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Exploring Life in the Fox




This Valentine’s Day



Recommendations for your trip to the Big Easy!

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What’s inside... Dining & Cuisine



20 FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018


Going Vegetarian for the New Year?


Featured Dishes

– Sara Snelling

Must try appetizers, entrees, desserts or cocktails available at local Fox Valley restaurants.


Naperville Restaurant Week


Geneva Restaurant Week



Aurora Cup Table Tennis Championship


The Old House New House Home Show


Elgin Public Museum Feeding Bison


2018 World Leaders Forum



Interview with Alex Broches from “The Junk Removal Dudes”


Arts & Entertainment


Arts and Entertainment around the Fox Valley



Get Cozy in Lake Geneva this Valentine’s Day


New Orleans: Recommendations for your trip to the Big Easy

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Out & About


Faces and places from around The Fox

Fox Valley Magazine

Editor - Paul Stukel, Advertising - Kevin Ketchum,, 800-564-8024 x107 Production - NEXXUS Publishing, 524 W. State St., Suite E, Geneva, IL 60134, 800-564-8024

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dining & cuisine

Sara Snelling is an innovative, forward-thinking nutritionist with a food science, food service and food safety background. While earning her bachelor of science in nutrition and dietetics at Northern Illinois University, she did a variety of volunteer work within her community. This includes experience with teaching culinary classes, medical nutrition therapy instruction, public speaking and data analysis and research in nutrition across many demographics. Sara is a regular contributor to


Try these yummy recipes the whole family will like! CHIPOTLE BUTTERNUT SQUASH CREPES These tasty things are ever adaptable and can be filled with just about every type of vegetable and/or legume. Try lentils! Or spiced garbanzo beans! What You Need Butternut Squash • 2 cups ¼” cubed butternut squash • ½ chipotle pepper, crushed • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce • 1 clove garlic, minced • 1 tablespoon olive oil • ½ teaspoon ground cumin • ¼ teaspoon sea salt Crepes • 1/4 cup fine-ground cornmeal • 1/4 cup white wheat flour


• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt • 2 large eggs • 1/2 cup whole milk • 1 tablespoon melted butter Topping • 1/3 cup sour cream • 1/3 cup heavy cream or half/half • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro • Pinch of Salt • Toasted Pepitas • Lime wedges, for serving *One note about the Mexican crema: if you can find it at your grocery store, use it in place of the sour cream/ heavy cream mixture. The sour cream mixture is a solid substitute, but it doesn’t quite match the balance in the crema. Look for crema near the sour

cream–most grocery stores carry one or two brands. What You Do 1. Preheat oven to 425˚F. Place the cubed butternut squash in a roasting pan and toss with the crushed chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, garlic, olive oil, cumin, and salt. Squash should be well coated. Roast until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. 2. While the squash is roasting, make the crepes. In a medium bowl, whisk together ingredients for the crepes. Heat 8″ skillet and lightly grease with oil. Place a scant ¼ cup of batter in pan. Tilt the pan so that the batter covers the entire pan and cook for about 60 seconds or so, until golden. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds. Layer done crepes, slightly overlapping, on a plate. 3. Assemble the crema by whisking together the sour cream, heavy cream, cilantro, and salt. When the squash is done. Take a crepe and fold in half then half again. Stuff the butternut squash inside each crepe and place on a plate, repeating for each crepe. Drizzle with the cilantro crema and top with toasted pepitas. Serve with lime wedges. TURMERIC CHICKPEA CAKES/ BURGERS These Turmeric Chickpea Cakes are super yummy and very easy and quick to make. And they are naturally gluten-free and vegan too! Enjoy!

instead) What You Do In a large cast iron pan, drizzle in a little grape seed oil and fry the onion and garlic until slightly golden but not burned. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a food processor, process the chickpeas until they turn to a slightly textured paste, be sure to turn off the food processor and scrape down the sides to get all the chickpeas ground up. Add in onion and garlic, salt, pepper, turmeric and cayenne pepper and mix to fully combine. Turn the food processor off and stir in the chopped parsley. (If you do have kids, I would omit the cayenne pepper entirely as most kids are not into spicy foods. Or divide the batch into two and season them differently for kiddos and adults.) Take a large plate and sprinkle a few tablespoons of chickpea flour onto it. Using a spoon, scoop some of the mixture with onto your hands and shape into a ball, the size of a golf ball, and then press gently to make a patty. Drop into the chickpea flour to coat evenly. If too much flour sticks to the patty then gently dust it off with your fingers or a pastry brush. You should have a very light coating all over the patties/ burgers.

What You need • 1 small onion • 2 cloves of garlic • 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups pre-cooked) • small bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup) • 2 tablespoons potato starch • 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt • freshly ground black pepper • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour + extra 3 tablespoons for coating • grape seed oil for cooking Garlicky Avocado Cream to serve (recipe will be shared separately soon) (for now you can try this recipe for Avocado Lime Cream and omit the lime and add 1/2 minced garlic clove

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VEGETARIAN MUSHROOM MEATBALLS How about some vegetarian meatballs, people? You are probably feeling a little skeptical about these right now, but let me assure you – these Vegetarian Mushroom Meatballs are fantastic! Even a major meat lover won’t be disappointed with these meatless meatballs. What You Need • 3 tbsp olive oil • 1 medium onion (chopped) • 20 oz mushrooms, finely chopped • 1 cup quick cook oats • 1 cup breadcrumbs • 1/2 cup chopped parsley • 4 garlic cloves (minced) • 2 eggs • 1/2 tsp dried oregano • 1/2 tsp dried thyme • 1/4 tsp salt • 1/4 tsp pepper • 1 24oz jar Ragu marinara sauce • parsley to garnish • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional) What You Do 1. In a large skillet, saute the onion in olive oil on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes. Add mushrooms, increase the heat to medium-high and cook them for 10-15 minutes. You’ll need to wait until the water evaporates and then keep cooking the mushrooms until they brown nicely. Add garlic, stir, and transfer the mushrooms into the mixing bowl. Let them cool down. 2. Add the rest of the ingredients excluding marinara to the mixture. Stir the mixture nicely and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, possibly overnight for the flavors (and texture!) to develop. 3. When ready to cook, using a tablespoon as a measure, form small balls from the mixture. Fry the balls in a small amount of vegetable oil until they turn brown or bake them in a preheated oven at 400F for 15 minutes. 4. Add marinara sauce to the medium sauce-


pan. Place the meatballs on top and cook the meatballs in the sauce on a low heat for about 15 more minutes. 5. Garnish with grated Parmesan or fresh parsley. THAI COCONUT CURRY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP The great thing about this kind of soup is that it’s very forgiving (unless you pour a metric ton of spicy curry paste in it) so it’s a great recipe for beginners. Cut everything roughly the same size (so it cooks evenly) and let it simmer slowly in the broth until the squash is very soft, then purée it until it’s smooth. Once that’s done, you can get it to taste exactly the way you like it! What You Need • 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil • 2½ pounds (1kilo) butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

• • • • • • • • • • •

1 large yellow onion, chopped 4 large garlic cloves, chopped 2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated 2 - 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (see note above about vegan brands of paste) ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, more to taste 1-2 tablespoons agave (or honey, not vegan) 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken - not vegan, obviously) (1liter) 1 cup coconut milk (save the rest of the can for drizzling) (250ml) Handful fresh mint or cilantro leaves, chopped

What You Do 1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add onions and cook until soft and translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add squash, garlic, ginger, curry paste, and salt. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant. Add broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until squash is completely soft, about 20-25 minutes. 2. While soup is simmering, make Spiced Candied Peanuts (if using) 3. Blend soup well using a stick blender or, working in batches, transfer soup to a blender (do not fill blender more than halfway with hot liquid and use a kitchen towel to protect your hand from any escaping steam). Purée soup and add back to the pot. Add coconut milk and re-heat the soup until just hot, then stir in the lime juice and honey, and adjust the seasoning with salt. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Use a spoon to drizzle a bit coconut milk over each bowl. Top with Spiced Peanuts and a sprinkle of cilantro or mint. Bon Appetit!

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dining & cuisine

Featured Dishes Must try appetizers, entrees, desserts or cocktails available at local Fox Valley restaurants.

Chilean Sea Bass with Hawaiian Ginger Scallion Pork Tacos

Yellowfin Tuna Poke Bowl

Cola braised pulled BBQ pork tacos with pickled vegetables and homemade hot sauce.

Edamame, scallions, carrots, avocado, radish, cucumber, seaweed, soy, chili aioli - also available with salmon or grilled beef tenderloin.

Bliss Culinary Heaven 232 S. Washington St. Naperville, IL 60540 1-630-857-3922

Catch 35 Naperville 35 S Washington St. Naperville, IL 60540 1-630-717-3500



Fresh tomatoes, red onions, garlic, basil, and capers marinated in olive oil, served with garlic rounds and topped with Asiago cheese. Bruschetta is one of the many appetizers we feature for our half priced appetizers special on Tuesday’s! Chianti’s 201 S. 3rd St. Geneva, IL 60134 1-630-232-0212

Short Rib Risotto

Carnaroli Rice, Mushroom, Sweet Onion, White Wine, Shaved Parmesan, White Truffle Oil. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant 3710 E Main St. St Charles, IL 60174 1-630-940-1000

Burger Saltimbocca

Prosciutto, Fresh Mozzarella, Sage and Bruschetta Mix on Toasted Ciabatta with Red Pepper Aioli. Elgin Public House 219 E. Chicago St. Elgin, IL 60120 1-847-468-8810


Lightly seasoned and pan seared, served over truffle mushroom risotto with asparagus and lemon chive beurre blanc sauce. Fiora’s 317 S 3rd St. Geneva, IL 60134 1-630-262-1317

Wood-Fired Pizzas


King Salmon with sesame, horseradish and local greens. Craft Urban 211 James St. Geneva, IL 60134 1-331-248-8161

Half-Price on Mondays | All Day | Dine in or Carry Out. GIA MIA 13 N 3rd St. Geneva, IL 60134 1-630-405-5544

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Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin

Succulent pork loin medallions smothered in cherry pork jus, with a sweet potato puree and side of caramelized bacon & onion brussel sprouts. Le Chocolat du Bouchard “The Bistro” 127-129 S Washington St. Naperville, IL 60540 1-630-355-5720

Irish Sausage Rolls

Savory sausage wrapped in puff pastry and served with Branston Pickle. McNally’s Irish Pub 109 W. Main Street St. Charles, IL 60174 1-630-513-6300

Eggnog Cannoli

Housemade cannolis filled with a ricotta eggnog filling with hazelnut wafer topped ends. Osteria Bigolaro 317 W State St. Geneva, IL 60134 1-630-402-0597

Chilean Sea Bass Almost Benedict

English muffin | crispy roman tomatoes | creamed spinach | poached eggs | hollandaise | roasted potatoes | seasonal fruit. Served during Weekend Brunch from 11am-3pm on Saturday & Sunday. Livia Italian Eatery 207 S 3rd St, Geneva, IL 60134 1-630-402-6444 FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018

Chilean sea bass in garlic soy sauce with sautéed vegetables topped with baby arugula and yuzu wasabi Shakou St. Charles 312 W Main St. St Charles, IL 60174 1-630-444-0850

Beet Salad with Grilled Chicken

Delicious beets, crumbled Bleu cheese, mixed greens, fresh Granny Smith apples, candied pecans & balsamic vinaigrette. (Grilled shrimp also available)

Braised Lamb Shank

The Office 201 E Main St, St. Charles, IL 60174 1-630-549-0287

Braised Lamb Shank with roasted root vegetables and a rosemary au jus. The Finery & Blacksmith Bar 305 W. Main Street St Charles, IL 60174 1-630-940-2380

Warm Pretzels Appetizer

Topgolf Breakfast Burrito

Pretzels with beer mustard and home-made cheddar cheese sauce.

Fresh scrambled eggs + bacon + chorizo sausage + cheddar + grilled cheddar jalapeĂąo tortilla.

The Grandstander 507 S. 3rd Street Geneva, IL 60134 1-331-248-0919

Topgolf Naperville 3211 Odyssey Ct. Naperville, IL 60563 1-630-596-1000

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dining & cuisine

Naperville Restaurant Week Naperville is getting ready to kick off its 5th Annual Naperville Restaurant Week, January 26-February 8,2018. Over thirty restaurants in Naperville will participate in the annual event. Whether you want to explore the fine and fancy or sit back and relax at a fast-casual restaurant, there are plenty of options. Participating restaurants offer a prix fixe menu, a special offer, or discount. Take this opportunity to try out a restaurant that you have never experienced or enjoy an old favorite, there is something for everyone. Visit and click on Restaurant Week to see what participating restaurants have to offer for the 2018 Naperville Restaurant Week.


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dining & cuisine

Geneva Restaurant Week Geneva Chamber of Commerce is pleased to highlight culinary excellence by offering the Geneva Restaurant Week - an entire week of delicious discounted dining at some of Geneva’s finest restaurants! For ONE WEEK ONLY, Monday, January 22 through Sunday, January 28, foodies will be able to eat their hearts out at participating restaurants that will offer lunch and dinner menus for either $9, $19, $29 or $39. DINE ON THE $9’s. Some are per person, some are for two and some are options you will only find during Restaurant Week. Explore scrumptious eats and leave the cooking utensils and dishes at home and join as we celebrate Geneva’s thriving and unique culinary scene.


Tickets and passes aren’t necessary for this week of discounted dining; show up at any participating location or call ahead to make a reservation to ensure your chance to indulge with these deep discounts. Visit Geneva Restaurant Week on the web at week_in_geneva.php for more information and a complete list of restaurants. For additional information, please call participating restaurant or Geneva Chamber at 630-232-6060.

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2018 Aurora Cup Table Tennis Competition Watch some of the most intense and skilled table tennis players from around the world, right here in Aurora! This is a 4-star USATT sanctioned tournament you won’t want to miss. Jan 12, 2018-Jan 14, 2018 Vaughan Athletic Center 2121 W. Indian Trail Aurora, IL 60506 1-630-907-9600


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Spark Ideas For Spring Remodeling, Renovations & Transformations The Old House New House Home Show Returns for 34th Inspiring Season Explore the latest trends in home improvement at The Old House New House Home Show, February 9th, 10th and 11th at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main Street in St Charles. Since 1984, this event has been bringing together an outstanding roster of select participants featuring award-winning contractors, talented designers, creative craftsmen, trade specialists, national brands and industry innovators. This year’s event will host 300 exhibitors and welcome an expected audience of 10,000 area homeowners for this weekend celebration. The Mega Center and Ballroom both will be brimming and bustling with engaging displays, new products and specialty services for home living, design and decor. Discover fresh ideas for kitchens, baths, basements, tile with style, countertops, additions, new construction, architecture, fabulous flooring, landscaping, savvy storage, renewable energy, home automation, painting, window treatments, roofing, waterproofing, insulation, custom closets, fireplaces, heating and air, windows, doors and


more. Enjoy the largest, longest-running and most innovative home show in the area. Show hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. Tickets are available at the door or in advance through Eventbrite. Adult admission is $7. Senior admission (for 62+) is $4. Children under 18 attend free. Parking is free. A portion of the ticket proceeds benefits The Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley and their ReStores in Elgin/Chicago. Visit www.kennedyproductions. com or call 630/515-1160 for more details. Daily design workshops are included with admission. Design Your Dream Kitchen will be presented each day at 2 pm by Normandy Design, Build and Remodeling. Each day at 1 pm, Beautiful Bathrooms will be hosted by Advance Design Studio. New this year: “Design in Landscaping: Color and Trends� will be offered by Grant and Power Landscaping at noon on Saturday and Sunday. Lou Manfredini, Mr. Fix It, will be in the house as well. For a complete schedule of workshops and attractions, visit

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Elgin Public Museum: Feeding Bison for Twelve Years with the Help of the Public The Elgin Public Museum of Natural History & Anthropology will give people a chance to shadow the Lords Park Zoo’s morning feeding of its year-round residences – the bison, deer, and elk – on January 27 at 7:00 am. Participants will meet at the Elgin Public Museum at 225 Grand Blvd in Elgin for a short introduction to the Zoo animals, using artifacts from the Museum’s collection to showcase adaptations that allow survival in the wild. Afterward, the group will walk down to the Lords Park Zoo to follow the zookeeper in a behind-the-scenes look at the morning routine learning how the bison, deer, and elk are fed and cared for each day. Kids and adults will even have the chance to help feed the bison. “It is truly amazing to see these magnificent animals up close. The bison might not look so big from twenty feet away, behind the fence, but when you see them eye to eye while pouring a cup of feed into their trough, you are very aware of their 1,500 pounds,” says Museum Coordinator Sara Russell. “This is my favorite time of year for the Bison Feeding. The park is peaceful and quiet. FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018

With any luck, you’ll get to see the animals enjoy the snow.” The Museum has been offering this program for twelve years. According to Friends of the Lords Park Zoo board member and former City of Elgin employee Dwight Armistead, “It started as a way to demonstrate how the animals were cared for by Zoo staff and explore the natural history of the animals.” Originally only offered quarterly, the program is now available on the last Saturday of each month through the collaboration of the Elgin Public Museum and the City of Elgin along with the sponsorship of the Friends of the Lords Park Zoo. The cost is $2 for adults and $1 for children. Free to EPM members. Availability is limited to 12 people. Call the Museum at 847-741-6655 or email the Elgin Public Museum’s Education Coordinator at to register. Most of the program takes place outside, so dress for the weather.

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Newt Gingrich and Howard Dean to Keynote Judson University’s 2018 World Leaders Forum Judson University has announced that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean will share the stage for the seventh World Leaders Forum on April 19, 2018. The event, titled “A bipartisan conversation about leadership in divided times,” marks the first time since 2011 that Gingrich and Dean have shared a stage. “In a world that is becoming increasingly politically divided, Judson University is honored to host a conversation highlighting the importance of civility in political discourse,” said Judson University President Dr. Gene Crume. “We believe in presenting our campus and our community with a balanced approach to understanding divergent ideologies by fostering respectful dialogue.” Previous World Leaders Forum keynote speakers include former President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mexican President Felipe Calderón, and Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan. The goal of the World Leaders Forum is to offer Judson students and the Chicagoland community an opportunity to be inspired by significant thought leaders. Proceeds fund Judson Leadership Scholarships and innovative entrepreneurial activities as well as support ongoing operations of the World Leaders Forum. The 2018 World Leaders Forum will feature a community event at 2 p.m. at the Judson University Herrick Chapel and a VIP reception in Chicago starting at 5 p.m. At both events, former Speaker Gingrich and former Governor Dean will engage in question-and-answer sessions. At the VIP event, guests will have a photo opportunity with Gingrich and Dean. Tickets to the VIP event and the Community event are available to the public. Tickets for Judson students, faculty, staff and alumni will be given first priority starting October 19. Tickets will be available to the community starting November 1. For ticketing and sponsorship information, visit About former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich Newt Gingrich was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1978 and served until 1999. During that time, he served as the House Mi-


nority Whip (1989-1995) and the 50th Speaker of the House (1995-1999). Under his leadership, Congress passed welfare reform, the first balanced budget in a generation, and the first tax cut in 16 years. In addition, the Congress restored funding to strengthen defense and intelligence capabilities, an action later lauded by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission. In 2012, Gingrich was a candidate for the Republican Party Presidential nomination. As an author, he has published 35 books, including 15 New York Times bestsellers. Today Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor. He is a senior advisor at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup.

About Judson University Located in Elgin, Illinois, since 1963, Judson University offers a Christian, liberal arts and sciences education through its Bachelor of Arts degrees for more than 60 majors, minors, graduate programs, and online, as well as certification and accelerated adult degree programs. For more information, visit

About former Governor Howard Dean Governor Dean gained national prominence as a U.S. Presidential candidate in 2004, and he served as the Governor of Vermont from 1991 to 2003. During that time, he created a record of promoting equality and opportunity for his constituency and employed a philosophy of fiscal responsibility – advocating low taxes, reduced government spending, and minimal government debt. His successes prompted Governing magazine to proclaim him “Public Official of the Year” in 2002. His leadership roles also include turns as chairman of the National Governors’ Association, the Democratic Governors’ Association, and the New England Governors’ Conference. He led the Democratic Party to success as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. He is credited with pioneering an energetic 50-state strategy and the development of 21st century campaign tools that helped Democrats make historic gains in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

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feature a&e

Persistence Pays Off for

Alex Broches

of “The Junk Removal Dudes” What started as an extra side-gig to help pay off student debt, has turned into a full time business for 29 year old Alex Broches. The Junk Removal Dudes when Alex’s mother, Betty Deligiannis, had asked Alex if he could help her customer out by removing a few things out of their basement (my mother owns a house cleaning biz in St. Charles, St. Charles House Cleaning. “At the time, I didn’t think much of it. I just wanted to help her out. Little did I know, that this the beginning of a very interesting business venture that eventually would take off.” It started off with Alex asking to borrow his friends pickup truck. Alex promised to pay his friend for his truck and his help. After the 1st job, Alex’s business was already net profitable. What started off as 1 customer a week, turned into 2-3 a week, then at some points in the summer of 2016 & 2017, closed to 20-25 calls per day. What started as making $195-$400 a month, turned into $25K+ on some months. Whether it’s a small job cleaning out a garage for $195, or cleaning out an entire warehouse for $8,000+ or even a hoarder home for $1,500; we have seen FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018

every kind of job imaginable. Fraternity houses at NIU, million dollar homes in St. Charles (Where oddly enough, there are many hoarder homes in St. Charles) and also cleaning out commercial properties in Geneva as well. We do all kinds of jobs. Since then, The Junk Removal Dudes have been featured on WGN 3x, twice on Fox Chicago, The Daily Herald, WIFR 23 and also soon in the Chicago Tribune. In between that time, I also was fortunate enough to write a book. Being an author was just as challenging if not more difficult then running a business. My book talks about how I overcame business failure multiple times in my early 20’s, depression and several other health related issues. (Where I had several startups; some of which were on MTV’s True Life with several million views/ also website visitors) and several other startup failures in my mid 20’s as well. The blurb on my book is from James Altucher, who is a best selling author and venture capitalist. (My book is on Amazon now, 15 reviews; all 5-star rating)

come adversity. Thankfully, I kept sticking with it and learned along the way on how to better myself health wise and also business wise. Also, with a little luck from my mom; I fell into a business that is not only very fun for me on a daily basis; but a business where I get to help people make their lives a little easier. Fox Valley Magazine: You have had a very difficult childhood. Alex Broches: When I was 9, my father went to prison for 10 years leaving my mother and

He recently had me featured in his email newsletter for a blog post I wrote to his readers “How to make $20K a month with junk removal” I am very fortunate for how things have turned out so far. My early 20’s was a nightmare with all the business failures I had. Even before that, life was tough growing up in general. I grew up homeless at times living in different hotels with my mom and 2 brothers as a child. My father was locked up and went to prison for 10 years, leaving my mother and us boys broke and trying to scrape by. Those difficult times during my youth, and my 20’s with my business failures, helped me tremendously today to

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two brothers on our own. My childhood was difficult especially when we lost our house. We would go from living to our grandparents home on occasion to various hotels for several years. During this time, my mother started bring in some type of income when she decided to start cleaning homes.

came close to giving up everything. When you fail from a venture, it sucks the soul out of you. It’s an emotionally and physically exhausting experience. After each business failure, I would take a break from trying anything else entrepreneurial and find a job in between. (Pizza delivery, made balloons at party card outlet etc)

While I was in school, I started to become more interested in growing her business instead of focusing on my actual homework at school. Instead of working on my homework in class, I would come up with flyer ideas for her so that she could expand. To me, that was the real education and the type of education I enjoyed thoroughly. Throughout my childhood, I was started to become interested in entrepreneurship. They never really taught it in school, so I had to learn this on my own by observing my mother whenever she would take calls from potential customers. I would then start to read business books on a daily basis. To me, business was appealing because it had to use a high level of creativity. My mom was the one that got me into entrepreneurship. She still has her house cleaning business today after all these years. Fox Valley Magazine: How many business failures have you had? Alex Broches: I started to mow lawns before the age of 10. But after that, I went through many different failed ventures. (An internet startup that failed (At one point had several million unique visitors and featured on national TV.), Vending machine business, window washing business, porter/delivery/errand provider, snow removal etc. Fox Valley Magazine: How close did you come to giving up? Alex Broches: There were many times where I


Fox Valley Magazine: Could you tell us about your appearance on MTV’s True Life. Alex Broches: It was in 2010-2011 where MTV had come out to film my experiences of creating an internet startup at NIU. They would come out numerous times throughout the year of 2010-2011 to film me as I was getting this idea off the ground. The episode aired in Nov 2011. It’s crazy when you see yourself on TV

in front of millions of people. The response I got was overwhelming, both good and bad. Fox Valley Magazine: What did you learn from that experience? Alex Broches: I learned that my website and idea wasn’t good. The service I was offering was a mix of several ideas all jumbled into one. It was hard for me to figure it out at the time because I truly believed it was a good idea. However, no one else did. Also, I learned that going on TV in front of that many people can be a humbling experience. You get messages from all types of people; nice people, crazy people and people in between. Fox Valley Magazine: What was your lowest point? Alex Broches: My lowest point was in 2012 when my depression was at it’s worst. I was contemplating suicide when I had numerous bad things happen to me within a 2 years time. (One of my best friends died in a car accident, my internet startup failed and I lost all of my money and ended up in debt, other health issues like high blood pressure were starting to develop as well and literally being broke with no $$ for several months) Fox Valley Magazine: How did you turn your life around from there? Alex Broches: I talk about this in detail in my book “A Dark Path To Light”. I had a walk in the woods one night and something happened to me that late night. I went in walking very depressed and after looking at the stars for a certain amount of time, a calming effect made

me change my mind and overall feeling. That night changed my life forever. I left the woods that night promising myself that I would make my life better in more ways that one. Fox Valley Magazine: Your book “A Dark Path to Light” is a gripping true-life tale of your journey from poverty, isolation and desperation to health, happiness and financial success. Was it hard to put your experiences from to pen to paper? Alex Broches: Yes, very difficult. In fact, it’s been the most difficult thing I’ve gone through so far up this point in my life. Writing a book is grueling. However, once I finished the book after several years, it’s a great feeling and a rewarding feeling. It felt like I finally made it to the finish line in a race. I would say that I easily spent over 1,000+ hours on it and it took me several years. (Edit, starting over, re-arranging certain chapters, repeating those steps etc) Fox Valley Magazine: How do you think it will help anyone who reads it? Alex Broches: I think it will help people who

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have dealt with depression and or business failure because the message I want to share is that there is a light for all of us. I was at rock bottom because I thought there was no future or any speck of light for me moving forward. I had no money, horrible health and literally had nothing. I felt like I had no reason to live. But, it can be turned around. Not only can you survive, but you can thrive. I want people to thrive and most importantly, find happiness. Fox Valley Magazine: Why has your business “The Junk Removal Dudes” been successful vs your previous businesses which failed? Alex Broches: After failing so many times before, eventually you start to learn and to start to figure out what works and what doesn’t. For me, it was a matter of learning and also realizing how important customer service and consistency area. Fox Valley Magazine: Where is your business headquartered and what is your service area? Alex Broches: We are based out of Sycamore and service all the way from Rockford, DeKalb County, Kane County, Aurora, Naperville, Elgin, Wheaton & now Schaumburg. Fox Valley Magazine: Any plans for expansion? Alex Broches: We are looking at possibly opening up an office in St. Charles or Geneva in 2018 (Which is where a large amount of our business is) and possibly expand to Chicago in 2019. Fox Valley Magazine: What is your best advice for inspiring entrepreneurs?

give up 3.) DON’T GIVE UP! Sounds very cliché, but this is so so true.

Alex Broches: Find something you love to do. Too many people go into business just to make money. Find something you enjoy, and make that your living. I think that’s why I think The Junk Removal Dudes LLC is doing well. I love what I do everyday and love meeting all the customers on a daily basis. Everyday seems like an adventure. THEN : 1.) Don’t give up 2.) Don’t

Fox Valley Magazine: What’s next for Alex Broches?


Alex Broches: I’m not sure. Right now, I’m just enjoying the ride. I’m having a lot of fun right now and want to keep going along this fun ride for as long as possible.

630-674-4808 Kelly Niemann Licensed Insurance Agent HealthMarkets Insurance Agency is the d/b/a, or assumed name, of Insphere Insurance Solutions, Inc. which is licensed as an insurance agency in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. HMIA000589

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What’s Happening at The Arcada? Jimmy Page Birthday Bash With Kashmir! KASHMIR is a very entertaining show bringing only the best of LED ZEPPELIN to their fans. KASHMIR seeks to re-create the experience of a 70’s Zeppelin show utilizing authentic vintage stage gear, costumes, and special effects, with great attention to detail in a non pretentious way. SATURDAY, JAN 6 8:00 PM Arcada Silent Film Night: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Accompanied Live By Jay Warren On The Historic Arcada Organ Experience the magic of Silent Cinema the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30PM. Live accompaniment by Jay Warren at the historic Arcada Pipe Organ. TUESDAY, JAN 9 7:30 PM Stand-Up Comic Dennis Miller! Miller is listed as 21st on Comedy Central’s 100 greatest stand up comedians of all time, and was ranked as the best host of SNL’s Weekend Update by THURSDAY, JAN 11 7:30 PM

For tickets, call 630-962-7000 or visit FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018

Tom Petty Night With The PettyBreakers The PettyBreakers is the nation’s premier “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” tribute act. Based out of Southern California, this band accurately recreates the sights, sounds and concert experience of a Tom Petty concert. All the classics… American Girl…Break Down… Free Fallin’… Mary Jane’s Last Dance…Refugee… Runnin’ Down a Dream… and so many more... perfectly reproduced. FRIDAY, JAN 12 8:00 PM Jonny Lang With Special Guest Tony Lucca It is hard to believe that at 36 years old Jonny Lang has already had a successful career for two decades. Easier to believe when you learn he released his first platinum record at 15—an age when many young people are just beginning to play music. SATURDAY, JAN 13 8:00 PM Doug Church As ELVIS Doug began his career in the US Air Force, brandishing a guitar and homemade costume, where he began winning talent contests held annually by the Air Force with his amazing rendition of the King of Rock n Roll. He won 11 First Place trophies in just 4 years of competitions in multiple categories such as Male Vocalist, Comedian and even master of Ceremonies. Shortly after leaving the service, he entered the Worldwide Elvis Impersonators contest at Bad Bob’s Vapor’s in Memphis Tennessee, walking away with the First Place Crown as, “The World’s Best Elvis Tribute Artist”. SUNDAY, JAN 14 5:00 PM

Mr Mojo Risin’ – Tribute To The Doors Mr. Mojo Risin’ celebrates the career of the Doors from their first self-titled album, through LA Woman, covering all of the best and amazing music in between. We bring an authentic concert experience representative of the band’s best shows. SATURDAY, JAN 20 8:00 PM

Rockin Chicago Style With The Buckinghams And Danny Seraphine The Buckinghams and Danny Seraphine (ORIGINAL MEMBER OF CHICAGO AND THE CALIFORNIA TRANSIT AUTHORITY) All of The Buckinghams and CHICAGO Hits in one night! SUNDAY, JAN 21 5:00 PM

Abba Mania! The original tribute from London’s West End, ABBA MANIA takes you back in time by recreating one of the world’s finest pop groups in a live stage performance. This highly polished and professional production was created in 1999 and played its first shows in 2000. In 2002, ABBA MANIA was invited to perform at London’s West End, and played for 18 weeks at the Strand Theatre. The now award-winning show has continued to toured extensively throughout Europe, selling out theatres wherever they perform. SUNDAY, JAN 28 5:00 PM

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Terry Fator And His Puppet Pals Hit Aurora’s Paramount Theatre For Two Shows, Saturday, January 20

Ever since Terry Fator won the second season of America’s Got Talent, he and his hilarious puppets have taken America by storm. Celebrity impressions, singing, comedy and ventriloquism – Fator does it all with the help of his puppet pals. Simon Cowell even called him one of the best entertainers in the world. Fator is so good he received a $100 million dollar, multi-year contract to perform in Las Vegas. But he’s returning to Aurora’s Paramount Theatre for two hysterical shows, Saturday, January 20 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $79, $89 and $99. This show is family friendly, so don’t let them miss one of the most uproarious performances your family will ever see. The Paramount Theatre is located at 23 E. Galena Blvd. in the heart of downtown Aurora. To purchase tickets, visit, call the box office at (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre box office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Note: For an additional $125, Terry Fator fanatics can add a VIP Upgrade to their Terry Fator experience. This “Winston-Approved” VIP Meet & Greet Upgrade includes a meet and greet and photograph with Terry Fator, group FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018

Q&A session, VIP laminate, a Winston pin, a Terry Fator bracelet and an autographed merchandise item. More about Terry Fator Terry Fator became a household name in 2007 when he won Season 2 of America’s Got Talent with his unique brand of entertainment that combines singing, comedy and unparalleled celebrity impressions. After 25 years of honing his skills at county fairs and venues across the country, the Dallas-bred entertainer’s big AGT win at age 42 catapulted him into the upper echelon of entertainers and led to a multi-million dollar deal with The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas where his award-winning show, “Terry Fator: The VOICE of Entertainment,” has been running since 2009. With a cast of characters including Winston, the Impersonating Turtle; Emma Taylor, the little girl with the big voice; Maynard Thompkins, the Elvis Impersonator; Duggie Scott Walker, the annoying neighbor, and many others, Fator has been raking in awards, accolades and industry admiration ever since. In 2014, Fator released a DVD Terry Fator: Live in Concert, a country music CD It Starts Tonight, as well as a series of children’s books including “Lamu, The Christmas Kitten”.

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ESO Music Director Andrew Grams Conducts Concerts Jan 5-7 Featuring Works by Liszt, Dvořák and Mozart


Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) Music Director Andrew Grams takes to the podium January 5-7 to conduct the first ESO program of the new year, which has a distinct Slavic flair. Liszt’s famous Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 opens the concert, which also features Dvořák’s 6th symphony and Mozart’s 5th violin concerto, also called The Turkish, performed by Bulgarian-born violinist Bella Hristova. Ms. Hristova last appeared with the ESO in 2012, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Music Director Grams will give a Pre-Concert Chat starting one hour before each concert. Free ESO Listeners Clubs will be held Wednesday, January 3 that will discuss the upcoming concert program. Led by music lecturer, composer, and radio personality Jim Kendros, Listeners Clubs are free lecture/discussions that take place the Wednesday before ESO Classics Series concert weekends at Greenfields of Geneva, 10:30 am, and the Gail Borden Public Library at 1 pm. All part of the ESO’s goal to enrich, enlighten and entertain. Saturday concertgoers are invited after the performance to Mingle with the Musicians at Bennigan’s Elgin. Hungarian Rhapsody concert tickets start at $30. Student tickets are $12. Valet or free parking. For more information, visit ElginSymphony.Org or 847-888-4000. With a unique combination of intensity, enthusiasm and technical clarity, American conductor Andrew Grams has steadily built a reputation for his dynamic concerts and long-term orchestra building. He is the winner of 2015 Conductor of the Year from the Illinois Council of Orchestras and has led orchestras throughout the United States including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Symphony, and the Houston Symphony. Mr. Grams served as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra from 2004-2007 where he worked under the guidance of Franz Welser- Möst, and has since returned for several engagements. Acclaimed for her passionate, powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument violinist Bella Hristova is a FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018

young musician with a growing international career. The Strad has praised, “Every sound she draws is superb,” and The Washington Post noted that she is “a player of impressive power and control.” Ms. Hristova’s 20172018 season features her characteristically rich and wide ranging musical life. She will perform and record Beethoven’s 10 Sonatas for Piano and Violin in a nation-wide recital tour presented by Chamber Music New Zealand, with acclaimed pianist Michael Houstoun. Ms. Hristova also performs standard concerto repertoire and those by American composers Lukas Foss, Samuel Barber, and David Ludwig, appearing with the Chautauqua, Austin, and Milwaukee symphonies, among others. As part of her busy and varied career, she performs recitals and chamber music throughout the U.S. Born in Pleven, Bulgaria to Russian and Bulgarian parents, Ms. Hristova began violin studies at the age of six. At twelve, she participated in master classes with Ruggiero Ricci at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 2003, she entered the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with Ida Kavafian (YCA Alumna) and studied chamber music with Steven Tenenbom. She received her Artist Diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University in 2010. Ms. Hristova plays a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin, once owned by the violinist Louis Krasner. Visit for more information. Now in its 67th season, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) offers programming unmatched for an entertaining, informative and relaxing cultural experience. The ESO has won Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year an unprecedented four times – in 1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016. The ESO strives to create an enjoyable entertainment experience that goes beyond the magnificent music performed by some of the best musicians in the region. There is accessible, free parking around the Hemmens Cultural Center and valet service available. Before concerts, area musicians often perform in the lobby, and patrons can buy drinks at the bar and purchase gifts at the Elgin Symphony League Boutique. Pre-concert chats are given by Music Director Andrew Grams, guest artists and others one hour before most performances, and Saturday night patrons are invited after concerts to Mingle with the Musicians at area restaurants. In addition, free Listeners Club discussions presented by music historian Jim Kendros are offered in Geneva and Elgin on Wednesdays before ESO Classics Series concert weekends. Flex passes are available for purchase so that you can choose your concerts at a later date based on your own schedule. And if a patron can’t make a concert, the ESO offers free exchanges to subscribers and to single ticket buyers for a small fee. The Elgin Symphony Orchestra is a world-class orchestra providing quality musical explorations that are entertaining, hassle-free and conveniently located close to homein the western suburbs. The ESO-Transforming the Symphony Experience.

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FOR INFO: (630) 524-0001

January at Zanies


Jan. 4-6... Eliot Chang...has appeared on Chelsea Lately, Comedy Central, Showtime & more

Jan. 11-13... Tim Walkoe... Chicago comedy legend. Fox-TV, ABC-TV, HBO, Showtime & more

Jan. 18-20... Brian Hicks... Winner of prestigious Comedy 10K competition. A Zanies favorite

Jan. 25-27... Leonard Outz... Rolling Stone magazine named him one of 2017’s comedians you need to know. Conan, Comedy Central

Feb. 8-10... Jason of the top comedians working clubs right now. Don’t miss Zanies Comedy Club of St. Charles


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Get Cozy in Lake Geneva this Valentine’s Day Lovers don’t have to travel far or spend a fortune to find romance this Valentine’s Day. Not when nearby Lake Geneva, WI is loaded with affordable weekend getaway options for all. Flowers, chocolate, wine, as well as a wide variety of activities await couples ready to celebrate togetherness. From the newly dating to those simply rekindling old flames, Lake Geneva accommodations fit the tastes and budgets of all couples with luxury resorts and hotels, boutique hotels, and bed & breakfasts. Luxury resorts like The Abbey Resort, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Lawn Resort and Geneva National FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018

Resort offer plenty of relaxation time with their full service spas, cocktail lounges and fine dining options. Historic Hotels like the Baker House 1885, Maxwell Mansion 1856, and T.C. Smith Historic Inn offer the warmth and charm of a different time with the comforts of today. The Bella Vista Suites, Mill Creek Hotel, and Harbor Shores are conveniently located just steps from downtown shopping and dining. Be sure to check for special Valentine’s packages.

There’s nothing like a romantic getaway to show that special someone you care. Here’s a list of some of the many opportunities to cozy up in Lake Geneva and celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Special Dining

When it’s time to indulge the palate, couples have plenty of fine dining, casual restaurants, and bistros to consider. Geneva National’s Hunt Club Steakhouse is nestled in a century-old farmhouse in the woods and plays up the Valentine’s holiday with a crackling wood-burning fire and a specialty three course menu with options and champagne for $65 per person from Wednesday, Feb. 14 thru Sunday, Feb. 18.Tuscan Tavern & Grill specializes in Italian cuisine, pastas, mouthwatering char broiled steaks, fresh seafood, and artisan brick oven pizza in a cozy environment. Baker House 1885 is an experience not to be missed with costumed wait staff and opulent decor of each individually decorated parlor, serving an eclectic menu of small and big plates. Pier 290 is a progressive American restaurant with beautiful views of Geneva Lake.

Special Events, Entertainment & Activities

Events: Combine your romantic getaway with one of the many special events or activities offered in the Lake Geneva area. The U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition (taking place Jan 31 – Feb 4) is a must see with works of snow sculpted art lining the shores of downtown Lake Geneva. Or see the beauty of gigantic kite displays and airborne performances by world-class kite teams during Sky Circus on Ice held at Lake Lawn Resort (Feb 17 & 18). Entertainment: With its art gallery, recording studio and live music, wine tasting at Studio Winery is a must. Other live entertainment options include Fireside Dinner Theater, Tristan Crist Magic Theatre, and Dancing Horses Theatre. For couples seeking more activity, zip lining with Lake Geneva Canopy

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Tours, ice skating at one of the many area rinks, and skiing at The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa are great options. Couples Cooking Classes: Sign up for a Valentine themed couples cooking class offered by the Lake Geneva School of Cooking. The My Funny Valentine dinners include a four-course meal, wine tasting, and a night full of celebrating love and laughter. Classes are $85 and $95 per person. Spa: Consider a couple massage or other relaxing spa treatments at one of the boutique or full service spas in the Lake Geneva area. Clear Waters Salon & Day Spa and Mia Faccia offer full service salon and day spa services with a full range of beauty treatments for those ready for some pampering. The Abbey Resorts Avani Spa and The Well Spa + Salon at Grand Geneva


Resort will have special treatments that celebrate the month of love. Shopping: Shop the quaint downtown for jewelry, home décor, antiques, art, wine and more. One-of-a-kind shops such as Brick & Mortar Home, Cornerstone Shop & Gallery, Maple Park Antiques, Thompson Art Gallery, and Delaney Street Mercantile welcome visitors with unique offerings and friendly service. It’s not too early to plan your Valentine’s getaway. Lake Geneva’s area hotels, restaurants and VISIT Lake Geneva are ready to help you create a memorable romantic getaway. For more information, www.

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New Orleans

Recommendations for your trip to the Big Easy! BY MARIA WHITE, NEW ORLEANS CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU TOP NEIGHBORHOODS: The French Quarter: • Stroll through Jackson Square to see the iconic Andrew Jackson statue and the St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest cathedral still in use in North America. Jackson Square is also the location of an open-air artist colony, where artists display their work on the outside of the iron fence. • Visit the historic French Market. Reminiscent of some European markets, this open-air area features shopping, dining and music in a tradition that is uniquely New Orleans. From Café du Monde near Jackson Square to the bazaar at the end of Esplanade Avenue, there are five blocks of specialty retail shops and a community flea market with locally-made jewelry, clothing, cuisine and art. • Exploring Royal Street. This area is an eye-pleasing mix of classy antique shops and boutiques, fine jewelry stores, colorful art galleries and worldclass hotels and restaurants. Bywater/Marigny: (off the beaten path) • The New Orleans Bywater neighborhood is a perfect example of a neighborhood that experienced a renaissance post-Katrina. Before the storm, the area was primarily residential, but now the Bywater is home to artists and their galleries as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. A few points of interest are: • Bacchanal Wine, 600 Poland Ave. About What started as a sleepy little wine shop on the outskirts of New Orleans slowly emerged as an eclectic Bywater watering hole, and then after Katrina became an epic part of the city’s recovery as guest chefs from around the city FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018

• Crescent Park, Piety Street entrance. A new park to enjoy views of the Mississippi River, known for its archway entrance dubbed the “rusty rainbow.” • Music Box Village: The Music Box is a place where play, imagination, experimentation, collaboration, community and hard work come together as artist-made, interactive “musical houses.” The Music Box is inspired by the unique musical and architectural culture of our home city of New Orleans. The project pushes artistic boundaries, but more importantly it brings together people of all stripes for a heartwarming, creative experience that has equal appeal for a musical giant such as Thurston Moore or a gaggle of 5-year-olds. Our permanent site opened in October 2016 with a dozen already-completed musical houses, in the Bywater, just a few blocks from where the project originated. Over time, The Music Box Village will become a landmark cultural destination, and a place to grow up for this city’s children.

the avenue, with many things to see from Louisiana Ave. to Felicity St. Most restaurants have outdoor seating along the street, which is perfect for people-watching in New Orleans’ warm climate. Magazine is also home to quaint coffee shops, cozy pubs and bakeries, all perfect places for recharging and relaxing throughout the day. www. MUSEUMS/ ARTS The National WWII Museum: • The National WWII Museum A must-see for history lovers and all patriots, The National World War II Museum has been designated by the U.S. Congress as America’s official WWII Museum. Exceptional curations, historical artifacts and extraordinary images bring to life the American Spirit and sacrifice of the young men and women who won the war and changed the world. www. New Orleans Museum of Art and Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden: • With over 50 priceless sculptures set on five acres, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden is a true New Orleans treasure. Located next to the magnificent New Orleans Museum of Art, this outdoor space includes modern and contemporary pieces meant to inspire

Magazine Street, Uptown and the Garden District: • Best known as a destination for shopping, this popular street is also home to museums, art galleries, bars and restaurants. The intersection of Washington Avenue and Magazine begins a strip of dense retail on

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art lovers of all kinds. The Arts District of New Orleans: • The Arts District of New Orleans (ADNO) is a burgeoning hub for young professionals and creatives. The organization strives to connect all aspects of the visual arts, culinary arts, musical arts, and the art of travel in this sought after neighborhood. This community is rich in character, and features stylish, cutting-edge galleries, prestigious museums, and some of the best restaurants and bars in the city. ADNO looks to promote all aspects of this architecturally distinctive historic district of New Orleans and its businesses. MUSIC: Live jazz at Preservation Hall: • New Orleans’ Preservation Hall was established in 1961 to honor one of America’s truest art forms – Traditional New Orleans Jazz. Operating as a music venue, a touring band, and a non-profit organization, Preservation Hall continues its mission today as a cornerstone of New Orleans music and culture. Situated in the heart of the French Quarter on St. Peter Street, the Preservation Hall venue presents intimate, acoustic New Orleans Jazz concerts over 350 nights a year featuring ensembles from a current collective of 100+ local master practitioners. On any given night, audiences bear joyful witness to the evolution of this venerable and living tradition. Frenchmen Street: • The most popular section of Frenchmen Street is a short strip in the Faubourg Marigny, just down the Mississippi river from the French Quarter. This area was once the plantation of a wealthy Creole born man who influenced the city of New Orleans with his joie de vivre–or a keen enjoyment of living. The block has developed into a New Orleans hot spot with a mix of a unique European flair and a cosmopolitan feel. It is the thriving epicenter of New Orleans music and culture, with an eclectic mix of people, clubs and restaurants to form one of the most energetic and vibrant cultural spots in the world. Popular Frenchman Street music clubs include: d.b.a., The Spotted Cat, Apple Barrel, The Blue Nile and Maison. ATTRACTIONS: Mardi Gras World: • Visit Mardi Gras World to see the largest float designing and building facility in the world. Here more than 80 percent of FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018

the floats that journey down New Orleans’ streets during the Carnival season are designed and built. Begun in 1947 by float designer and builder Blaine Kern, Mardi Gras World provides visitors with the opportunity to don authentic Mardi Gras costumes and tour enormous warehouses filled with floats. The tour includes a short video and a tour on Mardi Gras history and customs. Jazz cruise on the Mississippi River • Savor the beauty and romance of New Orleans skyline aboard the 7:00 pm Dinner Jazz Cruise on the authentic Steamboat Natchez. Cruise Highlights: Breathtaking view of the city, Enjoy casual buffet-style dining with a choice of two dinner seatings, Meals prepared fresh on board, Part of your experience is strolling the decks of this beautiful boat, ideal for photographs,

Indoor and Outdoor seating, Featuring live jazz by the Grammy nominated “Dukes of Dixieland”, Museum quality Engine Room, Travel outside of New Orleans for a Swamp tour • (Cajun Encounters) See the wildlife up close and personal as you explore narrow slews that only our 22-passenger boats are built to navigate. Get the chance to see alligators, raccoons, wild boar, exotic birds, turtles, and many more creatures that call the swamp home. Hear all about the Louisiana bayou as your captain tells you all about the different types of flora and fauna that surround you. NEWER RESTAURANTS • Compere Lapin: Inspiration for the menu comes from the traditional Caribbean folktales featuring a mischievous rabbit named Compère Lapin that Chef Nina Compton read during her childhood in St. Lucia. Drawing on the story’s themes of exploration and play, she mixes the indigenous ingredients and rich culinary heritage of New Orleans with those of her Caribbean roots. • Turkey & the Wolf: Dubbed the #1 Best New Restaurant in America by Bon Appetit, Turkey and the Wolf is a playful option for inventive sandwiches & cocktails served in a quirky, colorful space.

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• Maypop: Chef Michael Gulotta’s Maypop is a contemporary eatery in the Central Business District serving Southern-Asian fusion entrees. • Pêche: Inspired by the cooking of South America, Spain, and the Gulf Coast, Chefs Donald Link, Stephen Stryjewski and Ryan Prewitt designed Pêche Seafood Grill. Focused on working with local fishermen and farmers who harvest sustainably, Pêche serves simply prepared contemporary dishes, rustic creations cooked on an open hearth, as well as fresh oysters and Gulf fish. Attire is business casual. www. • Cochon Butcher: Established in 2009 in the New Orleans Warehouse District, Butcher is a butcher shop, a sandwich counter and a wine bar located next door to Cochon. Chefs Donald Link Stephen Stryjewski offer small plates, daily lunch specials and dinner entrees. Inspired by old-world meat markets, Butcher specializes in housemade meats, terrines and sausages. The fresh cuts are handpicked and the ready-to-cook items are available daily. Butcher offers an array of housemade pickles, jellies, jams and sauces, as well as a carefully curated collection of handmade knives, cutting boards and branded merchandise. Butcher’s charcuterie, sausage or cheese platters, and sandwich trays are available for catering needs. CLASSIC RESTAURANTS: • Café du Monde: Since 1862 this has been the original French Market coffee stand serving cafe au lait and beignets. A New Orleans landmark, located directly across from Jackson Square and the Pontalba apartments, Cafe du Monde offers the original beignet, the state doughnut of Louisiana. Coffee and chicory is a New Orleans favorite, served mixed half and

half with hot milk as cafe au lait. • Creole cuisine at Arnaud’s: Located steps off Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter, Arnaud’s offers classic Creole Cuisine and exemplary service in beautifully restored turn of the century dining rooms. Since its inception in 1918, Arnaud’s has remained true to its traditions and courtesies. • The Napoleon House: For almost two centuries, the beloved landmark, The Napoleon House, on the corner of Chartres and St. Louis streets in the historical French Quarter of New Orleans, exudes a European charm that is a mecca for civilized drinking and eating. Its vibrant history prevails-the optimistic plot to provide refuge for the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte by the original owner, Nicholas Girod, Mayor of New Orleans from 1812 to 1815, did not come to pass for the emperor. The building has been known as the Napoleon House ever since, either as an Italian grocery store to a restaurant with countless servings of the signature Pimm’s Cup and long list of classic Creole favorites. Remaining true to itself, the deeply patinated walls, uneven floors, luminous photography, and a sea of quotes from famous to regular guests covering the walls between the weathered paintings, speak to the many decades of dedicated service and one of the world’s greatest bars. • Muffulettas at Central Grocery, located at 923 Decatur St. www.centralgrocery. com • Classic New Orleans Poboys at Johnny’s Poboys, located at 511 Saint Louis St. or Parkway Bakery and Tavern in Mid-City,

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Ribbon Cuttings

out & about Snapshots of what’s going on around The Fox.

Yellow Aura Yoga in Geneva, IL

Aquaduct Plumbing Services in Oswego, IL

Area 304 in Geneva, IL

Livia Italian Eatery in Geneva, IL

Ashley Furniture HomeStore in FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / January 2018 Geneva, IL

KCT Credit Union in Geneva, IL

Weidner Insurance Agency in Geneva, IL

Christmas Party at Club Arcada & Speakeasy

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Fox Valley Magazine - January 2018  
Fox Valley Magazine - January 2018