Thursday, December 24, 2015

New Exhibitors at the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show (Rosemont,Illinois)


Gene Siskel Film Center Kicks Off Awards Season with Annual Oscars Nominations Panel Jan. 14 (Chicago,IL)


New Provençal cookbook, Cuisine of the Sun, from acclaimed Chef François de Mélogue is available

The new Cuisine of the Sun cookbook from acclaimed Chef François de Mélogue offers more than a Ray of Sunshine to food lovers everywhere.
New Year's Eve dinner hosts can still receive their
hardcover version if they order by Tuesday, December 29!


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The new Cuisine of the Sun cookbook from acclaimed Chef François de Mélogue offers more than a Ray of Sunshine to food lovers everywhere
The phrase "cuisine of the sun" is not a new one, but in the inspired hands of Chef François de Mélogue, these words take on an exciting and delicious new meaning. His new cookbook, Cuisine of the Sun: A Ray of Sunshine on Your Plate, is a modern exploration of the cuisine that draws people from around the world to France's southern coast. It has arrived just in time for Holiday and New Year's entertaining. Cuisine of the Sun: A Ray of Sunshine on Your Plate is available at Chef François' blog, ($24.95 hardcover/$7.99 e-book) or at as a hardcover book or an e-book.
Cuisine of the Sun sample page spread 400 pixels w border.jpgThe book presents a collection of more than 60 recipes that offer readers a culinary journey of this warm and vibrant cuisine. In a refreshing departure from many French cookbooks, de Mélogue engagingly and humorously riffs on his favorite traditional dishes, throwing in a contemporary variation or two, adding some food history here, some anecdotes there, and throughout the book, sharing his passion and respect for the art of Provençal cooking.

Cuisine of the Sun is a beautifully written and organized cookbook that has provided De Mélogue with a platform for showcasing his many talents. While his cookbook easily demonstrates his mastery of Provençal cuisine, it is also a terrific stage for de Mélogue to shine as a funny, impish and down-to-earth chef who is a humorous and insightful writer, a food photographer with a keen eye, a prodigious culinary historian, and lover of life. Throughout the cookbook is lush photography coupled with tender childhood reminiscences, and classic and re-imagined Provençal recipes.
Cuisine of the Sun roasted peppers page spread 400 pixels w border.jpgDe Mélogue offers his family's epic picnic of a simple grilled Loup de Mer with Artichokes Barigoule. He sends garlic and herbs. He transports them to the old port in Marseille, enticed by the scent of his Mussels steamed in Pastis with Spanish Chorizo, Leeks and Piquillo Peppers.

He also includes some signature dishes that have stayed with him throughout his career. Delight in his wildly popular Artichoke Tarte Tatin or his exhilarating version of the classic fish stew Bourride he lovingly calls Provençal Sunshine.

"This cookbook is an edible love letter to the South of France, featuring rustic dishes like Olive Tapenade, Marseille Fish Soup and a Rosé scented Daube of Lamb that will transport readers back to the French countryside," said de Mélogue. "Cuisine of the Sun, A Ray of Sunshine on Your Plate is perfect for those who love food and celebrate their relationship to it. This is not just another cookbook, but an invitation to take a seat and join in the celebration of life from a true foodie's perspective."
Cuisine of the Sun front back cover spread 400 pixels w border.jpg
Cuisine of the Sun propels de Mélogue into an elite group of chefs who are recognized proponents of contemporary and traditional renditions of this flavorful cuisine. Readers will delight in desserts that sweetly cross the fence between American and French cultures like Salted Caramel Apple Beignet, Brown Butter Fig Tarts and even his version of Julia Child's classic dense Chocolate and Almond Cake.
Herbes de Provence kit image 300 pixels wi border.jpgLimited Edition Gift Sets
Cuisine of the Sun will be a much-appreciated gift for food lovers-start the New Year's with a splash by giving this to your New Year's Eve party host. To make the gift even more special, and to introduce readers to the joys of Provençal cooking, Chef De Mélogue has created two Limited Edition Gift Sets ($35.99 each) that include the cookbook, a special blend of herbs and/or spices, and a classic recipe that incorporates them.
The Herbes de Provence Limited Edition Gift Set
presents the bounty and fragrance of Provence. It includes the cookbook, a special herbes blend of spices, and a free digital recipe incorporating these classic spices. The herbes blend is used in many different ways; as an addition to stews and braises and it's even great on fish or pork chops.  As with any spice, it's best to add at the beginning of cooking so the fragrant herbes show best.
The Piment D'Ville Limited-Edition Gift Set
includes the cookbook, a tin of the sweet and spicy Piment d'Ville, and a digital recipe incorporating these basque-style spices. This sweet, spicy red chile is locally grown from seed and hand harvested in Boonville, CA. Piment d'Ville is the same variety of pepper known as piment d'espelette traditionally produced around the town of Espelette in the Basque region of southern France. Piment d'Ville is used on a huge variety of items including soft boiled eggs, lamb, chicken, and in soups and stews.

The Special Edition Gift Sets can be purchased at Chef de Mélogue's blog,
Special Opportunity to Give Back Through December 31

15% of all sales of the cookbook and gift sets, purchased at through December 31, 2015, will be donated to Feeding America! Join in and help needy American families and children get a meal and receive a beautiful cookbook in the process! One cookbook = 40 meals donated! There is still time to order for last-minute Christmas gifts. Learn more at
About the Author
Chef François De Mélogue is a native of Chicago who has worked in and led some of the greatest Provençal and pan-Mediterranean kitchens in France and the United States, and his experience shines through in this engaging cookbook. Beginning as a youth, the son of French parents, he spent his summers near Marseilles, soaking up the sun as well as the culinary lifestyle treasured by his food-loving family.
Francois tight headshot in kitchen 300 pixels w borderBy the time he attended the prestigious New England Culinary Institute as a young man, he had already demonstrated the natural instincts and fervor for cooking that have to served him well over his long career.

After graduating culinary school at the top of his class he built his foundation working under some great mentors, including Chef Louis Szathmary at The Bakery in Chicago and Chef Joel Robuchon at Gastronomie in Paris. He headed the kitchen at the Relais & Chateaux designated Old Drovers Inn in Dover Plains, NY. In 2003, he led the kitchen at the new Pili.Pili in Chicago, a pan-Mediterranean restaurant that was named one of the top ten new restaurants in the world by Food & Wine.

Ever the student and explorer of all things culinary, he continued to expand his horizons in such locales as Prince Edward Island in Canada and California's Mendocino County wine country, earning praise and fans along the way.

In 2011, after an extensive search for a chef, de Mélogue was named Executive Chef of the new Figue Mediterranean in La Quinta, California. Emphasizing the finest, locally sourced and sustainably raised ingredients, his joyous Provençal and Mediterranean cuisine soon captivated the area's foodies and, in its first year, Figue was named the best restaurant in the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley area. In 2014, de Mélogue appeared on the Food Network's reality show Guy's Grocery Games, which he impressively won.

De Mélogue continues to cook, educate and inspire many chefs from around the country with his blog, and for the past year he has focused his efforts on writing Cuisine of the Sun, his first cookbook.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2016 Pop Culture Bonanza!

Pop Culture Preview
  With 2016 just over a week away, fans across the country are buzzing with excitement as to what the New Year will bring for their favorite celebrities. Which famous couples will take the next step and get married or have children? Who will break our hearts with an unexpected break-up? Who will grace the cover of an acclaimed magazine issue? Never ones to leave fans in the dark, the best and newest online source for unbiased gambling reviews and information,
posted odds on what to expect for the 2016 Pop Culture landscape.
“The draw and excitement of celebrities continues to operate at a fever pitch,” stated spokesperson Allan Kingsley Jones.  “2016 will keep fans glued to social media and the Internet more than ever!”
Analysts at the website posted odds for the 2016 Pop Culture scene:

2016 Pop Culture Odds:

Celebrity couple most likely to get married first in 2016:
Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill: 3/2
Demi Lovato and Wilmer Valderrama: 9/2
Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson: 8/1
Sandra Bullock and Bryan Randall: 30/1
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell: 80/1

Celebrity couple most likely to have a baby first in 2016:
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher: 10/1
Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello: 14/1
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: 20/1
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux: 20/1
Kate Middleton and Prince William: 40/1

Celebrity couple most likely to adopt a child in 2016:
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: 10/1
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux: 15/1
George and Amal Clooney: 25/1
Sandra Bullock: 30/1
Madonna: 40/1
Celeb couple most likely to divorce/break up in 2016:
Kylie Jenner and Tyga: 3/1
Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris: 17/3
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: 6/1
LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian: 10/1
Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Basket: 15/1
Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott: 18/1

Celebrity Scandal Odds:
Celebrity most likely to get arrested in 2016:
Bill Cosby: 2/3
Justin Bieber: 5/1
Chris Brown: 8/1
DMX: 17/2
Scott Disick: 15/1

Celebrity chef most likely to be involved in a scandal in 2016:
Paula Deen: 4/1
Bobby Flay: 7/1
Giada De Laurentiis: 7/1
Nigella Lawson: 20/1
Rachel Ray: 33/1
Celebrities will be arrested most for _____ in 2016:
Drugs: 6/1
DUI: 8/1
Disorderly conduct: 20/1
Tax fraud: 40/1
Gun possession: 50/1
Airplane drunkenness: 60/1

All Things Kardashian:
Kardashian with the most headlines in 2016:
Kim Kardashian: 3/2
Caitlyn Jenner: 3/1
Kylie Jenner: 10/1
Kendall Jenner: 20/1
Khloe Kardashian: 30/1

Next Kardashian to have their own TV show:
Kim Kardashian: 2/3
Kylie Jenner: 15/1
Kendall Jenner: 15/1
Rob Kardashian: 40/1
Kris Jenner: 70/1

Next Kardashian to leave Keeping up with the Kardashians
They all stay: 3/2
Caitlyn Jenner: 8/1
Rob Kardashian: 12/1
Kylie Jenner: 33/1
Kendall Jenner: 33/1

Hottest Celebrities Odds:
People’s 2016 “Sexiest Man Alive” Odds:
Chris Evans: 4/1
Leonardo DiCaprio: 5/1
Benedict Cumberbatch: 7/1
Chris Pratt: 9/1
Michael Fassbender: 12/1
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: 14/1

People’s 2016 “Sexiest Woman Alive” Odds:
Jennifer Lawrence: 6/1
Margot Robbie: 10/1
Scarlett Johansson: 15/1
Emilia Clarke: 20/1
Penelope Cruz: 30/1

Odds to be number one on Maxim’s Hot 100:
Kendall Jenner: 7/3
Gigi Hadid: 3/1
Taylor Swift: 5/1
Scarlett Johansson: 12/1
Ariana Grande: 20/1

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Covergirl Odds:
Kate Upton: 6/1
Behati Prinsloo: 8/1
Candice Swanepoel: 12/1
Hannah Davis: 25/1
Adrianna Lima: 40/1

2016 Awards Odds:
Odds to win Best Picture at the 2016 Oscars:
Spotlight (Open Road): 9/2
The Revenant (20th Century Fox): 8/1
Carol (The Weinstein Company): 9/1
The Martian (20th Century Fox): 9/1
Room (A24): 12/1
Joy (20th Century Fox): 30/1

Odds to win Best Actor at the 2016 Oscars:
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant): 3/2
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs): 5/1
Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl): 7/1
Matt Damon (The Martian): 10/1
Bryan Cranston (Trumbo): 10/1

 Odds to win Best Actress at the 2016 Oscars:
Brie Larson (Room):13/7
Cate Blanchett (Carol): 4/1
Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn): 9/2
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy): 6/1
Rooney Mara (Carol): 20/1

 Actor/Actress most likely to win an Emmy in 2016:
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent: 6/1
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep: 9/1
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder: 10/1
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards: 25/1
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black: 30/1

Musician most likely to have a number-one single in 2016:
Taylor Swift: 2/1
Adele: 4/1
Ed Sheeran: 8/1
Rihanna: 8/1
Kanye West: 10/1

Celebrity Hosting Odds:
Odds on who will replace Ryan Seacrest as host of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in 2016-17:
No one: 4/11
Jimmy Fallon: 25/1
Jimmy Kimmel: 30/1
Stephen Colbert: 40/1
Carson Daly: 40/1

Odds to host the 2016 season premiere of SNL:
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler: 8/1
Donald Trump: 10/1
Taylor Swift: 18/1
Alec Baldwin: 25/1
Will Ferrell: 40/1