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Alice Waters Weighs in on ‘Kitchen Cabinet’

Kate Coleman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports: Amid the flurry of hundreds and thousands of resumes descending upon the transition team for President-elect Barack Obama is a letter from Alice Waters of Chez Panisse volunteering her services - and those of Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl and New York Union Square restaurateur Danny Meyer - to be the first couple's informal "kitchen cabinet" on all things culinary, from recommendations for a new White House chef to overseeing the creation of a sustainable, organic kitchen garden on the White House lawn.

In the letter, sent the day after the election, Waters wrote passionately: "At this moment you have a unique opportunity to set the tone for the changes we need to make in the way our country feeds itself. The purity and wholesomeness of your campaign can find a parallel in the purity and wholesomeness of the food at America's most visible and symbolic address: the White House."

A White House garden.

Waters is not alone in sensing that the newly elected, allegedly arugula-loving president is the perfect vehicle for national food reform. His switch to local, organic, seasonal food would lead the way in fighting America's epidemic of obesity and diabetes stemming from processed food, chemicals and eating too much from the wrong end of the food chain. Author Michael Pollan envisions a White House Victory garden a la Eleanor Roosevelt's, while pictures a White House and its lawn ripe for planting.

VeggieFest, Naperville, IL, August 13-14, 2011

Vegetarians, vegans, and health-enthusiasts are gearing up for another weekend of great family fun at Veggie Fest 2011 - one of the biggest vegetarian festivals in North America! Not only is there free admission and free parking, but you'll also find a huge international vegetarian food court, lots of exciting food demos where you can learn new vegetarian recipes, and dozens of experts speaking on vegetarianism, spirituality, and healthy living.

You'll love the awesome live music, activities for kids, free coupon books for local businesses, and over 100 exhibitor booths too. It's the must-attend veggie party of the summer!  

Veggie Fest 2011 Food Demos 

You won't want to miss the food demos at Veggie Fest this year.  We have an exciting roster of chefs who will be presenting a wide variety of vegetarian dishes  including raw and vegan.  Sample cuisines from around the world prepared by these talented presenters:
  • Restaurant and Commercial Chefs
  • Cookbook Authors and Coaches
  • Guest Chefs

Restaurant and Commercial Chefs

Three Chicago area restaurants plus a number of chefs from commercial enterprises who will be doing demos this year.

Karyn Calabrese of Karyn's Fresh Corner

Veggie Fest 2011 is proud to feature local Chicago’s own Karyn Calabrese of Karyn’s “Fresh Corner” and “Karyn’s Cooked” presenting a food demo at Veggie Fest.  Karyn is a successful entrepreneur and popular holistic health expert based in Chicago.  At 64 years old she looks nearly a generation younger and enjoys boundless energy and great health.  After meeting teachers and raw food pioneers, Anne Wigmore and Viktoras Kulvinskas, Karyn gradually transitioned from vegetarian to vegan to a complete raw vegan diet.  In addition to a raw diet, she believes in regular detoxification and has developed a program that she has shared with thousands of people over the years and is now available in her debut book, Soak Your Nuts: Cleansing with Karyn.  Karyn’s business also includes 3 vegan restaurants, a holistic wellness center, and a line of all natural supplements, skin care and makeup.   Karyn has enjoyed huge success as a health expert in the local and national media including two appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show that featured age-defying women.  Karyn was awarded the First Annual Raw and Living Foods Golden Branch Award in 2002 for introducing the idea of raw and living foods to the greatest number of people in the mainstream public.

Karyn will be demoing smoothies as well as a mushroom stuffed with nut pate and a raw pasta dish. 

Soul Vegetarian

Here is another famous Chicago area vegetarian restaurant doing a demo at Veggie Fest.  We are excited to have Soul Vegetarian, a Chicago favorite since 1982.  What started out as a simple labor of love and desire to improve the overall health of the community, their restaurant has grown into an internationally famous institution that has set the standard for vegan fine dining.  Soul Vegetarian is warm, friendly and international, yet it is like “coming home” with their satisfying menu offering a variety of delicious choices.  At Veggie Fest, Soul Vegetarian will be demoing Scrambled Tofu and Kale.  You can also visit them at their food booth and sample more of their delicious food.  They will be in the food court in B-11.

Borrowed Earth Cafe

Danny and Kathy Living are just two regular people who watched the movie, "The Secret" 90 days in a row after writing on a piece of paper, "We opened Borrowed Earth Cafe in October of 2007." They had only been eating raw five months and had no business opening a restaurant. They were unemployed...but enthusiastic. Now, four years later, they've been rated regularly by visitors as one of the best raw food restaurants in the world, by people who've traveled and tried a lot of raw food places. Their place is like their home...a place to enjoy food made with the finest organic ingredients with that certain something that keeps people coming back for more. Come enjoy their down-to-borrowed-earth approach to common sense and good food without compromising your taste buds or feeling like you'll spend your life looking longingly at other people's plate. Nonsense! Their book "Borrowed Earth Cafe, People Like Us on Facebook" is scheduled for release this fall. Come watch this off-beat couple entertain you while they demo their yummy chocolate / coconut truffles.

Nature's Path

We are pleased to have Nature's Path Organics back at Veggie Fest.  In the 40-plus years since Arran Stephens opened his first organic restaurant, he has worked tirelessly to spread the organic love far and wide.  Arran has worked to keep organic advocacy at the forefront of his company’s mission. It’s more than just digging into a bowl of cereal.  It’s eating food that is real and healthy and organic and delicious. Enjoying each bite mindfully. Sharing it in the company of friends. Knowing the food you’re eating is doing good for your body and the planet. And saying “Mmmm” as often as possible.  Come and taste Nature's Path delicious products at their demo.

Chicago Soy Dairy

Chicago Soydairy manufactures all of their own products in our their own facility using an entirely vegan staff.  Most food companies contract others to produce products for them, making it very difficult to completely eliminate the possibility of cross contamination.  Dairy products, animal products, tree nuts, and peanuts never even enter our facility, giving our vegan and allergy-sensitive customers peace of mind.  Chicago Soy Dairy will be serving up samples while demoing their products.

 Cookbook Authors and Vegetarian/Vegan Coaches

We are pleased to present these exceptional chefs who are also cookbook authors and coaches:

Speed Vegan with Alan Roettinger

Chef extraordinaire and cookbook author Alan Roettinger pairs his skill at creating delicious gourmet fare with the use of a wide array of plant-based ingredients to create easy recipes with clean, simple flavors.  Chef Alan will dish out pointers on what to have on hand and how to employ his special shortcuts to get great results.  He has been a private chef for over 28 years.  He has cooked in private homes, catered parties and provided specialty desserts for a broad spectrum of high profile clients, from entertainers to presidents.  His books on cooking include Speed Vegan, Omega 3 Cuisine and Malibu's Cooking Again.  Alan will be preparing samples for Cannelini Salad with Mint and Mexisraeli Salad on Saturday and Miso-red Curry Slaw and Nutty Chocolate Balls on Sunday.  Check out his website and blog:

Vegan in 30 Days with Sarah Taylor

Have you wanted to go vegan but aren’t sure where to start?  Do you have family or friends who are on the fence about it but think it’s “too difficult?”  Sarah Taylor will help you to achieve a vegan lifestyle easily.  A vegan since 2002, she owns the company The Vegan Next Door where she works as a motivational speaker and trainer.  Sarah’s book Vegan in 30 Days gives advice on how to go vegan, what to eat to be healthy, how to be prepared in the kitchen, and how to elegantly navigate social situations.  Sarah holds a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University and is on the faculty at Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Nutritional Education Institute.  While this is a talk, not a cooking demo, Sarah has graciously provided us with snacks that are from a recipe in her new book.

Food for Life with Christine Waltermyer

Christine Waltermyer is the founder and director of The Natural Kitchen Cooking School, offering Chef’s Training Programs, personal chef service and in-home cooking classes in Princeton, NJ and Manhattan. With over a decade of experience in the field of natural cooking, Christine is a masterful chef and teacher specializing in macrobiotic and vegan cuisines. Her personal chef clients include well known celebrities.  Christine teaches "Food for Life" cooking classes for The Cancer Project. She has co-taught with legendary natural foods leader, Michio Kushi, at The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts.In her book, “The Natural Vegan Kitchen,” Christine Waltermyer shows why nothing can equal the flavors of fresh, seasonal, local and organic ingredients that also offer more nutritional bang for your buck – more vitamins and minerals and no chemical residues.


Eating Healthy with a Raw Diet: Mona Grayson

Mona Grayson knows the benefits of a raw diet first hand.  She used to weigh almost 200 pounds. Mona had been vegan for several years, but definitely wasn't healthy. It was a big deal if she made it through the day without needing a nap! Choosing to eat raw food changed everything. Not only did she go from a size 16 to a size 6, but she says her skin looked younger, she felt happier, and her energy levels totally shot up. Now she travels the country helping vegans and vegetarians make the shift to eating raw food like she did. Curious? Come to her demo at Veggie Fest and stop by her website to say hi: Besides imparting her wisdom about raw foods, Mona will be demonstrating three delicious recipes: Raw Creamy Garlic Alfredo Noodles, I Can't Believe I'm Craving Kale Salad, and Raw Chocolate Almond Fudge. 

Rachel's Fusion with Rachel Cantore

Rachel Cantore is a personal trainer, personal chef, and nutrition coach.  She is on a mission to get as many people actively involved in living a healthy liftestyle (from exercise, to eating well, to general wellbeing).  Rachel loves working with children as well as helping adults form healthy habits. Exericse and cooking/eating well are two passions of hers and you will soon love them just as much as she does!  Rachel will be offering a demo showcasing her vegetarian creations.

Radiant Health & Inner Wealth with Tess Challis

Quintessence ("Tess") Challis is an author, vegan chef, wellness coach, cooking instructor, and personal trainer.  In 1991, she adopted a vegan diet and found it made a world of difference for her health. Since 1994, she has shared this knowledge through cooking classes, personal chef work, catering, meditation workshops, speaking events, and more.  In 2009, Tess published the 2nd edition of Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, a vegan cookbook and complete holistic health resource. Tess's second book, The Two-Week Wellness Solution: The Fast Track to Permanent Weight Loss and Vitality, was released in June 2010 and includes a foreword by Dr. Neal Barnard. Her latest book, Radiance 4 Life: The 4 Cornerstones of Ultimate Vitality, was just published in June 2011 and includes a foreword by Robert Cheeke.

Stop by and hear Tess talk about achieving radiant health and sample her Raw Catalonian Kale.

Guest Chefs

Every year we invite talented guest chefs to fill out our demo schedule at Veggie Fest.  This year we will have raw, vegan and vegetarian demos that feature a many cuisines from around the world.

Salads Make a Meal: Ray Glend

Ray Glend , has  over 30 years of history  with natural health and plant based diets.  He is a vegan culinary expert and a vegan food chef.  Ray is also a ve

teran  of marathons as an Olympic-style speed walker, out-pacing many runners because of his strategic focus and perfected techniques.  He is an expert in Chinese food grade herbs and their contribution to vitality.  Ray leads holistic workshops and seminars educatingindividuals, families,  and executives on health, fitness,nutrition and stress reduction. He offers lifestyle coaching for many who want to significantly transform their health, fitness, or energylevel.  His wife and soul mate is Susan Glend.  Ray wil be demoing a salad and vegetable soup.  You can also visit him at his Sunrider booth at B-42. 

Gluten-free Vegetarian: Eileen and Mark Carlotto

Eileen Carlotto is a middle school art teacher and long time vegetarian and meditation practitioner.  She has been cooking and eating gluten-free vegetarian for the past three years since she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Mark Carlotto has been a vegetarian for six years.  He has a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering and works in the aerospace industry.  A descendent of Italian immigrants, Mark loves to cook.  Together Eileen and Mark have been developing delicious gluten-free vegetarian dishes that are easy to prepare (and clean up after).  At Veggie Fest they will demo gluten-free burritos with tomatillo sauce.

Power Green Shakes: Lady Prema and Debbie Bennett

Prema has been a vegetarian, practitioner of meditation, a spiritual and health activist for 40 years. She has been in a detox ministry for 20 years.  Author of Align with the Divine and just published Are you Buggin?  She says, " When people are unhealthy they cannot enjoy their lives and pursue their spiritual goals they have to spend most of their time dealing with the illnesses that come from an unhealthy lifestyle."

Debbie has been a vegetarian for 27 years and a vegan for 10. She has taught yoga for a number of years and most recently at Germanna Community College and the University of Mary Washington. Deborah has been practicing Yoga for 30 years and Meditation for the past 27 years. Deborah says, "I like to find ways of inspiring my yoga students to choose a healthy lifestyle."

Debbie and Lady Prema will demo Power live green shakes, that include spiralina and Sun Chlorella which both contain all the B vitamins including B12 which is sometimes deficient in the vegetarian diet and has 22 amino acids which make them very high in protein. You will learn how incorporating these Power live green shakes into your diet daily will provide you with the optimum health and vitality needed for a joyful life and energy for spiritual practices..

Indian Delights: Vimi Shukla and Jasbir Singh 

Veggie Fest wouldn't be the same without our favorite Indian ladies demonstrating the art of spicing.  They will be serving samples of their native cuisine that are sure to delight all those in search of exotic and healthy food. 


Vimi is passionate about cooking and is always exploring new possibilities.  Her family inspires her to try out new dishes, and it gives her immense pleasure when people enjoy her new creations. She is always looking for ways to make heart-healthy, delicious and wholesome meals which satisfiy both the head and heart. 

Jasbir comes from Northern part of India. She enjoys testing new recipes that combine healthy ingredients and faster preparation techniques. She aims to deliver  "tasty" food to family and friends with focus on healthy body and happy stomach!

Cheap College Eats: Tracy Mooney

Tracy Mooney is a foodie who loves to cook.  She searches cookbooks and food blogs for pleasing recipes to serve her family.  Inspired by her son who will be off to college soon, Tracy will demonstrate easy to prepare foods that don't sacrifice taste.

Rah Rah Raw: Katie Ivey and Malik Hodari

More and more people are curious about incorporating more raw food into their diets.  The team who presents this demo is a favorite year after year at Veggie 

Fest and will have a wealth of knowledge to impart about the benefits of eating raw

South of the Border: Teresita Sosa and Maria Aponte

Latin food is ever popular in our culture and being a vegetarian or even a vegan doesn't mean foregoing this cuisine.  Teresita Garcia-Sosa will delight us with foods from Mexico that are tasty and healthy.

Healing Spices: Linda Scotti

Every good cook knows that herbs and spices enhance the flavor of what we are cooking, but did you know that they can be healing agents also?  Linda Scotti has traveled the globe and lived on 4 continents, working as a registered nurse, educator, and counselor.  She has been a vegetarian for more than 40 years and her love for living a healthy lifestyle and keeping fit is what inspires her to share her knowledge and the research on the healthy aspects of a vegetarian diet.  Her demo will explore incorporating healing spices and herbs in your cooking.

Mendota Sweet Corn Festival, Mendota, IL, August 11-14, 2011

Tons of free, hot, buttered, delicious Del Monte sweet corn will be the highlight of the 64th annual Sweet Corn Festival to be held in Mendota, Illinois on August 11, 12, 13, and 14.

The Mendota Area Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the gigantic undertaking of hosting over 60,000 visitors, who consume nearly 50 tons of sweet corn during the festival weekend.

Don't miss the excitement for the festival offers a variety of entertainment events for the entire family. The events take place primarily in the downtown area, and with the exception of the beer garden, have no admission fees or parking fees.

Free musical entertainment is in abundance. The Crafters Market Place and flea market features over 200 dealers in hand made crafts and unique merchandise. There is a Queen Pageant, beer garden with live bands, grand parade and a carnival with rides and games for both adults and children, plus much more.

The midways are lined with food booths, featuring a multitude of ethnic, regional and festival foods, but the "BIG EVENT" is the serving of the free Del Monte sweet corn on Sunday afternoon. For over 60 years, it has been cooked to its golden goodness with the help of a vintage steam engine.

If you would like to take some of the memories of Mendota's Sweet Corn Festival home with you, the Mendota Chamber will be selling fresh Del Monte sweet corn by the bag on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the festival.

The good times are waiting, the welcome mat is out, come to Mendota for one of the Midwest's oldest and largest harvest festivals, the 64th annual Sweet Corn Festival.

Thursday, August 11th


6:00 p.m. Carnival Midway & Food Booths Open- Family Night


6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. “WGLC/Q Idol Contest” with Chris Carson & Wally sponsored by WGLC/Q97.7/103.3. 1st and 2nd prizes awarded in each of the following age categories: 5-10 & 11-15. Pre-registration deadline August 5, 2011. Limited spots available, download application at,, or here.


Friday, August 12th


11:00 a.m.Food & Merchandise Vendors and First State Bank Hospitality Tent open on the Midway.


Noon – Carnival opens for the day- ARMBAND discount on rides til 4:00 p.m.


Noon – 2:00 p.m. Magic by Cory will amaze you with his talent! Be sure to find him as he strolls around the midway to show off his magical abilities! Sponsored by Merritt Funeral Home.


Noon- 7:00 p.m.- DUNK TANK! Come see local clubs and organizations leaders in the dunk tank located in the Elks Club parking lot. Stop by and dunk your favorite person once or twice! Sponsored by Prescott Brothers, Inc.


1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Balloon Creations and Magic by Billy the Balloon Guy; FREE to everyone at the corner of Illinois Ave. and Jefferson. Sponsored by Schimmer GM.


7:20 p.m. – Pre-pageant Entertainment – Decatur Park Singers, sponsored by R.R. Donnelley Mendota, Inc. on the First State Stage on Rt. 34 downtown.


7:30 p.m. – Midnight – Beer Garden – featuring Train Company sponsored by L.R.B. Distributors, Inc. 800 block of Main St. downtown. Stage sound sponsored by Illinois Valley Rides.


8:00 p.m. FESTIVAL QUEEN PAGEANT on the First State Stage on Rt. 34 downtown.


ALL DAY- Tennis Tournament Singles and Doubles, Junior Division, sponsored by Goslin Drug, take place at the Tennis Courts at Mendota High School on Rt. 52 North. Download info and registration form.



Saturday, August 13th


Illinois Valley Cycling Association presents, “Sweet Corn Century Bicycle Ride”. Registration and ride begin at 6:00 a.m. at Mendota Community Hospital. Three different loops of 25, 35, and 42 miles each around Mendota. Ride each or all as many times as you would like. Each loop begins and ends at the hospital. Food and drinks provided. For more information go to Ride is held in conjunction with Mendota Community Hospital’s “Cornapalooza” Run/Walk.


8:00 a.m. Mendota Community Hospital presents “Cornapalooza”, a 5K/10K Run & 5K Fitness Walk. Race begins and ends at Mendota Community Hospital. Awards, giveaways, and great corny food for participants. For more information or an application go to or call 815-539-7461 ext. 3209. Proceeds benefit Mendota Community Hospital Foundation.


9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Crafters Market Place & Flea Market. Over 200 dealers in two locations- Veteran’s Park on Rt. 34 in downtown Mendota and the Elks Club parking lot on Indiana Ave. & Jefferson St., just ½ block north of Veteran’s Park.


9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.American Red Cross blood drive on the corner of Indiana Ave. & Jefferson St. “Help Fill the Blood Bank” is designed to encourage Americans to help save lives through regular blood donations. For an appointment, please call the American Red Cross at 1.800.GIVE-LIFE ext. 5.


9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. -Jason Huneke- Performing magic and comedy on the First State Stage downtown. Check out his original juggling, magic and comedy skills!  Sponsored by the Mendota Optimist Club.


10:30 a.m. – Mini Royalty Pageant – 5 year olds competing to wear the crown of Mini King & Queen of Mendota’s Annual Sweet Corn Fest, on the First State Stage on Rt. 34 downtown. Sponsored by Plano Molding Company of Mendota. Download registration form here.


10:30 a.m. - Carnival, Midway Food & Merchandise Booths and First State Bank Hospitality Tent open for the day.


11:00 a.m. “Just for Kix” will perform on the First State Stage downtown. This local girls’ dance team will dazzle you with their precision dance skills and team work. Sponsored by Ekana Nursery & Landscaping.


Noon- 7:00 p.m.- DUNK TANK! Come see local clubs and organizations leaders in the dunk tank located in the Elks Club parking lot. Stop by and dunk your favorite person once or twice! Sponsored by Prescott Brothers, Inc.


Noon – 3:00 p.m. EngelArt Face Painting, professional artists will be available to transform you into your favorite animal or superhero for the day. FREE, near the corner of Washington & Indiana Ave. Sponsored by Bay Valley Foods and Prairie Land Millwright, Inc.


12:30-2:00-4:00 p.m. – 3 SHOWSMr. D’s House of Magic and Illusion. See the amazing Magic House on wheels! Show includes live animals, illusions, balloons and comedy all blended into wholesome family entertainment. This event is sponsored by Advanced Drainage Systems and A.J. Gallagher & Company.


2:00 p.m. – 6th Annual Sweet Corn Festival Food Contest, sponsored by Illinois Frame, Inc. All categories of food must be made with sweet corn and prepared in advance. Judging will be held at 2:00 p.m. sharp in the Mendota Elks Lodge, 707 Indiana Ave. downtown. Entry forms available at the Mendota Chamber or here.


3:30 p.m. Canine Demonstration, coordinated by Mendota Police Department. Indiana Ave. near Mendota Elks Lodge.  Sponsored by Kurt Bruno State Farm Insurance.


3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. Join The Poochamungas for rollicking fun music the whole family will partake in on the First State Stage downtown.  A large band with a big sound that's unique and familiar at the same time. Audience participation is guaranteed!

Sponsored by Holland & Sons- John Deere. 


5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Dallas Stamberger will be playing a mix of 50s, 60s, Blues and Country near the First State Bank Hospitality Tent. Sponsored by Caterpillar, Inc.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The StingRay’s, playing 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s Rock & Roll on the First State Stage downtown. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy a concert under the stars courtesy of HCC, Inc.


7:30- Midnight – Beer Garden, featuring “Road Angel” – 800 Block of Main Street downtown. Sponsored by ADM Co.


ALL DAY- Tennis Tournament Doubles, Adult Division, sponsored by Goslin Drug, take place at the Tennis Courts at Mendota High School on Rt. 52 north. Download info and registration form.


Sunday, August 14th


9:00 a.m. – Crafters Market Place & Flea Market- over 200 dealers in 2 locations, Veteran’s Park on Rt. 34 and the Mendota Elks Club Parking Lot & Jefferson St, located just ½ block north of Veterans Park.


9:00 a.m -10:00 a.m. The Right Track Christian Outreach Center will be performing on the parade reviewing stand on Rt. 34 on the north side of Veteran’s Park.


10:30 a.m. Food Booths, featuring festival, ethnic and regional delights, and a variety of merchandise booths, and First State Bank Hospitality Tent open for the day.


11:00 a.m. - Carnival, Illinois Valley Rides, featuring rides, games and treats, opens for the day.


Noon The Jesse White Tumblers will give a special high-flying performance in front of the Mendota Elks Club on Indiana Ave. Sponsored by Mendota Agri-Products and Phalen Steel Construction Company.


1:00 p.m. SWEET CORN FESTIVAL GRAND PARADE… Featuring floats, bands, antique & classic autos, Shiners, and more! Special highlights…the exciting and energetic Jesse White Tumblers, sponsored by Mendota Agri-Products and Phalen Steel, the Blue Saints Drum Corps, sponsored by Eureka Savings Bank, and the Golden Knights Drill Team, sponsored by Black Bros. Company and Mendota Community Hospital.


2:00 p.m. FREE SWEET CORN!! Del Monte’s finest served steaming hot! Butter donated by Sullivan’s Foods. Served at the intersection of Illinois Avenue and Jefferson Street downtown.


2:00 p.m. 3D Sound will be providing entertainment and music at the intersection of Illinois Avenue and Jefferson Street. Sponsored by Midland States Bank.


3:00 p.m. The Blue Saints Drum Corps will perform in front of the Elks Club at 707 Indiana Avenue. Watch their upbeat, exciting performance! Sponsored by Eureka Savings Bank.


3:30 p.m. The spectacular Golden Knights Drill Team will perform in front of the Elks Club at 707 Indiana Avenue. You have watched them in the parade; don’t miss this very special performance! Sponsored by Black Bros. Company and Mendota Community Hospital.


4:30 p.m. –Sweet Corn Eating Contest sponsored by Northern Illinois Ambulance Billing. Ages 12 and under. First 25 to register will be able to participate. Sign up begins 3:30 p.m. behind the steam engine at the corn serving area on Illinois Ave. MP3 player awarded.


ALL DAY – Tennis Tournament Singles, Adult Division, sponsored by Goslin Drug, at the Tennis Courts at Mendota High School on Rt. 52 north. Download info and registration form.


New Daily Deal Site to Focus on Dining Only

Daily deal sites seem to be a dime a dozen these days, and though some consumers feel overwhelmed by the coupon fad, they’ll agree that there’s nothing overwhelming or annoying about saving money. There is, however, a little something that needs to be said regarding the odd variety of deals these sites promote.  Some companies are so large in scope that they’ll offer a discount on a restaurant one day, and fifty percent off a kayak lesson the next.  It’s this run of disjointed deals that annoys the coupon community, and turns them off to the concept entirely.   Regardless of the deal though, the concept is not flawed.  It’s just that the community of subscribers of any deal site should mirror the viability or type of deals offered.  Specialization might just be the future of our discounted web world.  Movie fans will subscribe to movie deal sites, vacation lovers will subscribe to vacation deal sites, and foodies will subscribe to restaurant deal sites.

Eat Deals (, a new daily deal site, appeals to both consumers and restaurants by existing solely within their niche.  Instead of offering deals on everything…from a tennis lesson to a car wash twenty miles from home, offers restaurant deals, and restaurant deals only.  This way, subscribers will know exactly what to expect: a daily deal on food, period.  Subscribers will also be happy to know that they’ll be able to redeem their vouchers instantly, and visit the restaurant within a matter of moments of buying the deal.  It makes sense for a deal site focused on food to do away with ‘the waiting period’ in which a certain amount of people need to buy the deal for it be active.  Instead, you can buy the deal and enjoy that restaurant in the same afternoon. 

The Eat Deals platform is enticing to restaurant owners as well.  Owners appreciate that Eat Deals will only email ‘the deal’ to their community of subscribers, all of whom reside within a ten mile radius of the restaurant.  Of course, owners understand that all they have to do is offer good food and service, and the Eat Deals community will return again and again.  Restaurant owners are also pleased by the flexibility Eat Deals offers in terms of ‘the deal’.  Owners are given more control regarding deal restrictions, limits, and any specifications they might have.   

Visiting daily deal sites is an obvious and easy way to save money.  Especially now, when times are tougher then ever, these sites fulfill consumers’ financial needs.  But Eat Deals understands that deals on what you need and deals on what you might want, are entirely different.  After all, a bungee jumping lesson would be nice (for some), but it certainly isn’t a necessity: Food, however, is.  So, stop worrying about the bungee chord for now, and instead, consider what’s important in great food, and great savings at

Mint Festival & Frog Jump, Jefferson, OR, July 15-17, 2011

The Lion’s Club held the first Mint Festival in 1957. The Lions Club, which was chartered in 1951, wanted to create a festival to celebrate the abundance of mint being farmed in this area. This idea gave the City of Jefferson the distinction of being named the “Mint Capital of the World".
In 1958, as “gimmick” to draw a crowd, Lions Club member Monte Weddle came up with the idea to have a frog jump. The frog jump was modeled after the famous frog jump in Angels Camp, of Calavaras County California. Rules were obtained and revised to fit Jefferson’s needs and Mr. Weddle served as the announcer for the frog jump for the next 25 years.
The Lions Club sponsored the Mint Festival from 1954 to 1987. The Jefferson Community Service organization chaired the festival from 1988-1991 with the Lions Club taking over again from 1992-1995. Since 2002, the Greater Jefferson Improvement Association (renamed Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce in 2005) has sponsored the event.
This year, Jefferson Festivals, Inc. is being chartered to take over production of the festival.   Numerous volunteers, who care for our community and continuing tradition, have generously stepped forward to give festival goers an event they can be proud of and look forward to year after year!
6:00 pm   Queens Coronation
8:00 (approx)  Live Music

9:00 Car Show Registration Opens
10:00  Parade Downtown
10:00  Vendors Open
12:00  Car Show Registration Closes
3:00  Car Show Awards
Live Entertainment on Stage all Day
Exact times and entertainers to be announced at a later date.
12:00  Frog Jump Registration
1:00  Frog Jump Competition
More Entertainment to be Announced

International Pinot Noir Celebration, McMinnville, OR, July 29-31

For the past 24 years, the IPNC has been uniting Pinot fans and food lovers from around the world in the spirit of friendship and in celebration of Pinot noir in all its grand diversity. The 2011 IPNC will reunite winemakers, chefs, media and guests from the first event in 1987 and the past 24 gatherings. Join over 70 international Pinot noir producers, 50 Northwest chefs, and guests from near and far for a memorable weekend of eating, drinking, and celebrating together in Oregon wine country. Tickets are sold on a first come, first serve basis! Visit our Online Store or call for availability at 800-775-4762.

Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, July 28-31, 2011

In 2007, Harrah’s Entertainment launched a two-day food and wine event called Toast to the Coast in Atlantic City. This event featured a handful of select chefs to participate in a series of intimate culinary events. Brought back in 2008, Toast to the Coast drew nearly 2,600 culinary enthusiasts for a fun and light-hearted weekend of food and wine in Atlantic City.

In 2009, the festival was redesigned and launched as the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure Central & South Jersey. What was once a two-day, intimate gathering quickly became a weekend-long feast of experiences, drawing close to 20,000 guests to a series of culinary-themed parties, tasting events, wine seminars and cooking classes and a weekend-long Grand Market.

2010 marked the first year in which the Festival partnered with the Food Network as its title sponsor, resulting in an incredibly successful inaugural year for the Food Network Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival. Spanning across all four Caesars Entertainment properties, the Festival welcomed renowned Food Network chefs including Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, and Alex Guarnaschelli.

This year we are thrilled to announce the 2nd Annual Food Network Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival taking place on July 28th- July 31st, with headlining chefs Sunny Anderson, Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine, Pat and Gina Neely all returning to showcase their culinary talents. Hosted by Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort, Showboat and Bally’s, the festival benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure and will feature a series of highly anticipated events, including Guy Fieri’s Cheesesteak Battle, Restaurant Invasion with Robert Irvine, and Sweet & Stylish Hosted by Sunny Anderson.

I speak for the entire team when I say that we are excited to have you join us this summer at the Atlantic City shore for four days of fabulous foods, winning wines and celebrity chefs at the 2011 Food Network Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival.

Gilroy Garlic Festival, Gilroy, California, July 29-31, 2011

From the venerable Parade Magazine to contemporary social networking vehicles, the Gilroy Garlic Festival (, July 29-31 in Christmas Hill Park, continues to maintain its status as America’s foremost summertime food celebration.

“We will entertain 100,000 guests, many of whom are annual attendees who choose to return because we’ve demonstrated a standard of performance,” said 2011 Garlic Festival Association President Kurt Svardal. “People expect both new attractions and the superb quality of food that remains a topic of their conversation throughout the year.”

The 33rd Garlic Festival, presented by Raley’s, Bel Air Markets and Nob Hill Foods, will feature Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” favorite Angelo Sosa, country singing sensation Kip Moore, a dramatically renovated Amphitheater that will host 13 of the event’s 44 live concerts, and a new entrée from the pyro chefs on Gourmet Alley created for the Facebook generation, the Alley Wrap.

“A new generation of young adults first enjoyed the Festival in the children’s area,” Svardal said. “Now they are in their 20s and we need to remind them of this summertime destination. We’ve established a social networking footprint. Our Recipe Committee introduced a Facebook cooking challenge to reach this consumer and Gourmet Alley chefs have created the Alley Wrap to specifically attract and satisfy younger appetites.”

Members of the public were invited via Facebook to post a video of themselves preparing a favorite recipe. Two finalists were determined through online voting, and that duo will compete onstage in the Cook-Off Theater at 2 p.m. July 29.

The culmination of So You Think You Can Cook With Garlic? will precede the July 30 finals of the Festival’s signature activity: the internationally contested Great Garlic Cook- Off presented by Scope, featuring eight amateur chefs from across the United States. The July 31 Garlic Showdown will pit four prominent Bay Area executive chefs in an iron chef-style competition for a $5,000 top prize.

Sosa, voted by viewers as the Season 7 favorite on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” series, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for Sunday’s Garlic Showdown as well as perform a cooking demonstration following Saturday’s Great Garlic Cook-Off.

“Last year we unveiled an expanded Cook-Off Theater that includes two Jumbotron screens and increased shading so that spectators can more comfortably obtain a better view of recipe preparation,” Svardal said. “It was extremely well-received by our guests.

“This year the Festival has partnered with Don and Bill Christopher and Christopher Ranch to renovate the Amphitheater on the Park side,” Svardal added. “This will be an incredible concert venue. The improvements in the Amphitheater are permanent and will provide the community a marvelous year-round entertainment setting in Christmas Hill Park.”

Headlining the 2011 entertainment card will be an appearance by country music’s hottest recording artist, MCA Nashville’s Moore. The Georgia native’s current hit single, “Mary Was the Marrying Kind” will be the highest-rated song on the country charts by a Festival performer at the time of their appearance.

Moore’s July 30 Vineyard Stage concert will serve as the hub of a Hot Country 95.3 KRTY Radio triple feature that includes new recording groups The Dirt Drifters and Brother Trouble.

The Festival will again present a diverse lineup of entertainers featuring Top 40, jazz, blues, rock and roll, classic rock, big band sounds and folk from three venues, including the Gazebo Stage. The much-acclaimed Children’s Area, redesigned in 2009, will also feature continuous entertainment as well as games, rides and attractions for the preteen audience. Both the Park and Ranch sides will host a total of 100 arts and crafts vendors from across the United States.

The centerpiece of the Festival remains Gourmet Alley, where pyro chefs prepare and serve the renowned annual cuisine of garlic-enhanced calamari, scampi, chicken stir-fry, peppersteak sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, stuffed mushrooms, garlic fries and garlic bread. In addition to unveiling the Alley Wrap, the chefs have also returned spaghetti noodles to an old favorite: pasta con pesto. The Alley Wrap offers steak and shrimp enhanced with rice, cilantro, cumin, aioli and garlic, enveloped in a very portable garlic-infused lavash. The new item is priced at $5. Also new for Gourmet Alley in 2011 are discount Combo Plate tickets offering a $2 price reduction when purchased with admission tickets on the Festival website. Another solid offer is the covert information shared by the Gourmet Alley chefs in the Demonstration Stage located adjacent to the Alley on the Ranch side. The pyro chefs will conduct hourly exhibitions during which they will reveal their preparation secrets.

Organized and operated by an army of 4,000 volunteers, who will eclipse the $9 million mark in funds raised for local nonprofits by the conclusion of this year’s celebration, Festival directors also anticipate the elimination of the event’s perennial nuisance.

The Festival Board of Directors has reached an agreement with Procter & Gamble Co. to distribute free samples of the latest offering from Scope mouthwash at a booth adjacent to the Cook-Off Theater throughout the event. The new product will hit store shelves nationwide in August. Scope will unveil the name of its new breath enhancement on the eve of the Garlic Festival.

Scope’s newest technology convinced P&G that three days, 100,000 hearty appetites and 6,000 pounds of fresh California garlic would provide an effective demonstration. “We’ve entertained nearly 4 million guests in 32 years of service,” Svardal said. “Despite our worldwide popularity, we are constantly admonished for returning otherwise happy visitors to society with ‘inappropriate breath.’ Solving this problem has been foremost on our agenda since the Gourmet Alley pyro chefs ignited their first flame in 1979.”

The 2011 Gilroy Garlic Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 29-31 at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy. Admission costs $17 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 60 and older and $8 for children ages 6-12. Children under age 6 will be admitted free. Parking is free.

Tickets offering a $2 discount on all admissions are also available at Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods locations throughout Northern California and at

Oregon Brewers Festival, Portland, OR, July 28-31, 2011

The Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation's longest running and best loved craft beer festivals. Situated on the west bank of the Willamette River, with towering Mt. Hood as a backdrop, it is the ideal venue for anyone who loves craft beer. With a laid back attitude and scores of award-winning beers, the festival reflects the essence of the city of Portland.

The Oregon Brewers Festival exists to provide an opportunity to sample and learn about a variety of craft beer styles from across the country. Eighty craft breweries from all parts of the nation offer handcrafted brews to 78,000 beer lovers during the four-day event.

The festival's focus is craft beer, but there's more than sampling involved. The event features live music all four days, beer-related vendors, beer memorabilia displays, beer writers and publishers, homebrewing demonstrations, and an assortment of foods from a variety of regions. The Crater Lake Root Beer Garden offers complimentary handcrafted root beer for minors and designated drivers. Minors are always welcome at the festival when accompanied by a parent.

The Oregon Brewers Festival strongly encourages responsible drinking, and urges patrons to take advantage of the MAX Light Rail line, located just one block west of the festival on SW Oak Street. Go by bus, train or taxi, just don't drink and drive. The festival also offers free, on-site bicycle parking.

The Oregon Brewers Dinner, a ticketed event, is held on July 27; the Oregon Brewers Brunch & Parade, the official kick off to the festival, occurs the morning of July 28.


Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon Main entrance at S.W. Oak Street and Naito Parkway


July 28, 29, 30 & 31, 2011 — "Always the last full weekend in July"


Thurs through Sat, taps are open from Noon to 9 p.m.

Sun, taps are open from Noon to 7 p.m.
Token & mug sales cease one-half hour prior to the taps closing


Admission into the festival grounds is free. In order to consume beer at the OBF, you must purchase a 2011 souvenir mug (mugs from previous years will not be filled) for $6 - this is in lieu of an admission charge. You will purchase your beer with wooden tokens. Tokens cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full mug of beer, or one token for a taste.

Contact Information or 503.778.5917

Vermont Brewers Festival, Burlington Vermont, July 15-16, 2011

A New England tradition in its 19th Year!

Artisan Craft Beer  Festival takes place in Burlington Waterfront Park, Burlington Vermont with scenic views of Lake Champlain framed by the Adirondack Mountain Range. 40 craft brewers from Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Mass, Maine,California, Ottawa and Quebec. Local Vermont Food and specialty products. The1st Plastic Free Bottle event in Vermont.


Attendees will receive local Vermont tap water for free dispensed cold from a recycled milk truck. Please use your souvenir tasting glass for water consumption to prevent waste.

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