Spoon Magazine 2018

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The Year of SPOON 3E171E Baked Brie

SPOON A41D43 Beet Hummus

SPOON C7A2CE Berry Ice Cream

Purple Food SPOON EFBEFB Blackberry Pancakes

SPOON 521D32 Beet Sandwich

SPOON 3C1D44 Purple Potato Latte






GOT MILK? The milk alternatives you should be sipping.


Forget your greens, eat purple instead.


An Italian classic with a colorful twist.

FLIGHT 32 THE FOOD NEIGHBORHOODS LESS TRAVELED Underrated restaurant hotspots in Chicago.


CUTTING CARBON Chicagoland businesses are revealing the keys to reducing their — and your — carbon footprint.


Pantone named 2018 the Year of Ultra-Violet, which just so happens to be the same color as our beloved Northwestern purple. In order to celebrate, we decided to dedicate Spoon Magazine 2018 to the Year of Purple (Food). We’ve got the same menu offerings as last year’s issue, but each department has a bit of a purple twist. In Starter, you’ll find out how to lower your food waste and how you can create natural dyes from the foods you already have in your kitchen. Appetizer is packed full of recipes made with all different types of purple ingredients, from ones you are likely familiar with, such as blueberries and blackberries, to more unique ingredients like purple sweet potatoes and purple carrots. Your parents always told you to eat your greens, but may I suggest eating purple instead? Next, Flight will take you on a tour of Chicago’s secret restaurant hotspots in neighborhoods you might not have expected. Plus, writers will share some of their favorite purple foods from all over the city: ice cream, dumplings, tacos and more. In Entrée, we take a more in-depth look into the food industry, examining trends in restaurants and food politics, and we interview the chef of The Purple Pig because, come on, it is the year of the purple. But make sure to save room for Dessert, where you’ll learn about the new technology shaking up the food chain and laugh while reminiscing about the devastating loss of Heinz purple ketchup. If you weren’t sold on Pantone’s color of the year yet, you’ll be dreaming of purple when you’re done reading. May your potatoes, carrots and pigs always be purple and, in the wise words of Jim Halpert, “Bears, BEETS, Battlestar Galactica.” Thanks to my incredible writers, photographers and design team for their beautiful work. A special shout out and thank you to my incredible photo directors, ad sales directors, associate editors, creative director and publisher — without you this couldn’t have been done.

Happy Eating, Ariel Coonin, Print Director

Getting to know the executive chef at The Purple Pig.

DESSERT 53 HUNGRY FOR A BYTE Meet some new key players shaking up the food tech industry.



AD 1704 Central Street Evanston, IL 60201 Monday: 7am-4pm Tuesday: Closed Wednesday-Friday: 7am-4pm Saturday & Sunday: 8am-2pm

847-859-2109 2018



erry ITE R rawb t O s V d A wil UR F AYOLA O Y PUBLISHER Lauren Goldstein CR T IS WHA THEMED OR? PRINT DIRECTOR Ariel Coonin – L D O O C EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Gabby Cano FO ON CRAY ASSOCIATE EDITORS Michelle Galliani & Aine Dougherty

neo CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jessica Paridis nc arro PHOTO DIRECTORS Charlotte Hu & Alex Schwartz t TREASURER Brock Colyar AD SALES DIRECTORS Emily Kim & Kiley Jarymiszyn FUNDRAISING & EVENTS DIRECTOR Maria Gomez jazzberry jam SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Grace Luxton

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WRITERS Tessa Kauppila, Manon Blackman, Hannah Brown, Gabby Cano, Sherie Cheng, Brock Colyar, Ariel Coonin, Aine Dougherty, Michelle rry blue bluebe Galliani, Sierra Gaw, Lauren Goldstein, Maria Gomez, Dani Grava, Sonia Harris, Charlotte Hu, Grace Jaeger, Patricia Janick, Lily Katzman, Stella Kleynerman, Stephanie Lee, Grace Luxton, Haley Yamada, Jeanne Paulino, Sophie Rodosky, Ali Karen, Alicia Wala, Olivia Olson ma ngo ta


DESIGNERS Kerrie Vila, Madeleine Ward PHOTOGRAPHERS Gianna Chan, Sierra Gaw, Ejin Hur, Chloe Krugel, Ashley Lee, Xinyang Zhou AD SALES Olivia Everhart, Marisa Hattler, Alyssa Zhong

Spoon Magazine is an extension of Spoon University, an online campus food community founded by Northwestern alumni Sarah Adler and Mackenzie Barth. nu.spoonuniversity.com 2018







Introducing Adaptogens The natural stress reducer all college kids need. By Jeanne Paulino

We all know about the health benefits associated with probiotics, fatty acids and antioxidants, but what about adaptogens? You’ve probably never heard of them, but they can be beneficial to integrate into your diet, especially during your stressful four years in college. Here’s all you need to know about these naturally occurring, restorative substances.

Adaptogens: the Ultimate De-Stressor When you’re stressed out, your body produces a hormone called cortisol, sending you into fight-or-flight mode. Your heart races and your nervous system and adrenal glands go into hyperdrive. Although a certain amount of stress is necessary and healthy for your body, chronic stress can disrupt homeostasis and seriously mess up your health. Too much stress is known to have detrimental effects on your health, such as weight gain, suppression of the immune system and even an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

A Little Science to Explain How Adaptogens Work Found exclusively in herbs, adaptogens are a compound that help the body respond to stress. While stress elevates your cortisol levels and triggers increased responses from your nervous system and adrenal glands, adaptogens bring those levels back to homeostasis. They normalize the physiological processes in your body, easing you back down from a state of stress. In an environment where there seems to always be a midterm around the corner, an essay to write, a party to attend or an internship to pine after, it’s especially crucial to find ways to fight stress, and integrating adaptogens into your diet is one of those strategies. Did someone say digestible destressors?

Where you can find Adaptogens in Everyday Food




One of the most well-known adaptogens, Ginseng originates from Korea and can be found in tea form. Aromatic and earthy, this warm drink is perfect for a quick energy boost and can help you get over a cold.

I know, I know; licorice is a polarizing food. But licorice root is another common adaptogen that honestly does not taste nearly as bad as the artificial Jelly Belly flavor. Available in both tea and extract form, this sweet root is super easy to integrate into your diet.

One of the hottest trends of the last year, ashwagandha is one of the main ingredients in Gwyneth Paltrowʼs “Moon Dust” that she swears relieves stress and gives your skin a glow. Though kind of expensive, itʼs always super exciting to try out new things.




Like all adaptogens, this herb, also called “golden root,” wonʼt automatically make you a superhuman, but it is purported to relieve symptoms of stress and enhance your mood by balancing levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in your body.

This mushroom, which can be ground into a powder and used to make a warm coffee– or tea– like drink, has anti–inflammatory benefits and is packed full of antioxidants that help boost the immune system and reduce the effects of stress.

Tulsi, or holy basil, has been linked to the practice of Ayurvedic medicine in India for centuries. As it becomes more mainstream, you too can try out this therapeutic adaptogen in your fight against stress and other ailments.

As the school year comes to an end and finals loom over our heads, make sure you take care of yourself. Take all the precautionary efforts necessary to ensure your physical and mental well-being, whether it be study breaks, working out or maybe even adding some adaptogens into your everyday routine. Your body and mind will thank you later. ILLUSTRATIONS BY JESSICA PARIDIS




REDUCING YOUR WASTE 101 5 easy steps to cut down your food waste. By Sonia Harris

One third of all food is wasted or spoiled. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans alone throw away up to 40 percent of the food they buy. The amount of waste generated by Americans could feed nearly one billion hungry people worldwide, and it also causes extreme environmental damage. Organic matter — disposed food waste — accounts for a whopping 20 percent of methane gas emissions in landfills, making it a major contributor to climate change. Thankfully, you can take easy steps to reduce food waste for you, your neighbor and the Earth we share.



Grocery shopping can be daunting, with aisles filled with 17 different types of nonfat Greek yogurt and the recurring question of whether to go organic or save a few dollars. Bloom, an environmental protection blog, recommends shopping prepared. Bringing a list and planning ahead can reduce shopperʼs anxiety and, more importantly, reduce your waste. Also, plan out weekly meals and check the refrigerator for ingredients you already have. If you have roommates, make a collaborative shopping list so you can share certain ingredients.



An average Americanʼs portion size is way too large. Instead of grabbing a huge plate and filling it to the brim, choose a smaller plate and serve yourself less food. Check in with your stomach between servings to see how hungry you really are. You can always go back for seconds, but you canʼt put your food back after that first bite.


Leftovers make great lunches for so many reasons. Reheating your old food means you'll waste less and save more. Rule of thumb: if you liked a meal the night before, itʼll still taste good the next day. Itʼs time to invest in some Tupperware!





These numbers are guidelines — even the EPA agrees. A lot of groceries have far too many numbers on the side; some are “best by,” some are “sell by” and some are expiration dates. Ignore these numbers and use your senses. If that carton of milk smells bad, itʼs gone bad. #SpoonTip: check out the next page for ways to use foods past their expiration dates.


In a culture obsessed with Instagram, we want all our food to look pretty. Fruits and veggies that have ugly exteriors often go to waste because of our arbitrary aesthetic standards, explains the EPA. Imperfect produce accounts for a huge proportion of food waste at supermarkets. So just keep in mind — although it might not get you as many likes, an oddly shaped apple still tastes like an apple. ILLUSTRATIONS BY JESSICA PARIDIS




HOW TO USE FOOD PAST ITS EXPIRATION DATE Because expired never tasted so good. By Stella Kleynerman

An expiration date is something I have always taken very seriously. For me, itʼs pretty much a given Iʼll throw out a one-day-old carton of milk immediately. But as a college student, buying a fresh carton every time you decide not to eat cereal for every meal can turn into an expensive habit. And, for some foods, it may not even be necessary. The expiration date label is actually something companies use to make sure a consumer only sees the product at its peak freshness. However, certain foods are usually good several weeks after their expiration date. Using foods past their “due dates” is not only better for the environment, but it will also end up saving you a lot of money that you could be spending on other things — like more food. Here are a couple tips thatʼll help inspire you to let the due date expire.

Overripe Fruits Overripe fruits can usually be used in smoothies and muffins or even frozen for later. Freezing your fresh fruit can save you a lot of money in the long run. Just throw some chopped up fruit into a Ziplock bag and keep it in the freezer for later. Here are a couple ways to use overripe avocados and bananas — the fruits that seem to go brown the fastest. FACE MASKS



Mash avocado in a bowl and add one tablespoon of honey. Stir in the honey until the avocado turns into a paste. Apply it to your skin and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. This face mask should leave your skin glowing.

We love our avocados green and our bananas yellow, but when they turn brown we usually throw them out. The good news: overripe bananas add sweetness to baked goods, while browned avocados add healthy fats and moisture to recipes without the need for other oils.

Adding an overripe avocado to a smoothie can thicken it and add healthy fats that will keep you fuller for longer. Adding an overripe banana can also thicken the smoothie while adding a little extra natural sweetness.

Overripe Vegetables Overripe vegetables are a little trickier to conserve than fruit because certain vegetables experience a chemical change when frozen. This includes lettuce, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes and other vegetables you eat raw. Instead of freezing them, here are a couple ways you can avoid throwing out old veggies. ROASTING



Roasting is a quick and easy way to use overripe vegetables. All you have to do is stick them in the oven with a little olive oil and your choice of herbs and spices. Roasted vegetables are easy to incorporate into recipes like salads, or they can be eaten right out of the oven.

Most vegetables on their last legs are perfect for pickling. Soak your choice of veggies in a mix of vinegar and herbs like salt, sugar, garlic and pepper. Put the mixture in a jar and leave them in the fridge for a few days. Pickled foods are actually known to aid our digestive, immune and nervous systems.

If your vegetables look like theyʼre beyond the point of being edible, donʼt push your luck. Home composting is easy, affordable and environmentally friendly. Just make sure to check with your municipal waste management district to see if you can compost food scraps at home.

Crackers Stale crackers are one of my biggest pet peeves. But before throwing them out, try this method to get some crunch back. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Spread the stale crackers or chips in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then bake them for three to five minutes until they turn golden brown. You can also give them a boost by placing them in the microwave on full power for 10 seconds.

Yogurt Buying one of those giant tubs of Greek yogurt always seems like a good idea, until you have to throw half of it away. Surprisingly, yogurt is a product that usually survives one or two weeks past its expiration date if itʼs sealed and stored properly. Itʼs important to keep in mind that a watery substance usually forms on top of the yogurt if it sits in the fridge for a long time. This substance is a natural protein called “whey” and is completely safe to eat. You can even apply the yogurt to your skin for 30 minutes to help fight acne, or combine the whey with ground oatmeal to use as an exfoliating mask. There are so many ways to fight food waste and save money by understanding how to use food past its expiration date. Aside from these tips and tricks, be mindful about how much you buy and make sure to take the expiration date with a grain of salt.





Got milk? A comprehensive list of fun milk alternatives and their benefits. By Alicia Wala There are tons of reasons why you might be looking into milk alternatives: lactose intolerance, different health benefits or just the desire to try something new. The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives. Ranging from well-known ones like almond milk, to nut-free options like banana milk, you’ll definitely be able to find an alt–milk you want to try.


Soy milk is a polarizing alternative. Some love it for its high levels of protein, while others reject it based on its phytic acid, a compound that prevents your body from taking in important minerals. However, research shows that this compound only affects the meal you drink soy milk with, so it doesnʼt have lasting negative effects. Making soy milk at home is a little more difficult than other milk alternatives, since you have to deal with removing the skin of the soybeans. Other than that, youʼre basically just blending and straining a mixture of soybeans and water.



If the avocado trend hasnʼt taken over your entire life yet, now it can. While this is more of an avocado milkshake, since the recipe involves blending avocados, milk and (optional) sugar together, itʼs still something to try. You can substitute any milk alternative to blend with your avocado as well. You get all the benefits of an avocado, like healthy fats, combined with the benefits from any milk alternative of your choice.

This milk alternative is arguably the most well-known, and itʼs easy to make — basic recipes call for soaking almonds in water for an extended period of time. This alt-milk is packed full of nutrients that are known to help with digestion. Although almond milk is not high in protein, drinkers can make up for this through eating other protein-rich foods like eggs and salmon.



Made from hemp seeds and water, this milk alternative is high in amino acids and Omega–3 fatty acids, but not in the pyschoactive effects for which cannabis is mostly known. Itʼs a great milk alternative for vegans, and has a nutty flavor that some may find enjoyable. While this may be a lesser known alternative, you wonʼt regret trying it.

This interesting milk alternative is also super easy to make. All you need to do is blend bananas and water together. This is a great choice if you are allergic to nuts but still want to seek out an alternative to dairy milk. The benefits of banana milk include electrolytes and potassium. If you loved banana Laffy Taffy while growing up, this is the milk for you.



In our opinion, this is the quirkiest milk alternative out of the bunch. Itʼs not easy to DIY, so we would suggest purchasing this if youʼre interested. Pea milk has the same amount of protein as a cup of regular dairy milk, which is a huge benefit since many milk alternatives are lower in protein. Plus, it beats regular dairy milk in calcium. If you really want to distance yourself as far as possible from milk, weʼd recommend this alternative.

If other milk alternatives are too watery for you, this will be your new favorite. Made by soaking steel cut oats in water, blending the mixture together, then straining it, this creamy drink might just be your go-to from now on. Combined with all the benefits you get from eating oats, like fiber and healthy carbs, you can customize this milk alternative with honey or cinnamon to get the perfect taste that you desire. ILLUSTRATIONS BY JESSICA PARIDIS







TASTE THE (NATURAL) RAINBOW Because the best food dyes are already sitting in your pantry. By Maria Gomez

Processed food dyes come with a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. Weʼre here to give you some insight on the art of using food dyes — au naturel. Inspired by food blogger Linda Miller, otherwise known as @SaltySeattle, and her naturally-dyed pasta art, I went on a mission to recreate her beautiful, colorful food dyes using sugar cookie dough instead. I soon realized that all of the fruits, veggies and spices that I needed to create beautiful colors were already in my kitchen, so I ditched the processed dyes and embarked on a search for the best possible natural ingredients. YELLOW: turmeric

PINK: canned beets

#Spoo nTip: Make sure to wear gloves as turm eric ca stain yo n ur skin for a while

RED: strawberries or tomatoes

PURPLE: blueberries

: onTip #Spo s create rrie d wbe le-re a p r tr u S p of a r the more so opt fo nt a r, u wa colo if yo ic toes class toma r, more e . deep d re

GREEN: kale

If you canʼt take the heat, then get out of the kitchen: An important thing to note when baking with natural food dyes is that some colors will be impacted by the heat from the oven and this may change the color. The biggest color change in my cookies was the “red” strawberry cookies. Although the dye itself was bright red, once I soaked the cookie dough, the color became a baby pink. After 15 minutes in the oven, those cookies somehow turned pastel purple. Luckily, the other colors didnʼt completely change hues; instead, they were simply less saturated. Two colors that proved to be able to “take the heat”: the green kale dye and the yellow turmeric dye. These dyes were strong enough to look exactly the same pre- and post-oven. The Final Verdict: Although some kale-lovers out there might vouch for a kale-flavored sugar cookie, I was definitely relieved to find that my bright, green cookie was just as sweet as my grandmaʼs homemade recipe (and didnʼt remind me of my detox kale banana smoothie from earlier that day). Will I use natural food dyes again? Definitely! The time and labor it took to make my natural food-dyes was not longer than a drive to the store for chemical-induced food colorings. However, the one thing to note is that giving up preservatives also means giving up extended shelf life. Homemade food dyes might not last as long, but at least you know that youʼre not feeding your body unnecessary chemicals.








LIQUOR, TEQUILA AND BEER, OH MY! Roughly 80 percent of college students consume alcohol, and whether you realize it or not, a shot of Smirnoff comes with strings attached. By Gabby Cano

Itʼs Sunday morning, and the first thing that greets you is a mean hangover. A throbbing head, an aching body, a frightening amount of nausea and a relentless desire for all things greasy hits you. After crawling out of bed and slowly dragging yourself to the dining hall for a mediocre omelet, you shudder as blurry bits and pieces of the night come back to you. Aside from the pretty obvious symptoms of alcohol — lack of coordination, slurred speech and an unbearable hangover — there are many lesserknown ways in which drinking impacts our bodies. EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL BOTCHES YOUR BRAIN. Itʼs no surprise that alcohol impacts the brain, even those first few sips of beer or one fat shot. Drinking decreases communication between brain cells, which can lead to changes in mood and behavior. Remember that time you drunkenly texted that cute guy in your Spanish class? Itʼs probably because your brain cells were acting funky thanks to those shots of Fireball. If you consume too much alcohol in a given night (letʼs be honest, weʼve all been there), a disruption in the brain can lead to a “blackout,” or an episode of amnesia. Blacking out, however, pales in comparison to other long-term effects, like a shrinking brain. According to a study from the American Academy of Neurology, people who consume alcohol regularly find their brains decreased in volume. Not to mention, frontal lobe damage can also occur, which impacts emotional control, short-term memory and judgment. Letʼs not forget about a 2012 study from Rutgers University that discovered alcohol can decrease the creation of adult brain cells by roughly 40 percent. So, the occasional trip to L.A. Social for $1 Tequila Shots might not be detrimental, but heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to some pretty serious brain damage. CATCHING A BUZZ DAMAGES SKIN. You wake up up after a night of drinking, look in the mirror and are shocked to discover several obnoxious pimples. So, what does this have to do with the shots you pounded last night? Simply put, alcohol is a dehydrator. To understand this, letʼs look at the liver. The body metabolizes alcohol through the liver, and as a result, a chemical compound called acetaldehyde is released, which dehydrates the skin and inflames body tissue. Drinking results in a release of a histamine that causes inflamation and results in redness of the skin. If you continuously consume alcohol throughout the years, that facial redness can be permanent. Additionally, alcohol can dilate your pores, which leads to a 21-year-oldʼs worst nightmare: blackheads and whiteheads. Long story short, drinking leads to cringe-worthy breakouts, aging of the skin and redness. #SpoonTip: As a general guideline, the clearer the liquor, the better for your skin. Vodka, gin and tequila are your best bets.

LETʼS NOT FORGET ABOUT THE DREADED “DRUNCHIES.” Nothing beats heading to Lisaʼs Café for some post-party munchies, or storming into Cheesieʼs to demand a fat plate of 2 a.m. tots. For many, indulging in a late-night snack is an essential drunken activity, and surprisingly enough, science can help explain your ravenous cravings. Studies revealed a phenomenon called the “aperitif effect,” aka the tendency one has to consume more food after consuming alcohol. A study in the journal, Obesity, says that our brain becomes more sensitive to foodʼs tempting properties when intoxicated. Not to mention, studies show that alcohol suppresses leptin, a hunger-regulating hormone. So, the next time you find yourself drunkenly elbow-deep in a bag of Doritos, youʼll at least know the science behind it. But on the other hand, red wine could potentially aid you in your weight loss efforts. According to a study from Oregon State University, dark red grapes in some types of red wine can help control obesity and slow the growth of fat cells in the liver, due to a chemical called ellagic acid. The chemical slows down the formation of fat cells and prevents new ones from growing. Maybe we should make room for more “Wine Wednesdays” on the calendar. LAST, BUT NOT LEAST: THE LIVER. Our livers are vital in helping our bodies process our favorite cocktails or our go-to beers (hereʼs looking at you, Natty Light). When alcohol reaches our livers, the organ produces acetaldehyde, a toxic enzyme that damages liver cells and causes permanent scarring. So, in order to rid the body of alcohol, the liver needs water. Weʼve already mentioned that alcohol is a serious dehydrator of the body, so the liver is usually forced to find water from other sources in our bodies (causing a nasty headache the morning after). Basically, the liver goes into overtime trying to find water sources from our dehydrated, drunken selves. If you drink more than this organ can handle at a given time, your liver cells become strained (almost like your brain during finals week, letʼs be real). Too much drinking over time can lead to alcoholic liver disease, aka fatty liver. As the name indicates, fatty liver disease is caused by too much fat build-up. Letʼs leave the fat build-up to the traditional “Freshman 15” and avoid long-term liver damage. Other possible diseases that develop as a result of heavy drinking include alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. Simply put, the liver is essential in ridding of alcoholʼs toxic properties. If overworked from excessive drinking, the organ is at risk of developing some pretty serious diseases. Our recommendation? Love your liver and drink in moderation.




PURPLE PARTY COCKTAIL Sip pretty this summer. By Sierra Gaw

Nothing says go 'cats quite like a purple cocktail. Whether youʼre tired of guzzling cheap beer at tailgates or you just want to prove that you can make something, this delicious and simple drink will fill the void in your life you never knew existed. While you may not have a martini glass on hand (because we canʼt all be Carrie Bradshaw), toss this bad boy in the one mug you use for everything and call it a night.




1½ ounces of Vodka ½ ounce of black raspberry liqueur 2 ounces of cranberry juice 1. Pour vodka and black raspberry liquor into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. 2. Top with cranberry juice. #Spoo nTip: If you donʼt ha ve a cock tail sha ker, just po ur the first tw ingred o ients in to a cu p and mix with a spoon



WILL YOU BRIE MINE? A little cheesy, but we like it that way. By Patricia Janick Impress your friends with this remarkably easy but oh-so-fancy appetizer. Using only a few ingredients, you can have a restaurant-worthy dish at the ready. The vibrant purple color of the berries makes this snack not only delicious but eye-catching as well.


1 3 3 2 1 1 1

wheel of double-creme brie ounces blackberries ounces blueberries teaspoons sugar teaspoon honey teaspoon lemon juice tablespoon water

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบF. 2. Scrape the top rind of the brie wheel with a fork. 3. Bake brie for 10 to 15 minutes until soft and melty on the inside. 4. Mix berries, sugar, honey, lemon juice and water in a saucepan. 5. Cook the mixture on medium-heat for approximately 10 minutes until reduced and thickened. 6. Top brie with compote and enjoy with crackers or bread.





BOOST YOUR BREAKFAST Forget your greens, purple is the new way to healthify your meals. By Stephanie Lee BLACKBERRY PANCAKES WITH SYRUP MEDIUM | 30 MINS. | SERVES 8

For the Pancakes:

For the Syrup:

1 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 egg 1 ½ tablespoon sugar 1 cup buttermilk 1 pint fresh blackberries, mashed 2 tablespoons butter

¾ cup fresh blackberries 1 tablespoon sugar ½ teaspoon lemon juice ¼ cup water

1. Combine flour, baking powder, egg, sugar and buttermilk in a large bowl. 2. Incorporate the mashed blackberries into the mix to color the batter. 3. Heat up your griddle or saucepan with butter and add one ladle of batter. 4. Flip pancakes when bubbles form and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.

nTip: #Spoo ve nʼt ha o d u nd, If yo on ha k il rm same butte ut the o ay re ke aw measu ilk , ta nt of m , and add amou spoon of 1 table spoon 1 table ar. vineg



1. Add the blackberries, sugar, lemon juice and half the water into a medium saucepan. 2. Cook it down for about 5 minutes over medium heat. 3. Transfer to a blender and pulse the mixture until you get a smooth consistency. 4. Add in the remaining water and pulse once more to fully incorporate it. 5. Top pancakes with a drizzle of homemade blackberry syrup and enjoy.

# If yo Spoon Tip: uʼre for cr lazy time o unche d r fe , us eli ey pan cak our fa ng em vor ite som ix to e tim save e.


Itʼs the perfect time to embrace the Year of Purple and add a little pop of color to your meals too. Jazz up your early mornings with a purple-themed breakfast of pancakes and coffee. These fluffy pancakes, naturally dyed purple with mashed blackberries and slight smother of fresh blackberry syrup, are not only satisfying but also a great source of tannins and antioxidants. Couple that with a warm purple sweet potato latte and youʼll be sure to pass the day with flying colors.


1 medium purple sweet potato 1 cup milk ½ cup honey 1 shot espresso 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) 1. Bake the sweet potato at 400ºF for about 35 to 40 minutes until cooked. Meanwhile, heat up milk in a saucepan or in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes. 2. Peel and cut the potato after cooling. Blend the potato, milk, honey, and espresso together until smooth. 3. Pour mixture into mugs. Sprinkle on some cinnamon and enjoy.

#Spoo nTip: If you have a milk frother, froth th milk fo e r 30 se c onds before serving .





Purple Potato Gnocchi An Italian classic with a colorful twist. By Sophie Rodosky Gnocchi are pastaʼs dreamier, creamier cousins. Made from a combo of potatoes, eggs and flour, these classic Italian dumplings are soft and fluffy in texture but rich in flavor. Although gnocchi are usually made with russet potatoes, they turn a fun violet color when purple potatoes are thrown in the mix. Immersed in a brown butter sauce and sprinkled with flavorful sage leaves, these show-stopping gnocchi will satisfy your deepest carb cravings. All you need is a little patience and a few hungry friends.




For the Gnocchi: 2 pounds purple potatoes 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk, at room temperature Âź teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional) Kosher salt

For the Brown Butter Sauce: ½ cup unsalted butter 6 sage leaves grated Parmesan cheese salt and pepper to finish

1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until tender when pricked with a fork, about 30 minutes. 2. Drain the potatoes and peel immediately using a paring knife or simply pulling the skin off by hand. To avoid burning your hands, wear rubber gloves or hold the potatoes with a dish towel. Discard the skin. 3. Grate the peeled potatoes with a box grater. Let cool to room temperature. To speed up the cooling process, spread the potatoes into an even layer on a baking sheet. 4. Mix the cooled potatoes with flour thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Gently knead until a sticky dough forms and the flour is just incorporated. 5. Place the potato and flour mixture in a mound on a clean, lightly floured surface. Make a well in the center of the mound and add the eggs and nutmeg (if desired) to the well. Mix the ingredients, working from the center outward, and then gently knead, folding and turning often, until a thick, smooth dough forms. 6. Divide the dough into 4 even pieces, and roll each piece into a rope that is 3/4 inch wide. Cut each rope into 3/4 inch-long pieces. 7. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. In several batches, place the gnocchi in the pot and cook until they rise to the water’s surface and are cooked through and tender, about 3 minutes. Immediately drain the gnocchi and set aside. 8. Place the sage leaves and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter is melted, bubbling and slightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. 9. Pour the butter over the gnocchi and sprinkle with the sage leaves to serve. Top with grated parmesan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. PHOTO BY CHARLOTTE HU




Nothing Beets This A nutrient-packed lunch that will stimulate your taste buds and beautify your Instagram feed. By Tessa Kauppila and Sherie Cheng Beets are known to fight inflammation, boost immune systems and detoxify the body. Goat cheese is a creamier and tastier alternative to traditional cow’s milk cheese. Together, they meet at the crossroads of perfection and form a pair as heavenly as Beyoncé and Jay-Z in this open-faced sandwich. Try it alongside this vibrant-colored, silky-smooth hummus for the ultimate show-stopping lunch.

Open-Faced Red Beet and Goat Cheese Sandwich EASY | 1 HOUR | SERVES 4

4 medium red beets 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar ½ teaspoon salt ground pepper 8 ounces soft goat cheese 4 tablespoons milk 4 slices crusty whole grain bread, lightly toasted fresh thyme for garnish (optional) minced chives for garnish (optional) flaky sea salt for garnish (optional) 1. Place unpeeled beets in a pot of boiling salt water. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until beets are tender when cut with a knife, about 45 minutes. Drain. 2. Remove skins. Cut beets into thick slices. 3. Toss beets with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. 4. Stir goat cheese and milk in a different bowl until smooth. Season generously with pepper. 5. Spread a thin layer of the goat cheese mixture onto each piece of toast. Top with beets. Sprinkle with thyme, chives and sea salt as desired.




Roasted Red Beet Hummus EASY | 1.5 HOURS | SERVES 6

1 beet, washed and scrubbed Ÿ cup olive oil 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas 2 large garlic cloves, minced 3 tablespoons tahini juice of one lemon zest of one lemon salt and pepper to taste toasted sesame seeds (optional) dill for garnish (optional) 1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 2. Drizzle beet with olive oil, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and roast in oven until tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. 3. After beet is cooled, peel and slice into quarters. 4. Rinse, drain and peel chickpeas. 5. Add beet slices and chickpeas to a food processor and pulse until mashed. 6. Add minced garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Blend until creamy and smooth. 7. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. 8. Spoon hummus into bowl. Drizzle with additional olive oil and garnish with sesame seeds and dill.





SPICE UP YOUR SIDES Take purple pride to a whole new level with these colorful dishes. By Dani Grava As they say, the more colorful the plate, the better. Here are some healthy recipes for classic side dishes with a purple twist to complement your meal.


2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, sliced 1 purple cabbage, shredded 1 ⁄3 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon mustard seed salt and pepper 1. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. 2. Add olive oil and sauté the sliced onion for 2 minutes. 3. Add purple cabbage and sauté until cooked. 4. Add vinegar and mix it in. 5. Sprinkle sugar over the cabbage and continue sautéeing. 6. Season with mustard seed, salt and pepper to taste. 7. Let the cabbage continue to cook over reduced heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


3 2 1 1

purple sweet potatoes tablespoons olive oil teaspoon garlic powder teaspoon paprika salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 2. Wash the sweet potatoes and cut into slices. 3. Place the slices into a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. 4. Spread the potatoes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer with about a half-inch space between each slice. 5. Bake for about 20 minutes until they are golden brown and extra crispy.






1 head of purple cauliflower 2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter) 1 tablespoon garlic powder ¼ cup shaved Parmesan salt and pepper 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 2. Wash and cut the cauliflower into slightly larger than bite size pieces, preferably with a flat side to them. 3. Place the cauliflower into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. 4. Place the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 12 to 15 minutes. 5. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve while the cauliflower is still hot.


6 purple carrots 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons honey garlic powder salt 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 2. Cut carrots into sticks. 3. Place them into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, honey, garlic powder and salt to taste. Toss to coat. 4. Place the slices onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until the carrots turn crispy and golden-brown.

Each of these purple sides can complement any dish or be enjoyed on their own. Happy cooking.



WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM Especially if the berries make it healthy, right? By Sophie Rodosky Making ice cream at home can be a daunting task, especially when it requires expensive equipment like an ice cream maker. But it doesnʼt have to be that way — enter this easy, no-churn ice cream recipe. All you need is a freezable baking dish, a few easy-to-find ingredients and the willpower to wait while the ice cream freezes. Bursting with sweet berry flavor, this purple treat will quickly become your go-to DIY summer dessert.





1 loaf pan, large container or small glass baking dish, frozen for several hours or overnight 1 cup fresh blueberries ½ cup fresh raspberries ¼ cup sugar 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 cups heavy cream, chilled 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon salt 1. Bring the blueberries, raspberries, sugar and lemon juice to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan. Let simmer until thick and deep purple in color, about 20 minutes. 2. Set aside and let cool to room temperature. 3. Strain to remove large berry pieces and seeds. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 4. Whip the chilled cream with an electric beater (or whisk by hand) until stiff peaks form. 5. Whisk together the condensed milk, vanilla, salt and strained, cooked berries in a separate bowl. 6. Gently fold the condensed milk and berry mixture into the whipped cream until just combined. 7. Pour into a frozen loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight. 8. Scoop and serve.















Wrigleyville (& other locations)

"'Brambleberry' might not be a real berry, but Brambleberry Crisp is a Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams classic. The oat streusel and blackberryblackcurrant jam swirl in this flavor's sweet vanilla base is inspired by the purple berries that founder Jeni Britton Bauer used to pick as a child. I always pair it with a scoop of Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks, which reminds me of eating a perfectly squished PB&J sandwich.” Lauren Goldstein PHOTO BY SAMANTHA PARQUETTE



River North

“The truffle soup dumpling from Imperial Lamian will melt in your mouth! Unlike a traditional dumpling, these dumplings are almost as pretty as they taste. The aesthetically pleasing purple dumpling is filled with a delicious truffle soup in the middle that makes for an amazing bite-sized snack. Each colored dumpling has a different filling, so definitely try them all.” Ali Karen




“If I had to name my biggest weakness, it would be my sweet tooth. Iʼm a sucker for anything that gives me a major sugar high, and this unicorn bark does exactly that. Itʼs not only one of the prettiest treats Iʼve eaten, but itʼs also smooth and creamy with a great crunch from the candy pearls and sugar toppings.” Gabby Cano




River North

“Barrio takes its tacos up a notch by serving them on red corn tortillas, which makes them my favorite purple food in Chicago. My go-to order is the Deconstructed Chicken Al Pastor Tacos because youʼre served all the ingredients — rice, pickled red onion, kale, pineapple (my favorite) and two types of salsa — and you get to put them together, so each taco is completely customizable.” Ariel Coonin PHOTO BY BARRIO


CASSIS MACARONS at VANILLE PATISSERIE Hyde Park (& other locations)

"As someone with an obsession with anything French, I am always on the hunt for the perfect macaron, and these ones from Vanille Patisserie definitely hit the spot. Their cassis macarons are so unique and way more fun than a typical lavender macaron." Jessica Paridis PHOTO BY VANILLE PATISSERIE



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There’s something magical about walking into an independent bookstore in 2018, but the experience is even sweeter when you realize the shelves are stocked with cookbooks. So, before you mourn the death of the local bookstore, make sure you check out these five spots. We bet you won’t make it out emptyhanded.

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Read It & Eat Chicago, IL A culinary tourism destination like Chicago needed a culinary bookstore to match, and Read It & Eat certainly filled that niche when it opened its doors in 2015. Located in the heart of the vibrant Lincoln Park neighborhood, the small but well-stocked shop features an open kitchen where chefs and cookbook authors from all over the country come to host demonstrations, discussions, tastings, cooking classes and book signings. Its collection boasts more than 3,500 titles, covering every technique, ingredient, region, country and dietary restriction you could imagine. In addition to cookbooks, you’ll also find many shelves of food- and drink-focused history books, novels and biographies. #Spo www.readitandeatstore.com onTip

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Literati Bookstore Ann Arbor, MI

Literati isn’t technically a culinary bookstore, but its cookbook and food interest sections are deserving of a spot on this list. The three-story shop in the center of downtown Ann Arbor opened in 2013 with the goal of being a welcoming bookstore where locals want to gather, and the coffee shop on the boutique’s upper level certainly serves as a meeting spot for the literary-minded. The shelves are incredibly wellcurated, and the best part of shopping at Literati is the handwritten recommendations from the shop’s booksellers. www.literatibookstore.com

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks New York, NY Located in a quiet East Village cellar, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks specializes in vintage, antique and out-of-print cookbooks. After 17 years in the West Village, Slotnick lost her lease and was forced to relocate to the East Village in 2015, but her cookbook-loving customers followed her across town. Her new, slightly larger space allows her to stock even more titles than before, and her knack for collecting cookbooks means the stacks of titles are constantly changing and growing. ip: #SpoonT herself is www.bonnieslotnickcookbooks.com Slotnick unter

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Book Larder Seattle, WA Since 2011, Seattle’s Book Larder has boasted a carefully selected collection of new, collectible and imported cookbooks. The shop aims to be a community bookstore, doubling as a culinary events space that hosts multiple talks and classes each week in its demonstration kitchen. If you can’t make it to one of the shop’s many events, Book Larder stocks many signed titles from authors who have previously visited the shop. www.booklarder.com

Omnivore Books on Food San Francisco, CA Walking into this tiny, cozy shop in San Francisco’s quiet Noe Valley feels like stepping into your chef friend’s living room. The only culinary bookstore in the Bay Area since 2008, Omnivore sells an eclectic mix of new, used and antique titles alongside whimsical culinary knick-knacks. The shop frequently hosts free, intimate events with beloved chefs and food industry insiders, drawing in locals and out-ofip: towners alike. #SpoonT their s is m t nʼ www.omnivorebooks.com Do in full b bargain issues of back ry of culina s! magazine




THE FOOD NEIGHBORHOODS LESS TRAVELED Tired of going to the same spots over and over again? Here’s where to go to take a break from basic. By Charlotte Hu If you’ve lived in Chicago long enough, you probably know the classic foodie neighborhoods: the West Loop, the Loop, River North, Lincoln Park, Chinatown, Wicker Park and Old Town. Good for you. However, you’re missing out on some fantastic finds off the beaten path that are absolutely dynamite. Follow our Spoon guide and take the road less traveled to find hidden gems that are definitely worth the trip.



The ʻburbs are the underrated hosts of the best foodie hotspots in the greater Chicago area. Mitsuwa is the standing powerhouse when it comes to Asian cuisine, serving as a grocery store with a huge selection and a mini restaurant row that offers traditional Japanese dishes, treats and snacks. Mitsuwa is a haven for real Japanese food. Weʼre talking Katsu, ramen, sushi and more. On weekends, there are livedisplay stalls that change every week (they make mochi right in front of you!), along with the regular vendors that serve a variety of Japanese eats. The cafeteria section is a delicious addition to the supermarket, which offers a wide selection of Asian ingredients and supplies. Thereʼs even a bakery if you want to end your excursion on a sweet note.



Squashed between the trendy neighborhoods of Uptown and Andersonville, Argyle seems like a rather random stop on the Red Line. But the Argyle stop is THE stop to get some of the best pho in all of Chicago. Youʼll never be short of choices either. Since itʼs a predominantly Vietnamese area, pho shops are situated at almost every corner. It's also the stop closest to Sun Wah BBQ, aka the duck loverʼs paradise. The most famous item on the menu is the duck dinner for two (but realistically speaking, itʼs enough to feed three to five people), a special that has to be ordered a day ahead of time. The roasted duck is carved right in front of you and served with buns, veggies and condiments. Plus, thereʼs a warm, savory duck soup made from the carcass and duck fried rice featuring some of the leftover meat bits. No duck parts are wasted here. PHOTOS BY CHARLOTTE HU






The Mexican food in this neighborhood is hard to beat, with El Milagro being a frequented favorite. The steak tacos and tamales are some of the restaurantʼs most popular items. While some New American spots like Dusekʼs and Punch Bowl have also found a home in the ʻhood, Pilsenʼs roots are still on vibrant display through the colorful murals and small Mexican eateries covering the area.



Vegans, hereʼs one for you. This meat-free institution has been serving up suspiciously delicious vegan versions of traditional sandwiches since 1983. Must-try items include the Reuben, which will win over your meat-loving friends, and their knockout milkshakes. Logan Square is one of the more up-andcoming foodie neighborhoods. On its many corners, you can find the famed Fat Rice and Parachute restaurants, as well as lesser-known stops like Katherine Anne Confections. Although itʼs a little out of the way for us Northwestern students, itʼs well worth the trip.



To be honest, it took me forever to find this place again, mostly because I couldnʼt recall the name for the longest time — but donʼt let that stop you from seeking out this hidden gem. While it may not be Insta-famous, this low-key Italian restaurant is beloved by almost all who visit it. The food can be a bit on the pricier side, but the food quality and the ambiance will make it worth your while. Itʼs cozy, homey and definitely a welcome break from your regular trip to La Macchina or Daveʼs New Kitchen.



It is with great regret that I must inform you that Mumbai Indian Grill and Mt. Everest are not representative of the best Indian food in Chicago. If you ask any Indians who have spent more than one hour in Chicago, they will without a doubt tell you to go to Devon Street. Itʼs a stretch of stores and restaurants just a bit west of Loyola, and Ghareeb Nawaz is one of the most popular spots. The restaurant is open 20 hours a day (only closing briefly between 4 and 8a.m.) and serves up humongous portions at surprisingly low prices. While walking off your meal, youʼll realize itʼs only the first of many establishments along the road that offer flavorful and affordable plates.





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Q+A: Chef Amanda Saab Spoon: How did you decide to go into the food industry? What makes you passionate about food? Amanda: My love for food began when I was a young child baking and cooking with my mother. Growing up, my family owned a grocery store, and I spent lots of time connecting with customers about what they would be using specific ingredients for. After graduate school, I began sharing pictures of my creations online. My friends and family asked for the recipes, and so amandasplate.com was born. My love for connecting with others keeps my passion for food strong. It is also important for me to use my platform to talk about the food insecurities so many face. Spoon: You were the first hijabi to compete on MasterChef USA. What was that experience like? Amanda: It was an incredible experience. I loved experimenting and competing around food. At the time, I did not know I was the first hijabi to compete, and that still surprises me. But we have to celebrate all the firsts as they are breaking barriers and hopefully helping create more opportunities for others to also participate. Spoon: In the current political climate, what has been the biggest obstacle you have faced as a Muslim chef? Amanda: I think every obstacle is an opportunity, but this is not to minimize the real impact that anti-Muslim rhetoric and the rise of Islamophobia have had. For me, my biggest obstacle is finding the time to do all the things I want to do!


Building understanding at the table, one meal at a time. By Ariel Coonin

Recently in our country, weʼve seen a lot of division across political, racial and religious lines. But if thereʼs one thing that unites us, itʼs that we all eat. And here at Spoon, weʼre pretty passionate about the power that food holds. We sat down with chef and social worker Amanda Saab to learn more about her culinary journey and her current project, Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor, to discuss how she harnesses the power of a good meal to make change.

Spoon: Tell us a little about your personal project, Dinner with your Muslim Neighbor. What inspired you and what do you hope to accomplish? Amanda: Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor is a dinner to bring communities together, to get to know one another, connect on our common humanity and learn about Islam in a judge-free space while enjoying dinner! It began in January 2016. Islam teaches us to be kind to our neighbors and to get to know one another. Weʼve always loved hosting and thought a dinner would be a great way to do so. My hope is to connect people, and for my fellow Americans to have a better understanding of American Muslims. Spoon: What do you hope people will learn and take away from your work as a chef, sharing your traditional cuisines? Amanda: My hope for the work that I do, is that people will be more compassionate, understanding and accepting of one another, despite any differences we may have. We can all agree on good food! Amanda Saab is working with her husband to create a toolkit so that others can host their own Dinner with your Muslim Neighbor. With this toolkit, the work she and her husband do can be amplified to create a larger, more open discussion about tolerance in the country, which starts with sitting down to talk over the dinner table.




Cutting Carbon Eating green isn’t just about consuming more plants. Chicagoland businesses are revealing the keys to reducing their — and your — carbon footprint. By Manon Blackman While in today’s political atmosphere climate change itself is debated, many studies over the past years acknowledge that what we eat has a huge impact on the environment. The 2012 Annual Review of Environment and Resources noted that food systems contribute 19 to 29 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with agricultural production specifically contributing to 80 to 86 percent of those gases. That’s basically a quarter of all man-made emissions — a greater percentage than the entire transportation or industrial sectors, and about the same as the electricity and heat sector. Switching to a plant-based diet is one of the easiest ways to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Working Group found that the production of red meat produced 10 to 40 times as many greenhouse gases as vegetables and grains. But this kind of major dietary change can be a difficult switch for many, due to the cultural and social barriers as well as personal preferences and habits standing in the way. It can be even harder for entire businesses who don’t want to lose out on clientele by limiting their food offerings. However, there are many factors in the food industry that can have a large effect on the environment. Starting from the field, the difference between organic and non-organic farming can have a significant impact. For plants, traditional methods of farming use synthetic fertilizers that result in high N2O and CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change. Organic farming gets rid of those fertilizers, and even mitigates the greenhouse effect by trapping more carbon in the soil than traditional methods. Processes like using cover crops and crop rotation as well as returning crop residue to the soil with compost help release less carbon in the air. Even though the lower crop yield drives up the prices, organic farming is much better for the environment than conventional. Transportation and the idea of “food miles,” or the distance food travels from farm to table, can contribute significantly to carbon emissions, and many restaurants are now looking local in order to be more sustainable. Sourcing local also has other benefits — supporting local farms and businesses and, therefore, putting money back into the local economy. For Chicago pop-up restaurant Trout Kitchen co-owners Sean and Nadia Sanders, it’s important to have give back to the community and keep farmers happy — their restaurant even features a rooftop garden. “We always use local produce, pasture raised meats, and support local economy as much as we can,” they say on their website. “We believe in supporting charity events, farmers markets, and any method of growing our local farmer community.” Uncommon Ground in Chicago takes sourcing locally and sustainably to a new level. Not only is it a “Guaranteed Green” restaurant, meaning that it has been certified for its sustainability, but it also has the first certified organic brewery in Illinois, and it one ups other restaurants’ rooftop gardens with the first certified organic



rooftop farm in the U.S., according to the Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA). Owners Helen and Michael Cameron use the 2500-square-foot recycled deck on the roof to grow produce like eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, spinach and shallots as well as various herbs that go straight into the kitchens of both of their locations in Edgewater and Lakeview. Chefs Andrew Simonson and Alex LaBounty, respectively, use these clean ingredients in dishes for all diets, with delicious creations ranging from mac and cheese topped with crispy herb potato crumble to a seasonal greens and grains salad garnished with maple sage vinaigrette, toasted hazelnuts and beluga lentils. But even when meat- and fish-lovers come knocking at the door, restaurants can still find ways to be sustainable and ethical. That’s where Chicago’s Butcher & Larder comes in. Founder Rob Levitt goes whole-hog when it comes to the environment — literally. 90 percent of the menu comes from small and local farmers, and they use whole animals as often as possible, receiving a whole pig or lamb every week or so. He says it’s not only better for the farmer, but also fun for the team when they can convince customers to try out new cuts. “We love talking about meat and we love a challenge,” Levitt said. “We love when people say, ‘I have 20 people and I want beef on a grill on a limited budget.’ More often than not they leave saying, ‘I never would have chosen that on my own, and I love it.’ They leave feeling great, and they’re hooked.” People are resistant, but he says the secret is that the less common pieces cook up just as easily — if you can put a brisket in your slow cooker, you can put in an arm roast, and if you can grill a flank steak, you can grill a sirloin flap. Other restaurants will source from butchers like Levitt’s shop or purchase ethically by getting lesser-known meats and fish and ensuring that everything is sustainable and not on the Seafood Watch list – but that still tastes great. The Publican’s Chef Paul Kahan said in an interview with Good Food on Every Table: “The Publican is all about our producers. We buy fish from sources that not one single restaurant in the entire city buys from. We buy oily fish, West Coast sardines… We serve ‘garbage fish,’ sand dabs.” But what about the actual buildings themselves? It’s not just what goes on your plate, but also what’s in the kitchen and how the restaurant is built. Blind Faith Cafe in Evanston is 100 percent vegetarian and sustainable, but their restaurant also strives to use green practices like composting kitchen waste, conserving energy and water whenever possible, recycling cooking oils and providing compostable products. Owner of Big Delicious Planet, Heidi Couttal, started out with a commitment to her clients to get a green certification, but later extended the effort by moving into their current environmentally friendly building in 2010. The new structure is rehabbed with

Entrée a geothermal heating and AC system, features faucets outfitted with aerators and has geo-flush toilets for reduced water flow. The restaurant, catering service and urban farm also uses eco-friendly cleaning chemicals and disposable goods, and donates their cooking oil to Loyola University, where they recycle it into fuel for shuttle buses. “A lot of it is being educated about what you need to do,” Couttal said. “I never thought about putting aerators on a faucet or getting a toilet handle that could have more or less water, or even changing the chemicals we use. That’s a very easy thing that companies could do to be more eco-friendly.” However, being sustainable, and specifically getting the “green” certification, is a lengthy and expensive process, one that can be a huge deterrent for businesses. Couttal spent about nine months compiling paperwork and photographing everything to be rated by the Green Restaurant Association, an endeavor she called “long and intense.” She had to send the association all invoices and bills for electricity and gas and provide them with a detailed look at everything from garbage to compost to biodiesel and used cooking oil. Michael Elliot, head chef at Hearth in Evanston, agreed, describing the commitment required as “time consuming and a hassle to research, look into and spend the time finding things.” He says he’s “always on the phone with representatives, and the certification process is labor-intensive.” Butcher & Larder forwent the effort and has no certification. “It’s a point of pride, but it’s really more of a statement of what we do rather than having a title,” Levitt said. “We decided as a company that we want to support small farms. ou want to call that sustainable or ethical or locally sourced, whatever title works, it’s what we know is the right thing and [what will provide] the most delicious product.” Levitt said part of the problem is that the system, and the public, rely too much on labels. Buying a can of soup that is certified organic means it met the USDA guidelines, but it’s still supporting big business and has a relatively small impact. “We can pay for all the titles, but it doesn’t mean anything if the product does not support locally,” Levitt said. Consumers, including Northwestern students, can use that information to inform their own decisions to be more ethical and sustainable. While it can be tempting to go for the cheapest and quickest options in the supermarket, if food and the environment are important to you, you should be willing to spend extra time and money. Buying organic can be more expensive, and going to the farmer’s market and talking to vendors takes time, but it’s worth the effort. “Go to a place like mine and talk to the people behind the counter,” Levitt said. “We want to form a relationship. When people graduate and move, they ask where to buy meat like this and we hook them up with a butcher friend of ours. If you care, talk to the people who are selling you your food. Get the information and don’t be afraid to try something new — it’s probably the most delicious.” If you’re not ready for a big commitment, even small changes can help out the environment. Start composting with organizations like Collective Resource in Evanston, make an effort to go to the farmer’s market and buy local, participate in Meatless Mondays or even just remember to recycle and use more reusable containers. Cooking at home allows you to control the impact you have on the environment directly, but if you have an itch to eat out at a restaurant, it’s becoming easier and easier to find restaurateurs who are taking steps to reduce their footprint.




Why Gluten is Not the Devil While a necessary diet for some, an insensitive lifestyle choice for others.

By Brock Coylar

Imagine this: Youʼre on a first date at a Thai restaurant with someone from your dating app. Not only have they been keeping excellent conversation with you, displaying tremendous intellect and personality, but they are stunning. The waitress stops by the table to ask for your orders, and your date asks if one of the noodle dishes contains any peanuts. Apologetically, the waitress tells your date that indeed the noodles do contain an unsubstitutable peanut sauce. Disappointingly, your date decides to order “pad thai, hold the chopped peanuts” instead. After the waitress leaves, you comment to your date that you cannot imagine being allergic to peanuts, since you just love peanut butter. Confused, your date says, “Iʼm not allergic to peanuts?” Equally confused, you ask your date why they do not eat peanuts, to which they reply, “Oh! Well, I donʼt consume any nuts. Iʼm on a nut-free diet!” Does this sound ridiculous? Well, thatʼs because it is. And this line of logic is also ridiculous for all of the gluten–free but not gluten-intolerant or wheatsensitive individuals plaguing our hip, millennial bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants. PHOTO BY LAUREN GOLDSTEIN





According to Statista, the market for gluten-free and free-from food products is projected to be valued at $23.9 billion dollars by 2020. Furthermore, a survey from 2016 found that “22 percent of U.S. consumers find gluten-free diets very healthy.” Though the market for gluten-free products is skyrocketing and thought to be a healthier lifestyle alternative by some, many may not even know what gluten is, what foods gluten is in and what gluten does to food. As defined by the Celiac Disease Foundation, gluten is “a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale.” The proteins help foods to “maintain their shape” and can be found in food items ranging from breads, baked goods, cereals and pastas to soups, beers and food colorings. For some people, the consumption of gluten can lead to damage in the small intestine and other serious long-term health conditions. This autoimmune disorder is known as Celiac disease, and is thought to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. In order to prevent the development of long-term health conditions, it is critical for those with Celiac disease to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet. Unfortunately, the disease often goes undiagnosed. According to Monique Ryan, a dietician/nutritionist based in Evanston, Illinois, “Celiac disease is a chameleon and can present differently in different people. It may not be obvious at first if someone has it.” Some individuals who encounter troubles with gluten, however, do not test positive for Celiac disease but may have non-Celiac wheat sensitivity, which may manifest in similar symptoms and can also be resolved through the removal of gluten from oneʼs diet. The idea that gluten is an unhealthy component of oneʼs diet, or that the removal of gluten will automatically lead to a drop in the number on the scale, however, is a falsehood. Ryan warns against the idea of self-diagnosing gluten-intolerance or wheat-sensitivity and says, “If you donʼt really have a reason [for removing gluten from your diet] — if itʼs a trendy thing —

itʼs not great. Wheat is a great source of fiber. Itʼs fortified with a lots of nutrients. Itʼs really not a diet that anyone should just adopt ʻjust because,ʼ and itʼs really not a weight-loss diet.” Additionally, for those “super health-conscious” college students without any problems diagnosing gluten who pride themselves on their Whole Foods gluten-free crackers, English muffins and pay-by-the-slice gluten-free margarita pizza, gluten-free products are not always the healthiest options on the market. Ryan says that they may be highly-processed, low in fiber, higher in calories per portion and not fortified with B vitamins. Those looking to slim down or develop a toned body for their Spring break trip to the beach through a gluten-free diet may be sorely disappointed when their diet results in a vitamin or fiber deficiency and a few less dollars to spend on spring break booze. If you feel like you may have Celiac disease or wheat-sensitivity, and your symptoms align with the symptoms of these two conditions, get tested by your physician or dietician before eliminating gluten from your diet. If you get tested after going gluten-free for a few weeks, your tests results could be invalid. After all, the disease is widely undiagnosed. Otherwise, to all of the “hip” and “trendy” foodies with no gluten-intolerance looking to follow the latest culinary and dietary trends, put down the gluten-free avocado toast. No one with Celiac disease or a real wheat-sensitivity wants to hear you discussing your delightful new diet plan when, for them, a strict gluten-free diet is not a lifestyle choice but rather an aversion of long-term health consequences. Your gluten-free diet plan is not only potentially bad for your own health, but it is insensitive. Gluten is not the devil. And pad thai is always better with peanuts.




RISE OF THE FAST FOOD PRESIDENT You too can eat like Trump to win a campaign, but it may take a few years off of your life. By Hannah Brown


In the storm of alternate facts and angry tweets marking Donald Trumpʼs first term as the 45th President of the United States, itʼs easy to lose sight of him as an everyday person. In order to understand Trump on a personal level, we need to take a closer look at what fuels the man -— namely, the food he eats. If you are what you eat, a nauseating mix of Big Macs, Starbursts and Oreos has become Americaʼs first fast food president.



With a small loan of a million dollars, Trump entered the spotlight as a character from the real estate sector who won the adoration of his viewers with his infamous catchphrase, “Youʼre Fired!” While itʼs not certain when Trumpʼs love for fast food began, itʼs safe to assume that a steady diet of pizza and Fish Filets energized Trump during the filming of each episode of Celebrity Apprentice.

Entrée Once he hit the campaign trail, it was clear that the ketchup-doused steaks were here to stay. Trump shared some widely circulated photos showing his soft spot for junk food — one from his private plane, bucket of fried chicken in hand, and another inside Trump Tower posing with a taco bowl. “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” he captioned the photo. When he wasnʼt courting minority voters with social media posts about his meal choices, Trump was celebrating victories, like securing the Republican nomination, with a Quarter Pounder and fries. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN, “He never ate the bread, which was the important part. He was busy campaigning. We didnʼt have time to sit down for a meal.” This explanation for Trumpʼs eating habits may sound reasonable to some, but in contrast with former presidentsʼ eating habits, it falls a bit flat. Barack Obamaʼs personal chef and friend Sam Kass says he used to joke with Michelle Obama that the former president was so strict about his diet that at night, he would only snack on exactly seven lightly salted almonds — no more, no less. In response to public health concerns about Trumpʼs diet, his doctor Harold Bornstein signed a letter (dictated by Trump) that claimed he “will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Bornstein supported the claims of the letter on live television, but there is serious doubt that he did more than scribble his signature. A variety of theories began to circulate as to why billionaire Trump choose to dine almost exclusively at fast food restaurants. The Washington Post reported that Trumpʼs private plane remains well-stocked with “chips, pretzels and many packages of Oreos because Trump, a renowned germaphobe, would not eat from a previously opened package.” When he told Anderson Cooper that he liked fast food places because “youʼre better off going there than someplace you have no idea where the food is coming from,” many news outlets found concerns about germs to be a logical explanation. It wasnʼt until Michael Wolffʼs Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House hit newsstands that a more sinister reason for Trumpʼs eating patterns emerged: his deep fear of being poisoned. According to the book, Trumpʼs “longtime fear of being poisoned, (was) one reason why he liked to eat at McDonaldʼs — nobody knew he was coming, and the food was safely premade.” (Trump has threatened legal action against the author if he does not rescind the statements made in his book.) There is some political significance to focusing on Trumpʼs diet throughout the campaign. As the New York Times noted in an article published before the 2016 election, Trumpʼs blatant disregard for current cultural trends towards health and fad dieting reminds us of a different time, when eating Americana meant apple pie and fried chicken in every kitchen. Not only does this give Trump legitimacy in representing the more conservative part of the country that wants to “Make America Great Again,” but it also brings him to the level of the blue-collar workers he seeks to appeal to. By seeing an affluent candidate who engages


in everyday activities like eating at the same chain that they do, these voters view Trump as relatable. This is in sharp contrast to public figures constantly claiming that their ways are better and that their kale smoothies are part of what makes them superior. Since entering the Oval Office, Trumpʼs fast food habits still die hard. In Lewandowskiʼs book Let Trump Be Trump, he claims that “on Trump Force One there were four major food groups: McDonaldʼs, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke.” And his on-the-ground diet has been much of the same. Eater found that Trump asked the White House Kitchen staff to serve recreations of McDonaldʼs Quarter Pounders with extra ketchup and pickles. His ideal meal was requested alongside apple pies and keeping the place stocked with snacks like Layʼs potato chips. According to The Hill, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy noticed that Trump was only eating the red and pink Starbursts while the two were on Air Force One together. McCarthy later had his aides separate and send the president a jar of only the cherry and strawberry chews, a thoughtful gesture that was gleefully received. While in Japan, Trump stuck to his “All-American Diet” of steak, burgers and ice cream. In April, Trumpʼs diet made headlines when the press discovered that a red button sitting on Trumpʼs desk existed for the sole purpose of ordering Diet Cokes. The Times estimated that Trump drinks an average of 12 Diet Cokes per day. Unpredictable and heavily reliant on the big brands of corporate America, Trump is well-known for extremely unhealthy practices that are hungrily eaten up by the public. And so is his diet.




FOOD FOR FASHION How some local designers are combating the world of fast fashion, one carrot at a time. By Lily Katzman Picky eaters, rejoice! Those classic “eat your vegetables” foods like cabbage, onions, carrots and sweet potatoes have an alternative destiny — fashion. And in a world where brands are becoming increasingly exploitative, or “fast,” alternative foodbased dyes might be the saving grace. Plant-based products have been used as dyes since ancient times. But the discovery of man-made, synthetic and possibly ecodestructive dyes in 1856 have inspired small business designers to return to natural pigments as a sustainable alternative. Yes — veggies are taking the fashion world by storm. And these foods are the key to producing a rainbow of colors for small, natural dye houses around the world, from Calcutta, India to New York, New York. “[Designers] love the process — the organic, nonchemical way of doing work,” said Anjali Kamra, fashion designer and owner of a local St. Louis clothing brand called Rungolee. “Itʼs a slow process, but itʼs very beautiful.” Organic or natural dyes are pigments extracted from plants or animals. They avoid chemical treatment and have an extraction process that involves boiling, straining and submerging the materials leftover from the food.





Natural dyeing is a little bit like cooking. “A natural dyerʼs studio mimics something of a mad scientist or witch, or both,” said natural dyer and textile designer Cara Piazza, who runs a fashion studio in New York City. But these warm colors are more than what meets the eye. Beyond this trendy industry lies the heart of the natural dye movement — to better the environment. Natural dyes eliminate the harmful, eco-destructive matter used in textiles. “Synthetic dyes are some of the worst chemicals to be putting into water,” said Tyler Stolzfus, co-founder of Green Matters Natural Dye Company. “They completely destroy rivers and ecosystems.” Natural dye enthusiasts hope the environmental benefits of their craft can influence their buyers. “The sustainability movement understands the toxicity of the synthetic dye industry,” said Piazza. “Yet I think that the consumer isnʼt completely aware yet.” According to a 2011 Natural Science report, the synthetic dye industry uses more than 8,000 chemicals during the manufacturing process. Further, a 2014 World Bank report states that the synthetic dyeing of textiles is responsible for one-fifth of the worldʼs industrial water pollution. And get this — of the 72 toxic dye chemicals found in water, 30 cannot be removed. And Piazza stands by these facts. “Synthetic dye houses are one of the top causes of pollution in the areas where theyʼre situated,” she said. “The run-off from the chemical mordants used to fix the cloth is extremely toxic.” However, Dr. Harold S. Freeman, a professor of dyestuff chemistry at North Carolina State University, thinks just the opposite. “Itʼs generally believed that natural is better,” he said. “But thatʼs the long and the short of it. There is no benefit.” Freeman asserts that natural dyes are not as perfect as they seem because they were developed in nature without textiles in mind. Synthetic dyes were designed specifically for the mass production of clothing, so they have an affinity for these “target fibers.” Thatʼs the beauty of synthetic dyes — theyʼre manufactured with a specific fiber-type in mind, such as nylon, cotton, polyester and wool.

working environments and pay their employees little money to eventually sell the clothes for a higher price. According to a Newsweek article, Zara employees strategically hid notes in their produced clothing,which read: “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didnʼt get paid for it.” And although fast fashion is cheap, the fashion industry faces heavy scrutiny around the quality of these conditions. “Itʼs like big corporate companies making a big buck off of underprivileged people in third world countries,” said Rita Tramelli, a fashion merchandise student at Columbia College Chicago. “I donʼt see [fast fashion] going anywhere unless the consumer changes.” But people like Kamra and her brand, Rungolee, are catalysts for progress in the fashion world. “I think itʼs so unethical,” she said. “The idea of someone knocking [clothes] off and trying to sell [them] cheaply, that disturbs me.” Kamra believes in small batch manufacturing with a lot of attention to detail. “I didnʼt want to do something that was trendy and fast,” she said. “I wanted to make pieces that would be in somebodyʼs wardrobe forever.” This spring, Rungolee will celebrate its 10th anniversary. But Kamra has her employees in India to thank for the brandʼs elegant, seasonal collections. “I kind of look at each one of my employees as artists and I treat them that way,” she said. “Each one of them is a human, a person and their story needs to be told.” Sustainable fashion takes its roots (literally) deep in the soil, where fruits and vegetables grow as a source for natural dyes around the globe. And itʼs more than just turning food into pigment, but about the creation of an outfit that is timeless and pure. “Your skin is the largest part of your body,” said Piazza. “Why not treat it with love and kindness by clothing it with healing intentions?” So if you donʼt want to eat your veggies, you might as well wear them.

In Freemanʼs eyes, thereʼs a clear winner in the textile world. “Synthetic dyes are superior,” he said. “You have better purity and better homogeneity, consistently from region to region and from year to year.” But the man-made textile industry comes with its own trend, or cost — fast fashion. These clothes are based on the seasonʼs most popular styles and are manufactured quickly and inexpensively to support the consumerʼs needs. Brands like Zara and H&M produce their clothes in dangerous







WITH JIMMY BANNOS JR. Heʼs executive chef at The Purple Pig, “Culinary Ambassador” to Northwestern University and one of Peopleʼs Sexiest Chefs — and heʼs just getting started. By Aine Dougherty Northwestern Universityʼs Norris Center is a whirlwind of activity at peak lunchtime, with the Frontera Fresco line snaking around the corner, the pots banging at the (former) International Dish and the students chattering away as they finish eating before running off to their next class. But as youʼre walking through the food court, you might notice something a little out of the ordinary at the Cat Shack Grill — a team of professional chefs manning the flat top and churning out delicious Mediterranean-inspired eats, all led by the grinning, bandana-toting Jimmy Bannos Jr. Donʼt recognize the name? If youʼve ever been to The Purple Pig on the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago, youʼve tasted his James Beard award-winning food. So...whatʼs a renowned chef like him doing at Northwestern? Well, it all started when he was five years old. No, seriously. Jimmy Bannos Jr. grew up in the restaurant business, the youngest in a fourth-generation family of renowned restaurateurs. His fatherʼs place, Heaven on Seven, is a wildly successful hotspot for Cajun cuisine that has been open for almost 40 years. “My dadʼs pretty much a legend,” Bannos Jr. says reverently, “and I grew a deep love for the business at a really young age.” With these kinds of role models, itʼs no wonder Bannos Jr. followed a similar path — going to culinary school, cooking in Europe and eventually moving to New York City to work alongside Mario Batali. But four years in, he felt the call to come back home.

Bannos Jr. took his fatherʼs wine bar concept and ran with it, making meat the shining star of the Mediterranean- and Italian-inspired menu. Cured, fried, smoked, braised — you name it, heʼs serving it. He may have put his own spin on the restaurant, but itʼs the original name that stuck, Bannos Jr. says “If a pig gets drunk on red wine, it turns purple.” And thus The Purple Pig was born. For the first few years, Bannos Jr. was focused on the Pigʼs survival. “People are watching, theyʼre looking for me to fail. Youʼre not gonna tell me I canʼt feature pigʼs ears on a menu on Michigan Avenue,” he recalls. His fierce desire to prove his critics wrong was the fuel for his success. But despite his early introduction to the business and his obvious passion, it was no easy feat. “As amazing as it was, it was just as miserable,” he says. “Stuff I wouldnʼt wish on my worst enemies.” At the beginning, he considered himself a “goalie” — manning the net, dealing with the barrage of complications flying in from every direction. Fast forward eight years and itʼs clear that his perseverance has paid off. “It just keeps getting better,” he says, from the accolades (he was crowned “Rising Star Chef” by the James Beard Foundation in 2014 and one of People's Sexiest Chefs in 2017) to the respect heʼs earned from his peers in Chicago and around the world. Now, The Purple Pig seats over a thousand customers a day, but heʼs not quite as frantic as he was a few years ago. In fact, he says his team has managed to create a “controlled chaos” you just wonʼt see anywhere else.

“The Pig was kind of an accident. It wasnʼt really supposed to happen,” Bannos Jr. said. Just starting to get the hang of the New York lifestyle, the young chef hadnʼt been planning on heading back to Chicago so soon. Then one day, he got a call from Bannos Sr., who had an idea for a wine and cheese bar in the heart of the Loop: “Jimmy, what do you think about coming home and developing a menu for this place and rolling with it?” At first, the younger Bannos was thrown off — he didnʼt know if he was ready to take on such a big project. He thought to himself, ʻWhat the hell do you know at 24 years old?ʼ To most of us, running a restaurant at such a young age seems like an impossible task, with all of the pressure and responsibility. But Bannos Jr. was up for the challenge. After all, he had grown up in the kitchen and experienced the ins and outs of the business first-hand. “Itʼs almost, like, by osmosis,” he says. “Youʼre in it, you see it, you hear it.” PHOTOS BY ALEX SCHWARTZ



Entrée Bannos Jr. is proud of everything heʼs accomplished so far, and he loves to see the buzz both in the restaurant and in the press. Although heʼs trying to delegate a bit more now, heʼs not slowing down by any means. In fact, heʼs constantly looking forward to the next thing, so it makes sense that his favorite part of the job is recipe development. He certainly appreciates the tried and true classics on the menu, “the original dishes that have stood the test of time, that gave us our voice and that people still come back for,” like the tender milk-braised pork shoulder, the crispy fried pigʼs ear and the grilled octopus packed with Mediterranean flavor. But for him, itʼs all about the new dishes. “Thatʼs what I love the most,” he says. “Learning new things, researching, reading...thatʼs the best.” And it’s not just recipes he’s developing. The Purple Pig team is also cooking up quite a few projects outside the kitchen, including a partnership with Northwestern Dining. As “Culinary Ambassador to the University,” Bannos Jr. may have a fancy title, but his mission is simple — cook delicious food for the students. “Weʼre making everything. Weʼre not just standing around,” he says. “Itʼs not like, ʻI donʼt really give a shit about what the food tastes like.ʼ Thereʼs a lot of care that goes into it.” Bannos Jr. comes to the university for pop-up restaurants once every few months and has cooked in different spots all over campus — the student center, dining halls — in order to reach the maximum number of hungry students. “Every time I come back, I feel like the hype just keeps getting bigger about where Iʼm gonna be,” he says. “And the swag! Purple Pig socks, Purple Pig bandanas — they really get into it.” Within minutes of placing an order at the Cat Shack Grill, youʼre handed a warm, made-to-order lunch, served with smiles from the whole “Bannos Bunch.” In true Purple Pig fashion, meat is at the



center of this meal, a huge gyro loaded with crispy pork on soft, fluffy pita bread, garnished with a dollop of garlicky tzatziki sauce, juicy tomatoes and bright, acidic pickled red onions. And on the side, a pile of golden-brown “Greek Fries” dusted with salty feta cheese. But most importantly, you can tell this partnership is no chore for Bannos Jr. — heʼs totally in his element, even in the cramped kitchen at Norris, and he lights up whenever he gets a chance to interact with “the kids,” as he calls them. Itʼs obvious that his passion is cooking for people, no matter where he is or who heʼs serving. As college students, we’re already piled high with nonstop problem sets, essays and midterms, but Bannos Jr. wants to add one more item to our to-do lists. All you foodies out there, listen up. “Do your homework,” he says. “Do your research. Read a lot of different publications and really be open to a lot of different cuisines.” Yes, as students our budgets are tight, but Bannos Jr. promises you can still make it work if youʼre savvy about it. In other words, step outside of the Loop. Thereʼs a lot of different “pockets” in different neighborhoods that are doing some exciting things in the world of food (and that wonʼt break the bank). “Donʼt be scared to explore,” he adds, his gruff voice sounding the most excited itʼs been yet. “You can get lost in this stuff!” Bannos Jr. says that right now Chicago is a hotspot “at the center of a movement of innovation,” where chefs are constantly expressing their creativity and “pushing the envelope.” Just take it from Jimmy: “Chicago – thatʼs where you wanna go.” And itʼs only an “L” ride away.

Fast Casual is the New Black Entrée

From the Chipotle-ization of restaurants to an Insta-worthy meal.


By Ariel Coonin

First it was Chipotle, reimagining how we eat burritos by adding fresher, high quality ingredients and the ability to customize without sacrificing quick service. Soon, everything we eat became “the Chipotle of Pizza” or the “the Chipotle of Poke.” Suddenly, weʼre no longer satisfied with a limited menu of only unhealthy items at a fast food joint. Sure, the McNuggets and fries at McDonaldʼs are still irresistible, especially after a drink or two, but it isnʼt the go-to quick lunch or dinner that it once was. And we certainly don't want to be restricted to casual dining restaurants because who wants to pay $12 for a hamburger served in dated décor at an Applebeeʼs or Chiliʼs? (Weʼre sorry, Applebeeʼs, you were a great hangout spot in middle school.) With the rise in popularity of Chipotle, we saw the continued proliferation of fast casual restaurants, serving healthier or more unique options in trendier space, especially popular among millennials. Fast food and fast casual restaurants together make up the category of limited service restaurants, or restaurants where you order at the counter. In 2016, fast casual was a $47 billion industry and it is a continually growing category with new entrants in the space and expansions of existing chains, according to Darren Tristano, Chief Insights Officer of Technomic in a presentation to the 2017 National Restaurant Show. Although the two are often conflated, fast food and fast casual restaurants are not the same. Fast food typically refers to quick service restaurants that serve standardized menus at cheap prices — think McDonaldʼs or Taco Bell. Fast casual, on the other hand, refers to higher quality quick service restaurants with slightly elevated price points that prioritize a better customer experience through the use of fresher ingredients, a more varied menu, the ability to customize orders, and a well-crafted design that encourages guests to eat in, Tristano said. These “Chipotles” of the world are changing the restaurant game, growing at a faster rate than fast food restaurants

and replacing casual dining spots across America. While Chipotle may have been the catalyst, fast casual restaurants today are not limited to cuisines that have previously been quick service, like salads and sandwiches. Restaurateurs are pushing the boundaries of fast casual offerings to serve food in new and innovative ways, looking to differentiate themselves and attract customers with different tastes. The Sosta, a fast casual restaurant in New York Cityʼs SoHo neighborhood, serves fresh pasta dishes made with real ingredients just minutes after you order them. According to co-founder and executive chef Ali LaRaia, the inspiration for The Sosta came from Italian Auto Grills, rest stops along Italyʼs highways that serve fresh-cooked cuisine instead of the reheated fast food rest stops that weʼre used to in the United States. LaRaia saw an open niche in the fast casual restaurant market: fresh pasta. She realized that if people wanted to eat fresh pasta in New York City, they had to go to a fancy restaurant to get it. “Making fresh pasta is flour and water. Itʼs accessible. It should be affordable,” LaRaia said. “And it cooks so quickly,” she added. Fresh pasta can be cooked in just one to three minutes, as opposed to dry pasta, which tastes a lot longer to cook, so the concept of serving fresh pasta at a fast casual restaurant made a lot of sense to LaRaia. And from a chefʼs perspective, fast casual is appealing because it offers chefs the opportunity to share a certain quality of food with a wide variety of people. “I can offer a quality of food that most people would have to spend a lot of money on, or make reservations,” LaRaia said. “And to offer fresh food in a casual setting, I love the fact that I can offer that to people.” LaRaia prides herself on the high quality of the food The Sosta offers, making pastas, breads and cheese in-house with skilled workers.



Entrée But some of the most popular fast casual restaurants arenʼt reinventing the fast casual wheel with new cuisines; theyʼre just doing traditional fast casual foods better. Enter restaurant chains like sweetgreen that are trying to improve how people eat salads and bowls and interact with the food ecosystem overall. Sweetgreenʼs brand focuses on seasonal and sustainably sourced ingredients that are fresher, tastier and better for customers and farmers alike. “Weʼre always looking for ways to source smarter, to make better decisions and to help sweetgreen and its customers be a positive force in the world and on the food system,” said sweetgreen co-founder Nate Ru. “Weʼre committed to supporting small and mid-size growers who are farming sustainably, creating transparency around whatʼs in our food and where it came from and creating more accessibility to healthy, real food for more people.” In a world growing increasingly conscious of healthy food choices and one where people are generally expecting more value from food providers, restaurants need to do better by their customers and their suppliers, and sweetgreen strives to meet this goal. And what they do seems to work, appealing to both the salad lovers and the salad indifferent across the country. Not only do fast casual restaurants offer a wide variety of foods at a higher quality than their fast food counterparts, but they also offer diners a more enticing experience that encourages them to sit down and stay a while. And these design elements are no happy accident; they are carefully thought through during the restaurant development process in the



same way menus are planned and developed. Fast food restaurants are designed with the idea that people will eat quickly or take their food to go, whereas fast casual restaurants are designed to make the customer feel at home. Studies show that restaurant success is reliant on more than just the quality of food — customer experience is crucial. Believe it or not, thereʼs a whole field of study called “Atmospherics” that looks into the psychology behind how environmental cues like ambiance, design and social factors make someone more likely to purchase something. The field was coined by Kellogg School of Business marketing professor Philip Kotler in the 1970s and has since been studied from both marketing and psychological perspectives. Although food choice and quality are essential in a restaurant, stylistic differences can help differentiate restaurants and motivate people to choose one over another similar alternative, according to a study by consumer marketer Susan Auty in 1992. From a psychological perspective, design is our first signal whether or not we like a restaurant because it gives us cues as to whether the food will be safe to eat. Think about how you choose where to eat. If the restaurant is dark with outdated furniture and a closed kitchen, you might be more likely to worry about the quality of the food than in a restaurant with natural light, modern furniture and an open kitchen that allows you to see the food being made. Adapting on this idea, a consumer marketing study by Abel Duarte Alonso and Martin OʼNeill in 2010 examined the specific design factors that make people more likely to choose a restaurant. Consumers overall seem to prefer spaces that feel inviting with comfortable seating and natural light. There was also a preference


for supporting local restaurants over big chains.

patterned floors that read “sweetlife.”

Taking into account all of the psychology behind these design factors, fast casual restaurateurs make careful decisions in order to optimize the customer experience in their restaurants. According to The Sosta co-founder and creative director, Sam Wasser, design was a huge factor in creating the restaurant.

And the restaurants benefit in the long run from a well-executed, aesthetically pleasing design due to two simple words: social media. In an increasingly socially connected world, many restaurant brands rely on social media as a form of word-of-mouth marketing to spread awareness about their brands. In this way, the restaurant experience expands past the time spent within the walls of the restaurant.

“I hope that our guests experience the true meaning of The Sosta and use their experience with us as a ʻbreakʼ from their day to recharge and enjoy their meal, espresso or glass of wine,” Wasser said. “New Yorkers, myself included, are always running around; even during the craziness of the day, we hope The Sosta will be a nice respite from that, even for a few moments.” She focused on factors like a space full of natural light, a calm color palette of soft pinks with a mix of textures like wood and marble, comfortable seating and statement pieces like a neon pink sign reading “Mangiamo, Baby.” “You have to take so much more into consideration,” Wasser added. “At the end of the day, my goal is to create an environment where my guests will feel comfortable and, of course, fun. I love seeing people making memories in our spaces.” But as important as design elements are to overall customer experience, itʼs equally important for these restaurants to strike a balance between a carefully curated space that stays authentic and true to the brand image. Sweetgreenʼs design teams take extra care to make sure their restaurants each have personality that engages customers and enhances their experiences without going overboard and losing authenticity, according to Ru.

“Social media was a factor that was considered in every aspect of developing the concept for The Sosta,” Wasser said. “I believe that Instagram and social media are a huge driving force for a restaurant brand, reaching your customers and having the ability to connect with everyone outside of the restaurant space.” And itʼs more than just the food Instagram trend. All of the design accents of the space are frequently photographed and posted on social media as well. If youʼre searching for sweetgreen or The Sosta on Instagram, youʼll see pictures of the art on the walls of sweetgreen and the food pun chalkboard signs outside the restaurants, or the giant neon “Mangiamo, Baby” sign from The Sosta, intermingled with photos of the food. “We want our guests to come in and take as many pictures as they want to post for their friends and followers to see,” Wasser added. “I 100 percent think it helps — people eat with their eyes after all! We definitely design for the camera — from the packaging, textures, design and natural light we strive to find the perfect spots for beautiful images.”

“Our restaurants are designed to act as a canvas for food allowing produce and ingredients to shine, so weʼre careful to not make the spaces feel overly branded,” Ru said. “Much like our ingredients, regionality is important in the art featured in our stores, so we always work with local artists in the community, many of who are sweetgreen customers already.”

And once this user content is generated, brands can interact with it to continue building user experience. “We use social media as one of the main channels to help us tell our brand story,” Ru said. “Itʼs a great medium to introduce new and existing customers to our menu updates, farmers, and impact partners that are all part of the sweetgreen community. Our content is a mix of photos we take in our stores or test kitchens and also photos from our fans. We care about what our customers have to say and we get the most immediate feedback through social media.”

Sweetgreen restaurants have a more natural feel to them, with lots of wood, white and green accented with artwork and brand designs like

Thereʼs a reason fast casual restaurants have become so popular. Itʼs because they understand their customer. And weʼre not complaining.







Wicker Park’s café and record store combo Purple Llama is the perfect one-stop shop for Chicagoans looking to refine their tastes in both coffee and music. By Michelle Galliani

We all have our Saturday routines. Some Saturdays are “for the boys,” others are dominated by errand running or spontaneous adventures to a new urban neighborhood. Sometimes, the routine itself is breaking all routines and simply letting the day unfold as it will. As for Joel Petrick, from Park Ridge, IL, his 25-year-old self had a consistent and cherished routine: a morning trip to a vinyl record shop, picking up a cup of coffee on the way. “My whole life pretty much revolved around records at that time,” Petrick said. Petrick, who worked a corporate sales job that required a two-hour commute each day, put his free time and energy into music. He claims he would spend an entire paycheck on a single trip to the record store. On his way back home — giddy with excitement over his newest purchases — Petrick would stop for coffee. “Saturday and Sunday mornings became about pour over coffee, dropping a needle and spending a few hours easing into the day.” Petrick, now 34 years old, lamented that he rarely has time to continue his beloved routine these days. But thatʼs because now, his weekend mornings are devoted to running his very own record and coffee shop.

tap, served in trendy jelly jars. Customers sip on their beverages, prepared by baristas with clear glasses and a rotating wardrobe of graphic tees, at raised countertops or classic café tables. In the summer months, the shop opens up its outdoor patio, a perfect place to enjoy an afternoon in the Chicago heat. The open patio also allows the shop to host local bands and coffee community events like “Thursday Night Throw-downs” (described as a rap battle for latte artists) and “Cupping” events, which are essentially wine tastings for different coffee roasters. There is plenty to draw a crowd to Purple Llama, however, coffee nerds come to the shop for the wide array of international roasters, which cannot be found at other coffee hubs of Chicago. The shop serves coffee from all over the map — Kenya, Panama, Colombia and Norway — but is committed to a light-roast niche. A light-roast coffee has fruitier and sweeter notes (and more caffeine), without the smoky bitterness. According to Petrick, great coffee shouldnʼt taste like coffee, or the Folgers coffee weʼve all grown used to, and he is committed to leading his customers down a new path.

“Itʼs a ʻcoffee nerdʼ destination,” said general manager Adam Hirzel. “Itʼs a place for people who really get excited about coffee and are not just drinking it for the caffeine kick.”

“I appreciate that thereʼs a really prominent focus on quality here,” said 23-year-old barista Zack Piccozzi. “Itʼs a nice place to develop your tastes, not only for coffee and tea, but music as well.” Records line the front and back side of the shop, sandwiching the barista bar and seating area. The records pop off the black and white walls, giving the shop a clean splash of color. The music in the shop makes its presence known; unlike a traditional coffee shop playlist that murmurs in the background, Purple Llamaʼs tunes drown out all the coffee machines and clicking keyboard noise.

There is something for everyone on the Purple Llama menu. Venture into the signature drinks section and youʼll find unique flavors like a tanglewood hot butter yam chai, a sʼmores latte or an espresso tonic. Thereʼs even multiple flavors of kombucha on

General manager Hirzel managed another record shop before Petrick recruited him. Now, he is Purple Llamaʼs “music man,” responsible for making sure that the shop has not only unique coffee offerings but also music that cannot be found elsewhere.

Purple Llama, in Chicagoʼs Wicker Park neighborhood, is the embodiment of one manʼs distinct passions forging at a crossroads. The cafe, which opened April 6, 2017, is a one-stop shop, drawing a constant flow of coffee lovers and music buffs alike.



Entrée “We have a lot of greatest hits, but as far as newer artists go, itʼs not a lot of top 40 stuff,” Hirzel shared. “Itʼs the type of artists youʼd see at the Pitchfork festival.” Purple Llamaʼs collection is consistently growing and has quadrupled in size since its opening. Each record sells for around $18 to $20. Its collection is eclectic, ranging from Chilean Psych rock, Nigerian funk disco and soul gospel artists to classics like the Rolling Stones. There is also always some type of Neil Young record in stock as an homage to one of Petrickʼs favorite artists.

turn. Purple was the color of the minor subculture, Occult Rock, of the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, old pagan rituals were adopted by the earliest rockers like Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and even the Beatles, and they rallied behind these rituals with the color purple at its forefront. While Petrick said his shop has no religious sentiment, he giggled and added, “but the rituals for those rockers occurred just like those Saturday mornings.”

“Neil Young has been a big inspiration in my life and made the biggest impact on me,” Petrick said. When brainstorming names for his shop, Petrick knew he wanted to pay tribute to the artist in some way. He drew “llama” from a song on Youngʼs “Rust Never Sleeps” album called “Ride My Llama.” Whether or not his animal choice was intentional at all, Hirzel seems to think he made a smart choice, because “llamas are pretty trendy right now.” As for the purple part of the name, things take a somewhat dark







HUNGRY FOR A BYTE Meet some new key players shaking up the food tech industry. By Olivia Olson ILLUSTRATION BY JESSICA PARIDIS

THE PLANT-BASED BURGER THAT BLEEDS Black bean and portobello veggie burgers soon won't be the only meat-free options on a typical menu. Beyond Meat, a Los Angelesbased company that produces meat substitutes, is adding some new flavors to the protein industry. The Beyond Burger looks, cooks and even bleeds like a beef burger, but is made entirely of plant products. It packs 20 grams of protein, the majority of which comes from peas, and contains beets that give the patty a red color and the ability to “bleed.” Itʼs also soy-, gluten- and GMO-free. According to its website, Beyond Meatʼs goal is to help reduce meat consumption in order to positively improve both human and environmental health. Quickly spreading to restaurants and grocery stores around the country, this plant-based protein source looks like itʼs here to stay.

FARM-TO-SUPERMARKET Do you ever wonder where the prepackaged wilted spinach in the produce section at the grocery store came from and how long itʼs been sitting there? Well, with new vertical farming developments, you might be able to pick your very own fresh spinach in the heart of your local supermarket. Berlin-based startup, Infarm, is working to use mobile farming units that can be placed anywhere from grocery stores to schools to shopping malls. This indoor vertical farming system would allow customers to pick their own fresh vegetables and even fruit from mini greenhouses. Each illuminated container is home to a small plant farm where the plants are carefully monitored by a centrally controlled irrigation and nutrition system. These selfsufficient farming pods could change the game when it comes to produce, and could also potentially help fight the good fight against food deserts. Infarm currently has more than 50 farms located in Germany and is planning on European expansion before heading overseas.

ROBO-RESTAURANTS Weʼve known about self-driving cars for a while, but have you ever met a robot chef? At Henn-na restaurant in Japan, humanoid robots are the ones in charge. They prepare food, mix drinks and can even talk to customers about their job. Robots are also infiltrating the food service industry a little closer to home. Flippy, a burgerflipping robot created by Miso Robotics, mans his own station at CaliBurger in Pasadena, CA. Though he reportedly could flip 150 burgers in an hour, Flippy was temporarily decommissioned on March 9 due to slow performance. Flippy is designed to take burger orders through a digital ticketing system, flip the burger patties and remove them from the grill. With the movement towards Artificial Intelligence, it wonʼt be long before Flippy and his friends are back up and running.

ITʼS A BIRD, ITʼS A PLANE, ITʼS MY CHIPOTLE BURRITO As if Postmates and Uber Eats werenʼt enough, tech giants are starting to experiment with the next big thing: drone delivery service. In November 2016, a Dominoʼs pizza was delivered in Whangaparaoa, New Zealand, marking the first drone food delivery in history. Ten months later, the worldʼs first operational drone delivery service launched in Reykjavik, Iceland by drone company Flytrex and was available to users of AHA, Icelandʼs largest online marketplace. Flytrex expects its drones will cut at least 20 minutes off delivery times for takeout shipped between the two parts of Icelandʼs capital. Meanwhile in Australia, Project Wing, under Googleʼs parent company Alphabet X, is teaming up with Tex-Mex food chain Guzman y Gomez to experiment with drone delivery for the chainʼs burritos, chips and guac. Yes, guac will still be extra.





MOVING UP IN THE FOOD CHAIN These eight Wildcat alums have some of the coolest jobs in today’s food industry. By Lauren Goldstein

A college degree can open a lot of doors into jobs of all kind, but a diploma from Northwestern University led these graduates from the classroom into the kitchen. Check out the culinary career paths of these Northwestern grads.

ELENA BESSER Elena Besser graduated from Northwesternʼs School of Communication with a Bachelor of Science in Theater in 2015. Upon graduation, she started and ran the video department at Spoon Universityʼs New York City headquarters. She then headed to the International Culinary Center to earn a Culinary Arts Degree and trained under Michelin-rated chef Missy Robbins, who just won a James Beard Award for Best Chef in New York City at Lilia New York. So whatʼs Besser up to now? She recently started her own production company that creates video content for all things culinary.

MELANIE MOSS Melanie Moss graduated from the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences in 2008 with a double major in English and French. After leaving Northwesternʼs campus, she attended the Institute of Culinary Education and went on to work in the Michelin-starred kitchens of Babbo and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where she was Head Baker and Pastry Sous Chef. In 2014, after putting in work at these prestigious places, Moss founded Mini Melanie, a New York City-based custom cake and chocolate truffle company.

NAOMI HARRIS Naomi Harris graduated from the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, then joined Willing Workers On Organic Farms and WWOOFed, as they call it, on two farms. Her next career move took her to Anchorage, Alaska, where she worked at Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop. Desiring warmer temps, Harris moved back to the mainland and trained at the San Francisco Baking Institute, going on to work at Zak the Baker, Lyon + Lyon and Cafe Curuba in Miami before opening Madruga Bakery in Coral Gables in 2017.





ANALIESE TRIMBER Analiese Trimber graduated from Northwesternʼs Bienen School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Wind & Percussion Instruments in 2013, but her career path took a sharp turn after graduation. By day, she is an Account Manager at FOODBEAST, where she manages all branded content. Outside of the office, Trimber is the founder of The Bacon Princess, a blog dedicated to gluten-free, dairy-free and oftentimes Paleo recipes that highlight bacon in all its natural beauty.

SIERRA TISHGART Sierra Tishgart graduated from Northwesternʼs Medill School of Journalism in 2012 and immediately jumped into the world of food writing. Tishgart worked as the Senior Editor of New York Magazineʼs food site, Grub Street, for five years and won a James Beard Award for her work there. Now, she contributes to Bloomberg, ELLE, Cherry Bombe, and TASTE, and she is currently starting her own company that will launch in late 2018.

BRYAN COWAN Bryan Cowan graduated from Northwesternʼs McCormick School of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing and Design Engineering in 2009. Cowan is the cofounder of Wisefish Poké, a laid-back seafood shop dedicated to Hawaiiʼs beloved raw fish dish, poké. Wisefish opened its doors in Manhattanʼs Chelsea neighborhood in 2016.

ALEXANDER REIN Alexander Rein graduated from Northwesternʼs Pritzker School of Law in 2006. But rather than stay in the courtroom, he founded Kelvin Natural Slush Co., a premium all natural slush company based in Brooklyn that got its start as a food truck in 2010. Kelvin now partners with restaurants and bars in New York City to sell Kelvin-branded frozen cocktails and virgin cocktails, and the brand is also sold in select Whole Foods locations.



Salty Spoon Memes for Hangry Teens June 1 at 12 49am

tag yourself as one of our purple foods xx Baked Brie

An acquired taste “When I studied abroad in Paris...” Loves to wake and bake, if you know what we mean

Blueberry Pancakes

Wakes up roommate with five snoozed alarms Sweet, but gets sassy after 9 PM Just got back from a jog

Beet Hummus

Super smooth — expert at sliding into those DMs Repeat side chick Believes that humans are not meant to consume the milk of other animals

Beet Sandwich

Pronounces macaron with a French accent Morally opposed to the Oxford comma Doesn‛t want you to know that they‛re actually from Ohio

Like 14K


Berry Ice Cream

Very nice. Maybe too nice. Uses summer as a verb (“We summer in Nantucket.”) Loves a good DFMO

Sweet Potato Latte

Always hyped on caffeine Wears fishnets under ripped jeans Constantly asking you to follow their food Instagram

Share Most Relevant

614 Shares Write a comment 2018




A LOVE LETTER TO PURPLE KETCHUP Dear Purple Ketchup, You were what I needed, but never deserved. I want you back. I know you used to love it when I called you by your full name, so I’ll do it now. Heinz EZ Squirt Funky Purple Kid Condiment Ketchup with Vitamin-C Added, I want you back. I want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for laughing at you in the grocery store aisle and and calling you crazy. I’m sorry for bringing you home for a one-dinner stand, just to leave you in the fridge for months, giving you no attention, till I finally kicked you to the curb. I’m sorry for bringing you up in my IMC class years later to call you a failure. I had barely given you a chance. When I liked all of those other brightly colored food Instagrams, from the unicorn bagels to the rainbow grilled cheese, I thought of you. When I drank that nasty green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, when I tagged all of my friends in the pink chocolate video on Facebook, I longed only for you. When we first met, I was simply too young for you. Too inexperienced. I had yet to meet the purple potatoes and yellow carrots and green tomatoes of the world. You were just so ahead of your time. But then you left. Since then, my love for you has manifested in so many ways. Since I last saw you, I’ve fallen in and out of love with other purple foods. I tried ube ice cream, which was beautiful but just didn’t do the trick. I ate açaí bowl after açaí bowl and thought I was in love. But at the end of the day, I was simply trying to fill my stomach with purple to fill the void in my heart you had left. Purple ketchup — no — Heinz EZ Squirt Funky Purple Kid Condiment Ketchup with Vitamin-C Added, I love you. Please, come back to me.

Love, Grace Luxton













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$ Your plate is cleared, your stomach is full, and the bill is in your hand. So, now what? By Haley Yamada Well, it depends. The general rule of gratuity is to leave around 15 to 20 percent of the pre-tax bill. But be careful — a tip can be much more complicated. At the end of the night, a tip can make or break a waiterʼs shift and, depending on the state, their paycheck. It is important to keep in mind that the restaurant staff make three or four times more from tips than their actual wages. According to a local manager for an Evanston restaurant, who asked not to be named, most professional servers expect a 20 percent tip, whether it be fine dining or fast casual.


“I would consider anything less than 18 percent to be a ʻlowʼ tip, and many servers I have worked with over the years would feel the same,” he says. “Average ʻhighʼ tips at good restaurants range from 25 to 30 percent… The largest tip I have ever witnessed was 200 percent of the total bill.” Many servers across the country are paid minimum wage, and in many states, including Illinois, “tipped wage” salaries allow for restaurants to pay their staff significantly below the minimum wage. By doing so, “tipped wage” salary restaurants assume that the lower wages would be made up for in tips. Specifically, servers around Evanston are only paid about five to eight dollars an hour, according to a manager of an Evanston restaurant. After taxes, servers tend to solely live off their tips.


Unfortunately, this issue cannot be fixed by merely paying the servers more. Labor costs are already the largest percentage of any restaurantʼs budget, and by increasing minimum wage, small businesses could effectively disappear and prices would rise across the industry. In the worst case, servers often get “stiffed,” which means that a guest leaves no money for a tip. This is especially bad because servers have to pay out their fellow server assistants and bartenders who helped them during the shift. In the end, this means that the initial server is basically paying to serve the table who “stiffed” them.

$ 2018


Elizabeth Dickson, a junior at Northwestern University who works for Evanston-favorite La Macchina Cafe knows what itʼs like to be stiffed. “Iʼve had someone come in when the restaurant is totally empty and order a nine dollar meal and then leave a tip of $1.50... When the bill is that low and you can see that the restaurant is empty, it wonʼt kill you to throw down an extra dollar. Any tips we get weʼre splitting and we only make five dollars an hour. Also if youʼre going to throw down a couple of extra dimes — donʼt bother. I donʼt really want your change!” Recently, The New York Times published a series of articles explaining the power imbalance between customers and servers. Research has shown that tipping percentages are highly dependent on race, gender, sexual orientation and age.


Northwestern University students make up about 28% of Evanstonʼs total population. Ranging in age from 17 to 33, most of these young people carry the “poor college student” stereotype and often are not very generous with tips. Unfortunately, what choice do some have? Just March last year, Northwestern raised its tution 3.6 percent leaving students paying $52,678. With costs of room and board, books, supplies and other expenses, the total cost of attending Northwestern rounds out to be $72,980 a year. For now, the entire American restaurant industry is dependent on tipping because it incentivizes good service. In other countries, like Japan, tipping is considered an insult. A tip tells the restaurant that the business is not doing well enough to pay their servers a proper salary, so you are giving something extra to help. But America is enveloped in this concept of “work hard and earn more” mentality. Yet, in college towns all over the country, including Evanston, a balance needs to be struck between the idealistic American Dream and the reality of only making five dollars an hour to help pay for a $72,980 education. So, next time youʼre out to eat, be conscious of the little (or big) “thank you” you leave with the bill.











INSTAGRAM ROUNDUP 2018 Wait — let me get a pic. By Grace Luxton

The old saying goes, "you eat with your eyes first," but these days our phones eat first. Check out what we've been eating this year and throw us a follow @spoon_nu if you like what you see.













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