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.
Spending many hours on layovers at JFK, terminal C, I was confronted by few dining options. The three or four available restaurants all featured pads on the tables that permitted diners to order, pay for meals and web surf for no additional charge (which is nice in areas still controlled by Boingo and other pay-for-access providers).
I like traveling to new places and trying new foods, and there were a lot of foods put before me in Iceland that I'd never seen on American tables. Some dishes caused me to consider whether it was moral to eat all of god's creatures.
Blue Ribbon butcher shop has been going strong for a while, so despite the dashed dreams of Blase's and the aborted Marion Street Cheese Market butcher shop, there's still a chance a butcher store can make it in central Oak Park. Knaub and Williams seem like the guys who could do it.