Local Experts Chime in on Chicago’s Changing Restaurant Scene

Local Experts Chime in on Chicago’s Changing Restaurant Scene

By Mae Velasco, Custom Content Manager

At more than 7,300 restaurants, and as the third largest city in the United States with nearly 3 million people, Chicago’s food scene is deeper than the deep-dish pizza it’s famous for. 

The restaurant scene is in constant evolution. Ethnic pockets of flavor, like Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy, and culinary influences like Pakistani, Indian, Polish, and Mexican, spice up its streets. Chicago is making its name with its exploration in molecular gastronomy, craft brewing, and distilled spirits, as well. 

With a culture this diverse and dynamic, it’s no surprise Chicago is home to the NRA Show and Foodable’s newest event and food-focused film festivalFoodable.io.  

But where is Chicago heading? We’re bringing you answers from the experts who hail from Chicago itself — and who happen to be speaking at Foodable.io, too. 

Check out why they think the Windy City blows the industry away with more than just hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches.

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Chat with Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

Hey, Chicago!

How about sitting down with a few of our restaurant-industry, hometown heroes? Meet Molly and Jerrod Melman, the dynamic brother-and-sister duo who work for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, one of the most recognized restaurant groups today and founded by their father, Richard Melman.

Join Foodable as we discover what keeps them engaged in the business, what they look for in their team members and what it takes to keep this Chicago-based corporation and its more than 100 restaurants nationwide running. Watch this On Foodable episode and get your fill!

The Melman Siblings of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises — The Inner-workings of an Iconic Restaurant Group

On this episode of On Foodable, brought to you by the Foodable Network, Host Rudy Miick is joined by two Melman siblings: Molly Melman, partner & divisional training manager at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, and Jerrod Melman, managing partner at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. For those not yet familiar, their father, Richard Melman, is the founder of LEYE, which is one of the most recognized restaurant groups today.

Though the restaurant industry is in their blood, not all family members fell into the business right away. Watch the full episode to find out what has kept them engaged in the business, what they look for in new hires, and more.

Fast Casual Trends TV: FCIC Chair & Wow Bao President Geoff Alexander [VIDEO]

We are kicking off a brand new season of Fast Casual Trends TV with a new look, inside the Foodable HQ studio! On this premier episode, brought to you by the Foodable Network and Technomic, we catch up with Geoff Alexander, Fast Casual Industry Council (FCIC) Chair and President of Chicago fast casual Wow Bao. Watch the full episode as Alexander discusses fast casual expansion, how this segment is bringing more approachability to chef-driven fare, why the future holds more value in this space for the consumer, and what to look forward to at this year’s Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference. (Bonus: If you’re a fast casual operator, learn more about how you can get involved with the FCIC.)

LEYE's Summer House Santa Monica Offers Diners West Coast Flair

Foodable WebTV Network |  Photo Credit: Summer House Santa Monica

Foodable WebTV Network | Photo Credit: Summer House Santa Monica

There’s no doubt that Chicagoans hold much pride for the Windy City. But a summer escape in the midst of this frigid, negative-degree weather? Where do we sign up?

Fortunately for locals, you needn’t book a flight or kill yourself in the gym – just head over to Summer House Santa Monica and you’ll immediately be transported by its west coast flair. The California-inspired restaurant opened a couple of months ago in Lincoln Park by restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises with Chef Jeff Mahin. 

Aside from its expected clean, modern aesthetic, Chef Mahin plans to change the menu routinely, but will use locally-sourced produce and ingredients when possible. If you’re not about that light and healthy California life and want something a bit heavier, Chef Mahin’s signature artisanal bread program is not to be overlooked. There’s also a long wine list and, to round out its offerings, pastry and sweets are also available. But our favorite part about the new venture? The wood-fire grill that sits in the center of the venue. Read More