When people hear “Chicago,” they think deep-dish pizza. But when we asked chefs for their favorite places to go for lunch in the area, the infamous crust did not make the cut — Mexican food and banh mi sandwiches did. Find their recommendations below, keeping in mind that Jeff Mauro is a trustworthy local. Whether you’re heading to Food Network in Concert this September or are a Chicagoan yourself, this list will come in handy when you’re on the hunt for an afternoon bite in the Windy City.
Geoffrey Zakarian: Frontera Grill — Rick Bayless’ place.
Anne Burrell: The Tavern on Rush is always fun to sit outside and people-watch, and Kuma’s Corner (pictured above) has even better burgers.
It’s nearly impossible to not get excited at the sight of these chocolate cupcakes. Filled with strawberry and vanilla ice cream and covered by a crunchy layer of chocolate shell topping, they’re so scrumptious that the title “Ice Cream Cupcakes” doesn’t do them justice. That’s why Food Network Magazine is challenging you to come up with something clever and fun. Submit your best name and you could win big. Here’s how to enter:
1. Read the recipe, and come up with a creative name for the dish.
2. Fill out the official entry form here.
Hurry — the contest closes on Tuesday, August 26, 2014! The winner will receive a $500 gift card to FoodNetworkStore.com, and three runners-up will each receive a $50 gift card.
On Sept. 20, Food Network is throwing the ultimate end-of-summer bash: an outdoor food and music festival in Chicago. With today’s top chefs and big musical artists like John Mayer and Phillip Phillips, it’s sure to be a delicious experience worth the travel.
The event officially starts at 11:30am with lunch, so concertgoers will be on their own for breakfast, which isn’t a bad thing at all considering the countless great restaurants in the area. To narrow down the best options, we enlisted the help of Food Network chefs. From old-school diners to five-star hotels, here are Chicago’s best breakfast spots. (Just try to save some of your appetite for all of the gourmet hot dogs, award-winning burgers and other mouthwatering eats at the festival.)
Geoffrey Zakarian: The Drake Hotel
Anne Burrell: I love going to The Palace Grill [Sandwich Shop]. They have the best breakfast, and the owner, George, has even better jokes!
If you’re tired of the standard chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, this book’s for you. Desserts can be a wonderful way to experiment in the kitchen, from trying flavors like coconut and pineapple to creating cakes that look like mounds of cheese or even a burger with french fries. For those ready to take the plunge into creating the most luxurious delicacies, look no further than this new cookbook by the editors of Food Network Magazine, Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More.
From exotic twists on old classics with recipes like Mini Bacon Cheesecakes and Poppy Seed Tortes to fruity favorites like Apple-Walnut Galette and Orange-Cream Pops, there are recipes for every mood and age group. Kids will love the Fake-Out Cakes section of the book, which involves cakes shaped like popcorn and lobster rolls, while adults will devour the grown-up flavors of the Chocolate and Olive Oil Fig Cake as well as the Hazelnut Dacquoise. With step-by-step instructions and full-page color photographs to make sure you’re on the right track, Sweet demystifies dessert and makes sure you’re doing it right.
You can buy a copy of Sweet here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy of Sweet, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us your favorite dessert recipe (you must include the recipe URL in your comment to be entered to win — find dessert recipes here).
Backstage snacks are some of the perks of being a pop star — whether they’re there to fuel energy, help calm nerves or simply enjoy. While working on Food Network in Concert coming up this September, Food Network Magazine discovered the reported food requests of some of today’s top stars. Can you match each snack with the correct musician?
Turn basic flatbread into a quick dinner on the grill: Brush lavash, pocketless pita, naan or other flatbread with oil and grill until marked. Flip, top with cheese and let melt, then remove from the grill and top with arugula, tomatoes, corn or other fresh vegetables, or add some prosciutto or ham. Avoid traditional tomato sauce though — it can make the bread soggy.
On September 20, Food Network Magazine is throwing its first-ever concert — not just a music festival with a few food trucks on the side, but a full-blown food and music event with big stars from both worlds. Food Network stars are joining forces with more than 50 of the area’s greatest chefs for cooking demos, meet-and-greet opportunities and the ultimate tasting event, and seven-time Grammy Award winner John Mayer will take center stage to round out a full day of great food and music. It’s all happening at Ravinia, a picturesque outdoor venue in Highland Park, Ill.
Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Jose Garces, Alex Guarnaschelli, Jeff Mauro, Marc Murphy and Geoffrey Zakarian will all be at Food Network in Concert. For a chance to win a pair of tickets (travel is not included), comment below and tell FN Dish which dish you hope one of these Food Network chefs will make for the event. Or head over to the official website to get your tickets before they sell out. The event will benefit Share Our Strength and their No Kid Hungry campaign — dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need every day.
Pickling isn’t just for veggies. Slice any relatively firm fruit like strawberries, grapes, peaches or cherries, then cover with vinegar (balsamic, sherry or white wine), add some sugar and salt and let sit 10 minutes. Drain and add to a salad, like Food Network Magazine’s Pickled Strawberry Salad (pictured above), or serve on grilled meat.