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Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Author: Matt Kirouac

A New Hampshire native, Matt Kirouac moved to Chicago in 2006 to attend culinary school. Once he realized he enjoyed writing about food more than cooking it, he applied his education in another direction, and he's been reporting on Chicago's food beat ever since. You can keep up with where he's eating on Twitter @Mattsland.

Get Hungry for Baconfest 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016 12:00 AM by Matt Kirouac

Baconfest Chicago One of the most epic food events of the year, Baconfest Chicago is back for its 8th annual event April 30 through May 1 at the UIC Forum. Featuring an enormous roster of chef and restaurant talent from throughout the city, guests will be able to sample bacon in ways they never thought possible. Far beyond typical breakfast fare, the two-day affair features bacon in everything from maki rolls to cinnamon rolls. And other non-roll formats.

James Beard Awards Chicago

The James Beard Awards, often nicknamed the "Oscars of food," is once again set to take place in Chicago in May, bringing the best chefs and restaurateurs in the world to our fair city for a world-class celebration of fine cooking. Considering Chicago's position as one of the best food cities on the planet, it seems a natural fit. This year, foodies can take the celebration a bit further by partaking in James Beard Eats Week, April 22 – May 2.

Matt Kirouac

One of Chicago's most legendary and pioneering chefs, the late Yoshi Katsumura (check out our profile on the chef and his restaurant Yoshi's), has left an enduring legacy in the city thanks to the likes of his daughter. Mari Katsumura makes the family proud as the recently appointed pastry chef of Acadia in the South Loop, where she's making a name for herself with some of the most incredible and beautiful desserts in town.

The red carpet at the James Beard Awards Chicago

The biggest food awards ceremony in the world, the James Beard Awards, is coming up at Chicago's Civic Opera House on May 2. This year marks the second time the esteemed ceremony has been held outside of its founding city of New York, and appropriately enough, Chicago has several restaurant and bar contenders up for big awards.

Good Food Festival & Conference

Going into its 12th year, the Good Food Festival & Conference presented by FamilyFarmed serves as a grand showcase for Chicago's sustainable and local food scene. It's a celebration of restaurants, chefs, cooking, and the farmers who help make that a reality. Running March 24 through March 26 at the UIC Forum, the event features demos, workshops, panel discussions, tasting events, and more.

Taste of Iceland at Cite Restaurant

While Chicago and Iceland may be far apart, a special series taking place next week is about to bridge the gap in delicious new ways. Taking place March 17 through March 20, Taste of Iceland is a food festival like no other, showcasing the country's cuisine at legendary Cité Restaurant via a special tasting menu.

St. Patrick's Day isn't just a drinking holiday. On the contrary, it's one of the best food holidays of the year, with restaurants, bars, and bakeries celebrating Irish heritage through a miscellany of unique specials. This year, the variety taking shape throughout Chicago includes everything from gourmet riffs on Shamrock Shakes to Guinness pizzas.

Navy Pier Evolves Into a Dining Destination

Friday, February 26, 2016 12:00 AM by Matt Kirouac

Navy Pier Chicago

One of the most visited destinations in Chicago, Navy Pier most definitely has a reputation as a warm-weather attraction, what with it's magnificent skyline views, lake cruises, rides, and more. But you'd be remiss to think Navy Pier goes into hibernation for the winter. In fact, there's plenty of reason to visit when the weather gets cold. Chief among them is the fact that the Pier has been steadily upping the ante on its restaurants, transforming into a dining destination in and of itself.

Chicago Seafood Restaurants for Lent

After the gumbo-filled glut of Fat Tuesday, Lent is an appropriate time to clean house, dietary speaking. Of course, that doesn't have to mean forfeiting flavor. This being Chicago, you've got a myriad of Lent-friendly options at your beck and call, and nothing fits the bill better than a fine fish-centric meal at one of the city's incredible seafood haunts.

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