I was recently invited out to Eli's Cheesecake World in Chicago's Dunning neighborhood by Eli's son, Marc Schulman, who has been president of the company since 1984. After spending some time with him and executive pastry chef Laurel Boger in the factory/store, I walked away truly impressed by the company's history of innovation as well as their dedication to quality ingredients.
We Chat With
Chef Gene Kato has tapped Matthew Lipsky, former bar manager at The Southern, Morso, and, most recently, Untitled, to take over operations at Charcoal Bar, a new cocktail bar concept tentatively slated to open December 1.
Chugger Lupo, the owner of Chicago's one and only soup food truck, Soups In The Loop says it was a case of the sniffles that inspired his food truck.
This month, Amy Le, the owner of Duck N Roll, celebrated one year on the road. She spoke very candidly about what pushes her fight against the city and what inspires her cooking,
Having hit the roads in March of 2011, Nida Rodriguez is now one of the older trucks on the scene. We chatted with her about the food truck laws, her background, and, of course, those sliders.
On as many as seven mornings a week, Gabriel Wiesen, along with his co-owner and friend, James Nuccio, park their cop-colored blue donut truck (with a giant beaver on the side) at various scheduled stops around the city, so they can sell made-to-order mini-donuts and donut holes. Wiesen talked with us about what it's like to cook onboard the truck.
We Chat With: Rebecca VanderKloot and Luke Petillon of Puffs of Doom, Chicago's Homemade Cream Puff Vendors
Puffs of Doom has made a name by selling sweet and savory cream puffs all around Chicago in more than 300 flavors ranging from the classic (chocolate éclair) to the slightly wild (chocolate bacon éclair) to far-out favorites (egg and sausage doom puffin).
Erika Stone-Miller's gourmet ice cream truck, Ice Cubed, may be less than a month old, but the truck has already created a loud buzz thanks to her ice creams and ice pops. I chatted with her about how she got started and what pepperoni ice cream tastes like.
This week, I checked out 5411's brick and mortar location, grabbed a handful of empanadas, and spoke to Ibarzabel about what it's been like to transition a food truck to a permanent location, the differences between a restaurant and a food truck, and the importance of a good empanada filling.
When you first meet Brendan Bolger, you will quickly notice that he doesn't necessarily strike you as being a cupcake baker (I picture 30-something mom bloggers and older ladies), but the Naperville-native, former Montana resident and lifelong outdoorsman is a guys-guy who is one part businessman, and one part pastry chef.
Chelsea and Art Jackson, the owners of Pleasant House Bakery are reinventing English food in Chicago. Chelsea answered a few questions about the menu and concept at Pleasant House, the transition to the food truck, and what, exactly, a Royal Pie is.
Armed with Sir Snugglesworth (a large bulldog and official taste-tester), the Party Bot and a Unicorn (whose name is open for sponsorship), the Glutton Force Five food truck is bringing the competitive eating world to the streets of Chicago, including an on-board $500 eating challenge. We chatted with co-owner Pat Bertoletti.
At first thought, the idea of a pancake food truck sounds like a disaster. In Chicago you still can't cook on the truck, so how can pancakes possibly be served warm from a truck and still be good? It almost seems too weird to even take off—until you take that first bite into one of Leah Wilcox's signature creations from her soon-to-hit the streets pancake truck, Babycakes.
As long as she can remember, meatballs have always been a part of Anna Caterini's life. The food truck owner and third generation (and then some) meatball maker admits that she can't even recall the first time she encountered one, "As long as I can remember, every Sunday night family dinner and all of the holidays in between, there have been meatballs." Over the years, Caterinicchia became an expert at making these meatballs, and she now sells them off of her food truck, Getta Polpetta.
It may seem unlikely, but Mexican luchador wrestling and food trucks have quite a bit in common. Pepe Balanzar, the co-founder of The Tamale Spaceship is a huge Luchadores wrestling fan, and along with Manny Hernandez—his partner, co-founder, and manager—has taken this fanaticism for wrestling and food to the streets. We chatted with him about what goes into a great tamale.
Born and raised in a little town outside of Chapel Hill, N.C. called Pittsboro (population 3,743), Joe Scroggs learned everything he knows about southern cooking from his family. "Most of the recipes that are on our truck originate from not just my father and his mother, but also from my other side's grandmother," Scroggs says.