Matthias Merges is one of the most important figures in the rise of Chicago to its status as a world-class culinary capital. after a 14-year stint at Charlie Trotter’s — the last 12 of those at the world-renowned restaurant’s chef de cuisine — Matthias went out his own in 2010, and soon after opened Yusho, focused on Japanese street food, and it quickly became the flagship of his extensive Folkart restaurant group. Matthias will be a participating chef at the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration fundraiser on April 30 at The Art Institute of Chicago
Josh Katt, a Chicago chef, came up with the idea for his eight-year-old Kitchfix company while working as a personal chef and creating healthy meals — made from anti-inflammatory superfood ingredients — for customers who were fighting cancer. Kitchfix enabled him to expand the concept to a broader customer base. He grew a business that delivers prepared meals to homes and dropoff points, does catered events, and even has a small store in the Gold Coast neighborhood just north of downtown Chicago. Along the way, Katt and his team hit upon a product they learned had serious commercial potential: a grain-free, superfood-loaded variant of granola. His desire to grow this part of his business led to his participation in FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator.
Vending machines. Not exactly what comes to mind when you think of Good Food… Until now, that is, thanks to companies such as Farmer’s Fridge, a business that is selling same-day-fresh jarred salads and healthy snacks from vending machines in dozens of locations around Chicago. This fast-growing company got a boost from participating in FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference and its Financial Fair.
Local Foods, a Chicago distributor of local and regional farm and artisan food products, has opened a 27,000-square foot store not far from the city’s downtown. It is carrying produce, dairy, eggs, and meats from farms in the Midwest region centered on its biggest city, along with fresh, frozen and packaged foods from top regional artisans — and is considered a big step forward in local food retailing by advocates of the Good Food movement.
[The original version of this article was published May 1 on the Huffington Post website.] As FamilyFarmed prepared for the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on May 4, we decided to welcome out-of-town attendees with an article providing “10 delicious facts” about the blossoming Good Food scene in our hometown. We found we had created a pretty sweeping guide to Chicagoland Good Food, so we’re making it a standing feature. And we’d love to hear about the Good Food scene where you live — let civic pride rule!
The glamour of the annual James Beard Foundation Awards, held earlier this month in Chicago, has subsided. So it’s timely to assess what the event meant for the Good Food movement. The bottom line is that the James Beard Awards were very good news for Good Food.
by Jim Slama and Bob Benenson, Family Farmed [Note: This article was first published on the Huffington Post news website.] As advocates of the Good Food movement in Chicago, we are honored that the James Beard Foundation Awards are coming to town. The Foundation was created to honor the legacy of chef James Beard. After […]
The rapid growth of the Good Food movement was reflected at FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference, which took place last Thursday through Saturday — not only in the big attendance turnout, but in the intensity of interest among the general public in eating better foods and, in many cases, making those better food themselves at home.
Rob Levitt established himself as a major figure on Chicago’s food scene when he and his wife Allie opened The Butcher & Larder meat shop four years ago. Here Rob Levitt discusses his somewhat unexpected career as a butcher and his hopes for bigger things with his upcoming move, expected this spring, into a larger space in the new Local Foods retail store.
It was just seven years ago when the married couple of Sonat Birnecker Hart and Robert Birnecker decided to give up high-level professional careers in the Washington, D.C., area, and start up their Koval Distillery in Chicago. As recent as that seems, they did not join the craft spirits movement within the city of Chicago. They launched it.
Paul Fehribach has always been generous about sharing his recipes at his Southern-themed Big Jones restaurant in Chicago. Now he has compiled his tips into The Big Jones Cookbook, coming out this spring.
The National Restaurant Association’s annual predictions of top culinary trends are out — and it looks like 2015 will be another great year for the fast-growing Good Food movement.