David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David is a regular contributor of restaurant reviews and food-related articles for Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, TimeOut Chicago, Local Beet, and Chicago Reader, which published his seven-part guide to regional Mexican food in the city. He has also contributed food writing to blogs such as the Local Beet and Grubstreet Chicago. With his friend Michael Gebert (creator of Sky Full of Bacon video podcasts), he hosted a cable documentary on Hispanic chow at Chicago's Maxwell Street Market,and has just completed working on a video about Taste of Melrose Park. A returning guest on WLS and WGN AM radio, David produces the "Soundbites" series on the James Beard-nominated Eight Forty-Eight (Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ, 91.5FM); these radio pieces examine how Chicago chefs use sound in their kitchens; listen here: http://tiny.cc/QpCTA. David was featured on "Good Morning, America," "Chicago, Tonight," and Nippon TV when he developed recipes for preparing seasonal cicadas, which invaded Chicagoland during the spring of 2007. More information, including writing samples and bug-cooking videos, can be found at www.dchammond.com.
In Oak Park last spring, we had a food truck rally that can only be described as a "disappointing success." This parking lot-based (Pilgrim Church) gathering of food trucks generated a huge turnout of villagers — so much so that some vendors ran out of supplies within the first 30 minutes and many more within the first hour.
I met my wife, Carolyn Berg at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. We both chose this small, liberal arts school largely because of its foreign study program. To celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, we booked passage on the Zaandam, a ship in the Holland America Line. This 14-day cruise docked at a number of ports in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong.
Burger Boss goes slightly upscale with this sandwich by putting the pepper and egg on a brioche bun, a further step in the effort to make this brief period of disciplined dining a little more enjoyable.
Oysters used to be shipped in sawdust to Chicago, via the Erie Canal, from the East Coast. I've seen newspaper ads from the turn of the century touting that such oysters would keep for weeks. Maybe that's true. It seems likely, however, that every second out of the water is a second's worth of lost oyster flavor.
A company called TumericALIVE and sent me a few bottles of their turmeric drink, advertised somewhat hyperbolically as "yoga in a bottle" (would that it were that easy!). This juice is a spicy, slightly off-center alternative to fruit juice.
"I'd definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for a higher-end dining experience" in the western suburbs, Carolyn said as she took a sip of wine between bites of perfectly prepared duck breast.