Page 1

Summer. Our Anniversary Edition 2013

CONTENTS Seasonal Recipes 05 Homemade Hot Dog Buns 10 Mile High Strawberry Pie 12 Blackberry Barbeque Sauce 13 Blueberry Pancakes 16 Raspberry Sherbet 16 Canteloupe and Cream Sherry Granita 32 JalapeĂąo Grilling Glaze 33 Great Lakes Cedar Planked WhiteďŹ sh 34 Coffee Dry Rubbed Duck Breast With Bacon, JalapeĂąo and Fig Glaze 40 Ramp and Sunchoke Risotto

Drink Recipe 45 North Shore Distillery’s Waldmeister’s Wish with Jo Snow Syrup

02 FOOD FOR THOUGHT Editors’ Welcome

04 NOTABLE EDIBLES Hot Dog! A Frank Discussion Pickin’ the Blues

28 FROM THE GOOD EARTH Farmer Vicki Westerhoff of Genesis Growers: Healing Life and Land Story by Terra Brockman Photographs by Grant Kessler

42 LIQUID ASSETS North Shore Distillery Taps Into Our Greatest Liquid Asset Story by Becky Liscum Photographs by John Boehm

46 EDIBLE SOURCE GUIDE 08 COOKING WITH THE SEASONS Nostalgic Smell of Strawberries with Berry Recipes Recipes by Dana Benigno Photographs by Kaitlyn McQuaid

14 LOCAL AND IN SEASON With Seasonally Refreshing Recipes


32 SPECIAL FEATURE What’s on The Grill? Notable Chicagoans Share Favorite Summer Grilling Recipes

38 THE LAKE EFFECT Sustainable Catch in Chicago: Browntrout Restaurant Story by Anne Spiselman Photographs by Grant Kessler

With Your Dine and Drink Local Listing

48 EDIBLE INK Sweet Solutions for Fruit Original Illustration by Bambi Edlund

41 SPECIAL FEATURE Summer Craft Beer Pairings

Our Food, Our Stories, Season by Season

20 INCREDIBLY EDIBLE From Farm Kitchen to Top Shelf: A Sustainable Chicago Chocolatier Story by Anne Spiselman Photographs by Grant Kessler

24 CHICAGROWS Portrait of an Enchanted Gardener Story by Susan Oh

Read our digital edition online anytime with exclusive video content at Or download our mobile apps.

Food and Art


,.&&+ a&&+(F EDI%(&&.'I-",a",,.7


Cover: Photo by Grant Kessler/ Above: Photo Š Lisovskaya Natalia/Shutterstock


Food for Thought

PUBLISHER/CO-EDITORS Sweet Pea Media, LLC Ann Flood + Becky Liscum

A FEW WORDS FROM edible CHICAGO What Shall I Put in the Hole That I Dig? is a favorite children’s book written by Eleanor Thompson in 1963, but it is also a universal question for gardeners AND magazine editors. This year, Edible Chicago celebrates its fifth anniversary. In the last five years, we have featured many interesting people and stories from our region and with every issue we publish, we carefully consider what will educate and inspire our readers. This edition is no exception. In it you will find some of the stories that have touched us over the years and see what has changed in the lives of these farmers, food and drink artisans, growers and chefs over the last five years. First, read the articles as they originally appeared in the magazine. Then, read the updates that tell you how Katherine Duncan’s business, Katherine Anne Confections has grown since we last told her story. See how Vicki Westerhoff of Genesis Growers keeps a connection to her customers. Learn what Sonja and Derek Kassebaum have created at North Shore Distillery. And, check out exciting news from Jeanne Nolan of The Organic Gardener.

COPY EDITOR Gail Grasso + Debra Criche Mell

ART DIRECTOR Marianna Delinck Manley

WEB DESIGN Andras Ratonyi

CONTRIBUTORS Dana Benigno + Terra Brockman Bambi Edlund + Ann Flood + Brad Haan Becky Liscum + Susan Oh + Anne Spiselman

PHOTOGRAPHERS John Boehm Grant Kessler Kaitlyn McQuaid


This issue is “jam”-packed with recipes for seasonal berries. Also, since grilling season is now in full swing, we asked three notable Chicagoans “What’s On The Grill?” And, last but not least, we take you inside the kitchen of Chef Sean Sanders at Browntrout in North Center. Edible Chicago continues to expand its video library at Look for the video icon at the end of a feature article or by an advertisement to see a story come to life in our digital edition of the magazine. We are excited to celebrate and share our special fifth anniversary issue with you. And, as we ponder that proverbial question What Shall I Put in the Hole That I Dig?, we are excited about what is yet to come for Edible Chicago. Read on…

The Perfect Gift for Your Favorite Foodie! Subscribe to Edible Chicago and never miss a single issue with pristine copies delivered right to your door! Subscribe for yourself, or as a thoughtful gift for someone you love. It’s a gift that will last all year. Subscribe online at:, or mail us a check for $28.00 payable to: Edible Chicago, 159 N. Marion St., #306, Oak Pak, IL 60301. Edible Chicago is entirely supported by our advertising partners and subscribers. With your paid subscription, you allow us to tell the stories of our local farmers, chefs, purveyors and food artisans that help sustain a vital, healthier food system throughout Chicagoland.


edible chicago | Summer 2013

Photo © Chatchawat Prasertsom/Shutterstock


ADVERTISING SALES Jeannie Boutelle Donna Schauer


CONTACT US Edible Chicago 159 N. Marion St., #306, Oak Park, IL 60301 708.386.6781 + Fax: 708.221.6756 Edible Chicago ® is published seasonally— four times per year by Sweet Pea Media LLC/dba Edible Chicago. We are an advertiser and subscriber supported publication, locally and independently owned and operated and a member of Edible Communities, Inc. Distribution is throughout Chicagoland and by subscription for $28.00 per year. @2013 All Rights Reserved. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and let us know.


Notable Edible The combination of summertime, cookouts and baseball makes our palate nostalgic for that red hot on a bun. However, not all dogs are created equal. Consumers can now find several brands on the market made with meat from pasture-raised, grass-fed and organic, humanely raised animals that are typically treated with little to no antibiotics or hormones. The meat from grassfed or free-range animals contains less fat than conventional large-scale commodity meat and provides more immune-boosting good fats like omega3s. Good news and game on! There are healthy, sustainable and tasty choices available at your favorite specialty store and one even at the ballpark. Organic Prairie’s 100% Certified Organic Uncured Grassfed Beef Hot Dogs

Produced by farmer owned co-op Organic Valley. Prescott Frost Grass Fed Organic All Beef Hot Dogs Tallgrass Beef Hot Dogs

A Cubs fan’s favorite, available at Wrigley Field. Niman Ranch Fearless Franks

HOT DOG! A Frank Discussion 4

edible chicago | Summer 2013

Humanely raised beef with no antibiotics or added hormones, gluten-free. All vegetarian feed. Also, check your neighborhood farmers market, specialty food or butcher shop for fresh Italian sausages and brats made by your favorite family farmer.

Photo © Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock

Homemade Hot Dog Buns Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour and The Baking Sheet Newsletter. Yields 9 buns | Estimated time: 3 hours Soft homemade hot dog buns are the perfect addition to any cookout or barbeque. They can also be shaped for hamburger buns. 1 tablespoon sugar ¼ cup warm water 2¼ teaspoons (1 pkg.) dry yeast 1 cup warm milk 1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more to coat surfaces 1 teaspoon salt 3-4 cups flour 1 egg 1 tablespoon water Sesame seeds (optional) 1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let sit for 10 minutes. Coat a large bowl with oil. 2. Add the milk, oil, salt and 3 cups fl our to the yeast mixture. Beat with the dough hook until combined. 3. Add last cup of flour, 1 large spoonful at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

AS FRESH AND LOCAL AS IT GETS Join us for a day of exploration and discovery at our Artisans’ Market. We’re supporting the local food community by showcasing growers and specialty food producers in our stores.

4. Knead 5-7 minutes, until you have a smooth, elastic dough. 5. Put the dough into an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide into 9 equal pieces. 7. Shape each piece into a ball. Roll the balls into cylinders, 4½ inches in length and fl atten slightly. 8. Place each bun on a baking sheet with the sides just barely touching.

Visit our Williams-Sonoma featured stores for details. Deer Park Town Center Lincoln Park Oakbrook Center

9. Cover with a light towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. 10. About 15 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 400°. 11. Combine 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water and beat. Just before baking, lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds if using. 12. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. 13. Transfer the buns from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.


Notable Edible


When Joe Corrado isn’t singing the blues in his blues-funk band MOS Funnel at venues around Chicago, he’s growing them. Organically grown heirloom Jersey Highbush blueberries that is, at his 5-acre Southwestern Michigan blueberry farm named Moss Funnel Farms after his band. Dubbed Joe’s Blues, he runs the business with his semi-retired playwright father Frank during the growing season. Both born and raised in Evanston, the Corrado’s sell what they call “seasonal ownership” of blueberry bushes to consumers. For $35.00 per season, a 50-year-old bush is guaranteed to yield 12 pounds of sweet blueberries per season. Blueberry shareowners can either visit the farm to pick their own crop, or make arrangements for them to be picked and delivered right to their door. More information: 269-206-2926

New for the 2013 Season Get a weekly fix of Joe’s Blues by joining their CSA program. Own a share of harvest with five or ten pound boxes weekly or bi-weekly. Pick up locations are being set up throughout Chicagoland.


edible chicago | Summer 2013

Photos: Left © Ramona Heim/Shutterstock Top Right © Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock Bottom Right © David Gilder/Shutterstock




Cooking With the Seasons by Dana Benigno

The Nostalgic Smell of Strawberries


I remember one June morning when my Mom and her friend Gail loaded all of the kids (five of us, ages 11 to 5) into our woodpaneled, blue station wagon and drove to a strawberry patch to pick berries. It was a hot summer morning and we were all dispersed throughout a few rows, when dark ominous clouds appeared on the horizon. We all began picking and eating strawberries as fast as we could to finish before the storm hit. We didn’t make it. Torrential rains completely drenched all of us, turning the rows into mud slicks. We sank into the wet mud up to our ankles as we trudged out of the field. Five very muddy and wet kids rode home with two drenched Moms, and it was the most fun. The smell of strawberries always reminds me of that day.

Farmers markets are the best place to buy any kind of berry, because they are picked at their peak and sold immediately. One of my farmers has blueberries so sweet I will often keep a quart on my desk and eat them like candy. I see customers leaving with flats (about 8 quarts) of berries and bags of kale and spinach for their morning “super green” smoothies.

In the upper Midwest, strawberry season begins in early to midJune and usually lasts through the 4th of July, depending upon the weather. Next on the scene are blueberries, blackberries and raspberries that appear in July and disappear by the end of August. When berries are at their peak, make a large purchase and freeze them in zip lock bags for smoothies, pancakes, pies and other treats throughout the year.


edible chicago | Summer 2013

For me, there is something nostalgic about recipes that use fresh berries. Maybe it’s the style of desserts such as strawberry short cake or ice cream, but they all make me think of state fairs and church picnics. I included two classic American recipes here but also wanted to share the idea of using berries in a sauce for grilling. Adding fruity notes to a savory sauce is a delicious way to celebrate summer.

Dana Benigno can never get her fill of fresh fruit when it is in season. Throughout the rest of the year, her freezer is usually filled to the gills with sweet reminders of the summer season. She is the Executive Director of Green City Market, the founder of and is a regular contributor to Edible Chicago. Photo © hxdbzxy/Shutterstock

620 N. State St. 312.642.8450


Mile High Strawberry Pie When I made this recipe I forgot how much fun it was to have loads of delicious strawberry fluff. The crust was so simple because you mix it right in the pan with no fussing with rolling pins or flour, which is why it will be my new “go to” pastry crust. There are many versions of this recipe that use processed food products, but this was the original made by church ladies everywhere!

Strawberry Meringue 3 egg whites 1 ½ cups sugar 1 heaping quart of strawberries stemmed and washed—a few more for garnish Juice from 1 lemon 1 cup heavy whipping cream 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1.

Place the egg whites, sugar, strawberries and lemon juice into a mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment or beaters, beat on high speed for approximately 20 minutes or until the mixture has quadrupled in volume and is very high, light and fluffy.

2. In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. 3. Fold the whipping cream into the strawberry meringue mixture. 4. Pour into the crust. Crust must be completely cool. 5. Freeze for 8 hours in the freezer. Serve frozen with additional strawberries as garnish and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Crust 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 4 cups sugar 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup chopped pecans or almonds (optional) ½ cup melted butter 1. Mix the flour, salt, nuts and sugar directly in a 9-inch pie plate or spring form pan. 2. Add the melted butter and stir. Pat the dough into the pie plate or pan to cover the bottom and up the sides. 3. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely before filling.


edible chicago | Summer 2013

U-Pick Pesticide-Free Berries Few things taste better than a juicy, plump, ripe berry off the vine. The following family farms support sustainable practices and grow berries without the use of any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. We suggest that you call ahead for picking season conditions and availability.

ILLINOIS Mulberry Lane Farm Organic practices. 414 Mulberry St., Loda, IL 217-386-2690 đ

Susie’s Garden Patch Uses natural growing practices. 10258 US Highway 20, Garden Prairie, IL 815-597-3011ƫƫđƫƫ

WISCONSIN Appleberry Farm Uses integrated pest management practices. 8079 Maurer Rd., Cross Plains, WI 608-798-2780ƫƫđƫƫ

Donna’s Organic Gardens Certified Organic. N3730 Highway EE, Neosho, WI 920-349-3305

JenEhr Family Farm Organic practices. 6837 Elder Lane, Sun Prairie, WI 608-825-9531ƫƫđƫƫ

MICHIGAN Joe’s Blues Organically grown. 61687 34th Ave., Bangor, MI 269-206-2926ƫƫđƫƫ

Pleasant Hill Farm Certified Organic. 5859 124th Ave., Fennville, MI 269-561-2850ƫƫđƫƫ

Source: Kailtyn McQuaid is a freelance photographer with experience in food, product and event photography. Her work has appeared in Edible Finger Lakes and Culture magazine. She is also an experimental home cook and dabbles in music— from the banjo to the tin whistle and everything in between.


Blackberry Barbeque Sauce

Makes 2 cups

This delicious sauce is based on the southern style basting sauce that does not use tomatoes and makes it a perfect springboard for creating your own fruit based barbeque sauces. It is delicious on grilled duck, pork or chicken. Use it as you would any barbeque sauce and be sure to save a little sauce for serving on the side. You may easily double this recipe and store in the refrigerator for future use. 4 tablespoons butter 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon paprika 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon hot red pepper sauce—or to taste ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon dry mustard ¼ cup cider vinegar 1 cup blackberries

2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon ½ cup brown sugar 1. Put the butter, onion and garlic in a small saucepan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until you smell the garlic and onions. 2. Add salt and dried spices and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. 3. Add vinegar, lemon juice blackberries and sugar and simmer until thick.


edible chicago | Summer 2013

Photo © Nessi/shutterstock


Blueberry Pancakes Makes 8 to 10, 7-inch pancakes

534 NORTH CLARK STREET CHICAGO, IL 60654 TEL 312 595 1616 BRINDILLE-CHICAGO.COM 1 ½ cups all purpose flour ¾ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 large eggs 3 tablespoons melted butter 1 ¼ cups milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ¾ cup fresh blueberries (or frozen) 1. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. 2. Add the eggs, melted butter, milk and vanilla and mix well. Fold in the blueberries. 3. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle on medium low heat. 4. Melt a little butter in the skillet. 5. Pour about ⅓ cup batter into the skillet. Flip the pancakes when they begin to bubble. Serve immediately with powdered sugar and maple syrup. TIP: When blueberries are in peak season purchase a large amount from the farmers market. Make these pancakes fresh, but freeze blueberries to use throughout the year when blueberries are no longer in season. Add your own twists such as lemon zest or chopped nuts.

Photo © Shebeko/Shutterstock



VEGETABLES Beans (snap, green) Beets Bell Peppers Cabbage Carrots Celery Corn Cucumbers

Edamame Eggplant Garlic Hot Peppers (all kinds) Kale Leeks Lettuce Mushrooms

Okra Onions Potatoes Sprouts Summer Squash Swiss Chard Tomatillos Tomatoes Turnips

Currants Grapes Gooseberries Nectarines Melons Peaches

Plums Raspberries Strawberries (ever-bearing)

FRUIT Apricots Aronia Blackberries Blueberries Cantaloupe Cherries

CULINARY HERBS Anise Hyssop Balm (lemon) Basil (sweet) Bay Borage Chives Lavender Lovage


Marjoram Mint (peppermint, spearmint) Nasturtium (leaves and flowers) Oregano

edible chicago | Summer 2013

Parsley Rosemary Sage Shiso Summer Savory Tarragon Thyme

Photo © Zoryanchik/Shutterstock

Premiere properties and building sites in Southwest Michigan

WHITE OAKS RIDGE St. Joe River | Association Access. | 185k

BUILDABLE FRONTAGE Quiet Lake | Exclusive Beach | 49k

WATER’S EDGE LIVING Gated Community | Pool | Walking Trails | 415k

HISTORIC BRICK HOME Slate Roof | 2 Fireplaces | 5 beds Pool | 275.9K

BED & BREAKFAST OPPORTUNITY or Historic 1905 Family Home | Beautiful throughout | 2.8ac | 250k

HISTORIC HOME Amazing Woodwork | Summer Kitchen Fireplace | 199k

60 ACRES WOODS AND WATER Tillable| Private Lake | Great Elevation for New Home | Canoe-Fish

35 ACRE EXCLUSIVE LAKE 240 Acres of Woods, Encompasses Private Lake Estate Property | Hunt-Fish | Water Sports

ST. JOE RIVER FRONTAGE 700 Ft. of river frontage | Lake Chapin Access | Tillable-Wooded-Hunting | 289k

D. MottL Realty Group LLC Dorothy MottL

269-591-0035 AUTHENTIC 1940’S LOG CABIN St. Joe River Frontage | 1.3 Acres | Romantic Cabin | 269k

258 E. FR ONT ST. | BUCHANAN, MI | 269-591-0035


Raspberry Sherbet

Cantaloupe and Cream Sherry Granita

Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz.

Recipe adapted from | Makes 8 to 10 servings

3 cups raspberries

¾ cup sugar

1½ cups whole milk

1⅛ teaspoon lemon juice

1. Add fresh raspberries, milk and sugar to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. 2. Over a large bowl, pour mixture through a strainer to remove seeds. Discard seeds. Stir in lemon juice.

½ cup water

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

⅓ cup sugar

6 tablespoons Cream Sherry

2 medium cantaloupes, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces (8 cups)

⅛ teaspoon salt

1. Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then cool syrup.

3. Add liquid to ice cream maker, mix for 25 minutes or per manufacturer directions.

2. Purée cantaloupes with syrup, lemon juice, Sherry, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a blender (in batches if necessary) until smooth. Pour into a 9x13-inch non-reactive baking dish and freeze until partially frozen, about 2 hours.

4. Transfer to a freezer safe container. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until sherbet reaches desired consistency. Garnish with fresh Basil.

3. Scrape and stir with a fork, crushing any lumps. Continue to freeze, scraping once or twice, until evenly frozen, about 3 hours more. NOTE: Granita can be made 2 days ahead. Scrape before serving.


edible chicago | Summer 2013

Photo © Sophie McAulay/Shutterstock


edible events Spring and Summer 2013

MAY 16-26 Chicago Craft Beer Week Celebrating for 10 days in Chicago. Sponsored by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. Neighborhood beer dinners, specials, tap takeovers and tastings all over the city.

JUNE 1 | 1PM-9PM Uncork Illinois Wine Festival Oak Park. An opportunity to sample over 150 wines from more than 15 local wineries and tastelocally produced artisan foods. Live jazz music. Proceeds go to Wonder Works Children’s Museum.

JUNE 1, JULY 6, AUGUST 3 Peterson Garden Project What’s Happening in the Garden? Chicago, North side. Monthly classes designed to help new gardeners understand what to expect in their garden month by month. Info:


edible chicago | Summer 2013

JUNE 9 Slow Food Chicago 5th Annual Pig Roast

JULY 27 | 10AM-10PM Kickapoo Country Fair

Goose Island Beer Company, Chicago. Join several purveyors and chefs who embrace sustainability and support the enjoyment of the Slow Food Mission: Food that is good, clean, fair. Tickets:

Organic Valley, Lafarge, WI. Midwest’s largest organic food and sustainability festival. Tasting events, cooking demos, farm tours, gardening workshops, kids activities, live music. $5.00 entrance fee. Info:

JULY 18 | 5:30PM-8PM Green City Market Annual Chef BBQ Benefit

AUGUST 14 | 7PM-10PM Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation

Chicago, Lincoln Park. This grand picnic showcases some of Chicago’s finest chefs. Nearly 100 chefs, restaurants and locally crafted cocktails, beer and wine will be on hand. Proceeds go to the Market’s educational programs. Tickets:

Chicago, Navy Pier. The city’s best restaurants, chefs and mixologists will be offering tastings in support of the non-profit Share Our Strength. Mission is to raise critical funds to end childhood hunger. Info:

July 30

Join us at the Signature Room on the 95th located atop the John Hancock Center, in celebration of Edible Chicago’s 5th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the Signature Room on the 95th. We are partnering to showcase local, seasonal cuisine. Meet the Edible team, Executive Chef Rosalia Barron and a specially selected group of artisan purveyors and drink producers for a very special tasting. Tickets are limited. For more information:

Photo © Sally Scott/Shutterstock. Design by Brad Haan

Edible Communities is proud to present the Edible Recipe Guide. Covering local food-loving regions across North America, James Beard Award-winning Edible Communities has forever changed the way we think about sustainability and the importance of being connected to your local food community, wherever you live. In this delicious new app, we present the very best of Edible Communities recipes — a must-have collection of local, sustainable dishes that feature delectable meals to warm and wow, from luscious soups to divine desserts and everything in between, including tips and menus, Edible Radio podcasts, and links to all Edible Communities publications. Also included with your purchase of the app is a 6-issue, 1 year, subscription to Organic Gardening Magazine. See offer inside the app for details. Purchase now to get the very best that Edible Communities and Organic Gardening have to offer.


Incredibly Edible Story by Anne Spiselman Photographs by Grant Kessler


A Sustainable Chicago Chocolatier FA L L , 2 0 0 8 “The key to making caramels is to use topquality ingredients,” declares Katherine Duncan, as she stirs a batch of agave nectar, wildflower honey, pure cane sugar, and heavy cream in the kitchen at Flourish Bakery that she rents one day a week to produce the caramels and truffles for Katherine Anne Confections, her twoyear-old Chicago business. Duncan should know. She’s been whipping up caramels since she was 10. It began as a homeschooling project for her and three siblings on the family farm in Wilson, 20

edible chicago | Summer 2013

Wisconsin, population 200 or so. They used cream from the farm’s Jersey cows and a recipe from an old Fanny Farmer cookbook that her mother modified slightly. Katherine stuck with it, and by the time she was 15 she was preparing a few pounds a week that her father took to work and sold for 25-cents a caramel. “Even then I thought it might be a business because I always wanted to be my own boss,” she admits. A few years later, in 2002, Duncan moved to Chicago with her boyfriend, now husband, and got a job at Potbelly Sandwich Works to support them while he went to graduate school. For the holidays, they always made caramels and truffles as gifts. “It slowly became something I really liked

doing,” she recalls. “I kept thinking of new flavors and looking up recipes. I taught myself to temper chocolate from a website and worked briefly with a candymaker.” The decision to start the business came about gradually. Her serious research on sourcing for ingredients from local farmers, boxes and labels began in May of 2006, and she launched Katherine Anne Confections that October with a $20,000 line of credit and a website for retail sales. News of the incredibly rich, melt-on-your-tongue caramels soon spread by word of mouth. Coupled with appearances at shows, such as the Merchandise Mart’s One of a Kind Show and Sale, the publicity helped build a customer base, especially for corporate and

holiday gifts. Initially, Duncan made her three kinds of caramels and six flavors of truffles at the shared Kitchen Chicago, but she moved to Flourish a year ago— about the same time she quit her Potbelly job—for the bigger kitchen and airconditioning, which enables her to produce truffles year round. They account for roughly half the business (an average of 700 to 800 truffles a week), though she’s focused a little more on caramels (about 25 lbs. a week), because she thinks fewer good ones are available. And she keeps refining the recipes. Rather than being the chewy hard norm, Duncan’s caramels are silky smooth, the result of a three stage cooking process as well as the carefully chosen ingredients. While she’s been using wildflower honey from May’s Honey Farms in Harvard, Illinois, since 2006—after testing 10 locally produced honeys she found on the internet—just this June she switched from the usual corn syrup to more natural” organic agave nectar, even though it required adjusting other recipe quantities. Instead of vanilla extract, she incorporates Madagascar vanilla paste from Waukegan based Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Inc., a water and alcoholfree product she says really improves the taste. Guittard chocolate and kosher sea salt are other staples, and she’s still looking for local walnuts to toast for the chocolate-walnut flavor. “The biggest challenge is the cream, because local farmers don’t want to deliver the small quantities (8-10 quarts a week) I need,” she points out. She currently buys her cream and unsalted butter from the bakery. To achieve the vanilla caramels’ golden color and complex flavor, Duncan starts by heating the sugar, honey, agave nectar, and cream to 248°F. Next she shocks the temperature back down by adding cold cream, heats again into the 250’s, cools with cold butter, then heats a third time, folds in the vanilla, and pours the mixture into sheet pans. The caramel cools for 12 hours at room temperature before being cut into rectangles and wrapped in old-fashioned taffey wrap (waxed paper rectangles). For chocolate caramels, Guittard unsweetened chocolate goes in at the first stage and the vanilla is reduced slightly. Nuts for the chocolate-walnut caramels are folded in at the end. The truffles, individually hand-dipped in Duncan’s tempering machine (it regulates the temperature of melted chocolate so it won’t “bloom,” or turn white when it solidifies), also reflect her passion for local ingredients. The mildest, Cherry Amaretto, relies on dried, tart, red Michigan cherries sweetened with sugar and sunflower oil (rather than corn syrup). She chops and macerates them in kirsch and amaretto, then combines them with cream and white chocolate for the filling. It’s piped from a pastry bag by weight (16 grams each) and rolled into balls. Finally, Duncan enrobes the truffles in white chocolate and lines them up on trays to set, each topped with a dried cherry chunk. Java truffles, the most robust, feature dark-roast fair trade coffee beans from Chicago’s Metropolis Coffee Company that are coarsely ground, brewed with cream, and strained over chocolate (58% and 72% cacao mixed) to melt it. Supplemented by a little vanilla paste and imported coffee extract, the ganache becomes truffles the same way as the Cherry Amaretto, only the balls are dipped in 72% cacao Guittard and garnished with whole coffee beans. The other flavors, developed to appeal to a wide variety of tastes with four types of chocolate—milk, white (made with real cacao), semisweet (58% cacao), bittersweet (72% cacao)—are hazelnut, crème de menthe, citrus, and coconut rum. Duncan’s commitment to sustainability extends to the packaging, beautiful blue-and-white boxes made of renewable long grasses in the Philippines. “I found them thanks to the owners of Kitchen Chicago and fell in love,” she says. “I know importing them uses energy, but I think the fact that they’re fair trade


balances that, and I only order one shipment a year.” Priced at $9.50–$45 per box, Katherine Anne Confections are sold at Whole Foods (in Chicago), Pastoral (during the holiday season), Eno in the Hotel InterContinental and a number of other outlets. Carole Lamont, cheese buyer for Whole Foods South Loop, has been stocking three and seven-piece truffle assortments since spring and says they sell extremely well, especially when sampled out. “They’re a great product,” she says. “We also like them because they’re local and Katherine does demonstrations in the store.” For a complete listing of local retail outlets and markets where Duncan’s products are available: ec Anne Spiselman is a Chicago-based freelance writer whose specialties include restaurants, food and wine, performing arts and travel—in other words, most of the fun things in life. She is a regular contributor to Edible Chicago. Grant Kessler is a photographer and local foods fanatic. When he is not taking pictures or meandering through farmers markets he is likely on the water, paddling around in his prized kayak. His work has been featured in nearly every issue of Edible Chicago.


edible chicago | Summer 2013

One Sweet Success Story S U M M E R , 2 013 Katherine Duncan revels in her surroundings, a French-inspired confiserie (translation: candy store) featuring her exotic truffles, creamy caramels, elegant marshmallows, and other imaginative delights. “I always wanted to have a shop. It has been a lifelong dream,â€? says Katherine Duncan. Katherine Anne Confections is a storefront destination for dessert, extra-rich drinking chocolates and elegant pastries, a shop she opened in 2012. “I personally love going out for dessert after dinner. I always wanted a place to go and hang out. That’s what I wanted to create here.â€? With chic, reclaimed dĂŠcor and hand-stenciled wall designs, the approachable surroundings invite one to get lost in chocolate‌or caramel‌or an exorbitantly rich marshmallow. Since the confiserie opened, she says she has been able to reach more customers, beyond her weekly forays into neighborhood farmers markets. “People come in ready to try something new in a truffle. We have our take on classic desserts—lemon poppy seed, crème brulee, key lime pie. Who hasn’t had key lime pie? It is very approachable.â€? The back of the house is where the fun begins and creations are tasted and tested. From her humble beginnings in shared kitchens to a consistent, fixed location, she is able to focus on production at the point of sale. That also means Duncan can offer her customers a new truffle and caramel every week. The retail boutique has its origins from her childhood, when she developed her entrepreneurial skills and practiced them on her siblings. “When I was seven or eight, I would buy Christmas gifts, then sell them to my siblings,â€? explaining how she would repackage the gifts for resale. Her idea to take a good idea and make it even more enticing is reflective of the irresistible destination she has created in the Logan Square neighborhood. Katherine Anne Confections Confiserie and Production Studio is located at 2745 W. Armitage Ave. Chicago, IL 60647. 773-245-1630. ec

3DVWXUH5DLVHG7HQGHU7DVW\ 1DWXUDOO\-XLF\ Chicago area or on-farm pick-up

Caveny Farm Heritage Poultry Monticello, Illinois

Seasonal Sustainable Local Photo by Grant Kessler/

Your supplier of farm fresh, locally raised and processed, humane certified Piedmontese beef. You can ďŹ nd us at Chicago area farmers markets. See our web site for exact locations



ChicaGROWS by Susan Oh

Portrait of an Enchanted Gardener

SPRING, 2009 As a child, Jeanne Pinsof Nolan recalls gravitating to the recesses of a family friend’s garden while growing up along the North Shore. Even as a seven year old, sitting alone and eating peas in the foliage, she knew she was in her element. “I’d love to go and sit in it, just surrounded. I just liked the feeling of being lost in the garden,” says Jeanne, her elfin features framed by a disheveled pixie cut, her arms circling wide to emphasize the completeness of her enclosure. 24

edible chicago | Summer 2013

It could be said that Chicagoland’s most recognized organic gardener never came out from under the garden’s thrall. She is perhaps best known for her groundbreaking urban gardens that bear food and flower into artisan statements, though much of her work is for private homes. She keeps in touch with legendary chef Alice Waters, who visited the 5,000 squarefoot Edible Gardens Jeanne built and maintains for Green City Market in the Lincoln Park Zoo. Now in its fifth year, it recently expanded its program to teach more school children about where food comes from. The stylishly sustainable rooftop garden

lounge at the Uncommon Ground restaurant in Rogers Park, another one of her creations, is the country’s fi rst that is certified organic. Jeanne is also seeding a book proposal with a literary agent in New York who rang after seeing her in Shape, a magazine that gave her a 2009 Green Living Award. Long before organic gardening blogs abounded and a vegetable patch came to the White House, an 18-year old Jeanne left her comfortable home in Winnetka for a year of soul-searching in Arizona. She says, “I was shedding the Jeanne I was raised to be.” That Jeanne was “a very, very good girl…on track to lead a

Photos: Top © Sunny Forest/shutterstock Bottom Left © Courtesy of Jeanne Nolan Bottom Right © tHaNtHiMa LiM/Shutterstock

successful mainstream life.” But in 1987, in an Arizona grocery store, she came across a bag of apples that changed her life. It was labeled “organic,” a term she didn’t know. When she asked what that was, the answer floored her, as she recalls. “You’re telling me that everything I’ve ever eaten in my life has chemicals in it?” From that moment, she knew she wanted to grow food and lead a simpler life. It was an environmental awakening. The following year, Jeanne began her path to an “ecologically extreme lifestyle” with the help of her mother, who helped her secure an apprenticeship on a farm in Southern California. She would stay for five years, perfecting the growing techniques she uses to this day. Life was physically demanding, moving from farm to farm, from California to Texas and North Carolina, at one time living in a house built from recycled materials. Composting toilets were the norm. “Over the course of 17 years I would live on three different farms and each had a different soil, each had a different climate, and each was in a different part of the country, but the organic gardening principles stayed the same,” says Jeanne. By 2004, with a two-and-a-half year old daughter, Thea, Jeanne faced a difficult decision. “My life had been focused on hanging the world and my personal idealism, but now the focus had shifted to raising my daughter and to what would be best for her.” She decided to move back to Winnetka to be closer to her family.

Back home at her parents’ house, the first thing she did was put in a vegetable garden to cope with her awkward transition from farm life to one in the suburbs. It was a neat patch, lined with heirloom tomatoes, butternut squash, snap peas and lettuce and, unexpectedly, exquisitely helmed by giant blooms of Mammoth sunflowers. When a friend saw it, she prophetically said, “You have to start a business. Other people are going to want this.” Jeanne’s cell phone chirps non-stop these days (the cricket-like ring tone she’s chosen is less disruptive when working in the garden). Her business, The Organic Gardener, is based out of the historic house—the last David Adler in existence in their village—Jeanne, her husband and their two young daughters share in Glencoe, north of Chicago, not far from where she grew up. It’s a charming gingerbread of a

Photo Left © Zaretskaya Svetlana Right © Fotokostic/shutterstock

house, reminiscent of a favorite children’s book, overlooking a 6,300 square-foot garden hemmed by a white, split rail fence. “My whole life, I’m looking to feel connected to the pulse of life. Some people get that feeling in church. I feel like I’m in my place when I’m in the garden,” she says, adding, “I’m never thinking that there is something more important I can be doing, especially when I’m teaching kids.” ec Susan Oh is a life-long learner and passionate storyteller. Her attempts at gardening get better every year. When she’s not writing about food, wine or tech issues, she splits her time between Chicago and Cancun, Mexico.


Old Turf, New Territory S U M M E R , 2 013 Editors’ note: Jeanne Nolan’s book offer has now come to fruition. From The Ground Up, A Food Grower’s Education in Life, Love, and the Movement That’s Changing the Nation is expected to be released in July. The book is “a memoir, a manifesto and a how-to,” according to Alice Waters. “From The Ground Up lures the reader into this beautiful experience—the textures, scents, and the quiet, patient pleasure—of growing your own food.” Shortly after high school, convinced that my upper middle-class life lacked authenticity and purpose, I fled my native Winnetka to find meaning on commune-style organic farms in California, Texas, and North Carolina. Upon my return home to the Chicago area 17 years later, I discovered—first through a garden grown in my parents’ suburban backyard and later through gardens planted on rooftops and in schoolyards—that an authentic way of relating to the earth (and ultimately to others) was available to me in urban and suburban environments, the very ones I grew up in no less! While building gardens for and with families, schools, restaurants, and institutions, and managing The Edible Gardens for Chicago’s Green City Market in Lincoln Park Zoo, I hear from city-dwellers about how intimidated they are to grow their own organic vegetables and they often feel overwhelmed, especially by the maintenance tasks. Here are the tips I give everyone who asks me about tackling weeds and pests—from seasoned horticulturalists to firsttime green thumb enthusiasts—so they can grow healthy, bountiful, chemicalfree gardens. — Jeanne Nolan

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2013 Navy Pier Grand Ballroom, 600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL GENERAL ADMISSION | $125 IN ADVANCE, SPECIAL VIP TICKET PRICING AND BENEFITS COMING SOON! For tickets and information, visit or call 877.26TASTE 100% of ticket sales supports Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger.

LOCAL BENEFICIARIES The Greater Chicago Food Depository The Illinois Hunger Coalition Cooking Matters Illinois - a partnership with the Illinois Child and Maternal Health Coalition




edible chicago | Summer 2013

Book Cover Courtesy of Author. Photo © Zaretskaya Svetlana

Ten Ways to Tackle Weeds and Pests without Chemicals 1

HEALTHY SOIL The soil acts as the immune system of your plants. If plants are getting what they need from nutrient-dense, well-aerated soil, they will be much more resistant to disease, and fewer pests will prey on them. A generous layer of compost added annually has the added benefit of helping to reduce weeds.



Use companion planting, crop diversity, and interplanted flowers to attract beneficial insects to your garden that will deter or attack harmful insects. Basil planted among tomato plants, for instance, will draw insects that prey on tomato hornworms.


PROTECTIVE LAYER Deter weed growth with a protective layer of alfalfa hay or straw around your plants; the layer can starve potential weeds of sun and prevent their growth. An added benefit is that this layer helps retain moisture and adds nutrients to the soil as it decays.


WEED BY HAND Far and away the most effective method for keeping out weeds is to pull them up at the root by hand or hoe. (If snapped off above the root they will grow back quickly.) The key is consistency— pull the weeds out when they’re still young and never let them get established. If

you stay on top of it, weeding won’t take more than 30 minutes a week in most gardens. Never let the weeds go to seed, or produce seed.


HANDPICK BUGS If you have Japanese beetles, squash bugs, or cabbage worms, arm your kids or your neighbors’ kids with cups of soapy water and tell them to pick off the bugs and drop them in their cups. This may be the least appealing task in an organic food garden, but kids love it.


GARLIC BARRIER A natural insect repellent, Garlic Barrier ( is a preventive measure, so apply it before bugs arrive to deter them. You can also make your own garlic spray at home with a simple recipe that’s easily found online. I routinely mix it with Neptune’s Harvest (neptunesharvest. com) fertilizer spray and apply it every other week to plant leaves, so that the vegetables and fruits get nourished with a protective scent of garlic that most bugs don’t like.


BT The certified organic insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt for short) is derived from a bacteria that is common in soil and benign to humans. It’s especially effective at killing caterpillars as well as beetles, flies, and mosquito larvae.

All Natural, Fresh, Local, Artisan Crafted, Healthy, Kosher Certified and Delicious Tofu



SAFER SOAP The best way to handle aphids is to first remove them from plant leaves with a hard spray of water from the garden hose and then spray them with a layer of Safer Brand Insect- Killing Soap ( to finish them off. Safer Soap can also tackle mealybugs and whiteflies.



This organic spray ( helps prevent “powdery mildew,” a common disease that afflicts pumpkins, squash, and melons in particular.


SLUGGO A barrier of Sluggo scattered around a plant or bordering the entire garden is the best way to deter snails and slugs. The granulated pellets made with iron phosphate are pet- and wildlife- friendly. www. montereylawngarden. com/products/ organic/#Molluscicides Excerpts from the Book, From the Ground Up by Jeanne Nolan. Copyright © 2013. Reprinted by arrangement with Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Bonus: For a special video about the Green City Market’s Edible Garden visit:


We use only the finest locally grown Non-GMO soybeans with no additives or preservatives to create our flavorful tofu in small batches. Our tofu products are naturally cholesterol and gluten free and contain no transfats.

Call now for samples and ordering info: 773-784-2503 Phoenix Bean, LLC | 5438 North Broadway Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640 | t: 773.784.2503 | f: 773.784.3177 | |


From the Good Earth Story by Terra Brockman Photographs by Grant Kessler


Healing Life and Land SUMMER, 2008 Nine years ago, Vicki learned Westerhoff that she’d become a topic of discussion among the men sitting in the coffee shops of St. Anne, Illinois, a farming community an hour south of Chicago. “They were taking bets about how long I’d last,” Westerhoff says, as a sly smile creeps up her tanned cheeks and lights up her blue eyes. “Well, here I am, and the season has 28

edible chicago | Summer 2013

certainly started with a bang,” she says as customers flow through her stand at one of the first Chicago Green City Markets of the season. “It’s gonna be OK for us local farmers, those of us who are chemical-free or organic,” she declares, “because we’re giving people what they want and need— delicious food grown in a way that’s good for people and good for the planet.” As people buy their potted basil and other starts, the transactions are never strictly monetary. There is always an exchange of information, whether about the farm, her produce, the customer’s children, or how to pinch the starts back before

transplanting to ensure that they grow strong and healthy. Hearing this lively middle-aged woman speak with such assuredness and optimism, it’s hard to believe that 15 years ago, while she was raising her family and working as an office manager in a medical office, she was suffering the debilitating effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and EpsteinBarr. For six years she saw doctors and underwent countless medical tests as her quality of life deteriorated. “Finally my doctors said, ‘You’re just gonna have to learn to live with it.’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t!’” and I started researching

what I could do.” That research led her to seek out highquality, unprocessed, chemical-free foods. “But I couldn’t find organic food where I lived. Then I thought, ‘Wait, when you were young, you grew food for your babies. Why not do that again for yourself?’” She did, and within three months Westerhoff began to see a change in her health. As her strength and stamina returned, she discovered that not only had she been sick, but the land was sick as well. “I healed myself and in the process found the land too had been suffering. My eyes had been closed to the harmful effects of chemical-based agri-business. It had killed the life in the soil and killed the connection between the consumer and the farmer.” As Westerhoff gradually moved from gardening for herself and her family to large scale farming for many other

families, she began to understand the vital connection between human health and the health of the land. “I saw that we could not possibly have healthy, nutritious crops growing on unhealthy land.” For 40 years, Westerhoff’s parents had grown vegetables and flowers with the chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that farmers had been convinced were the modern, efficient way to farm. But all those biocides had a devastating effect on the soil and the ecosystem.

healed myself, and making good food accessible to the public.” Westerhoff and her customers have an interdependent relationship that is a joy to both parties. “The customers are so vitally important to me and to the farm. My motto is ‘I do what I do because of you.’”

“When I took over, it was dirt, not soil; dead, not alive. There were no earthworms or bullfrogs or toads. Nothing.”

Westerhoff sells at two farmers markets— the Oak Park market on Saturdays, and the Green City Market in Lincoln Park on Wednesdays. “On market days I get up at 1 a.m., go to the market, sell all day, then return home late in the afternoon, and get on the tractor to get a few hours of work in before dark.”

Thus began her second career as a farmer engaged in a two-fold healing process. “You can only be a good steward of what you have. I had my body and my family’s 20-acre farm. I saw that I could be a good steward of both: healing the land as I

Because she wants to spend every day on the farm and keep in close contact with the earth, she has chosen to expand her business not by adding more markets, which take her away from the farm, but by adding more members to her Community


Westerhoff calls her CSA members the “backbone of the farm.” She writes a newsletter to tell them what’s happening on the farm each week, and “in turn they encourage me, sympathize with me, and share their delights with me. It is a wonderful family feeling.” To help make the connection even more concrete, Westerhoff has two farm parties each year when her customers can “visit the farm, get close to nature and see first hand what we are doing.” Although Westerhoff had planned to expand from 120 to 200 CSA members for the 2008 season, before she knew it she was at 300 subscribers this spring and had to put people on a waiting list. A big part of the increase was due to the involvement of churches and synagogues. In addition to serving parishioners at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Westerhoff was recruited to become the farmer for two synagogues in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. The congregations of Anshe Emet and Anshe Sholom sought her out and asked her to become part of the first Jewish CSA project in North America called tuv ha’aretz. The phrase means both “good for the land” and “best of the land” and that’s exactly what the CSA does—it allows members to do something good for the land while getting the best produce from that land. To meet the increased demand for her produce, Westerhoff is now farming a total of 41 acres, more than double what she started with. Her most recent addition is three acres that were part of a reestablished prairie that was losing out to weeds. “It’s a beautiful field, with houses on two sides, and the other side a woods, and the other a prairie.” Westerhoff sees this field as a beautiful example of the way that people, farming, and natural lands can work together harmoniously. The increased acreage has also meant a jump in her labor needs. She is farming with the help of her son, Jon, and various 30

edible chicago | Summer 2013

employees, interns, and volunteers. She has also entered into cooperative arrangements with other farmers, such as Dean Marxman, who provides the chickens and eggs for her CSA customers. All together the farm grows more than 100 varieties of vegetables, as well as herbs and flowers, all without herbicides or pesticides. “I grow many heritage or heirloom varieties, with an emphasis on flavor,” Westerhoff says. “And I pick my crops at the peak of ripeness so they not only taste good, but also contain the high nutritive values that develop within the last few days on the vine. I pick and deliver within 24 hours as much as possible so the crops are fresh when they arrive at their destinations.” In addition to her outdoor fields where she grows eight months a year, Westerhoff has four hoophouses for growing during all 12 months. “It isn’t easy,” she admits, “but we are trying to provide people with good food year round. I try to emulate what our forebearers would have grown to support their families for a whole year—greens and tomatoes and beans in the summer, winter storage roots like carrots, celery, potatoes and onions in the winter, as well as greenhouse greens.” Today, nine years after her neighbors took bets on her ability to survive, Vicki Westerhoff and her farm are thriving. “I walk in the fields and see nature vibrantly alive around me and rejoice at the beauty of what nature can do if we allow it. Today our fields are alive with worms, toads, snakes, birds and multitudes of lady bugs and butterflies; everything happily balancing the ecology of the land.” No one in the coffee shop is betting anymore either. Today, the farmers’ only argument with her is semantic. “They tell me, ‘Vicki, this isn’t organic farming. Th is is just pure old-fashioned farming. It’s how we all used to be.’” She breaks off to serve another customer, her elfin smile brighter than the slanting rays of the lengthening day. ec Terra Brockman wrote this article while working on her first book: The Seasons

on Henry’s Farm, which was published in October 2009. It chronicles the life and times of the Brockman family as they work together on her brother Henry’s Farm in central Illinois. Terra’s work was nominated for the 2010 James Beard Award in the writing and literature category. She is a regular contributor to Edible Chicago.

Healthy Home Harvests

turning brown thumbs green

Supported Agriculture (CSA) customers. Members pick up their fresh produce each week from a drop-site, often a member’s home, or a church or synagogue.

g r o w f a r m f r e s h f o o d a n yw h er e ou t d o or s or i nd oo r s one plant or an urban garden




Fast Forward with Vicki Westerhoff


MAY 4th, 2013! S U M M E R , 2 01 3 In the last five years, Vicki Westerhoff has added dozens of new faces to the bulletin boards in her office. They are covered in photos of the people she feeds. “All I have to do is look at their smiling faces and I feel like one of the most blessed people in the world—to have the privilege of feeding so many wonderful people,” she tells us.

Every Wednesday & Saturday 7am-1pm South End of Lincoln Park

Indeed, Westerhoff has doubled her business since 2008. She has increased her acreage by about 20% and has added more congregations and temples to her CSA program, including B’nai Yehuda Beth Sholom in Homewood, Hope CRC in Oak Forest and All Saints Lutheran in Orland Park. She figures she will serve 400-500 members this summer. With the increase in production, she has enlisted her daughter Angela and two sons, Jon and Jake to pitch in on the farm. She is also proud of a new method she is employing, a special cultivation system she designed for one of her tractors which enables her to cultivate the baby vegetables sooner, to keep the beds weed free. The tireless farmer admits there are never enough hours in the day and weather is always a challenge, but frustration and exhaustion melt away when she looks at her bulletin boards. “When I get a little discouraged or things get a little difficult, all I have to do is go look at those faces and I find the courage and enthusiasm to get back out into the field to grow some veggies.” ec



A Hot Time in the City During the summer it’s nearly impossible to resist the smoky aroma rising up from the grill, turning many people into nosey neighbors without much effort or intent. Whether it’s a cookout in the park, back yard or back porch there’s a wide range of fare sizzling away over hot coals. From a designer to a doctor to a professional barbeque expert, we share what’s on their grill.

MITCHELL PENNELL Chicago Lost and Found, Designer Designer Mitch Pennell dreams of his perfect garden party. “I have always had the vision of grandeur to throw a huge dinner party on the North (Avenue) Beach by the lake, tents and all. It would be a true Chicago summer cookout including sausages, burgers and chicken with predictable sides of salads and corn on the cob,” he muses. “For me, grilling is more of a sport than just cooking. I love being surrounded by friends and compelling conversation, which for me, creates the perfect combination for a carefree get together.” The founder of Chicago Lost and Found surrounds himself with reclaimed items discovered in the city’s back alleys and even dumpsters then repurposes and proudly displays them as décor. His new design label, MITCHELL BLACK launched in May and is expected to hit retailers by the end of summer. “The new label is focused on rescued etched images from the late 1600s to the middle of the 19th century. For the introduction, we are concentrating on wall art, note cards and stationery. The intent is to bring a life-style concept to market that highlights obsolete art in a modern application,” he explains. Look for tabletop and dinnerware to join the line.

Jalapeño Grilling Glaze

EC: Do you ever incorporate any of your design finds into the dinner tablescape?

1 ½ cups orange juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded & finely chopped

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

MP: Being a designer, I am overly cautious to never over-set a table. I think it sometimes can be a distraction from food and company. I usually let a table happen on its own. I love a variety of serving pieces and dinnerware so my tables are usually a menagerie of old and new.

EC: What is your special or most favorite thing to grill? MP: I have many favorites for grilling including fish and fresh vegetables, however my stand alone go-to for a perfect summer side is pineapple wedges with jalapeño glaze. This glaze is also great on pork chops, chicken and I’ve even used it to glaze ham for the holidays.

EC: Where do you shop for local foods? MP: I love Green City Market but I have discovered in the past few seasons a wonderful smaller farmers market in Andersonville. 32

edible chicago | Summer 2013

2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon grated orange rind 2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey ½ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced ½ teaspoon ground chili pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 15 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir often. 2. Brush glaze on meat. Grill meat to desired doneness.

Photo © Denis Vrublevski/shutterstock

DR. MICHAEL RAKOTZ Family Medicine Physician at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group, Evanston “Vegetables!” Dr. Michael Rakotz exclaims. “I can’t say enough about grilling vegetables. Healthy. Delicious. Nutritious.” Dr. Rakotz is a specialist in Lifestyle Medicine, which emphasizes lifestyle changes to improve health and well-being. “Grilling lets you really taste the food you cook because you need very little fat. Using less fat (even healthy fats like olive oil) also helps to keep the flames down, which are not healthy,” he explains. An avid farmers market shopper, he can also be seen doing cooking demonstrations at markets on the North Shore during the summer season. His most recent culinary quest found him in the Marche region of Italy where some of the longestlived people in the country reside. He asked the question of the locals: why do you think the people in Le Marche live so long? He found one of the answers is in their extremely healthy diet. “Everything is fresh and natural. Almost everything is harvested or produced and consumed a few miles from where it was made,” he says. The Italian way is perfect for us Midwesterners in the summer. From market to table with a grill in between, a healthy diet never tasted so good.

EC: What is it about grilling that you like? MR: I love grilling with friends and having everyone cook a recipe or two. It takes the stress off of any one person and allows for some friendly competition for bragging rights about who is the best grill-meister.

EC: What is the most unique food you experimented with on the grill? MR: I slow roasted a halibut caught from a kayak using a native Alaskan technique on a homemade grill on a beach in southeast Alaska. Our technique wasn’t great, but the fish was so fresh we could do no wrong. It was incredible.

EC: Tell us what your favorite summer meal consists of. MR: Cherry tomatoes halved, tossed with fresh basil, lemon zest and a splash of balsamic. Grilled fresh Alaskan halibut. A roasted then sliced and grilled sweet potato. Fresh mixedberry cobbler with fresh whip cream. A pour of Blanton’s Bourbon (neat).

Photo © Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Great Lakes Cedar Planked Whitefish Being from Michigan I am partial to Lake Whitefish from Northern Michigan for cooking on a plank. An indigenous species of the Great Lakes, you can’t get more seasonal (or sustainable). Just about any white-fleshed fish will do (or salmon if you prefer). If Alaskan halibut is in season, I highly recommend you give it a try. I suggest you leave the skin on the filets. If the skin sticks to the plank, you can slide the delicate filet right off the plank. I like to cook the fish over low heat for a longer amount of time to develop a richer flavor. By using this indirect heat, you impart the smoky flavor with less unhealthy charring to your food. Special equipment: 4 6x11 inch (or larger) food grade cedar planks 4 6-ounce whitefish filets, skin on (or cod, halibut, or sea bass)

4 sprigs fresh rosemary (or any fresh herbs you like)

Olive oil for brushing planks & fish

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 lemon, sliced into 12 thin pieces

Sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Soak the planks in water—submerging them with a plate or other heavy object, 2-3 hours in advance (or overnight). 2. Pre-heat your grill. If using gas, keep one burner off to create a place for indirect heat grilling. If using charcoal, keep the coals across only half of the grill. When the grill is hot, place the planks on the grill and close the lid until smoking (10-15 minutes). 3. While planks are heating up, rinse the fish filets in cold water and pat dry. Rub with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper (paprika and garlic powder also options here, and tobasco and lemon).  4. When planks start to steam and smoke, remove them to a cookie sheet using tongs. Transport sheet to kitchen. Brush wood planks with olive oil. *For more smoke flavor, flip plank over so the bottom is now facing up before brushing with oil. 5. Place 1 fish filet skin side down on each oiled plank. Top with thinly sliced lemon and herb sprigs. (If you want to do it like the Alaskans, substitute the lemon and herbs for equal parts Dijon mustard and brown sugar for a nice glaze). 6. Return the planks with fish to the grill. Using tongs, place them on the part of the grill that is not turned on (or has no coals beneath) and close the lid. Cook the fish until internal temperature is 135° or about 15-20 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges as garnish and grilled or roasted vegetables for a delicious and nutrition packed meal on the grill.  NOTE: Only use food grade wood planks. Cedar planks are the easiest to find. The longer you soak them, and the less direct the heat you use, the more likely you will be able to wash them and re-use. Soak overnight if you have time.


CHEF LEE ANN WHIPPEN Chicago q in the Gold Coast In Chef Lee Ann Whippen’s family, they didn’t have cookouts, they had “cook-off s” … friendly family grill challenges to select the best tasting food to be tested in professional barbeque competitions. With a long list of BBQ cred and the Chef/Partner of Chicago q restaurant, Whippen spent 14 years on the competitive BBQ circuit. Her grill mentor? “No doubt, my Dad. He’s been doing BBQ for almost 50 years and took me under his wing when he realized I had the passion for BBQ.” The highly decorated grill queen’s pulled pork took top honors for best barbeque on the legendary competition, Bobby Flay’s Throwdown on the Food Network. It’s serious business—competitions are not exactly a walk in the park. “It’s very stressful. You’re up all night cooking so it’s exhausting too! The stakes are high from a monetary aspect and reputation. There’s a huge investment to compete—from paying for meat, competition fees, travel, and (you) want to have return on the investment.” She has also appeared on the BBQ Pitmasters series on TLC. Aside from meat, one of her favorite side dishes is smoked corn. “Silver queen corn—when in season, we would buy from roadside stands. Shucked, brushed with melted butter, combined with chili powder, cumin, salt and fresh ground pepper,” she waxes nostalgia.

Coffee Dry Rubbed Duck Breasts Wrapped in Bacon with Jalapeño Fig Glaze Recipe by Chef Lee Ann Whippen | Serves 6 3 duck breasts, halved vertically (Blue Wing Teal recommended)

3 large fresh jalapeños, seeded and veined, cut in half vertically

Chicago q 1160 N. Dearborn St. Chicago, IL (312) 642-1160

½ cup dry rub of choice

12 pieces thin cut Bacon strips

2 tablespoons ground coffee

1 cup apple wood chips

EC: BBQ is your life…what is your most favorite food to grill?

¼ cup plus 6 teaspoons fig preserves

If you want a little of her BBQ magic, her dry rubs and house-made BBQ sauces are available for purchase online.

LW: Tough question! Proteins. I am a meat lover. Love experimenting with wild game lately.

EC: What are the biggest mistakes home grillers tend to make? LW: Not starting with high quality meat to cut corners as well as not putting sufficient herbs, spices or rubs on. Also, saucing meats too early and burning exterior before inside is done.

EC: What is the most unique food you experimented with on the grill? LW: Courtesy of my hunter-friends—blue winged teal duck breasts, dry rubbed and wild wood duck breasts with jalapeno, dry rubbed and wrapped with bacon— both of which were smoked over cherry wood. Also, capers…they came out smoky and crispy and perfect on deviled eggs.


edible chicago | Summer 2013

1. Soak chips in water for ½ hour, drain. 2. Prepare smoker to temperature of 400°. 3. Combine dry rub with 2 tablespoons coffee. Sprinkle duck breasts generously with rub on entire surface. Lay each duck breast flat and spoon 1 teaspoon of preserves on top of each breast. Lay jalapeño half cut side down on top of preserves. Starting at top of breast wrap bacon slices around breast and jalapeño to completely cover, securing with wooden toothpicks. 4. Put drained apple wood chips directly on coals. Place prepared duck breasts on grate of smoker and lower lid and cook for 8 minutes on one side or until bacon brown. Turn over and brush with remaining fig preserves, close lid and smoke additional 7 to 8 minutes or until internal temperature is 135°. 5. Serve with grilled polenta.

Photo © margouillat photo/

Piccolo Sogno

Dinner 7 Nights

Celebrating “Conviviality of the Table” for 16 years throughout Chicagoland Join us! Upcoming events include: June 5 – Fabulous Wine Dinner at Chef’s Station June 11 – Celebrity chef Heather Christo at Calihan’s July 7 – Summer Soiree at College of DuPage’s Waterleaf August 13 – Ode to Pavarotti at The Clare Oct. 16 – Greek Feast with Camille Stagg at the Parthenon

Chicago Gourmets Visit or call 312-777-1090 for more information.

Cheese made in Illinois from milk from our own farm.


Lunch M -F



464 N. Halsted, Chicago Il 60642

Try our Vermillion River Blue or one of our other raw-milk farmstead cheeses at your local cheese are just a few: Artisanal (Wilmette) Marion Street Cheese Green Grocer

Standard Market


 Whole Foods*

(*select locations)

P.S. We’ll also be at the Feb 10th Dose Market! Check out our website to see all retail locations.

17591 N. 600 East Rd. | Fithian, Illinois 61844 (roadtrip, anyone?) 217-213-3048 |


Grilling Time and Temperature

by Dana Benigno

Tender vegetables require less time and therefore can be done on high heat with the lid of your grill up. Meatier vegetables such as cauliflower need lower heat and lowering the lid will slightly roast the vegetables at the same time. Your cooking times may vary according to the type of grill you have so use these as a general guideline.
















5 per side




3 per side








5-6 per side




4 per side, pre-cooked




5 per side




8 per side




8 per side


String Beans


3, pre-cooked


Romaine Lettuce




Frisee Lettuce














4-5 flesh side only




3 flesh side only


edible chicago | Summer 2013

Photo © shadow216/

The Lake Effect Story by Anne Spiselman Photographs by Grant Kessler


Browntrout Restaurant Chef Sean Sanders has come a long way since his first job, flipping burgers at an Elmhurst Burger King when he was 15.

stars in the sky all at the same time, and my head was spinning with possibilities,” he adds.

Nowadays the 37-year-old chef can be found in the kitchen of Browntrout, the North Center restaurant he opened with his wife, Nadia, in May of 2009. While “farm-to-table” and “nose-totail” have become buzz phrases, Sanders is particularly passionate about making locally and sustainably sourced food as affordable as possible, so more people will eat it regularly. He estimates that 95% of what he uses comes from within 300 miles of Chicago and says that he works annually with roughly 80 farms. At the same time, he keeps his prices at $6-$15 for “shares” (salads, soups, and such) and $25 or less for “bigs.”

The seeds were planted much earlier, however. Sanders says he always loved food and his appreciation of vegetables stemmed from the year he spent studying botany at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. Then he realized that he wanted to do more with his hands and, remembering his Burger King experience, he realized that cooking could actually be a career. He moved into the city and enrolled in the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago in 2002.

Sanders’ culinary epiphany, while on a honeymoon trip to New Zealand in 2009, is chronicled on Browntrout’s website. After fishing in the glacier waters of Lake Wanaka for brown trout, he and Nadia cooked up their catch with English peas, walnuts, shallots, potatoes and mint from the land, and thought about how they could do the same thing in Chicago: combine fresh and sustainable ingredients in an elegant yet simple fashion. “I went outside our cottage and saw the setting sun, moon, clouds, and 38

edible chicago | Summer 2013

“My first instructor told me that I needed to get a job,” he recalls. “So I went to Green Dolphin Street…Rick Gresh was the chef at the time…and said I didn’t know anything but wanted to work, and he hired me. I got my butt kicked, but I don’t think I’d be where I am today if it weren’t for that.” Sanders graduated from the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago in 2004, and his career has included stints at Rhapsody, Atlantique, and Menagerie, as a caterer and as a private chef. Next he became a line cook at Bin 36, working his way up to morning sous chef. Then he moved to Bin Wine Café before becoming

banquet chef at the Hotel Sax. He enjoyed the local food movement and says that after a decade in the industry, he knew there were many institutional and ingrained practices he didn’t like. “We had no idea of where the food came from, how it was produced, or why we should be eating it—even if we asked the purveyors.” After their honeymoon, he and Nadia set about finding the perfect space for the kind of restaurant they wanted. On a shoestring budget, they transformed a 28,000 square foot former Mexican eatery in an offbeat neighborhood. Re-using as much as they could, they painted with low VOC paints and instituted ecofriendly practices, such as recycling 80% of the food waste, which City Farm picks up and composts. Sanders also planted a rooftop garden that has expanded to ten raised beds in which he grows the herbs for the restaurant, different varieties of tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, gooseberries, golden raspberries, moss roses for the tables, and also eucalyptus and lavender for washroom sachets. “It was difficult the first year because we didn’t take into account things like the adjacent condo building blocking our sun, but we’ve gotten better,” he reports. “I’d like to grow all our produce this summer and get a beehive.”

Housemade corn dogs

Sanders’ local and regional suppliers, all GMO-free, are a go-to list for restaurateurs who care about what they’re serving: Kilgus Farmstead for dairy (not homogenized); Little Farm on the Prairie for eggs; Lonesome Stone Milling for much of the flour; Gunthrop Farms for chicken; Mint Creek Farm for beef (80% grass-fed); Catalpa Grove for lamb, goat, and free-range veal; Nichols Farm & Orchard, Leaning Shed Farm, Spence Farm and the Stewards of the Land, and many others for vegetables. His support for local farmers has extended to creating a farmers market to help Ground Up, an organization Chef Stephanie Izard started after attending chef camp at Spence Farm. The first market was a fundraiser at Spacca Napoli in Ravenswood. Then from May to August of 2012, Sanders hosted weekly markets at Browntrout on Tuesday evenings. But they didn’t catch on like he hoped. “We started with seven farmers but dwindled down to three,” he says. “We didn’t have much of a turnout, and I don’t think I’ll do it this year. It’s very different from running a restaurant.” Sanders’ menu changes all the time, and even mainstays are tweaked so they’re never the same from one year to the next. One exception to his “local” rule is the dry-aged carnaroli rice imported from Italy for his risotto, which in winter may feature flash-frozen porcinis from Oregon and pickled ramps leftover from the previous spring (he does a lot of pickling) and in spring may showcase fresh morels or asparagus and ramps. Sea to Table in Montauk, Long Island, which connects chefs directly with East Coast fishermen, lines up much of his seafood, such as the wild mussels from Maine that are prepared in various ways. Although larger animals like pigs, lambs, and goats arrive at the restaurant halved because Sanders doesn’t have a band saw, he gets his chickens, ducks, and rabbits whole. He prefers this because it’s cost effective and encourages 100% usage of the animals. A couple times a year he buys a Mangalitsa pig from a farmer in Wisconsin and transforms it into porchetta di testa, coppa, dried-cured salami, and other delicacies. Berkshire pork becomes bratwurst,

Seasonal wild mussels

knockwurst, and hot dogs. Chicken-liver pate, terrines, and galantines also are part of the charcuterie program, and the meats are paired with local cheeses and house-made breads, among them whole wheat-rye rolls, parker house rolls, and olive ciabatta. Sanders also makes Browntrout’s desserts, which like everything else follow the seasons, with lots of chocolate in winter and fresh fruit in summer. Next up: A sustainable-food takeout and delivery service—think Al’s Beef but with humanely raised, grass-fed meat—which he believes will be the first of its kind in Chicago. Browntrout is at 4111 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-472-4111; ec Anne Spiselman explores the local food scene one neighborhood at a time. Her discoveries have led to fascinating stories about sweets, treats and sustainable eats. She is a regular contributor to Edible Chicago.


Ramp and Sunchoke Risotto

Recipe by Chef Sean Sanders, Browntrout Serves 4

1 pound sunchokes

1 cup carnaroli rice (risotto)

1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch of kosher salt

1 cup white wine

1 pinch of sugar

2 quarts of vegetable stock, warm

2 cups milk

4 ounces parmesan cheese

6 ounces heavy cream

Juice of 1 lemon

10 ramps, medium size

Pepper to taste

6 ounces butter

Sprouts for garnish

1. Set aside 1 small sunchoke then cut the rest of the sunchokes to even size pieces. Add to a small pan with a pinch of salt, sugar and enough milk to cover. Cook until soft and puree with some of the cream in a blender until smooth. You may not use all the cream. Set aside. 2. Slice the remaining sunchoke very thin and save for garnish. 3. Cut ramp bottoms into small dice. Reserve green tops.

Monthly CSA - 3 or 6 month options Lamb, Beef, Goat, Pork & Poultry Online Ordering and Home Delivery Available. Call 815-953-5682. Visit us for Farm Tours & Dinners June 22, July 20, Aug 10


edible chicago | Summer 2013

4. Heat stainless steel pan to medium heat and add 2 ounces butter and diced ramps to pan. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. 5. When ramps are translucent add 1 cup risotto to the pan and lightly toast. (That is the Italian process of coating the rice and toasting in butter. You do not want any color.) Once rice is translucent add 1 cup of white wine and reduce. Once au sec (nearly dry), begin adding warm vegetable stock, 6 ounces at time reducing until au sec each time. Keep adding until rice becomes softer with an al dente crunch left in the rice. At this time you need to finish the rice. 6. Add sunchoke puree, butter, parmesan cheese and fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with shaved sunchokes and sprouts. CHEF’S NOTE: Each risotto is different. Risotto should fall flat on the plate not be too tight. Create almost a wave as you lay it down. I use broccoli, dill and arugula sprouts. In the summer you can substitute chives for ramps.

Summer Craft Beers For Your Palate & Your Plate



Chicken, Salads, Salmon, Bratwurst, Steamed Mussels

Barbeque Beef, Cajun, Grilled Lamb, Gamey Meats, Duck

When the menu is light, there is room for experimentation. “Go risky with fruity beers or big IPA’s,” according to Chris Withey of Kinderhook Tap in Oak Park. A couple of good options from Indiana’s 3 Floyds Brewery: Dreadnaught India Pale Ale imparts mango, peach and citrus hop aromas with a caramel malt backbone; Pride & Joy, an American “Mild” Ale. Both pair well with salads. For the brat-lover, a light lager such as Chicago’s own Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner or Metropolitan Krankshaft Kolsch, which, according to the brewer also pairs well with canoeing and gardening.

One beer that covers the first two foods: Oisconsing Red Ale From Central Waters Brewing Company. Also, for Cajun, New Glarus Brewing Company seasonal Totally Naked. The brewer calls the flavor “A fine mature aroma with no coarse bitterness.” For grilled lamb, the earthy flavor of Two Brothers’ Domaine DuPage, a French style country ale fits the bill. For more gamey fare such as duck or elk, choose a substantial beer to stand up to the flavor. Capital Brewery in Wisconsin offers Eternal Flame, a doppelbock style—or a saison is a nice fit. If you are adventurous, try home brewing your own farmhouse style ale from The name alone is enough to get you off the couch: Lawnmower de Saison. Perfect for that hot summer day after you put away all the power tools.



Poultry, Pork, Grilled Salmon, Roast Beef

Red Meat, Burgers, Steak, Lamb, Rib Roast, Pork

In this category, a good all around beer: Bell’s Amber Ale. A reviewer on calls it “a damn solid beer.” It pairs well within a wide range of food. Lakefront Brewery’s Fixed Gear is a red ale with a good amount of hop aromas. Headless Man Amber Ale from Tyranena Brewery in Wisconsin stands up to many menu options. It is brewed in the old style of an Altbier and has a slightly smokey malt with mild hops and a clean finish.

For a grilled burger, Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner fits the bill in this category as well. If pork is on the grill, Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Burning River from Ohio is a nice option, as is a good IPA. Burning River can also stand up to a warmer temperature and is a good choice when it’s hard to keep beer ice-cold. A good stout can work well with a steak. Finch’s Secret Stache Stout brewed in Chicago pairs well. Note: it also works for dessert with basil ice cream.


Liquid Assets Story by Becky Liscum Photographs by John Boehm

North Shore Distillery TAPS INTO OUR GREATEST LIQUID ASSET WINTER, 2009 In an early quest to perfect their hand crafted batches of gin and vodka, Derek and Sonja Kassebaum of North Shore Distillery in Lake Bluff imposed on family and friends 42

edible chicago | Summer 2013

to do a blind taste test of their spirits using different water sources. “Lake Michigan won, hands down,” Derek boasts. “We tried distilled water, spring water…the commercial water was the worst,” he says. So they turned, quite literally, to the North Shore and opened the tap. “I figured I’d have to distill the lake water to make it palatable in a batch,” Derek explains, but when he

realized it was great straight from the lake, he was floored. “That was one of the shockers.” Lake Michigan water, in its most natural state, produced the best gin and vodka. “There’s just something about the mineral content of the water which softens the taste of the alcohol,” he says the water’s unique contribution to the distilling process, along with the right blend of ingredients,

earned rewards as North Shore Distillery Gin No. 6 won rave reviews and critical awards in 2007 and 2008. “Since water is roughly 55% of each bottle of gin and 60% of each bottle of vodka, its flavor and quality is essential,” the couple says. “For each batch of gin, we add the hand-prepared botanicals and water to the still, along with our very clean, high-proof spirit. We heat the still gently, extracting the rich, complex flavors from the botanicals into the spirit. After distillation, we then add more water to bring the spirit back down to a drinkable proof.” In a busy month, the 60-gallon still is fired up every day, producing as much as two or three batches in a single day. It’s not only the smooth tasting run of the mill (but far from average) vodka or gin they produce; Lake Michigan water, Midwest grains and organic and wild harvested botanicals are the basis for other imaginative creations, which sell out in a flash. As a boutique distillery, North Shore is known for its amazing limited releases of infused gins. 2007’s RhugingerNo. 6 was infused with rhubarb (from just up the road, in Woodstock, Illinois) and a hint of ginger. Other specialties featured exotic infusions: No. 6 Mingled with Dates and No. 6 Mingled with Ceylon Tea, both in 2006 and the sensational Summer 2008 Alphonso Mango No. 11 gin. “For (this) single-batch limited release, we purchased rare (and expensive) Alphonso mangoes from India at Patel Brothers on Devon,” says Sonja, explaining that the sweet flavor of this fruit gave the spirit a very distinctive, rich taste. “The base of the limited release was Distiller’s Gin No. 11, which is made with organic juniper berries, fresh lemon peel, cardamom, Ceylon cinnamon, coriander, cubeb berry, anise seed, angelica root and morris root, in different proportions than our Distiller’s Gin No. 6.” “We get a lot from the Spice House,” Sonja adds, “and we use as much wild harvested and organic as we can.” Getting the right blend means a lot of trial and error. A chemist by training, Derek approaches

the process with a scientific eye blended with an artisan’s palate. “I taste every batch,” he says, then opens an unassuming cabinet in the spacious warehouse turned distillery and shows off a collection of past work: small hand marked bottles containing samples from every batch ever made. “As you can see, we do a lot of experimenting. Real ‘chemies’ come in here and expect to see charts and experiments set up (like a laboratory). No, that’s not how I work. I go by taste, if it tastes good, I go with it.” “It’s almost like cooking when you’re a chef putting together a recipe,” Sonja

adds. With the freshest of all ingredients coming right from the north shore, it certainly turns the water of Lake Michigan into a real local Liquid Asset. ec A storyteller at heart, Becky Liscum is also the Publisher of Edible Chicago. John Boehm’s award-winning work has appeared in Crain’s Chicago Business, BusinessWeek, and Forbes magazine. His major advertising campaigns include SuperCuts, Apple and Harley Davidson. When he is not behind the lens, he is most likely out on his mountain bike on the trails in Wisconsin’s Driftless region.


Fast Forward: North Shore Distillery AN INTERVIEW WITH SONJA KASSEBAUM

EC: North Shore Distillery has grown since the Winter of 2009. What have been the best parts of your expansion? SK: There are several exciting parts of our business growth. One is our ability to have a tasting room, and to welcome people actually to our location for a cocktail, a tasting or a distillery tour (or all three). It has really allowed us a new avenue to share our passion, and our products, with consumers as well as industry contacts. In addition, we have continued to build great partnerships with people in related businesses who really understand what we are all about. We have found great ways to create win-win situations, and continue to enjoy building those partnerships.

EC: How has your product line expanded in four years? SK: Each year, we have continued to introduce a totally original, unique spirit as a limited release. In addition, we have added our Sol Chamomile Citrus Vodka, made with fresh fruit, and our highproof gin, Mighty Gin, to our lineup. We have collaborated with some great bars and restaurants in Chicago to develop custom spirits, such as the Scofflaw Old Tom Gin that we released with the folks at Scofflaw (3201 W. Armitage in Chicago) last month.

EC: You have opened the Tasting Room, how has that allowed you to reach new customers and connect with fans? SK: Our tasting room has enabled us to really share our process, our products and our passion with our customers in a brand new, and very meaningful way. They can come here and see how we do what we do, and enjoy a fantastic cocktail that showcases the spirits, as well. We teach cocktail classes, spirits classes, and more, and continue to develop new and fun ways to create great experiences for people who come to see us. Right now, we are actually expanding our tasting room a bit, and expanding our hours of operation as well.

EC: What exciting things do you have planned for the Summer of 13? S U M M E R , 2 01 3 Editors’ note: The North Shore Distillery Tasting Room opened in 2011. The boutique operation is tucked away in an industrial park at 28913 Herky Dr. Unit 308 in Lake Bluff, IL. Once you arrive at the destination, you are encouraged to meet Ethel, the resident still at North Shore Distillery. Tours are $10 per person which includes a tasting of the spirits. Call for hours or to reserve a spot on a specific date: 847-574-2499.


edible chicago | Summer 2013

SK: Our next limited release will be coming out this summer. We have a new permanent product in the works as well, and hope to introduce it in late summer.

Photo Š 3523studio/shutterstock


We love it when folks who have been featured in Edible Chicago partner up and combine their resources for the enjoyment of many. The small batch inventive and tantalizing flavors of Jo Snow Syrup (featured in Edible Chicago Winter 2011) pair well with North Shore Distillery products. “Several of her syrups play very well in cocktails, especially the Tangerine Lavender Honey with Gin. I had a lot of fun with her Woodruff syrup, gin and strawberries,” relates Sonja Kassebaum of North Shore Distillery.

Jo Snow Syrups started with a line of coffee syrups but the flavors quickly graduated to other levels of libations—snow cones and cocktails. “It’s all about fun,” says Jo Snow Syrup creator Melissa Yen. Her enthusiasm for flavor innovation exponentially increased our level of amusement at Edible Chicago—the enjoyment of experimenting with artisanal cocktail recipes has lead to some interesting tastings in the office. We’re asking you, our readers how you have combined local favorites into a tasty libation. Let us know your original concoctions using Jo Snow Syrups and, if appropriate, how you arrived at the name. The one we deem as the winner will receive a free Edible Chicago “I’m a Farmie” t-shirt and a one year subscription to Edible Chicago magazine. Email your entry to ediblechicago@ Please include a high-resolution photograph in the email along with the ingredient list and instructions.

To inspire you, here is a seasonal recipe from Sonja Kassebaum at North Shore Distillery using Jo Snow Syrup. Photo credit left: Becky Liscum Photo right ©

Waldmeister’s Wish 2 ounces Distiller’s Gin No. 11 ½ ounce Jo Snow Woodruff Syrup

¼ ounce fresh lime juice 2 fresh strawberries— 1 large, 1 small Club Soda

Cut up large strawberry, then muddle with syrup and lime in a tall glass. Add gin, lots of ice and top with a splash of soda. Garnish with smaller strawberry on rim.


edible SOURCE GUIDE With Your Dine and Drink Local Listing The Edible Source Guide s a condensed listing of advertisers in this issue. Please support these fine businesses and eating establishments as they help grow and sustain Edible Chicago. For a more extensive listing on each advertiser, visit us online at

D I N E + D R I N K LOC AL Listings in green are certified by The Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition. Guaranteed Green restaurants are committed to sustainable practices.

Autre Monde Café & Spirits WESTERN SUBURBS Mediterranean focused with a fresh, seasonal menu using local purveyors as well as an old world focused wine list. Artisan cocktails inspired by small batch producers. 708-775-8122;

Big Bowl GOLD COAST, NEAR NORTH SIDE, NORTH, NORTHWEST Chinese Thai Food/Asian Fusion. Freshest ingredients, authentically prepared. Local farmer supported. Four Chicagoland locations; 6 E. Cedar St., Chicago; 60 E. Ohio St., Chicago; 215 Parkway Dr., Lincolnshire; 1950 E. Higgins Rd., Schaumburg;

Duke’s Alehouse & Kitchen SUBURBAN NORTH Farm-to-table sourced, local and organic American menu, over 150 craft beers. Also a vegetarian menu. Easy trip from Chicago on the Metra train. 110 N. Main St., Crystal Lake; 815-356-9980;

Kingsbury Street Café LINCOLN PARK Michelin Star rated. American with Asian fusion, local and seasonal menu. Pastries, breads made in house daily. 312-280-1718;


Signature Room on the 95th GOLD COAST

From the chef and co-owners of NAHA. Fine dining. Refined Parisian dishes, French infl uenced. 312-595-1616;

Fresh, seasonal menu with a dazzling skyline view. Celebrating 20 years this summer. 312-787-9596;

Osteria Via Stato RIVER NORTH


Seasonally prepared, locally sourced Italian dishes and fi ne wines. 312-642-8450;

Local, seasonal, organic menu and beverages. Weekly entertainment, Devon location; summer farmers market and certified organic rooftop garden. Edgewater: 773-465-9801 Wrigleyville: 773-929-3680

Heartland Meats


Pasture-raised, natural pork without antibiotics. 269-445-3020;

Piccolo Sogno WEST LOOP Fresh, seasonal rustic Italian fare, house-made pastas. Award winning summer patio. 312-421-0077;

Province WEST LOOP Farm-to-table menu with cuisine inspired by Central America and Spain. Supporting our local farmers and purveyors. 312-669-9900;

Sable Kitchen and Bar RIVER NORTH American gastro-lounge, hand crafted cocktails, sustainable selections from farm to table. Hand crafted brick-oven flatbreads. 312-755-9704;

Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation August 14, Navy Pier Grand Ballroom. A ticket supports efforts to end childhood hunger. 877-26TASTE;

Williams-Sonoma Artisans’ Markets Regular tastings at select stores showcasing our local food community and specialty food products. Free. Lincoln Park: 312-255-0643 Deer Park: 847-550-0803 Oakbrook: 630-571-2702 FA R M D I N N E R S

Sandwich Me In LAKEVIEW

Slagel Family Farm’s Dine on the Farm Dinner Series

Quick service sandwich shop using local meats and fresh produce with an emphasis on sustainability. Event catering is also available. 773-348-3037;

Tour the farm; enjoy a meal prepared by a Chicago chef. Transportation provided. Farm location 90 minutes from Chicago. 815-848-9385;

Michelin Star rated. Seasonal, American cuisine with infl uences of the Mediterranean. 312-321-6242; 46

FA R M S + C S A P R O G R A M S


edible chicago | Summer 2013

Each farm listed is local and family owned and operated

Caveny Farm Heritage Poultry Pasture-raised, heritage turkey from a sustainable Illinois farm. Chicago pick-up points. 217-762-7767;

All natural USDA Piedmontese beef raised without the use of added hormones. 815-538-5326;

Jake’s Country Meats

Mint Creek Farm 100% grass-fed lamb, goat, beef and veal. Meat CSA and farm dinners. 815-953-5682;

Tempel Farms Organics Diversified, sustainable farm. CSA fruits and vegetables organically grown.; FA R M E R S M A R K E T S

Chicago Green City Market Year-round farmers market in Chicago, supporting local growers and artisans. 773-880-1266; FINE DINING CLUB

Chicago Gourmets Membership club where guests enjoy fi ne dining at some of Chicago area’s hottest restaurant establishments. 312-777-1090;

Photo © Alexey Kimnatny



Sharpening by Dave

Provenance Food and Wine


American Harvest Organic Spirit home delivers artisan products from the best producers and purveyors in the Chicago area (including Green Grocer Chicago, Pasta Puttana, Bang, Bang Pie and many more). For more information and ordering, please visit:

Knife sharpening services, including kitchen knives and lawnmower blades. Convenient drop off locations. 847-354-2547;

Neighborhood specialty store selling affordable sustainably produced wines, beers, spirits, artisanal cheeses and specialty food. Independently owned. Two locations: Logan Square and Lincoln Square. Tastings, classes and events. 773-384-0699, 773-784-2314

From field to bottle, a distinctly smooth, silky spirit with a crisp, clean taste.

Joe’s Blues Michigan high bush blueberries. Rent your own chemical/pesticidefree bush or join a blueberry CSA.

Katherine Anne Confections Local-focused sweets, truffle-making parties, confiserie, corporate gifts. 773-245-1630;

Ludwig Farmstead Creamery Award-winning, fifth generation Illinois family farm producing artisan farmstead cheeses. 217-213-3048;

Niman Ranch All natural meats raised humanely with no antibiotics or hormones.

Phoenix Bean Locally crafted fresh soy products. All natural tofu. Non-GMO soybeans. 773-784-2503;

Salad Girl Organic Salad Dressing Company USDA organic, gluten-free artisan salad dressings. Unique seasonal flavors. Available at Chicagoland Whole Foods.

Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks Local owners Irv & Shelly offer fresh, local and organic foods from over 100 Midwest farmers. Home and business delivery year-round in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. Custom ordering with no commitment. 847-410-0595; FOOD DISTRIBUTION

Merchants of exquisite spices, herbs and seasonings since 1957. Three Chicagoland locations, Old Town, Evanston, Geneva.

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine Small batch, high-quality cheese, wine, artisan food products. Sandwiches, events, picnic baskets. Two locations. 800-721-4781;

Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop Chicago’s premiere sustainable fish and seafood shop. Eat in or pick up. Events, weekly demos and cooking classes. 773-404-3475;

Goodness Greenness The Midwest’s leading source for fresh, USDA organic produce from farmers for over 20 years. 773-224-4411; GARDEN

Octopot by Octopot Gardens Feeds & waters plants on demand without electric. Conserves water. 888-Octopot; PET FOOD

Raw Bistro Dog Fare From local farm to bowl. Farm-crafted fresh, grass fed, free-range treats and bones for your pet. 507-263-5959; SERVICES

The Spice House


Country Financial

Foodease Restaurant quality food prepared to go! Foodease is a gourmet food market run by restaurateurs with a local, seasonal focus. Catering options. 312-335-3663;

Green Grocer Chicago West Town market neighborhood specialty store featuring organically grown and locally produced food products and specialty items. Independently owned and operated. Tastings and events. 312-624-9508;

Plum Market Opening June 13 in Old Town, specialty store featuring the finest local, organic and all natural products in a full-service shopping experience. 312-229-1400.


D. MottL Realty Group Premiere properties and building sites in Southwest Michigan. Your new vacation home awaits you. Independently owned and operated. 269-591-0035;

Tryon Farm A Michigan City, Indiana real estate development. Unique, affordable and environmentally friendly homes on a 170-acre former dairy farm. Homes surround protected land. 800-779-6433; V I N E YA R D S A N D DISTILLERIES

Aeppeltreow Winery & Distillery Wisconsin On-farm Cidery and Distillery. Sparkling wines, hard cider, table wines. Weekend tastings. 262-878-5345;

Bonterra Organic Vineyards Growing grapes organically and sustainably in vineyards that encourage biodiversity. Sold at fine specialty food shops and wine club available.

Insures your car, home and family. Also a proud presenting sponsor of the Chicago Farmers Markets and the annual Country Chef challenge. 866-268-6879;


Baked in a casserole dish, with fruit on the bottom and biscuit dough in pieces on top. The rounds of dough resemble cobblestones when baked.

Fruit on the bottom, with a crumbly layer of streusel, usually made from only sugar, flour and butter (unlike the similar crisp, which often contains oats).

A baked dish with fruit on the bottom, and rolled pastry on top. Once out of the oven, the pastry is broken into pieces, allowing the edges to absorb the juices.

Like a cobbler, but made on the stovetop in a skillet, with fruit on the bottom, and spooned biscuit-style dough on top. Also called a slump.


A baked dish with fruit on the bottom, and a crispy layer on top. Unlike a crumble, a crisp usually has oatmeal edible chicago Summer 2013 and⁄or nuts in the| topping.

Jam is not the only way to use up summer’s sweet abundance.

Pastry crust on the bottom, fruit in the middle, and usually pastry on top—either fully covering the pie, or in strips, woven together in a lattice.

Placed in the pan with cake batter on the bottom, and fruit on top. As it bakes, the fruit settles toward the bottom and is suspended in the cake.

Traditionally made with layers of fruit (usually apples) and buttered bread pieces or crumbs, and baked. In some areas a crisp is also known as a Betty.


local talent ...and plenty of it

Your New Favorite Shopping Experience

Pictured Above: Shetler Farms Heirloom Tomatoes, Crave Brother’s Farmstead Mozzarella, Salemville Amish Gorgonzola Crumbles, and All Natural Niman Ranch Bacon.


June 13th at 8am

1233 North Wells St at Division N Wells

Offering a ton of Local, Natural, Organic, and Specialty products in a full-service shopping experience.


1 Division

Plum Market Old Town 1233 North Wells St. (at Division) Chicago, IL 60610 312.229.1400 Store Hours: 8am - 10pm Everyday

Edible Chicago Magazine | Spring-Summer | No 20  

Sweet Pea Media, LLC