Food as a commodity?

Here is a look at Terra Madre “an international network of food producers, cooks, educators and students from 150 countries who are united by a common goal of global sustainability in food. The “food communities” of Terra Madre come together biennially to share innovative solutions and time-honored traditions for keeping small-scale agriculture and sustainable food production alive and well.” (Collected from the Slow Food USA website,

Food has been a part of all cultures since the beginning and how has it evolved over centuries? Is food a commodity, is it losing the basics characteristics of being natural, good food? Advancements help a culture grow but what is too far?

Enjoy this video giving a glimpse of Terra Madre…

Cheers to Fine Dining and Friends.

For my twenty-first birthday a few of us decided to go to Chicago to bring in a new year of birthdays. With many of us having birthdays in March it was a collaborative celebration and of course accompanied with great food.

To celebrate the big day with my mother and sister we went on a wild goose chase to finally choose Le Colonial, which ended up being completely fitting for my first meal as a legal adult. Le Colonial is a French Vietnamese restaurant located downtown Chicago. Their beyond unique interpretations of French food cooked in Vietnamese styles was most definitely a treat. We started with an array of appetizers sampling dishes like the Goi Ga Cuon and Bo Bia. The ingredients were fresh and the flavors were wildly amazing. For dinner we all shared some delectable curries and a unique twist on a salad. Finally for desert they surprised us with a specially made desert that was sweetly out-of-this-world and mouth-watering!

We ended the night at my uncle’s downtown lounge, Pop’s For Champagne to of course enjoy some champagne on the house. The rest of theweek we sampled all sorts of cuisines allowing us to travel around Chicago pleasing out taste buds.

Next up was Xoco for breakfast, which is one of Rick Bayless’ restaurants that serves a mean mexican influenced Huevos Rancheros and empanadas along with a long list of tapas for lunch and homemade soft serve ice cream. The breakfast is only served until 10am so it is a must to get up and out of bed bright and early. It is also a must to try the Torreja which is a wood-oven cooked french toast. It is a perfect sweet treat topped with maple syrup and local Gunthrop bacon-pecan sprinkles!


The last meal with my family was at Piccolo Sogno which has become one of my favorites in Chicago. The atmosphere sits you at small tables surrounded by loud conversations that make you feel like you are dining in a villa in Italy. Our little old Italian waiter helped us sample some of the chef’s best Italian meats and cheeses on their tapas platter. I feasted on a duck dish paired with a polenta loaf and a divine glass of wine. I have been here only once before but the small menu has always left me wanting more.

Now it was time for mama bear to leave and my friends to arrive so the real 21st birthday celebrations could begin. We started our Chicago adventures at Topo Gigio in Lincoln Park. This cozy old Italian restaurant was perfect for our large group and bottles of wine. I ordered the special pasta and yet again they surprised me with a feast of deserts. All the meals were looking and smelling fantastic but the best was the fun lively atmosphere and great company! After our drinks and desert we scooted off to Second City and enjoyed the rest of our night filled with laughs.

The next day was filled with hitting all the shops on Michigan avenue only a few blocks from our hotel. For a quick meal that cures any hunger craving I definitely recommend M Burger. I have heard my friends talk about M Burger before and as an ex vegetarian searching for a good burger from time to time I had to sample it myself. The restaurant is the size of a dream walk-in closet and there are only about 8 seats with 3 burgers on the menu including a few other sandwich options. They know to keep it simple and do things right! No matter what you like on your burger I guarantee you will leave satisfied from M Burger.


The rest of the weekend was filled with cute cocktails and shopping sprees leaving us to dread reality, but as always bon appetit and cheers to us.

Buen Provecho.

My mother called this morning in order to inform me of a blizzard that is coming to Madison! Supposedly there hasn’t been one this bad since 1992, we will see if that is true, however this crushed my dreams of feasting on some tasty Mexican cuisine in the near future. One of my favorite things about Madison is their mix of ethnicity in the restaurants.

First is one I have actually been to with my Dad when he visited, Eldorado Grill. This unique Mexican restaurant, located on Willy street right off the capital square, is one of my favorite areas when I want to escape the hustle and bustle of State Street. Their specialty is working with fish and putting a twist on authentic Mexican entrees. I had the Pasilla Chile Chicken Enchiladas which were served with the sauces decoratively displayed on the plate leading to a taquito style enchilada. My dad enjoyed the Market Fish Special which appeared shaped as a butterfly. The food is pleasing to the eyes and palate.

La Mestiza is an authentic Mexican restaurant I have not had the luxury of dining at but according to Urbanspoon and other sources it is one of Madison’s best hot spots for a traditional Mexican meal in a great atmosphere. There is a location downtown and on Madison’s outskirts, on Odana Road. They pride themselves by having food that is “…from the ordinary to the extraordinary eclectic Mexican cuisine”.

Mango Man Cooks! The story behind this restaurant helps make it a must on my eating to-do list. Thony, a Madison food-cart regular, gained much popularity from selling food on the capital square as well as around the UW campus. Once people started demanding more amazing cuisine he opened up a restaurant, Café Costa Rica, on South Butler Street with plans of opening another downtown on Willy Street. Mango Man, which is who he came to be known as, does a phenomenal job of serving Mexican food with a Caribbean twist. The Mojito’s are supposedly to die for while the rest of the menu will leave you wanting more as well!

Finally, there is L’Etoile. This is not Mexican cuisine but chef Tory adds his own Mexican spices and accents to unique entrees. At L’Etoile they strive to use all local farm ingredients which creates a delicious and seasonal menu. Chef Tory’s experience in the kitchen is gaining popularity all over Wisconsin and reviews compare him to Chef Rick Bayless, who has two extraordinary restaurants in Chicago, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. Chef Tory and his crew have also opened up a new gastropub, Graze, which follows the same principles of cooking comfort foods from grass-fed animals. At Graze the chefs strive to offer a higher level of regular pub food that allows its customers to enjoy their company while grazing.

Apologies if you are like me and stuck inside because of a storm-to-be, but at least your imagination will be satisfied!

¡Buen Provecho!


Bon Appetit with a Lunch Bag.

This post is strictly for my sister but all my readers in Chicago can benefit!

My older sister received a lunch bag for Christmas and even though she didn’t say anything, I knew she had no idea when she would use it. My sister and I have become very similar over the years, it has probably helped that I am not the annoying 6-year-old trying to “hang out” with the teenagers, but one difference we still have is our use of the kitchen. While when I have the availability, would spend hours making yummy treats or mouth-watering meals, she would rather use her skills to get us into this months top rated restaurants and experience someone else’s cooking. I must clarify that this is in no way a bad thing, we both benefit from each others skills and as a reader so do you! However, this post is so my sister can put her shiny new lunch bag to good use.

Daily Candy is a blog I follow, and as before, I found something I couldn’t let just sit in my Gmail inbox. This “restaurant” brings the home cooked meals into your home, without you having to do the work.

Cindy, my new role model this year, is a women who left the corporate world to find her true passion, in the kitchen. After having years of success in America’s typical workforce she now spends her time baking tiny pies filled with comfort. Her website Small Comfort displays about a dozen pies she makes from scratch and sells them fresh or freezes and ships them. My sister, or anyone else, can purchase these pies to have for a comforting dinner after a long day at work or pack up and take to work, in a lunch bag perhaps?? They are all made weekly with fantastic ingredients and a perfect flakey crust. A few delightful examples are… Classic Chicken, Potato Leek, or Roasted Root Vegetable. There are many more and she ranges from traditional pot pies to some with a twist, and can even deliver a vegan one if that satisfies you more.

Check out her website or visit her at Logan Square Kitchen’s Pastry Market, February 12th and 13th, I’m sure she will not disappoint you.

Bon Appetit with a lunch bag.


Going to Chicago for a weekend get-away or on your back to school like my best friends? Go ahead and check out this post by Daily Candy’s blog… it’s all about fun adventures to do and places to explore in Chicago.

Also interested in checking out exciting new blogs? My bestie, Betsy, started up a new one, The Pitch. She posts a photo a day and is looking on expanding her topic. We are both new to the blog scene and always accepting fun tips and blogging secrets.



Photo retrieved from

Hello Chicago Dining.

This is the first blog post of All Hail Honeybees and I am starting with a suggestion on where to eat in the lovely windy city, Chicago. I spent my christmas break shopping and eating with my family while also trying to avoid the brutal winter weather. With only four days in the city we spent all our time feasting at 5 amazing restaurants. I hope you enjoy reading my suggestions and please feel free to suggest some of your own!

Drumroll please…

The first one is a cozy new restaurant that takes you down south while staying in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Chicago q is the new barbecue restaurant that has their “competition style” ribs and chicken that are out-of-this-world amazing. However, everything else on the menu is also to die for; including some corn bread or Mac and Cheese, with a kick, that completes any meal. The restaurant acknowledges itself as down south comfort food with style and class.

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Rick Bayless’ restaurant The Frontera Grill is a lively Mexican hot spot right down town in Streeterville. This restaurant gives a whole new twist on Mexican cuisine by having plates with many different meats and fish. My sister feasted on a savory duck dish mixed with black beans and a kicking hot Habanero sauce. I enjoyed a delicious, savory chicken with sautéed leaks and homemade tamales. While the main meals were scrumptious the desert takes it to a whole new level. The Mexican hot chocolates came in a variety of flavors. We all sampled a different one allowing the four of us to enjoy each flavor!! To top off the meal I highly recommend adding some of the homemade ice creams to the table. They come with dark chocolate or caramel sauces drizzled over and don’t be afraid to splurge because the flan is definitely a must!! The entire evening takes a new twist on ingredients and flavors creating an amazing yet authentic Mexican evening.

The third is Davanti Enoteca in Little Italy. The wait for us was two hours but the Italian cuisine made every second of the wait worth it. The atmosphere is cozy and with good company you could spend hours there feasting on delicious pizzas or specialty meats and drinking wine. Their Italian cuisine has a little twist to it making the meals unique and much more delectable. My sister and I indulged in their pizzas while my father feasted on their hamburger with bacon jam and cheese curds. The desert was a chocolate hazelnut piece of heaven that we wouldn’t let be taken away until every piece was gone. Mark my words, it was absolutely fantastic!

Next up is a restaurant that has become our favorite over the past few visits to Chicago! The Purple Pig is located right at the beginning of the Magnificent Mile, Michigan avenue. Purple Pig prides itself on hosting a variety of in-house cured meats and cheeses. The entrées are all very small and perfect for sampling. We have found that lunch is the ideal time to sneak a seat because the restaurant is small and constantly packed with customers. A few of our favorites are the roasted beet salad with goat cheese and a pistachio vinaigrette as well as the shaved brussel sprouts with Pecorino Noce and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses. I also strongly recommend doing a Purple Pig Platter of meats and selecting some cheeses to go along with it. If you choose a few options from every part of the menu there is no way you will leave disappointed or still hungry, but definitely craving more.

(Photo retrieved from

Last, but definitely not least, is Jam in Wicker Park. This hot spot breakfast joint is so divine we ended up dining their TWICE! The head chef is an apprentice of Charlie Trotter and definitely takes breakfast to a whole new level. Their most famous entrée is the soft-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and then deep-fried. It sounds intense but is an absolute MUST when you visit Jam. Their Eggs Benedict and other traditional dishes are not so traditional, but that is what we felt made them sooo much better. We tested many options on the menu but I am confident to say that anything one orders would send your taste buds on a ride of their life.

Bon Appetit in the Windy City.