Mark Caro is entertainment reporter for the Chicago Tribune and author of The Foie Gras Wars, published by Simon & Schuster and winner of ...

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Mark Caro

Mark Caro

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Chicago coffee shops aim to brew perfect cup

Chicago coffee shops aim to brew perfect cup

April 9, 2014

The loud slurping noises were coming from a room toward the back of the coffeehouse as Miro Lomeli lifted cup after cup of brown liquid to his lips.

  • Wrigley Field 100th anniversary: Top pop culture moments

    March 28, 2014

    Swinging one leg and the rest of his body out over thousands of Wrigley Field fans while nervous handlers in the broadcast booth gasped, actor Cuba Gooding Jr. howled "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with abandon before revving up the crowd further with a rousing, "CUBBIES, SHOW ME THE RUNS!!!"

  • Jill Soloway hits it big with Amazon's 'Transparent'

    March 21, 2014

    Jill Soloway's vision of hitting the big time looks like this:

  • Review: 'A Man Called Destruction' by Holly George-Warren

    March 21, 2014

    In 1993, I persuaded the Tribune's then-arts editor to send me to Columbia, Mo., to report on the first show in almost 20 years of a cult band that loomed huge for those of us under its spell. Two University of Missouri undergrads had phoned the ever-enigmatic Alex Chilton asking whether he'd reunite the long-gone Big Star for the school's Springfest, and to their astonishment — and that of Big Star drummer Jody Stephens — he agreed.

  • World's top chefs talk cuisine, creativity in Chicago

    March 20, 2014

    If the culinary world had a "Three Tenors"-like tour, it couldn't do much better than chefs Ferran Adria, Andoni Luis Aduriz and Grant Achatz — and the music likely would make your head spin.

  • Review: Miley Cyrus at Allstate Arena

    March 8, 2014

    Imagine it's 2020, and two people are walking out of a Miley Cyrus concert...

  • Cheering in the Oscars pressroom

    March 7, 2014

    Say you were watching a post-Super Bowl news conference featuring the coach of the team that lost on the final drive. You'd expect someone to ask for his reaction, no?

  • At Oscar after-parties, stars old and new mingle

    March 3, 2014

    WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — If you’re curious about the big difference between Oscar night’s two main after-parties, the Governors Ball and the Vanity Fair party, consider this:

  • '12 Years a Slave' tops Spirit Awards

    March 1, 2014

    SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Enjoying the kind of awards-show dominance predicted when it debuted at last fall's Toronto International Film Festival, "12 Years a Slave" took home five Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday, including best feature, director (Steve McQueen) and supporting actress (Lupita Nyong'o).

  • Art, dining feel sting of winter in degrees

    February 5, 2014

    Let's start with the obvious: This has been a harsh, crummy winter, and at times just about everyone has preferred to stay indoors rather than to deal with extreme cold, snow and dicey walking or driving conditions.

  • CSO's search to replace Deborah Rutter

    January 31, 2014

    Much has changed inside and outside the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since Deborah Rutter — then Deborah Card — moved from running the Seattle Symphony to becoming CSO Association president in 2003.

  • Vanessa Hudgens talks 'Gimme Shelter' in frigid Chicago

    January 23, 2014

    From the chirpy "High School Musical" movies to the seedy "Spring Breakers" to the gritty new pregnant-teen drama "Gimme Shelter," Vanessa Hudgens was never prompted to utter such a line as Chicago inspired on its coldest day in decades:

  • Does long Oscar race help films?

    January 22, 2014

    As long as this Chicago winter might feel, it's a mere blip compared with the ongoing movie awards season.

  • City cranks up heat on frigid Uptown Theatre

    January 15, 2014

    During the coldest Chicago weather in years, the Uptown Theatre has had its heat turned off, and a giant icicle has formed in its basement — a primary discussion point as representatives from the city and the landmark building appeared in Cook County Circuit Court Wednesday.

  • Chaz Ebert's mission goes on

    January 10, 2014

    Roger Ebert has been gone for nine months and doesn't appear to have slowed down much.

  • 'August' actresses played into movie's wild family dynamic

    January 1, 2014

    Out in the Oklahoma plains with pretty much nowhere to go between takes, the cast of "August: Osage County" had time to bond like an extended family, albeit not as twisted as the one it was portraying on screen.

  • Tracy Letts made changes for 'August's' journey to screen

    January 1, 2014

    Movies operate differently from plays. Tracy Letts knows and appreciates this point. There are things that the new film of "August: Osage County" can do that his Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play, which premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in 2007, cannot.

  • Rampant case of tone-deafness in 2013

    December 29, 2013

    When the first-ever Alewife Awards were presented to mark 1996's most dubious cultural happenings and incidents, many Chicagoans were familiar with that stinky fish washing up on Lake Michigan's beaches. Dead alewife sightings have since grown rare, yet the stench from the arts and entertainment world hasn't let up. Breathe deep and enjoy this year's catch.

  • New Beatles books out

    December 17, 2013

    I was in seventh grade when I began poring over Beatles books. That was shortly after I’d gotten the “Red” and “Blue” double-record compilations and started methodically, obsessively buying album after album, hoping eventually to fill all gaps.

  • Rahm Emanuel, Yo-Yo Ma, Renee Fleming discuss arts in school

    December 12, 2013

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel had cellist Yo-Yo Ma and soprano Renee Fleming where he wanted them: sitting on either side of him as he marked the one-year anniversary of the Chicago Public Schools' Arts Education Plan. Ma and Fleming, creative consultants for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera respectively, were with the mayor when the Arts Education Plan and larger Cultural Plan were unveiled last year, and the highly celebrated pair has appeared together at CPS schools to stress the importance of the arts in children's educations and lives.

  • Steve Coogan takes a chance

    November 27, 2013

    Steve Coogan laughs as he reads the Frank Sinatra quotation etched into the restaurant wall: "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good at they're going to feel all day."

  • Long and winding biography delves into Beatles' early years

    November 15, 2013

    Paul McCartney's new album, "New," includes a song called "Early Days" that sounds almost like a preemptive strike on Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn:

  • Dave Davies of Kinks fame at City Winery, SPACE

    November 14, 2013

    Dave Davies is responsible for one of the pivotal moments in rock 'n' roll, when he sliced the speaker cone of his little green amplifier and ran it through a larger Vox amp to create the distorted guitar sound that drove the Kinks' 1964 breakthrough hit "You Really Got Me" and essentially invented hard rock (and, some would argue, heavy metal).

  • Charlie Trotter death update: Wife says travel wasn't fatal

    November 9, 2013

    Chef Charlie Trotter suffered a seizure in January as a result of an aneurysm and was on medication but had been cleared to travel, according to a statement from his wife that disputed reports that a weekend trip to a culinary conference in Wyoming contributed to her husband's death.

  • Review: Sinead O'Connor preaches powerfully at City Winery

    November 5, 2013

    Twenty-six years after her debut album’s release, Sinead O’Connor already has shown that she retains her knack for generating headlines, but, more important, Monday night at City Winery she demonstrated that she can still sing the holy hell out of songs — accents on both “holy” and “hell.”

  • Title defense: What happens when duplicate names face off?

    October 23, 2013

    Can Harvard Lampoon give its Hobbit parody the same title as a local author's? The Wobbit is another example in a spate of duplicate titles that have been coming down the cultural pike.

  • Will Detroit have to sell its art to pay its bills?

    October 18, 2013

    DETROIT — The Christie's appraisers enter on Mondays, when the museum is closed, and either inspect what's on the walls or ask to see some of the thousands of works not on display, sometimes sending Detroit Institute of Arts technicians on half-day missions to find them in deep storage and prepare them for examination.

  • Festival building a culture of ideas-- quickly

    October 11, 2013

    Of the many ideas at Chicago Ideas Week, the biggest one to catch on may be Chicago Ideas Week itself.

  • Muti, Verdi and CSO hit big screen on beautiful Millennium Park night

    October 11, 2013

    Riccardo Muti had conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion twice before Thursday night but never in high definition.

  • Is there a revenue stream in streaming music?

    September 27, 2013

    The question on Justin Roberts' lips summed up the angst of an ever-anxious music world: "Why would anyone want to purchase a record ever again if you can just listen to it for free?"

  • Skyrockets in flight

    September 4, 2013

    Jill Soloway bought longtime friend and fellow Chicagoan Jane Lynch a lap dance when they were in Las Vegas years ago for Jill's mom's wedding.

  • Student artwork retrieved a day after Charlie Trotter's lockout

    August 31, 2013

    Representatives of Chicago's After School Matters program retrieved students' artwork and personal belongings from the former Charlie Trotter's restaurant space Friday afternoon, the day after the chef ejected and locked out the students, who had been scheduled to present an exhibition there Friday night.

  • What would Joan do?

    August 26, 2013

    Christina Hendricks' Joan Harris may be the soul of the AMC drama "Mad Men" as she maintains control and her moral center amid a 1960s workplace all too happy to treat women as eye candy. Likewise, the 38-year-old actress, who this year received her fourth supporting-actress Emmy nomination, finds herself balancing her love of the fashion world with some ambivalence about being judged on her appearance.

  • Food trucks jockey for top spots

    August 22, 2013

    Steve Maxwell had spent most of his recent Thursday lunchtimes downtown selling Indian specialties out of his Curried food truck in the roundabout in front of NBC Tower, but on a late July Thursday he pulled up at about 8:30 a.m. to find three other food trucks already parked in the designated food truck zone.

  • With 'In a World …,' Lake Bell puts her film where her mouth is

    August 13, 2013

    Lake Bell's voice has meat on its bones, but it hasn't been hung out in the smokehouse like her voice idol Lauren Bacall's. It's on the medium-well side of deep, the medium side of nasal, and it's expressive without being singsongy.

  • Channeling 'Jobs' calls for occasional bouts of jerkiness

    August 9, 2013

    Attempting an innovative shot, the Tribune photographer asked Ashton Kutcher to hold up an iPad in camera mode, but the actor said no because he can't appear to endorse an Apple product.

  • Deconstructing Paul

    July 20, 2013

    When Paul McCartney asked how many people packing Miller Park on Tuesday night were from Milwaukee, loud cheers erupted. When he asked how many were from Chicago, the cheers were even louder, perhaps to compete with boos from the Milwaukee folks.

  • Caffe RoM's frozen coffee drink delivers

    July 18, 2013

    It's my long-held theory that frozen coffee drinks are the best idea most routinely botched.

  • Foxygen's tension has our attention

    July 15, 2013

    Foxygen's "San Francisco" is about as perfect a piece of baroque, groovy '60s pop as you're likely to hear all year, and if you know little more about this young LA band than that sunny tune and perhaps the laid-back lope of the Velvets-like current single, "No Destruction," you may be in for a jolt when you see the group live — which Chicagoans have two opportunities to do this weekend.

  • Return to 'Guyville'

    June 22, 2013

    20 years (!) after her landmark album's release, Liz Phair revisits the summer that launched her and the Chicago 'scene'

  • Best dressed? Fashion coordinates with impressionism at Art Institute

    June 21, 2013

    As you step upon grassy turf with bird songs ringing in your ear, you may have this thought:

  • Ex-Chicagoan conquers Mexican food

    June 13, 2013

    NEW YORK — Rarely smiling or saying more than was necessary as he created a twisting column of chocolate ganache or turned peanut butter into powder, Alex Stupak was an intense figure in Grant Achatz's intense kitchen as Alinea's opening pastry chef.

  • Charlie Trotter's restaurant, kitchen to be sold

    June 5, 2013

    For anyone still holding out hope that Charlie Trotter might eventually reopen his namesake restaurant in its original space, think again.

  • Was this the last Rolling Stones show in Chicago?

    June 4, 2013

    Given that concertgoers have been paying almost three times as much to see the Rolling Stones on their current tour as they did in 2005-06 (about $355 per ticket compared with $135 on average on the previous tours, according to Pollstar), one might draw this conclusion about the band:

  • Covert actress: Brit Marling infiltrates Hollywood

    June 2, 2013

    Brit Marling has become something of a professional infiltrator.

  • Rolling Stones tickets remain

    May 23, 2013

    Prime tickets remain available for all three of the Rolling Stones’ upcoming Chicago shows, though given the lofty ticket prices, it would be a stretch to conclude that the band is in any financial peril.

  • Sting added to Printer's Row Lit Fest

    May 16, 2013

    Having introduced the world to such colorful characters as a prostitute named Roxanne and a stalker who monitors “Every Breath You Take,” Sting will help launch a new Chicago-based storytelling initiative when he appears at the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Lit Fest next month.

  • Nate Silver: In Hollywood, 'Nobody knows anything'

    May 15, 2013

    Predictability and the arts-and-entertainment world have an uneasy relationship.

  • Mona Golabek's tribute to her mother's harrowing story

    May 12, 2013

    As Mona Golabek signs books immediately after each performance of her one-woman show, "The Pianist of Willesden Lane," at the Royal George Theatre, people ask her variations on a theme:

  • Yo-Yo Ma gives musical challenge to Chicago's Civic Orchestra

    May 3, 2013

    The young musicians of the Civic Orchestra, as enamored as they were of the prospect of being mentored by Yo-Yo Ma, didn't see it coming.

  • Judy Blume to appear at Printers Row Lit Fest

    April 21, 2013

    Children's/young-adult author Judy Blume and graphic novelist/cartoonist Art Spiegelman will be honored as part of this year's Printers Row Lit Fest, which runs June 8 and 9 in the South Loop.

  • Stars pick the directors they want to watch

    April 18, 2013

    Let's say there's a row of beautiful movie theaters, and the marquee of each one reads, "New film by (name of filmmaker here)." And let's say there's no other information about the film itself. Which one would you choose? We offered this dilemma to some notable performers and filmmakers, asking the question: "If you could see a new movie by any living filmmaker — and not know anything about the movie beforehand — whose would you choose?" Here's how they responded.

  • Roger Ebert: Quintessential Chicagoan

    April 4, 2013

    When Anthony Bourdain was in town last summer taping a Chicago-themed episode of his Travel Channel show “The Layover,” he asked various people, including me, to name the quintessential Chicagoan, and a consensus quickly emerged.

  • Australian film 'The Sapphires' finds its American soul

    March 28, 2013

    "The Sapphires," which opens Friday, is the crowd-pleasing, based-on-actual-people story of four young Aboriginal women who team up with a male Irish manager and perform for American troops in Vietnam, so it's covering its bases internationally.

  • Howells & Hood goes upscale on a large scale

    March 21, 2013

    For decades Chicago journalists' post-work watering hole of choice has been the Billy Goat Tavern, with its three beers on tap ($3.50 Schlitz and Billy Goat Dark and Lager) and $3.15 cheeseburgers just a dark stairway's descent from the Magnificent Mile's south end.

  • Del Close: Dueling scripts detail improv pioneer

    March 18, 2013

    Charna Halpern's script about her late iO (formerly ImprovOlympic) co-founder Del Close opens with the vastly influential, hard-living, difficult, brilliant improvisation pioneer glimpsing a TV on which his former student Betty Thomas is thanking him while accepting her acting Emmy Award for "Hill Street Blues."

  • Helen Reddy ready to roar again

    March 13, 2013

    Before there was a King of Pop, Helen Reddy was being called the Queen of ’70s Pop thanks to her string of 15 Billboard top 40 songs and three chart toppers, starting with the anthemic “I Am Woman.”

  • The incredible Steve Carell

    March 11, 2013

    TOLUCA LAKE, Calif. — Looking trim in a black windbreaker over a gray crew neck sweatshirt, Steve Carell walked into the diner near the Warner Bros. lot just like a regular guy.

  • CSO's Citizen Musician seeks right note

    March 4, 2013

    A little more than two years ago, the curtain lifted on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra-led Citizen Musician initiative, and CSO Association President Deborah Rutter told an overflow crowd at the Chicago Cultural Center: “All of you are citizen musicians. We consider you our foot soldiers in the movement.”

  • P.S. Bangkok tasty after all these years

    February 28, 2013

    P.S. Bangkok is one of those Thai restaurants that was around when not many Thai restaurants were, and even back then, it stood out as exotic.

  • Backstage at the Oscars: Affleck, Clooney talk 'Argo'

    February 25, 2013

    Highlights from backstage at the Oscars:

  • Partying with Oscar

    February 25, 2013

    WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — When Chris Tucker and Jon Voight are grooving side by side to Rick James' "Give It To Me, Baby," you know the surreal dream that is the Vanity Fair post-Oscars party is playing out again.

  • Star-gazing at the Oscars: Movie fans enjoy parade

    February 24, 2013

    HOLLYWOOD — The red carpet is in some ways a microcosm of the Oscar food chain.

  • 'Silver Linings Playbook' snags Spirit awards

    February 24, 2013

    SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The persistent irony of the Film Independent Spirit Awards is that as much as they're positioned as the DIY antidote to the Academy Awards, the indie film with the most Oscars recognition almost invariably reaps the greatest rewards.

  • Building a restaurant, maybe a brand

    February 21, 2013

    Fabio the celebrity chef has a photo of Fabio the supermodel on his phone.

  • Looking at Picasso from Chicago's angle

    February 14, 2013

    The funny thing is, Pablo Picasso never even set foot in Chicago, let alone anywhere else in the United States.

  • Auction of items from Trotter's restaurant to go online Wednesday

    February 12, 2013

    Charlie Trotter’s auction, take two, will go online sometime Wednesday, with items from the shuttered Lincoln Park restaurant up for bidding until Feb. 24, Auction Consultants President Scott Bowers said Tuesday.

  • Review: 'House of Earth' by Woody Guthrie

    February 1, 2013

    Nora Guthrie had put off reading her late father Woody Guthrie's recently unearthed novel, "House of Earth," even after she'd agreed for it to be published. Having devoted much of 2012 to preparing events and projects surrounding the centennial of the singer-songwriter-artist's birth, she said, she wanted to read the book at her leisure, when it wouldn't feel like "work."

  • Charlie Trotter's auction goes online

    January 28, 2013

    Charlie Trotter’s auction is being rebooted online.

  • Missing Muti no Pavarotti

    January 14, 2013

    Whatever angst there may be over Riccardo Muti's missing his third set of concerts in less than three years as Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director, know that the flu-ridden superstar conductor is no Luciano Pavarotti.

  • Lyric Opera, Second City returning in June

    January 8, 2013

    The Second City’s collaboration with the Lyric Opera is returning to the Civic Opera House stage, this time with the audience in tow.

  • Comic belief: Lyric Opera, Second City team up on show

    January 2, 2013

    It was the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, and most of the crowd for The Second City's Chicago-themed revue in the UP Comedy Club apparently didn't have to work the next day, because the room remained packed for the free extra set beginning at 10 p.m.

  • Alewives: Justin Bieber, Honey Boo Boo, Riccardo Muti and more

    December 30, 2012

    Alewives are the stinky fish that used to wash up en masse on Lake Michigan beaches. So it is that we bring you the 17th annual Alewife Awards to commemorate the rankest cultural flotsam and jetsam to hit our shores over the past year.

  • Charlie Trotter pulls the plug on restaurant auction

    December 13, 2012

    Charlie Trotter had most of the contents of his landmark, recently shuttered restaurant up for auction Wednesday, and by the end of the day, he still had most of the contents of his landmark, recently shuttered restaurant.

  • Ravi Shankar's impact went beyond the Beatles

    December 13, 2012

    The Fox News Web headline Wednesday morning captured something in the air despite its utter wrongness:

  • Apatow, Mann balance laughs, drama, fiction and family in '40'

    December 7, 2012

    LOS ANGELES — On a late February morning in the editing suite of Judd Apatow's multi-level West Los Angeles headquarters, the writer-director and editor Brent White were playing back scenes from Apatow's new comedy, “This Is 40.”

  • Stuart Flack leaving Humanities Festival

    November 28, 2012

    The Chicago Humanities Festival announced Wednesday that Stuart Flack, its executive director since 2007, has resigned and will be leaving the organization Dec. 31.

  • Actor Patrick Stewart joins Lyric Opera-Second City collaboration

    November 19, 2012

    Actor Patrick Stewart will help usher in the next generation of collaboration at the Lyric Opera when he and Renee Fleming co-host “The Second City Guide to the Opera” at the Civic Opera House Jan. 5.

  • A perilous journey for 'Life of Pi' director Ang Lee

    November 16, 2012

    The critics and reporters assembled to watch the new “Life of Pi” a few weeks ago weren't expecting a filmmaker introduction, but in stepped the ever-soft-spoken Ang Lee to inform them that this had been his hardest film to make and that they shouldn't be put off by the 3-D because it's "gentle and reasonable."

  • Next's tickets system expands

    November 15, 2012

    Alinea, Chicago's most acclaimed restaurant, has used Open Table in the past to manage — though not take — reservations, but co-owner Nick Kokonas isn't shy about anticipating and working toward the service's demise.

  • Reservations please

    November 15, 2012

    Here's something you may not know about Open Table, the predominant online restaurant reservations system: When you book a table through the Open Table website, the restaurant is charged $1 per seated guest — so if you show up as a foursome, that's $4 off the restaurant's bottom line.

  • The ultimate Beatles sound test

    November 12, 2012

    Meet the new Beatles … same as the old Beatles?

  • Wiesel speaks to sanctity of learning, power of memory

    November 11, 2012

    Elie Wiesel didn't need Holocaust deniers to lend immediacy to his discussion about the importance of learning and memory, but there they were anyway, three men standing outside the Symphony Center Sunday morning holding an anti-Semitic banner and barking such nonsense as, "There never was a Holocaust."

  • Presidential candidates find new ways to sell message through music

    November 5, 2012

    The musical battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney heated up recently as Stevie Wonder released a funky new pro-Obama song called “Keep Moving Forward,” while Meat Loaf celebrated his support of Romney by belting a goofy “America the Beautiful” practically into his face, thus demonstrating that, yes, there can be ham in Meat Loaf.

  • Divine new project for Britt Daniels and Divine Fits

    October 23, 2012

    Britt Daniel hasn't said goodbye to his old band, Spoon, but he also doesn't consider his new one, Divine Fits, to be a side project.

  • Chicago is Yo-Yo Ma's cultural soapbox

    October 10, 2012

    The Chicago Public Schools, the Silk Road Ensemble, the Humanities Festival, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Citizen Musician, "cultural entrepreneurship" — Yo-Yo Ma has a way of filling his plate during his now-frequent visits to Chicago.

  • Chicago Ideas Week organizers hope talks trigger something great

    October 8, 2012

    Chicago Ideas Week headquarters is a brightly lit, sprawling, open room in a River North office building where scores of workers sit at long rows of desks working the phones, rat-a-tatting their keyboards and keeping the din level high.

  • Ideas Week highlights

    October 5, 2012

    Here are some of the high-profile Ideas Week speakers and Talks:

  • Taking note of music books

    September 28, 2012

    If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, as Elvis Costello and others have sneered, then what does that make reading about music? Well, fun, for starters. Although Bowker Market Research reports that music books have steadily comprised between 2 and 2.5 percent of the non-fiction market since early 2010, they certainly seem to be enjoying a Baby Boomer-driven bubble right now.

  • Musicians ratify 3-year deal

    September 25, 2012

    The Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians ratified a new three-year contract Tuesday morning that agrees to modest salary increases and hefty health-care premium jumps as well as some more flexible work rules.

  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians strike

    September 23, 2012

    The Chicago Symphony Orchestra canceled its Saturday performance after musicians went on strike, officials said.

  • Loop losing its 'Color' early; traffic hard on installation

    September 14, 2012

    It was a battle of art vs. urban wear and tear, and the results weren't pretty.

  • Back to the future with Expo Chicago

    September 14, 2012

    Recapturing past glories while moving forward can be a tricky business, but that's what the inaugural Expo Chicago is attempting to do as it launches next week in a familiar location for a Chicago art fair: Navy Pier.

  • Chicago Ideas Week doubles in scope

    September 5, 2012

    If you want to tour Millennium Park with ex-Mayor Richard M. Daley or to visit Intelligentsia's coffee-roasting plant or to get first dibs on programs featuring retired news anchor Tom Brokaw, actor Edward Norton, model Elle Macpherson, chef Jose Andres and current Mayor Rahm Emanuel, you'll have your chance when tickets for Chicago Ideas Week go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m.

  • Charlie Trotter gets ready to hang it up

    August 30, 2012

    Charlie Trotter says he first thought of closing his namesake restaurant after his plane sat on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

  • '03 lawsuit challenged work conditions

    August 30, 2012

    There are so many opportunities here of rare, rich experiences which I need to thank Chef Trotter for. From the housewives, doctors, and others who come to work as guest chefs to famous chefs like Tetsuya, Toque and Alain Ducasse. I've always learned and appreciated from these people who have a great passion for food. Cooking for inner-city students, talking to them … it's been a fulfilling experience to share and hopefully inspire. The recent trip to the Fancy Food Show in New York showed me how to reach excellence at every level — I think meeting The Red Hot Chili Peppers at Mercer's Lounge was the highlight of that trip!

  • Charlie Trotter's pressure cooker

    August 29, 2012

    Everyone knows Charlie Trotter as the chef of Charlie Trotter's. It's his name, his restaurant, and he's the boss. But that title “chef” has many meanings, and Trotter has embodied just about all of them during his 25 years at Charlie Trotter's.

  • Charlie Trotter preaches excellence to the extreme

    August 28, 2012

    Graham Elliot was an aspiring young cook in the late '90s carrying steaks to a party of 20 in the Charlie Trotter's Studio Kitchen when the restaurant's brilliant, mercurial owner stopped him in the hallway and grabbed one of the pieces of meat.

  • Zion native power-poppers Shoes stun with first album since '94

    July 10, 2012

    KENOSHA -- Having shuttered their Zion-based studio and record label before the failing businesses destroyed their friendship, the three guys from the power-pop band Shoes know firsthand how brutal the music industry has become.

  • Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks: Summer's stars on the other side of season

    June 27, 2012

    Let's just get this out of the way: With "People Like Us," actor Chris Pine and writer-director Alex Kurtzman have made the type of movie that their previous features have had a tendency to crush.

  • Art Institute taps French scholar for key curator job

    June 26, 2012

    Sylvain Bellenger, currently chief curator of National Heritage at the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art in Paris, will become the Art Institute of Chicago’s new chair and curator of the Department of Medieval through Modern European Painting and Sculpture, the museum announced Tuesday.

  • Did California learn anything from Chicago's foie gras ban?

    June 21, 2012

    Before Charlie Trotter revealed he had quit serving foie gras and suggested eating the liver of fellow Chicago chef Rick Tramonto, before Ald. Joe Moore proposed that the city ban the sale of the fat livers of force-fed ducks, before the City Council enacted the ban and prompted Mayor Richard M. Daley to declare it "the silliest law that they've ever passed," before two years of foie gras prohibition followed as some Chicago restaurants continued serving the forbidden dish by giving it away or offering it under other names, and before the City Council repealed the ban with almost as little discussion as it had passed it in the first place, there was California.

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