Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Check, Please! Farm to Table Festival, Chicago

Check, Please! Farm to Table Festival, Chicago

The festival returns September 1st

The festival will bring together artisan food and beverage purveyors.

Local Chicago television show, Check, Please!, is turning the idea of Farm to Table on its head by bringing more than 20 chefs to a Round Barn Winery in Michigan, according to a press release.

Taking place on September 1st, the Check, Please! Farm to Table Festival will pair chefs with local farmers, beverage artisans, and boutique food purveyors to provide a tasting of the local fare.

Ticketholders will be able to track the source of their food while enjoying out door cooking demonstrations, tastings, and meet and greets with chefs and farmers.

Members of the “table” lineup include Host Catherine De Orio of the show Check, Please!, Glenn Forgie of Reds on the River, and Ryan Thornburg of Bistro on the Boulevard. Members of the “farm” lineup include purveyors such as Alex’s Veggies, Kaminski Farm Meats, and Swan Creek Farm. The “glass” lineup will feature Domain Berrien Cellars, Greenbush Brewing Company, and Virtue Cider, among others.

Special events like a Q+A with Catherine De Orio will take place at the Maytag Outdoor Kitchen Suite, while VIP events like a tasting with Eric Mansavage of Farmhouse will occur within the VIP tent.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor. The money intends to enhance the “Garden Club," a program that helps children and teens not only master gardening, but also bring that harvest to a soup kitchen where they will help serve and prepare meals.


Chef Michael Lalewicz cooking roots germinate from suburban Detroit where his youth was filled with sights, tastes and scents of Polish, German, Jewish, Greek and Italian ethnic foods. The Midwest farmers taught Michael much about wild game recipes. Grandmothers who emigrated from the Deep South taught Michael Southern and soul food recipes. His formal cooking life started in his neighborhood pizzeria.

Michael lived between Washington DC and the Chesapeake Bay in the eighties where he mastered seafood recipes and products of southern Maryland and Virginia as he developed his catering skills. At this time of his career, he started collecting food Mecca experiences by traveling to the great food cities and regions of the world such as New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, London, Athens, Tuscany, and Provence.

Depot Restaurant Chef Michael Lalewicz’ cheffing experiences have been as diverse as the cuisine’s of the countries he has traveled to. Michael was Sous Chef at Portland ‘s Restaurant Toulouse, Oswego Lake and Persimmon Country Clubs. He developed and opened the Greek kitchen of Portland ‘s premier jazz club, Jimmy Mak’s. Michael served as Executive Chef and innkeeper at the Shelburne Inn on the Long Beach Peninsula.


What's in season in May 2021, and other timely information:

Notes for May 2021: Spring is here and that means Strawberry season is upon us! It started in Florida, Texas, southern California then March along the Gulf coast, April in the Deep South and west coast, late May through much of the country, and June in northern areas. Cherries and Blueberries are next, following about a month later in each area. Of course, cool weather crops, like Rhubarb, asparagus and greens should be available almost everywhere right now. Check your area's copy calendar (see this page) and call your local farms for seasonal updates.

We also have easy home canning, jam and jelly making, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! It is easy to make your own ice cream, even gelato, or low fat or low sugar ice cream - see this page. Also note, there are many copycat website listing U-pick farms now. They have all copied their information from here and usually do not ever update. Since 2002, I've been updating the information every day but Christmas so if you see anything wrong or outdated, please write me!


Create Your Own Mac and Cheese - $14

Our House Blend of Cheese Topped with Breadcrumbs and Scallions (Choose two ingredients)

Mac and Cheese Ingredients

Bacon, Broccoli, Caramelized Onion, Chicken, Garlic, Jalapenos, Mushrooms, Peas, Scallions, Corn, Add Chili or BBQ Pulled Pork for $4.

Chili - $6 / $12 *

Chili, Shredded Monterey Jack, Diced Red Onion

Fried Pickles - $7

Deep Fried Panko Breaded Dill Chips, Chipotle Mayo

Buffalo Chicken Tenders - $10

Deep Fried Chicken Tenders, Buffalo Sauce, Bleu Cheese Dressing, Celery

BBQ Pork Fries - $9

Bed of Fries, BBQ Pulled Pork, Shredded Monterey Jack, Scallions

Jalapeno Poppers - $8

Deep Fried Cream Cheese and Chorizo Stuffed Jalapenos, Raspberry Jalapeno Jam

Edamame - $6

Edamame sautéed with Garlic


About Kent Rollins

Kent Rollins is from a lost period in time and a dying state of mind, when life was simple and character was king.

Kent was born and raised along the banks of the Red River near Hollis, Oklahoma. Growing up, and throughout his adulthood, Kent helped his father manage cow/calf operations in the area while also taking care of their own herd.

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Cookbook

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Hash Knife and Sheath

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Potempa: Reader thankful for finding Strongbow’s dressing recipe

Reader Robin Biesen Carlascio of Valparaiso wrote me with a request connected to turkey menu memories of the past.

“Phil, my friend, I’ve been trying to find a recipe for the dressing at Strongbow Inn restaurant,” she wrote.

Not to be confused with the favorite and fattening, savory side dish specialty, this reader’s request has nothing to do with the bread-based “stuffing” found inside roasted fowl this holiday time of year.

“I’m desperately seeking the recipe from Strongbow Inn for their Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Dressing,” she clarified.

“Do you happen to have it or know where I can get it?”

Strongbow Inn has always ranked as my favorite, oldest, family dining, history-steeped restaurant in Porter County. Like so many, I lamented the destination’s closing in March 2015 after 75 years in operation. What started as Valparaiso’s famous turkey farm, where decades ago, turkeys could be spotted roaming along fences along U.S. 30, grew into a banquet center and even featured a popular aviation themed bar as a nod to the neighboring landing strip for the Porter County Airport.

Featured on PBS TV restaurant review show “Check, Please!” and the favorite dining haunt of late Popcorn King Orville Redenbacher when he’d return to Valparaiso each year, this restaurant annually served up more than 250,000 pounds of turkey.

This salad dressing recipe request I received is common on readers’ wish lists.

Because Strongbow Inn restaurant used to bottle and sell this dressing in their lobby waiting area, displayed on a rack near a small freezer where a frozen version of the their signature turkey pot-pies and gravy could also be purchased, it seemed unlikely I’d ever be graced with the recipe and secret combination of ingredients.

My fourth cookbook, “Back From the Farm” ($34.95 Pediment Press 2019) published a year ago included recipes for two other Strongbow Inn delicious favorites: their sumptuous turkey schnitzel and scrumptious “Bess’ Turkey Salad Bowl.”

Both recipes came courtesy of Chef Russ Adams, a 1978 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Today, he still beams with pride about his restaurant legacy and the kitchen creations of his grandmother Bess Thrun, who founded the family restaurant, and whom he says was “ahead of her time” in many ways, especially her salad creations.

For one of my own favorite Strongbow Inn menu choices on any given dine-in night, I loved feeling like England’s King Henry VIII feasting on their decadent turkey liver pate with diced onions and crackers for my starter course, and then, herald the arrival of flavorful dark meat from an enormous turkey leg dinner served with mashed potatoes and sage dressing, all smothered in gravy, for my main event.

Last week, I chatted with Russ and swapped memories and recipes, with his willing consent I will finally share the salad dressing recipe this reader, and so many others, have desired to whip up at home.

I told Russ one of my favorite famed smiles I ever sat across a table from during an interview came in 2003, while dining at Strongbow Inn, with that smile belonging to actress Teri Garr, who celebrates her 76th birthday in just a few weeks on Dec. 11.

Russ reminded me that his family, despite their turkey association, boasted a good friendship with Colonel Harlan Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. The Colonel dined at Strongbow Inn whenever traveling through Northwest Indiana to visit his key local fast-food franchises.

Some other notable names who indulged appetites at Strongbow Inn throughout the decades include “Wagon Train” TV actor Robert Horton, acclaimed culinary hero and kitchen personality Chef Louis Szathmary, radio icon Paul Harvey, children’s doctor and TV personality Dr. Lendon Smith, country music legend Conway Twitty, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and nearly every Indiana governor elected since 1940.

Russ told me about the time his Grandma Bess was at the hostess stand sometime in the late 1950s, and she came face-to-face with a portly man waiting to be seated, who looked very much like Oscar winning actor Charles Laughton. When Bess mentioned to the fellow about his uncanny resemblance, he replied back, in a cold and stiff English accent: “Madam, THAT is because…I AM CHARLES LAUGHTON.”

As for his own favorite celebrity diner story, Russ said it was a kitchen visit from Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda, who is now age 93.

“I was working in the kitchen and Tommy Lasorda came through the swinging doors from the dining room to see what was going on in the back,” Russ recalled.

“He had ordered a turkey sandwich, and he tells me: ‘Load it up! And make it like you’re making it for your brother!”


What is Family Meal?

"Family Meal" is an important part of the culture in the restaurant industry. It exists at most restaurants, albeit in different forms.

At Manresa, it is a time where the team stops to sit and eat food that has been prepared by members of the kitchen. There is a rotating schedule of who prepares Family Meal and creates the menu for that day.

It is a time where we are able to sit around a table as a family and get to know one another. It is a time where we gain nourishment and sustenance to prepare us for the evening's service.

With the closure of dining as we have known it, we wanted to be able to offer part of our culture to the community, and Manresa Family Meal Take Out began. Menus that are reminiscent of what we cook for one another as a team are now available to you.

"Family Meal" is a concept rather than a meal large enough to feed a family.

We offer Manresa Family Meal Take Out from Wednesday through Sunday, 4:30pm-6:00pm.

We will post menus for the entire week at 8am on Tuesday morning on Instagram @manresafamilymeal or @manresarestaruant. Menus will also be posted on Tock.

You will have the option of adding a bottle of red or white wine, Champagne, beer, cocktails for two, or our "Sommelier's Selection" for pairing with the evening's meal as well!

If you prefer to choose a bottle from our extensive collection of wines, we have created special pricing for you.


Strawberry Picking Rules

Please bring your own masks. Masks must be worn during picking.

Social Distancing rules apply. Please keep 6' away from other guests.

No eating while in the field (Due to CDFA regulations for "You-Pick" operations)

If you touch it, please pick it. Please look carefully before you touch the strawberries.

In keeping with CDC guidelines, and for the safety of our employees, we ask that you please wear a cloth face covering, or mask, when visiting the farm. Our team will also be wearing masks to protect you.

DISCLAIMER: In the event of bad weather, unforeseen strawberry loss, not enough strawberries, new regulations due to Covid-19 or in any event that we have to cancel, we will send you an email and refund your money as soon as possible. All items picked are subject to crop availability.

NOTE: All persons above the age of 2 years are required to pay in order to participate. Children 2 years and under are FREE but do not receive a basket. *Following strict social distancing rules will allow us to continue to offer these events. Please only arrange to pick with immediate members of your household to protect all participants and employees. This is NOT a social gathering and we will enforce strict social distancing protocols.


The Cuisine of the Low Country

Sure, there&rsquos BBQ. After all, this is the South. But this is also the Low Country, home of the Gullah culture which is identified by spirituality, family, and food.

Often incorrectly referred to as Southern, or soul food, Gullah cuisine originated from slaves who were brought to this region to work in the rice fields. With most isolated on islands with only essentials, the skills they brought with them, and seasonal ingredients from the land and sea, Gullah cuisine and one-pot meals were born.


For us, accountability and traceability begin even before the farm. We ensure the highest quality care and kashrut standards are met from the very beginning&hellipthe egg. Empire is different than any other kosher chicken company in the country, in that we hatch, grow, process, package and ship our own products.

We are proud to be a company that supports family farms and raises chickens and turkeys with the utmost care and respect.

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Watch the video: Check, Please! Farm to Table (September 2021).