media Edible Chicago along with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). Chicago French Market on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wednesday, April 24 – Lunch Hour Music with Annalee Hooson

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Complimentary

If you are looking for something fun to do during your lunch break, Annalee Hooson can provide a great option. Hooson will be performing cover songs along with her own original songs. Join her for a mid-day pick me up during lunch. For more information about her, visit http://www.facebook.com/annaleehooson. Chicago French Market on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 19, 2013

Enjoy the Ultimate Administrative Professionals’ Day Wednesday, April 24 at Benny’s Chop House

Benny’s Chop House (444 N. Wabash, 312-626-2444) will be celebrating Administrative Professionals’ Day Wednesday, April 24 for the entire week April 22 – 26, 2013.

The special menu features Faroe Island with Tarragon Pesto, 7 ounce Petite Filet with www.bennyschophouse.com to view Benny’s complete menu selections.
Béarnaise, Maine Lobster Cobb Salad with First of the Season Tomatoes, Avocado, Asian-Blackened Chicken Salad with Pineapple, Edamame and Ginger, or the Hand-Made Tortelloni of English Spring Peas and Ricotta served with Fava Beans and a Mushroom Ragout. Save room for the desserts prepared by Pastry Chef Aaron Lindgren, as they are as stunning as they are delicious and will rival any desserts in Chicago.  Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Visit

Every Administrative Professional enjoying Benny’s for lunch during this period will receive a $25 gift certificate to use towards future dining.

Benny's Chop House on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Figue Mediterranean (La Quinta, CA), Weekend Specials 4/18 through 4/21

Figue Mediterranean
"Find the Shortest, Simplest way between Earth, the Hands and the Mouth"
small plates
Squid and Chorizo $12
crispy Calamari with Spanish Chorizo Aioli
Baked Figs & Prosciutto $16
wrapped in 24 month Prosciutto and Kataifi,
drizzled with Lavender Honey, Fig Vincotto and Pistachios
chilled lobster salad $22
Heirloom Tomatoes, Haricots Verts, Cucumbers, Micro Mache
Lobster Citrus Vinaigrette
big plates 
sauteed sea scallops and langoustines $38
roasted Bautista Creek Beets, Avocado Crema, Pumpkin Seed Crumble 
Fettuccine nero with alaskan spot prawns, morels and asparagus $36
Hand Rolled Squid Ink Pasta tossed with sautéed wild Spot Prawns,
Washington State Morels and Asparagus in a Lemon Brodo
30 day wet aged porterhouse fiorentina (for two) $95
Mesquite grilled 36 oz. Prime Porterhouse rubbed with Porcinis & Tuscan Herbs
creamy Polenta Gratin, House Steak Sauce 

Figue Mediterranean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Les Fleurs Provides Popular Flowers for Administrative Professionals Week

Whether it is a vase bouquet needed for Administrative Professionals Week or a hand tied bouquet, Les Fleurs has prepared themselves for this workplace event. Celebrated worldwide, Administrative Professionals Week is the perfect opportunity to show assistants they are appreciated. The week, beginning April 21 through April 27, is an event worth celebrating at any office. To hear more about what Les Fleurs has to offer call 312-463-1111. Chicago French Market on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pastoral Artisan Now Offers Pastoral Bites

Pastoral Bites is the newest facet of Pastoral Catering options.  Each bite is carefully designed to be pleasing to the eye and to the palate alike.  Customers can choose classic combinations such as Crostini Italiano with Prosciutto and oven-roasted tomatoes, comfort foods such as the “Pimento” Cheese and Salumi Crostini, or fresh flavors such as the Chevre and Fennel Blood Orange Canape and more!   Each tray begin with 25 ready-to serve bites on the Pastoral signature wooden tray with the option of adding more.e bites on our signature wooden tray with the option of adding more! All trays must be ordered 72 hours in advance. 
Chicago French Market on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thursday, April 18 – Rush Hour Music with Annalee Hooson

4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Complimentary

Performing for the second time during April, Annalee Hooson is back for another rush hour. Grab some food from Chicago French Market’s vendors and listen to Hooson’s rendition of popular cover songs as the day winds down. For more information about her, visit http://www.facebook.com/annaleehooson.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Benny’s Chop House’s Pastry Chef Aaron Lindgren Joins Baconfest Chicago

Benny’s Chop House (444 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60611; 312-626-2444) will be bringing in the bacon, literally. This year, Benny’s executive pastry chef, Aaron Lindgren, will be participating in Baconfest Chicago on April 20.

Lindgren’s Baconfest menu (served during the lunch session beginning at 11:30 a.m.) includes the sweet and savory Strawberry Rhubarb “Pie” with Applewood Smoked Bacon Streusel and a very unique Applewood Smoked Bacon Doughnut with Green Apple Jelly and Apple Butter. Benny’s Mixologist Extraordinaire, Natalie Converse  has been doing some recipe writing on her own and will feature the B-Cubed, B3  (Benny’s Bacon, Bitters); a cocktail using Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Bourbon infused with smoked bacon, add a touch of cream for elegance and topped with a delicate splash of Benny’s house-made bacon bitters….never served – and once consumed, never forgotten.

If you didn’t secure Baconfest tickets, fear not. Benny’s will be offering this very special dessert April 11 to April 30 during lunch and dinner hours, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.  As always, guests at Benny's are also able to enjoy house-cured Maple Glazed Bacon, a Benny’s menu favorite (photo below).
About Baconfest

Baconfest Chicago is a festival that pulls together the best chefs in the Chicagoland area. It provides a place for bacon lovers to try different dishes while providing liquor, beer and wine to complement the meal. The event donates a portion of the proceeds to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Along with this, Baconfest hosts a raffle, food drive and holds a volunteer day at the repacking warehouse at the Depository. Not only are people provided the chance to eat incredible bacon, but they are able to help a great cause.

Lindgren will be joining more than 100 chefs who will compete in one of two sessions each. Participants include Hub 51’s R.J. and Jerrod Melman and last year’s 2012 Golden Rasher Award Winner, Daven Wardynski from 676 Restaurant and Bar. The Gold Rasher Award is Baconfest’s top prize for chefs’ “bacon arts,” awarded by a panel of judges.

Benny’s Aaron Lindgren has an extensive culinary resume, with a pedigree that spans over decades and speaks of prodigal talent, starting with “gourmet ghetto” cooking lessons from his mother while growing up in Berkeley, California. Later the chef was trained professionally through the French techniques of Kendall College Culinary School in Evanston. Lindgren was the Executive Pastry Chef at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills Four Seasons in Los Angeles and Charlie Trotter’s famous restaurant. He also oversaw the pastry program for five Smith Brothers businesses.

In 2004 Lindgren was named Chocolate Pastry Master by Gayot.com. In 2009, the pastry chef was named one of the Top 100 Up and Coming chefs by Angelino Magazine and Modern Luxury Magazine and was also named Rising Star Pastry Chef for Las Vegas by Starchefs.com. He headed operations for Zelda’s Sweet Shoppe, a retail food manufacturer in the Chicagoland area, where he was provided the opportunity to develop pastry products and recipes for Whole Foods, Ross and TJ Maxx. At Benny’s Chop House, Lindgren uses ingredients with Americana flavors and techniques to create amazing, highly praised desserts that are fitting finales to Benny’s exceptional food.

The Baconfest takes place Saturday, April 20, at the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL 60608) with lunch and dinner sessions. The VIP Hour for the Lunch Session will be between 11:30am and 12:30pm. General Admission is from 12:30pm-3pm. The VIP Hour for the Dinner Session will be between 5:30pm and 6:30pm. General Admission is from 6:30pm-9pm.

Although the event has been sold out, Baconfest encourages everyone to join the email list at http://baconfestchicago.com in order to learn more about this event, one of Chicago’s most popular food festivals. To keep up to date on all the Baconfest Chicago news, follow them on Twitter, @baconfestchi, or Like them at Facebook, http://facebook.com/baconfest.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Enticing Salads Offered at Wisma This Spring

Wisma is featuring an expanded salad menu with ingredients that are sourced from sustainable and local products. The appetizing Arugula Salad features Roasted Tomato’s and grilled Olives and Feta Cheese ($9) or the Quinoa Salad with Romaine Lettuce, Feta Cheese and Toasted Hazelnuts ($7). Also offered is Wisma’s Spinach Salad with Fresh Strawberries, Walnuts and Blue Cheese ($8).

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Saigon Sisters Offers Catering and One of Kind Products

Now one of the premier caterers, Saigon Sisters joined Cater2.me. This allows company meetings, special occasions, or lunch for 10 or more to enjoy Saigon Sister’s meals.

Also offered are one-of-a-kind products like the unique hand-crafted bags and wallets made from recycled rice bags from Vietnam. Specialty food includes Vietnamese dark chocolate from MAROU. From local cacao famers, the chocolate is made from only local ingredients. Don’t forget to try Saigon Sister’s new sandwich, Lobster Banh Mi. It uses lobster meat along with a special sauce in a buttery toasted brioche with cucumber, cilantro and jalapenos ($15). 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tiesta Tea Time at Oh Olive!

Oh Olive! offers many great tea choices for those looking for incredible teas with no sugar or caffeine. Served hot or iced, the teas feature an offer of buy four, receive one free. For a better deal, purchase five teas and receive a free teapot.

Also during the month of April, Oh Olive! will give customers a free bottle of extra virgin olive oil with any fifty dollar purchase. It’s a perfect time to stock up your pantry.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Wednesday, April 10 – Lunch Hour Music with Chris Goranson

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Complimentary
Chris Goranson, a 25 year old musician from Libertyville, will be performing jazz music for the lunch hour at the Chicago French Market. Goranson graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in jazz performance and currently is a guitar teacher along with performing in a rock band called OurGlass.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Little Goat Bread Opening at Chicago French Market in May 2013

This May, Stephanie Izard will bring Little Goat Bread to the Chicago French Market. This marks the first time Izard is expanding her Little Goat Bread store beyond the walls of her newly opened West Loop diner Little Goat.

Little Goat Bread in the Chicago French Market will serve breads in the morning, soup and sandwiches for lunch and freshly-roasted Stumptown Drip Coffee throughout the day. Just like the West Loop location, Little Goat Bread will sell loaves of its artisan breads for take home, including baguettes and a sampling of breads available on the menu at Girl & the Goat, Izard’s award-winning restaurant also located in the West Loop.

The 22-foot booth will be located between Chef John des Rosiers' Wisma and Food Network Sandwich King-featured Fumare Meats. It will have a similar look and feel to the warm and rustic vibe of Little Goat Bread West Loop location attached to Little Goat Diner.

“I’m excited to join other Chicago stand-outs like Lillie's Q, Saigon Sisters, Beavers Donuts, Pastoral in the culinary lineup at the Chicago French Market,” said Stephanie Izard, chef and owner.  “With so many of our clients working in the Loop and commuting on Metra, it will be nice to offer them our freshly baked goods, soups and sandwiches during the week.”

Chicago French Market is the first and only year-round, indoor marketplace that provides access to local artisans and purveyors.  Each retailer located in the market offers fresh selections for cooking at home, dining on premise or taking food to go.  With the addition of Little Goat Bread, the market now features 31 unique individual vendors.

Monday – Friday: 7:00am – 7:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am – 5:30pm

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lavazza Espression Supports Earth Day by Free Coffee Mondays

In honor of Earth Day, customers who bring in an Espression Travel Mug can receive a free hot or iced ¡Tierra! and coffee every Monday throughout the month of April. This offer will be at the Chicago French Market’s Lavazza Espression. Not only are you participating in Earth Day, but ¡Tierra! Blend coffee is a Rainforest Alliance Certified blend, allowing you to celebrate Earth Day in a sustainable way.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

City Fresh Market Expands Meat and Gluten Free Choices

Looking for great gluten-free items? City Fresh Market offers many choices in their expanded grocery section. Items such as instant oatmeal and scone mix from Simpli are now available along with items like Mary’s Crackers, CFB bars, gluten free pasta, and more. Other new gluten-free items include Jimmybars and cookies from Simply Sharis.

In order to make grocery shopping simpler and offer more fresh choices, the meat department has expanded its freshly prepared items. Instead of picking up an endless amount of groceries, City Fresh makes it as easy as picking out a Stuffed Zucchini Boat, taking it home, and baking it, just in time for supper. The expanded grab and go section offers Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms and Beef Pinwheels, along with warm weather favorite like kabobs, hamburgers, steaks, and more.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thursday, April 4 – Rush Hour Music with Annalee Hooson

4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Complimentary

End the day with a performance from Annalee Hooson. Known for her easy listening cover songs, Hooson helps the Chicago French Market kick off the month of performances. For more information about her, visit http://www.facebook.com/annaleehooson.