Cat’s Corner: Q&A with Medinah Country Club Executive Chef Michael Ponzio

By Catherine De Orio |

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                            Chef Michael Ponzio

Chef Michael Ponzio

Ciao! We are all things Italian here at Check, Please! this week and WTTW is rolling out a new show tonight with my friend, who is also an incredibly talented chef – Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde. This week we are revisiting some of our favorite Italian haunts, and so I chatted with Italian chef Michael Ponzio, the executive chef at the illustrious Medinah Country Club. Michael is of Italian descent and has trained with the top Italian chefs in the country. He lifts the curtain of the country club kitchen to show us the incredible sustainable food system he is building.

The World of Food: Television Chefs

By Julia Maish |

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In honor of the premiere tonight of WTTW’s new cooking collaboration series DISHALICIOUS, from the creators of CHECK, PLEASE!, let’s look back at some of television’s intrepid (and unique) culinary trailblazers.

The World of Food: Ballpark Dogs

By Julia Maish |

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This week marks a highly anticipated event that for many, many Chicagoans is the harbinger of spring: Major League Baseball’s Opening Day! The game is paramount, of course, but what you eat while watching it in the stands is of vital importance.

Cat’s Corner: Q&A with Pisolino’s Chef and Owners James and Rachel De Marte

By Catherine De Orio |

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Pizza at Pisolino

As you know, I love all things Italian and so this week I chatted with James and Rachel De Marte, the talented couple behind the Italian eatery Pisolino. James spent his formative years as a chef cooking in Italy, and his wife Rachel runs a successful event planning company here in Chicago.

The World of Food: Belgium

By Julia Maish |

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Belgium tends to be overshadowed by its much flashier neighbors, which is too bad because the country has a lot to recommend it, especially from a culinary standpoint.

The World of Food: Gelatin

By Julia Maish |

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This refreshing and versatile “jiggly” food has long enjoyed its status as America’s most popular prepared dessert — a staple at neighborhood summer potlucks due to its bright colors and compatibility with fruits and whipped cream. Where did this cool non-fat treat come from?

The World of Food: Cereal

By Julia Maish |

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“The Breakfast of Champions.” “Snap, Crackle, Pop!” “I’m Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.” “Trix are for Kids!” “Magically Delicious!” “They’re GREAAAAT!”

The World of Food: Born in Chicago

By Julia Maish |

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                            A slice of deep dish pizza

Deep dish pizza

If you were throwing the party and wanted to serve only foods that came into being in Chicago, what might those be? As it turns out, not only would you eat very well (and heartily!), but some of your options might come as a bit of a surprise. Here’s the menu…

The World of Food: Cookies

By Julia Maish |

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“Friend is someone to share last cookie with.”
— Cookie Monster, Sesame Street

The World of Food: Valentine’s Day

By Julia Maish |

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Ahhh…St. Valentine’s Day. If you’re a Chicago history buff, the next word that comes to mind might easily be “…Massacre.” But of course, to most people, this red-and-pink hued holiday is an excuse to shower gifts on, and dine out with, the one you love.

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