Last week I was in Chicago to give several lectures. My first took place Monday night at Gibson's Steakhouse for the Candy Production Club, an organization with ingredient and manufacturing members. Over 100 people came from companies like: Ferrara Pan, Blommer Chocolate, Long Grove Confections, Bell Flavors and Primrose. Despite the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks had a playoff game, everyone was very engaged. I had some great conversations about candy history and seemed to really intrigue the group with some snipits from my upcoming book about the history of confections in Chicago.
While there, I discussed the aforementioned upcoming book with a big-10 University press editor at a cute little bakery called Fraîche in Evanston, Illinois. The pint size bakery has a small sit-down area and had a line out the door. People were waiting for delicious coffee and/or a double decker french toast, quiches, cupcakes, & pastries.
On my last day I gave a lecture for Sidley Austin LLP. They have an amazing new green certified building in the Loop at 1 S. Dearborn and offer employees something they call "brown bag lunchtime". They bring in speakers to spice up (or in this case sweeten) lunch with various topics. One listener was so engaged that she seemed to forget all about lunch as she ooohhed and awwed every time I turned a slide. It is always so nice to have 40 candy devotees in one room.
Now, back in New York we finish developing recipes for my candymaking with alternative sweeteners book. The Chocolate Butter Toffee has been getting RAVE reviews.
Next up, back to Chicago in a few weeks for the Sweet & Snack Expo! Sweet home Chicago!