The Great American Cooking Expo presents "It's Just a Taste: Food and Wine Festival" brings together celebrity chefs, culinary trendsetters, and food and wine connoisseurs for two days of eating, drinking, and education. The event fills Arlington Park Racecourse’s 50,000 square feet with delicious aromas generated by more than 100 exhibitors, who alternate between demonstrating advanced techniques and providing tasty morsels and wine samples for the crowds. While professionals show off the methods that produce exceptional flavors, more than 25 premium beverage manufacturers offer up the perfect wines to pair. They provide more than 125 wines to sample, along with ample spirits and cordials.
The event’s organizers hope to provide more than fleeting culinary satisfaction. They also organize stations to help generate menu ideas, teach specific recipes, or inspire visitors to find the perfect gift for a culinary-inclined friend, whether it’s a set of new pots or a kidnapped celebrity chef.
Eric and Markay Suevel have run the eponymous Suevel Studios—a full-service glass studio that creates custom pieces and hosts classes—for more than 30 years. Both proprietors have practiced the art for decades, but their partnership marries two distinct approaches. Eric learned the craft at a young age from his uncle, and Markay possesses a liturgical perspective as an ordained minister with a master’s in divinity. They cut and fuse alongside a team of worldly and learned glassworkers, all of whom bring their own specific expertise to the table, whether doing restoration work or mosaics. The studio's stained-glass work lights up churches, homes, and restaurants as well as their students’ faces after they complete one of 25 classes. There, apprentices acquire the skills required to decorate household windows or liven up bland, translucent reading glasses.
Since opening its doors in 1998, Language Stars has introduced more than 30,000 children to foreign languages with small-group classes and full-immersion activities. Through a selective process, Language Stars recruits ambitious teachers from more than 20 countries who share a common goal of revolutionizing how and when American children learn foreign languages. Parents and Tots Classes are available for children between 1–3 years old, and Kids Only classes are available for children 3–5, 5–8 and 8–10 years old. Absorbent little minds soak up Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, or Arabic with the help of their FunImmersion approach, learning naturally through games, songs, activities and art projects to help kids finally understand their foreign-exchange imaginary friends.
Mykl Howard, the owner and founder of Wholesale Sports Daily, has collected sports memorabilia since childhood. Over the years, he's watched the cost of authentic autographs climb so high, that common collectors are often left empty-handed. So Mykl used his knowledge of the industry to establish his own company, and built a team that truly knows the ins and outs of the sports memorabilia business. Mykl and his team not only pave the way toward more accessible authentic memorabilia—through direct sales, autograph signings, and other events with star athletes—but they pass their knowledge on to customers. The WSD team also protects items with framing services, meaning you don't have to swallow that signed photo and show it to your friends via X-ray.
The Chicago Cooking Expo packs 12,000 square feet of Arlington Park racecourse to the brim with culinary expertise, food trucks, and top local chefs on October 27 and 28. Local gourmands converge to nibble samples of international cuisines, sip wine and spirits, and indulge at a chocolate bar with chocolate fountains, crepes, cakes, and cookies. Notable foodies will sign autographs in a designated pavilion, and local culinary students will face off in skills competitions. Guests can take home more than just memories, as vendors will sell top-shelf cookware, specialty sauces, and gourmet chocolates. The Expo will also be taking donations for the Chicago Food Depository.
The finish line is a blur of color. Every runner and walker that arrives at Active Care ColorBlast 5K's end point looks like he or she just escaped in slow motion from an exploding chalk factory. In addition to sporting this prismatic new fashion statement, they all seem to have smiles on their faces. That's because the event is more of a celebration than a competition—getting as much color as you can takes precedent over getting the best time you can. In fact, lingering at key points along the 5k route is encouraged. It's at these locations, named color stations, that volunteers toss colored powder—which is made from completely natural and biodegradable food-grade cornstarch—towards the participants, turning their white t-shirts into something akin to tie-die.
More hues wait at the finish line, where group color throws begin immediately after the race's end. As the vibrant cloud rises above the crowd, it announces a collective victory, not just for each participant but the community as a whole. 100% of proceeds from each Color Blast 5k benefits Clearbrook's programs and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Annually, the charity supports more than 6,000 individuals as well as their families in 13 counties, in over 160 communities and 50 locations throughout Chicago and the suburbs.