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The Rundown v18


Saying that is has been a busy fews weeks is a massive understatement. The James Beard Awards arrival in Chicago set off a flurry of activity adding to my usual itinerary of blogging events and nights out with friends. You know those times when you are completely exhausted, but so content because you had so much fun? That’s been my life lately. Here’s what I have been up to:


I attended the Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival, and let me tell you, snacking and drinking wine is an ideal way to spend a Saturday. And the fact that Erin joined me made it even better.


That day was also Derby Day, so after the festival, we went over to Del Frisco’s where my friends Jess, Kelly, and Whitney were hosting the Vineyard Vines Derby Party.


The following day I attended a series of events welcoming the James Beard Awards to Chicago starting with the Chicago food + wine Festival party at The Purple Pig (whose Chef Jimmy Bannos, Jr. won the Rising Star Award in 2014). I got to hang out with my food blogging friend Donna and sip on some rose.


Next up was the Tiki Party at 3 Dots and a Dash – one of the best places in Chicago for a cocktail. They turned the alley (which is the nicest “alley” in the city) into a street party with several stations offering up roast pork, snacks, and cocktails. Then it was over to the SoHo House for the official welcome party.


The fourth, and final, event of the day was the Blogher Experts Among Us event, where my friend Beth and I were the featured experts.


Attending the James Beard Awards was an incredible experience, and you can read all about it here. I got to spent part of the evening with my friend Kelly and the Travelle team. And the after party at Ramen-san was a great way to end the night.

And then…. all the partying caught up with me and I spent a day sick at home in my pajamas.

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I had to get better quick because the next day the Windy City Blogger Collective was hosting #Block37Beauty at Block 37, an event at the loop shopping destination. You can read all about it here.


The next day WCBC headed up to Andersonville for a neighborhood tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the neighborhood. Andersonville is so charming that the word doesn’t do it justice. I would move there in a heartbeat. If you think people in the Midwest are nice, the folks in Andersonville take nice to the next level. Highlights included visits to The Coffee Studio and Vincent. (photo via @vegtourist)


That weekend I took it easy while I recovered from post James Beard exhaustion, and my lingering cough. We did get out one night to see my friend’s sister’s band Jameson Road play at Bub City. Bub City is Lettuce Entertain You’s barbecue joint. It’s a casual atmosphere paired with live menu, great food, and lots of beer.

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WCBC kept up the trend of hosting an event a week with an event at Sullivan’s Steakhouse. And we are all still dreaming about the cheesesteak egg rolls.

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I spoke at the SheSays Turn Passion Into Profit event and met some truly fabulous women. One of the attendees, Elisha created this great info-graphic summarizing the event.


Macy’s celebrated 125 years in the food service with an incredible party with food prepared by celebrity chefs. The food at the event was based on the foods Macy’s first served, which include baked potatoes and pot pies. Each of the celebrity chefs presented their own version of a pot pie. Highlights of the event included a baked potato bar with 125 toppings and Chef Tom Douglas’s vegetarian mushroom and potato pot pie. While I was at Macy’s I might have done some shopping…. just maybe.


I spent a day working at the Ketch On Fire booth at the NRA Show. No not that NRA. The National Restaurant Association! I am friendly with the folks over at Ketch On Fire and I had a blast working the booth with them and my friend Margaret. I have used their Jalapeño and Chipotle ketchups in recipes, and the company just launched a Michelada mix (it’s a Mexican beer cocktail with a spicy tomato juice).


Bub City kindly invited me to an event to get a little preview of the Windy City Smokeout. I joined some of my favorite food blogging friends for a family style dinner, where we fell in love with the Thunda Thighs and Mac and Cheese, and tasted the new custom Bub City beer created by Moody Tongue (it was amazing).


After dinner we went to Joe’s on Weed for a Chris Stapleton concert that was so great that even those who don’t like country music were converted to fan. I can wholeheartly say that this little taste of the Windy City Smokeout got me so excited for the three day beer, barbecue, and country music fest taking place July 10-12.


Last night the Windy City Blogger Collected headed to The Public Hotel’s new rooftop event space Ava for a tasting of the new dinner and cocktail menus. The sweet pea soup with parmesan foam was simply delightful, as was the Lucille Ball a strawberry prosecco cocktail. If you haven’t dined at The Pump Room, you are missing out, it’s one of Chicago most elegant spaces.


After the Public Hotel party, Erin and I had so much Windy City Blogger Collective business to discuss, that we had a meeting over beer and tacos at Velvet Tacos in the Gold Coast. Let me just tell you that you need to try the #3: the Spicy Chicken Tikka Taco.

Yup, it’s been a busy month. I am looking forward to doing next to nothing over the long weekend.