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.
Carnivore opened late last summer, and we've been there a few times to pick up meat and fish. The boys at Carnivore now also offer lunch. Stopping in for a sandwich is a good way to sample their hand-crafted wurst.
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.
Claims of "authenticity" can be one of the laziest and most uniformed ways of talking about food. The authenticity conversation is worth having, of course, especially with people who know what they're talking about. So often though, claiming authenticity seems a way of sanctioning a food without really talking about how tasty it is, what makes it so good, or what, finally, it is.
Why in the world doesn't the Onion Roll serve a good onion roll? My heart sank when my lunch arrived: the pastrami and chopped liver looked fantastic, and the fries were perfectly crisped, but the onion roll…oy.