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Dining for Life; Baconfest; Aberlour
by Andrew Davis
2019-04-09

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The annual event Dining for Life—which raises vital funds for HIV/AIDS-service organizations—returns to Chicago on Thursday, April 25.

There are already more than 40 participating restaurants throughout Chicagoland, including Marchesa, Cherry Circle Room, Ella Elli, The Dearborn, Farmhouse Evanston, Mia Francesca, The SoFo Tap and Z Bar at The Peninsula Chicago.

All proceeds from this year's event will benefit Test Positive Aware Network to continue to provide free services to the local community.

For more about the event, visit DiningOutForLife.com/city/chicago/.

Baconfest satisfies crowds

The 11th Annual Baconfest Chicago returned April 5-6 at the UIC Dorin Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd. Nearly 4,000 attendees enjoyed offerings from new restaurants and returning favorites over the three sessions.

As in previous years, Baconfest Chicago supported the Greater Chicago Food Depository with a donation from event proceeds, a raffle on site and a food drive at the event.

Also, chefs competed in two categories: Most Creative Use of Bacon and Best Front of House Presentation, with winners taking home trophies. Most Creative Use of Bacon comes in two flavors: Judges' Choice, awarded by a panel of handpicked judges from the Chicago food world and People's' Choice, selected by Baconfest attendees who vote for their favorite by text message. Some of the winners included Victory Tap Chef Joseph Farina, XO Marshmallow Chef Melissa Humphrey, Davanti Enoteca Chef James Day and Yolk's Taki Kastanis.

Tasting Aberlour

At a recent tasting at Travelle at The Langham ( which featured some delicious items, including crab-and-avocado toast and pepperoni flatbread ), Windy City Times learned about the merits of Aberlour Scotch whisky ( and only true whiskys come from Scotland, by the way ).

Among the items that were sampled were 12-year-old, 16-year-old, A'bunadh and Casg Annamh variations of the brand. Brand ambassador Alan Clark entertained and educated, teaching how to drink ( e.g., making sure to have your mouth open when sniffing the whisky to diminish the impact ).

Other facts about Aberlour:

—12 Year Old Aberlour: The lightest of the bunch, this variation is double-cask matured ( also known as finished ) in a combination of U.S. oak casks and sherry butts ( long, slender casks ), and has notes of apple.

—16 Year Old Aberlour: Also double-cask matured in a combination of U.S. oak casks and sherry butts, this Aberlour has notes of raisins and spices. This was my favorite.

—A'bunadh: A more robust variation and with a name that means "of the origin" in Gaelic, the spicy A'bunadh is made in homage to Aberlour's founder, James Fleming.

—Casg Annamh: Tasting the first batch of this variation was a rewarding experience. Casg Annamh ( "rare cask," in Gaelic ) is triple-cask matured that's a little tangy/fruity.


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