Chicago restaurants – Cucumber Chef Wed, 29 Jun 2022 18:53:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Chicago restaurants – Cucumber Chef 32 32 Steve Carell Recalls The Time He Served His Lookalike Alice Cooper At A Chicago Restaurant Wed, 29 Jun 2022 18:45:26 +0000 By Corey Atad.
Lombard couple featured in new Food Network series ‘Me or the Menu’ – Shaw Local Tue, 28 Jun 2022 01:00:00 +0000

Can a Lombard couple’s relationship survive the stress of starting a new food truck business together?

Viewers will find out with Food Network’s new docuseries “Me or the Menu” premiering Thursday, June 30. Lombard’s Kathleen Murray and Nate Albert are one of four restaurant couples whose lives in Houston, Brooklyn and Chicago have all been captured by reality TV crews for the five-episode series.

“Probably the most important thing about her show is the deep examination of the impact of our personal relationship while trying to run a business together,” said Murray, who was cast on “Me or the Menu” the last year shortly after she and Albert launched Saucy Kat, a Wheaton-based Italian cuisine food truck.

“It was an online interview, and apparently we did some fantastic things,” Albert said of the audition process.

This isn’t the first time Murray has appeared on a reality TV show. She briefly appeared on Episode 3 of Season 11 of the Fox show “MasterChef,” which put Murray on the Food Network producers’ casting radar.

But “Me or the Menu” was a different beast of TV production. Instead of a studio cooking contest, “Me or the Menu” was a full documentary project.

“Having cameras on me from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, having GoPros (cameras) in the car and being on the mic all day – it really got behind the scenes of life and what it’s like to run a business,” Murray said.

“When they started filming, I was so awkward,” Albert said. “But the more you did it, the more you got used to it.”

Murray notes that she also has a corporate 9-to-5 job as a creative director for a tech company. COVID-19 cutbacks last year meant Albert was laid off from his job at a winery, allowing him to focus on the food truck.

Saucy Kat was a way for Murray to express his love of cooking and share family recipes going back generations. It also allowed Murray and Albert to avoid all the risks of running a restaurant full-time – a luxury not afforded to fellow ‘Me or the Menu’ couple, James Martin and Jessica Neal. , who run the Bocadillo Market restaurant in Chicago.

But Murray and Albert say food truck prep is still important.

“I don’t think people have a sense of the stress and the work and the labor of love that goes into producing an event,” Murray said. “I spend six hours making my sauce. And then sometimes I come home at 3 a.m. and get up at 6 a.m. to get the truck ready.

Murray and Albert nervously anticipate the airing of “Me or the Menu” and see how their lives will be edited and portrayed on screen. When they were interviewed, none had yet seen a full episode.

“It’s finally starting to kick in. The video clips are online,” Albert said. “Kathleen has television experience, and I don’t. So it’s surreal.”

A History of Chicago’s Tallest Building Sun, 26 Jun 2022 10:00:00 +0000

The Willis Tower was built with state-of-the-art technology and an ageless chutzpah, a word that could translate to an intoxicating feeling of omnipotence.

When planning for what was originally called Sears Tower – a name many still use – began, the company had 350,000 employees. Half of American households had a Sears credit card. The future of the company seemed to be guaranteed for life.

“Being the largest retailer in the world, we thought we should have the largest head office in the world,” Gordon Metcalf, its chairman of the board, said in 1969. His words echoed the biblical account of this which inspired the builders of the Tower of Babel:

“Come on, let’s build ourselves a city, with a tower that rises to the sky, so that we can make a name for ourselves. »

[Follow along with all of our 175th anniversary coverage]

By that standard, the Sears Tower was a success. The 110-story skyscraper at 233 S. Wacker Drive was the tallest in the world for more than two decades and remains popularly known by its maiden name, even though it was renamed for a brokerage firm. London-based insurance company in 2009.

But Sears Roebuck and Co. has all but disappeared. The tower has had several owners and its appeal was at least momentarily diminished in the months following the September 11 terrorist attacks more than 20 years ago.

Today, the city’s tallest skyscraper faces the same pandemic-related issues as office buildings on the Loop, as workers continue to work from home, calling into question the continued vitality of downtown Chicago.

Barclays Bank, a venerable British investment house, once viewed skyscrapers as an economic forecaster. Its data crunchers said cities build their tallest structures on the eve of their decline.

How accurately does this algorithm measure the Sears Tower and the city it overlooks?

At first, the massive building gave a boost to its immediate surroundings. It replaced the unsightly remnants of Chicago’s garment district at the western end of the Loop. “A jumble of 15 buildings blackened with grime,” the Tribune called it. Their demolition surely enhanced the image of Chicago for visitors.

Sears Tower symbolized the staggering power of its parent company. As the skyscraper rose in the early 1970s, the company had around $9 billion in annual revenue. His tower was just as voracious.

At 1,451 feet, it was the tallest building in the world and held that distinction for over two decades. To reach this height required 76,000 tons of steel, 2.5 million cubic feet of concrete, 25,000 miles of plumbing and 43,000 miles of telephone wire.

“On behalf of the people of Chicago, I want to thank Sears for their confidence in the future in the planning and design of the building that will adorn the West Side,” Mayor Richard J. Daley said in 1970.

The Sears Tower spurred redevelopment along the western banks of the Chicago River and in adjacent neighborhoods. But he did not ring the company’s cash registers. By 1991, Walmart’s sales had overtaken those of Sears, which suffered a long decline before filing for bankruptcy in 2018. The company sold Sears Tower and closed stores, but was unable to make payment on the loan to keep it afloat.

Sears moved from the building to the corporate campus at Hoffman Estates in 1992, a move that bruised Chicago’s civic pride and made it difficult for many employees to travel. “How am I going to get there? was the question most asked by staff members, recalls Barb Lehman, the Sears executive who led the exodus of 5,000 people from Chicago to the suburbs.

Sears was founded in 1892 and practically invented teleshopping with a catalog as thick as the Chicago telephone book. It allowed rural families to benefit from the same consumer goods as their urban counterparts with access to shops. Sears provided the model that Amazon would later build on, but it wasn’t nimble enough to adapt to the digital age.

Instead, he focused on brick-and-mortar stores, renowned for replacing tools if they broke, and down-to-earth clothing and appliances. Their shelves reflected the same range of good-better-better offerings as the Sears catalog.

Rival department stores specializing in a segment of the retail market: Marshall Field’s on high-end offerings and fashion-conscious shoppers, Goldblatt’s on bargain goods and budget-conscious shoppers.

In 2002, Sears bought Lands’ End, known for its hip casual clothes, but sales continued to fall.

“Sears is like a dinosaur,” Joe Cushman, who retired as Sears president in 1967, once observed. impulse will reach the brain.”

His successors ignored Cushman’s diagnosis. Maybe ambitious architects tricked them into thinking Sears was too big to fail.

The architects of Sears Tower gave their client a much larger building than the company’s bosses probably imagined.

“Sears would probably have settled for a chunky 50- or 60-story building – something strong, efficient and durable,” said Fazlur Khan, the structural engineer who, along with architect Bruce Graham, drew up the plans. of the tower. “But we wanted something that wouldn’t be too prismatic.”

Khan was apparently excavating the Loop’s most indescribable buildings, a mold Paul Gapp, the Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic, agreed they had strayed away from by designing a skyscraper “whose exteriors are a bold, vital and exciting departure from orthodoxy”. mediocrity.”

After Sears released its tower, others bought and sold it, even as it teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. Trizec Properties inherited Sears’ liability for loan payments due to MetLife and, unable to make a payment in 2003, gave the keys to the building to the insurance company.

“There is a bit of tarnish on the diamond now, but it will come back,” Kenneth Szady, an executive at real estate firm Trammell Crow, told the Tribune. “And in the long term, there is a potential upside.”

Clearly, Szady knew how the real estate market worked. Potential buyers continued to bid, and financial institutions were willing to hedge bets on Sears Tower’s value.

Blue chip companies took over the 1.5 million square feet vacated by Sears. As tenants moved out, others moved in. United Airlines canceled Sears’ commuter flight, moving all 2,000 flight controllers and support staff from its Elk Grove Township operations center to Willis Tower in 2009.

He was tempted to make the move in part by Chicago’s offer of around $25 million in incentives, the Tribune reported, while also noting, “United is drawing fire from aviation pundits who ask why he would install his nerve center in a building identified as a potential target of terrorists.

That year, five would-be American terrorists were convicted of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower.

Indeed, the tower’s appeal has already been impacted by Al-Qaeda’s leveling of the World Trade Center towers in New York on 9/11.

“You can completely forget 9/11, but as soon as you go back to this building, you think about it,” said Alain Coque, an executive at New Mark Co., whose clients were looking for offices in the Sears Tower. .

The tower got an emotional boost in 2015, when the Blackstone Group bought it for $1.3 billion, a record high for an office building beyond Manhattan. The New York-based private equity group has softened its hard-edge personality with pops of color and a lower-level mall, investing $500 million in a renovation project dubbed the Catalogue. Restaurants, a food court, and shops have reintroduced the Tower as more than just a workplace.

COVID hit as the project, which just wrapped up in May, was well underway.

“Thursday between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., Tribune reporters counted 75 people passing through its main entrance,” the newspaper reported on September 25, 2020. Before the epidemic, 15,000 employees went there daily.

So the next chapter in the story is unclear. Has remote working become the new norm? Management’s rosy predictions of the tower’s rebound are diluted by unintended caveats such as “shared workspaces.” It looks like a franchise motel touting its business center rather than a sales pitch for an exclusive high-rise.

It would be more persuasive if tower flacks spoke with the authoritative assurance of Sears founder Richard Sears, who built an empire on his catalog’s promises of customer satisfaction.

Once he saw a streetcar conductor drop his pocket watch, which was broken. “Was it a Sears watch? ” He asked. “Yes,” replied the distraught man. Whereupon Richard Sears handed him a new one, saying, “We guarantee our watches won’t fall out of someone’s pocket and break.”

Sign up for the Vintage Chicago Tribune newsletter at for more photos and stories from the Tribune archives.

Have an idea for Vintage Chicago Tribune? Share it with Ron Grossman and Marianne Mather on and

The new restaurants, bars and activities of Lake Geneva Wed, 22 Jun 2022 20:55:00 +0000

Restaurants and bars of Lake Geneva

Lake City Social

111, rue du Centre, Lake Geneva

Lake City Social opened last spring and offers everything from craft beers and specialty cocktails to Wisconsin-style burgers and shrimp. It is located inside the cove of Lake Geneva and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Food & Spirits Legends

W3731 Club House Drive, Lake Geneva

Legends, which opened in 2021, offers a full-service cuisine menu for every meal, as well as a horseshoe bar and outdoor patio. Try one of their elaborate craft cocktails or stop by during happy hour from 4-5:30 p.m. weekdays for 2-for-1 drinks and half-price appetizers.

The den and enclosure of the magpie

642 W. Main Street, Lake Geneva

Magpie’s, which opened its doors at the end of 2021, is one of the newest restaurants on Lake Geneva. The Den & Pen offers a variety of unique entrees, draft beers and hot sandwiches.

Poppy cakes

526, rue S. Wells, Lake Geneva

A regular in the city, Abby Blada worked part-time selling baked goods from doorsteps for years. She finally decided to devote herself full-time to the business and opened the new location last winter.

thirsty parrot

W3725 Club House Drive, Lake Geneva

Sister company to Legends, Thirsty Parrot is a tiki bar serving up a taste of Margaritaville at Lake Geneva. It also offers a packed live music program throughout the summer. Check Thirsty Parrot’s Facebook page for concert dates.

Zaab Corner Bistro

501 Broad Street, Lake Geneva

Zaab Corner Bistro opened last fall and brings a unique hibachi-style experience to Lake Geneva with everything from fresh seafood to grilled steaks. Do you want to organize a private event? Zaab’s private dining room can accommodate birthday parties, wedding rehearsals and more.

What to do in Lake Geneva

Sources of the abbey

1 Country Club Drive, Fontana-On-Geneva Lake

The Abbey Springs Golf Course temporarily closed in August 2021 to undergo a $2.5 million renovation, bringing improvements and expansions to the lakeside greenery. The remodeled course is now open to members, with a public reopening date to be announced shortly.

Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum

723, rue Williams, Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva is the original home of the Dungeons & Dragons game, and the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum, which opened last year, pays homage to that fact. Located at the original location of Tactical Studies Rules, the company that created the game, the museum features a variety of historical artifacts as well as a play area.

Riviera Ballroom

812 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva

The Riviera, built in 1932, has been under construction since February 2020 but is now reopening to the public. The venue can be rented out for parties, weddings, corporate events and more.

Safari Lake Geneva

W1612 Litchfield Road, Lake Geneva

Safari Lake Geneva was established in 2016 and is not new to the area, but the wildlife reserve has just welcomed two new giraffes to its family of animals. You can see the giraffes up close and experience the safari from your own vehicle for $21 per adult and $14 per child.

Yerkes Observatory

373 Geneva Street West, Williams Bay

Built in 1897, Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay had recently been closed for restoration. Construction is now complete and the observatory is open to the public for the summer.

Naperville restaurant is changing the lives of people with special needs Tue, 21 Jun 2022 03:05:07 +0000

The secret ingredient to a new Naperville restaurant is the staff, as more than half of its employees have special needs.

“If I can make them visible here, then other businesses will see and maybe take our business model as an example,” said owner Thi Nguyen.

Nguyen and her husband used their savings to open Chez François Poutinerie in downtown Naperville. They wanted to make sure that their son, François, could find a job if something happened to them.

“[Only] 24% of this population has a job. They’re underemployed or they’re not even in the job market, so for me, I was thinking about my son, no one is going to hire him,” Nguyen said.


Looking back on her past, fleeing the Vietnam War at the age of eight and moving to France and then to Quebec, she did not want her son to face similar hardships.

Paige Krause is one of about 60 employees with special needs who will work at the restaurant.

“You don’t really get a lot of opportunities when you have special needs. It took me a long time to even get my first job,” she said.

Nguyen said interest in the restaurant stretches far and wide, with employees coming from Plainfield, Oswego, Berwyn, Libertyville and Gurnee.

Employees with special needs will be matched with a buddy who will assist them in their daily tasks. Each employee will receive the same amount, depending on their work, starting at $15 per hour.

The restaurant’s concept of crispy fries topped with authentic cheese curds and savory gravy is tied to Nguyen’s Canadian roots.

“I said to my husband, why don’t we open a poutine restaurant, it’s an easy concept, there’s a lot of rehearsal and special needs, they’re good with it,” he said. she stated.

When the restaurant opens in July, it will offer nine varieties of poutine as well as four salads, some with a Vietnamese twist.

“Now it’s time for me to give back to the community,” Nguyen said. “My love for family, my love for community and my love for French-Canadian food that I want to share with everyone in Naperville! »

See the menu and opening hours HERE.

]]> Black Americans Living Abroad Reflect on Juneteenth | Radio WGN 720 Sun, 19 Jun 2022 11:37:45 +0000

BANGKOK (AP) — As the United States marks only the second federally recognized Juneteenth, black Americans living abroad have embraced the holiday as a day of reflection and an opportunity to educate people of their host country on black history.

President Joe Biden moved quickly last year to federally recognize the day Black Americans have celebrated since the last slaves were told they were free in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, two years later. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

In Liberia, Saqar Ahhah Ahershu, 45, of Jersey City, NJ, is hosting the country’s first Journey Home Festival.

“Because it’s part of this hidden history of African Americans that hasn’t been fully exposed yet,” he said in Monrovia.

Liberia, Africa’s oldest independent republic, was founded by freed slaves repatriated from the United States to West Africa in 1822, exactly 200 years ago this year. This weekend’s event will include a trip to Providence Island, where former slaves settled before settling in what is now mainland Monrovia.

While there are no official statistics on black Americans moving overseas, many are discussing it more openly after the police killing of George Floyd. In the aftermath, many African Americans saw the United States “from the outside in” and decided not to return.

Tashina Ferguson, a 26-year-old debate coach, was living in New York at the time of Eric Garner’s death.

She moved to South Korea in 2019 and will celebrate June 19 Sunday with a group of drag performers at a fundraising brunch for the Marsha P. Johnson Institute.

She has mixed feelings about the new federal holiday.

“The Juneteenth commercialism has become this kind of thing, ‘Put it on a T-shirt, put it on tubs of ice cream,'” she said. “But as a black person in the black community, I’m like, ‘Yeah, let’s celebrate. “”

She said only a powerful change would make her consider returning to the United States

Chrishan Wright, in New Jersey, speaks regularly with black Americans who are considering or have already moved abroad.

Wright, 47, hosts a ‘Blaxit Global’ podcast and said many of his guests are tired of the United States

“They’ve done everything to achieve what’s supposed to be the American dream, and that benchmark keeps shifting. They don’t feel like they’re on solid ground to be able to retire comfortably, pay off student debt, or just cover their bills.

Wright plans to move in 2023 to Portugal. Thanks to her podcast, she already knows about the June 19 celebrations this weekend in Lisbon, the capital.

In some places with larger Black American populations, Juneteenth is already part of the program.

LaTonya Whitaker, from Mississippi, has lived in Japan for 17 years. She is executive director of the Legacy Foundation Japan, which held a rally of about 300 people at the Tokyo American Club on Saturday.

She and her husband David had no intention of living in Japan.

Like Whitaker, many black Americans at the Juneteenth event came to Japan almost by coincidence, as Christian missionaries or Peace Corps volunteers. But they have taken up residence in Japan.

She now wants to raise their son there because she worries about gun violence in the US

“I realized we really needed a community,” Whitaker said.

Michael Williams teaches African-American history at Temple University in Tokyo and left the United States at the age of 22. He is now 66 and has lived abroad for much of his adult life, but returned to the United States for higher education in Boston and Baltimore.

America has changed so much, he feels like a tourist when he visits, he laughs.

Williams said he knew about Juneteenth from teaching history.

“I always ended my presentations hoping that one day it would be a national holiday. And now it is, and it feels good,” he said.

In Taipei, Toi Windham and Casey Abbott Payne are hosting several events to celebrate Juneteenth. The two, which are part of Black Lives Matter Taiwan, organize performances by black artists and musicians.

Both celebrated with their families long before it was a federal holiday.

Windham has lived in Taiwan for five years and always celebrated June 19 growing up in Texas. For her, it’s an opportunity to educate people about another part of American culture, even the darker parts.

“A lot of people tend to appreciate hip-hop culture and dress and parts of our culture, but I think it’s important to recognize all parts of black culture,” she said.

Payne, an organizer, has lived in Taiwan for 11 years and said he also celebrated June 19 growing up in Milwaukee, which holds one of the oldest celebrations in the country.

“As a kid, I remember the street was lined with street vendors, and there was music playing and there was the June 19 parade,” he said.

For still others, the day is a time to relax and rest happily.

In Bangkok, a group called Ebony Expats organized a silent film screening, a bike ride through a nature reserve and dinner at a Jamaican restaurant serving jerk chicken and pumpkin soup.

Restaurant owner Collin Clifford McKoy served 20 years in the US military before finally opening his restaurant during the pandemic in Thailand. He said the June 19 holiday is a chance for black people to share their culture while being so far from home, American or not.

“Overall, it’s about coming together, wherever we are, and it shows how deep the blood runs as a community to come together and have fun,” he said.


Associate News Writers Huizhong Wu in Taipei, Taiwan, Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo, Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal and Jonathan Paye-Layleh in Monrovia, Liberia, contributed to this report.

Illinois House candidate Thomas Maillard distances himself from gaming director Michael Bond who lost Waukegan casino offer Fri, 17 Jun 2022 19:25:00 +0000

Most resumes grow over time. State legislative candidate Thomas Maillard has declined over the past two years. Disappeared from his LinkedIn page: his work for former senator Michael Bond’s video game company.

In 2020 – when he was a top aide to Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham – Maillard’s page stated that he had worked in “partnership development” for Bond’s Tap Room Gaming, LLC, from December 2013 to December 2015.

Now in a Democratic primary race for state representative in Lake County, he has removed those ties to controversial figure Bond from online resumes after it emerged he helped fund the campaign. winner of Cunningham in 2017 before submitting a bid for a casino in Waukegan in a process partly supervised by Cunningham.

“I think it has very little to do with my experience working in government,” says Maillard, one of three candidates running June 28 in a district that includes all or parts of Libertyville, Grayslake and Round Lake.

Former State Senator Michael Bond.

Among those supporting his campaign: Cunningham, who lost a re-election bid last year.

Sam Cunningham, former mayor of Waukegan.

Sam Cunningham, former mayor of Waukegan.

Bond is not among those supporting him, and Maillard says he “doesn’t care at all”.

Reached by phone, Bond told a reporter he was “unable” to speak but “happy to call you back”. He did not do it.

Bond was in the Illinois Senate from 2007 to 2011, a resource person in Lake County for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Bond was also among the lobbyists with ties to Madigan who were hired to lobby for ComEd, records show.

Bond’s LinkedIn profile says he was chief executive and founder of Tap Room, which he ran from 2013 until it was sold in 2019.

The company – which supplied video game machines for bars, restaurants and other establishments – reported nearly $200 million in net revenue from slot machines from 2017 to 2019, state records show.

Maillard says of his work there: “I collected machines. I was terminal manager. . . . I also helped organize pool and darts leagues with various small businesses” while “going to university”.


Thomas Maillard's LinkedIn page in 2020.

Thomas Maillard’s LinkedIn page in 2020.


The current LinkedIn page of Thomas Maillard.

The current LinkedIn page of Thomas Maillard.

Maillard also served as a “data analyst/coordinator trainee” for Bond’s campaign operation from 2008 to 2010 and assisted in Cunningham’s election campaign in 2017 at Bond’s request.

Cunningham had run unsuccessfully for mayor three times when he won the 2017 primary. Bond then became involved in his general election campaign, contributing to political groups that funneled money to Cunningham, ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 2019.

Bond recruited Chicago political consultants Victor Reyes and Mike Noonan to help Cunningham with everything from canvassing to fundraising, sources say.

Maillard says Bond asked him to work on Cunningham’s campaign.

When Cunningham won, he hired Maillard as senior mayoral assistant because, Cunningham says, “the guy knew what he was doing, and voter services were up to par.”

Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation in 2019 allowing for a huge expansion in gambling, including a casino in Waukegan. The city was authorized to solicit proposals, review them, and make a recommendation to the Illinois Gaming Board.

Maillard became involved in the internal process at the Waukegan casino, according to records and interviews.

Among other tasks, he says he participated in the development of the bid solicitation. He says his involvement was minor, that he eventually recused himself from the process and was never involved in the “scoring” of bidders that included the Bond-led North Point Casino proposal.

Artist's impression of the first phase of development of the North Point Casino project.

Artist’s impression of the first phase of development of the North Point Casino project.

Robert Long, an attorney for the town of Waukegan at the time, said of Maillard and the casino process, “He wasn’t really an influencer. He was a transformer.

“Once he recognized there would be a problem, he backed out, which was the right thing to do.”

Maillard was interviewed by gambling council investigators, but says it was routine and everyone even vaguely connected to the project was interviewed.

The gambling board cannot “comment on the characterization of Mr. Maillard from his interview”, an agency spokesperson said.

Waukegan was allowed to send a single proposal to the gaming board. But Cunningham says his administration submitted four plans to the city council after they were reviewed by a consultant hired by the city. The board sent three to the gaming board, including Bond’s.

Artist's impression of a proposed Full House Resorts casino in Waukegan.

Artist’s impression of a proposed Full House Resorts casino in Waukegan.

A Potawatomi tribe-affiliated casino development group whose proposal was not among the three chosen sued Waukegan, claiming the process was rigged to favor Bond.

Cunningham said: “I will not deny my friendship with Michael Bond, but I will say that my integrity will never be compromised by Michael Bond.”

One of the finalists dropped out, leaving only Bond’s North Point and a Las Vegas-based Full House Resorts proposal.

In December, the Gaming Commission unanimously selected Full House “as the City of Waukegan’s final nominee” and granted “Full House a Preliminarily Appropriate Permit.”

Juneteenth 2022 in Chicago: ‘1619: The Journey of a People, the Musical’ and more events Wed, 15 Jun 2022 22:24:00 +0000

In 2018, Ted Williams III, professor of political science at City Colleges of Chicago, decided to take a sabbatical at the right time. The Ashburn resident spent his free time thinking about how to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of African Americans in America.

The first instinct, as a scholar, would be some sort of academic lecture detailing this history, starting in 1619.

“I started working on it, then I said, ‘That’s not what I want to do,'” Williams, 45, laughs.

Instead, Williams, who is an actor and loves the performing arts, decided to merge his interests to create what became “1619: A People’s Journey, The Musical.”

Thanks to several grants, production began in August 2019 at Kennedy-King College, in commemoration of the anniversary of the date when the first enslaved Africans arrived in America.

The musical returns to Chicago at the Vittum Theater, with performances the weekend of June 19 and also July 23.

Juneteenth celebrates and examines the date in 1865 when African Americans first learned of their freedom from the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued two years prior. (The holiday is June 19, although the federal holiday is observed on Monday this year.)

Pulitzer Prize-winning Nikole Hannah Jones launched her “1619 Project” at the same time, but Williams said she had no idea her project was underway when he created his musical. While he initially reached out to her about collaborating, nothing materialized, although the two will now work together on an upcoming panel at Northern Illinois University.

“The interesting part was, for me, as a person of color who worked in the college space, it was a no-brainer for me to engage around this anniversary,” Williams said.

The production was shown at colleges across the country. Williams describes it as a reflection through the ages on what it means to be a black American, through hip-hop, jazz and blues music.

1619 performers pay tribute to the Black Liberation protest movement during a performance of ‘1619: A People’s Journey, The Musical’.

During the pandemic, Williams, who also produced the show, partnered with the DuSable Museum and WBEZ radio to present the musical virtually.

He looks forward to continuing to perform the musical and engage students at three Chicago public schools this fall, and a cast album will be available for purchase for the first time this Juneteenth.

“I am constantly concerned [about] the issues of violence and the issues of economic disparities and all of those issues. And so the show is really just a manifestation of that,” he says. “The doors just opened wide and we can’t wait to move on and really be in more spaces and more places to share the story.”

Although Williams was hesitant to reveal many details about the musical ahead of this weekend’s broadcast, she includes the minds of famous black figures – from Booker T. Washington to Fred Hampton to Colin Kaepernick – debating the Afro journey. -American.

It even alludes to a hip-hop debate between Booker T. Washington and WEB Du Bois through modern characters.

“We are really looking at what is the way forward? And what our current condition is now and how do we act in this country, that’s been a real dichotomy for us,” Williams notes. “On the one hand, it’s the land of opportunities. On the other hand, it is the land of oppression and suffering.

Williams says bringing this black history to public schools is critical to the future of black America, and the response he has received from students has been overwhelmingly positive.

“It’s so, so critical that this story isn’t just for a month or a day,” he says. “But that it is celebrated all year round.”

Additional events for the weekend of June 16

Here are some Chicago-area celebrations planned for Juneteenth:

  • DuSable Museum June 19 Barbecue and Block Party, Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 57th Place. Presented in part by Chance the Rapper of Chicago. Art, food and fashion will be celebrated at this one-day event.
  • MADD Rhythms celebrates Juneteenth: The Celebration, Sunday, 1 p.m., Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. Martin Luther King Drive. Free. Loads of live entertainment, plus local Bronzeville businesses and kids’ activities.
  • 1865 Fest’s Juneteenth Celebration, June 17-19, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Garfield Park, 300 N. Central Park Ave. Free.
  • Celebrate Juneteenth at The Field, Monday, June 20, 11 a.m., The Field Museum. Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, will speak about Wells’ connection to the 1893 World’s Fair and Chicago. Free admission to Field on Mondays.
  • Far South Community Development Corporation Juneteenth Festival, Saturday, 12-5 p.m., 11420 S. Halsted St. Online registration is required for this free event, celebrating Far South Side communities with live entertainment, food from black-owned restaurants, small businesses and a children’s fun zone.
  • Juneteenth in Bronzeville 2022: A Day to Celebrate Freedom, Culture, Education and the Arts in Chicago, Saturday 3521 South King Drive, 2-5 p.m. Free admission, some activities require tickets.
New law to protect restaurants from misleading delivery services Mon, 13 Jun 2022 20:47:09 +0000

CHICAGO — A new law sponsored by State Sen. Emil Jones (D-Chicago) that will protect restaurants, bars and other businesses from deceptive delivery services was signed into law Friday.

“Restaurants have long been victims of deceptive delivery services that take advantage of and profit from the company’s hard work,” Jones said. “This law protects businesses and helps them to thrive.

House Bill 3205, also known as the Fair Food and Retail Delivery Act, prohibits third party delivery companies from publishing any menu, trademark or other intellectual property without the express written consent of restaurants, bars and retail establishments in detail.

Third-party delivery services are prohibited by law from listing non-partner restaurants or retailers on their platform. Multiple reports indicate that these delivery services listed menus and items without the knowledge or consent of the restaurant or retailer.

Small businesses and restaurants need our support,” Jones said. “Being able to control your brand and where it is sold and marketed to is an essential part of running a business. That’s why we’re giving back the reins to our community businesses when it comes to consent on delivery services.

House Bill 3205 was signed into law by the governor on Friday and takes effect immediately.


Questionable Tribune hot dog recipes over the years Sat, 11 Jun 2022 17:33:00 +0000

Although the Chicago-style hot dog is arguably the best hot dog in the country, for most of the 20th century, Tribune reporters and recipe writers mostly acted deeply embarrassed by the dish.

“Americans in general and housewives in particular are failing in their duty to the hot dog,” begins a July 6, 1961, article by Thomas Wolfsmith. He then quotes a German chef, Otto Schuetz, who explains that Americans “bury” hot dogs in “inelegant” buns, unlike Europeans who serve them as a delicacy.

Schuetz recommended serving a dish that combines asparagus, apples, mushrooms, sliced ​​hot dogs and French dressing. Wolfsmith concluded, “So the hot dog earns a place in ‘haute cuisine’, instead of just languishing under mustard, relish, chopped onion and a bun.”

By the mid-20th century, French cuisine was routinely considered finer and downright better than what most Chicago restaurants were serving. This explains an article from March 30, 1960, titled “A Magnificent Hot Dog? This one, prepared à la française, is by Mary Meade. She wrote that Chef John Bandera of the Sheraton-Blackstone Hotel created a frankfurter bourguignonne “in honor of a century-old Chicago company whose founder, David Berg, helped bring the hot dog in America”. The recipe, evoking the name of a French beef stew braised in red wine, included eight frankfurters slathered in a sauce made with butter, shallots, garlic, brown sauce and 3 cups of red wine. .

Tribune writer Mary Meade has also created her own hot dog recipes over the years, though she almost always read like she was gritting her teeth while making it. A June 25, 1943 article by Mary Meade begins: “‘Reds’ slathered in mustard and piccalilli are fine dishes for picnics and ball games, but have you considered the possibilities of frankfurters in your everyday meals? She then goes on to give a recipe for frankfurters with fried rice and tomatoes.

More than 20 years later, Meade didn’t think much of the hot dog. In an article from June 9, 1966, she begins with this posed: “A red snapper is a delicate and delicious fish. It tells you ‘gourmet’ when you think about preparing it. That’s not what a sausage says! Then you can find a recipe called Barbecued Southern Pups, where she recommended covering the sausages in chili sauce, wrapping them in cornmeal batter, and then cooking them.

Not to blame Meade, but she spent an inordinate amount of time finding ways not to use hot dog buns. On June 3, 1958, Meade suggested making “frankfurts in tomato rolls.” “The francs are wrapped in yeast dough – there are seasonings of onion juice, cheese, parsley and tomato juice. Doesn’t that look delicious? On May 30, 1960, she gave away a Ring-a-Rosy hot dog recipe made by “making hot dogs like hamburgers”, so they could fit on round buns. To be fair, the April 2, 1971 recipe for Frankfurter Sausage and Sauerkraut Skillet sounds like something I would enjoy.

(While she certainly had her fair share of dodgy hot dog recipes, there’s an explanation for her mercurial takes on hot dogs. Turns out Mary Meade wasn’t a real name. Instead, the pseudonym was used by a succession of female writers, a common practice in newspapers at the time.)

But it’s still hard to imagine enjoying Meade’s Supper Salad Bowl on June 25, 1943, which combined hot dogs with French dressing, green pepper, cottage cheese, shredded raw turnip, raw carrot, mayonnaise, lettuce and coleslaw.

I’m also not sure you could pay me to try a “Frankfurters Supper” (from May 15, 1964), which combines a pound of hot dogs with scallions, chopped green pepper, beans of Lima, tomato sauce and a whole cup of sour cream. I’d probably also skip over the “francs in sour cream sauce,” which is found in a July 19, 1957 article by Doris Schacht.

Male recipe writers didn’t fare much better. In a recipe column genuinely titled “For Men Only!”, not to be confused with one titled “Wife’s night out,” Morrison Wood called for making Creole frankfurters. The designation is charitably a stretch; I guess it got that name because of the pinch of cayenne pepper and Tabasco.

Even readers got in on the dodgy hot dog action. On July 2, 1958, a reader sent in a recipe for Hot Dog Surprises, which combined a pound of “Frankfurters, finely chopped” with shredded sharp cheese, grated hard-boiled eggs, chili sauce, pickle relish , mustard and garlic salt. This mixture was spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and topped with halved buns.

Thankfully, by the 1980s, writers and readers finally seemed to realize that Chicago’s best hot dog dish was staring them in the face all the time.

Try the recipes yourself:

by Mary Meade, March 30, 1960


8 frankfurters

2 tablespoons Butter

3 teaspoons shallots, onions or chives, chopped

½ teaspoon chopped garlic

3 cups Bordeaux or Bordeaux wine

24 cooked pearl onions

½ pound whole button mushrooms (fresh)

2 cups brown sauce

24 small potato dumplings, browned in deep fat


1. Cut the frankfurters in thirds and sauté in the butter for about 5 minutes. Remove the meat and add the shallots and garlic to the fat. Let simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.

2. Add wine and simmer to reduce the liquid to 1 cup, which will take about 8 minutes. Add onions, mushrooms and sauce.

3. Coverage and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add cooked potatoes and frankfurters and serve over fluffy wild rice.

Makes four servings.

by Mary Meade, June 25, 1943


½ pound frankfurters

½ cup French dressing

¼ cup chopped green chilli

1 cup cottage cheese

1 cup grated raw turnip

1 cup grated raw carrot

Mayonnaise and lettuce



1. Simmer frankfurters in water for 5 minutes and let cool.

2. Slice frankfurters and cover with French dressing. Leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour.

3. Combine green pepper and cottage cheese.

4. Combine grated turnip and carrot; drizzle with mayonnaise.

5. Organize lettuce in a salad bowl. In separate lettuce cups, arrange the frankfurters, cottage cheese, grated carrot and turnip, and coleslaw. Serve with mayonnaise.

Makes 4-6 servings.

by Mary Meade, June 9, 1966


ten sausages

¼ cup Butter

¼ teaspoon dry mustard

1 tbsp chopped onion

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup chili sauce

Corn flour dough:

¾ cup plain flour

¼ cup cornmeal

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup lard


1. Do cornmeal batter first. Sift together flour, cornmeal and salt. Cut the lard and add just enough water to moisten, about 3-4 tbsp.

2. Turn on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about ⅛ inch thick. Cut into five 5 inch squares.

3. Melt butter for the sauce and add the dry mustard, onion, lemon juice, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and chili sauce. Simmer 15 minutes.

4. Cut sausages lengthwise, almost to the ends, but not completely. Place two sausages diagonally on each square of cornmeal. Spoon a tablespoon of barbecue sauce into each. Fold the corners of the dough over the sausages, moisten the corners and press together.

5. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 12 minutes at 425 degrees.

Makes 5 servings.

Other items mentioned:

“The German Chef and Hot Dogs Go Together” by Thomas Wolfsmith, July 6, 1961.

“New Ways to Fix the Franks: You’ll Consume Much” by Mary Meade, June 3, 1958.

“Ring-a-Rosy Hot Dogs” by Mary Meade, May 30, 1960.

To eat.  Look.  Do.

To eat. Look. Do.


What to eat. What to watch. What you need to live your best life…now.

“Menus for a Week of Mary Meade’s Kitchen” by Mary Meade, April 2, 1971.

“Processed meats are easy to respect: many tasty ways to use them too” by Mary Meade, May 15, 1964.

“Frankfurt Stewards May Be Dressed for Business” by Doris Schacht, July 19, 1957.

“For men only!” Frankfurt hoop earrings have at least one way of getting guests to sit down and shout “Hot Dog!” by Morrison Wood, October 4, 1947.

“Favorite $5 For Your Picnic” by Bob McBridge, July 2, 1958.

Big screen or home broadcast, take-out or dine-in, Tribune’s writers are here to guide you to your next big experience. Sign up for your Free Weekly Eat. Look. Do. newsletter here.