Eli’s Farmer’s Market Speaker Series Ends with Speech from Terra Brockman

Earlier today, Eli’s hosted the finale of our Farmer’s Market Speaker Series with our guest speaker Terra Brockman.  Terra Brockman is the founder of The Land Connection, a non-profit organization that trains farmers in restorative farming techniques and informs the public about the sources of food and why they matter. She also has written a book on farming called The Seasons on Henry’s Farm: A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm, which was one of three finalists for the James Beard Award in Writing and Literature in 2010.

Brockman’s talk focused on the importance of soil and seasonality to crop production. She also highlighted how important simple farming techniques are to producing healthy, fresh, nutrient rich foods. Brockman shared these and a few other farming insights she’s gathered over the years with a few students from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. She and the students were able to discuss her views on farming and food over some slices of Eli’s Peanut Butter Pie and Original Plain Cheesecakes.

We have thoroughly enjoyed hosting the Farmer’s Market Speakers series and were glad to end the program on such a great speech. To stay updated on more events going on at Eli’s, keep an eye on our July calendar!

After her speech, Brockman answered questions and discussed some of her farming beliefs.

After her speech, Brockman answered questions and discussed some of her farming beliefs.

Brockman getting acquainted with some CHSAS Student.

Brockman getting acquainted with some CHSAS Student.

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Eli’s Celebrates 35 Years at the Taste of Chicago

We love a good celebration at the Eli’s Cheesecake Company and our 35th birthday was no exception. We started the day with a culinary demo from our Executive Pastry Chef Laurel Boger at the In The Kitchen with Mariano’s tent. There she showed some lucky Eli’s fans how to create and decorate a Big Slice. She also gave some baking tips and insider info while answering audience questions after.

Once the demo wrapped up, Chef Laurel headed over to the Big Cake tent and began prepping for the 1,500 pound cheesecake to be cut and passed out. By 12:20, the line of excited Taste of Chicago goers had already wrapped half way around Buckingham Fountain. At 12:30, we began our Chicago celebrity studded celebration began. Bill Zwecker, entertainment reporter for Fox 32 News Chicago, emceed the opening remarks from many of the company’s esteemed friends and colleagues such as Sam Toia (President of the Illinois Restaurant Association), Michelle T. Boone (Commisioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Merri Dee (President of the Illinois Chapter of the AARP), Brian Hopkins (Alderman of Chicago’s 2nd Ward) and  Candace Jordan (Chicago Now Blogger and Chicago Tribune Columnist) as well as some others!

And what would a birthday be without the ‘happy birthday’ song? Luckily, we had the Broadway in Chicago Cast of Kinky Boots, the Tony and Grammy award winning musical, there to help us sing. They even bought Chef Laurel some real Kinky Boots to wear! After their beautiful serenade, we began the large task at hand—cutting and serving the massive 1,500 pound cake. The Eli’s team worked tirelessly to serve the mile line long of fans until the cake was finished.

Eli’s was honored by the kind remarks and praise and would like to extend a warm thank you for all the amazing birthday wishes. The Taste of Chicago Cake Cutting is one of our favorite traditions here at Eli’s and we can’t wait to do it all again next year!

The cast of Kinky Boots and Chef Laurel wearing her Kinky Boots.

The cast of Kinky Boots and Chef Laurel wearing her Kinky Boots.

Chef Laurel Boger showing off the Big Slice made at the demo.

Chef Laurel Boger showing off the Big Slice made at the demo.

The Eli's team and the 1,500 lb cake.

The Eli’s team and the 1,500 lb cake.

Eli’s Celebrates a Successful First Day at the Taste of Chicago

Yesterday, we kicked off our 35th Birthday where it all began, the Taste of Chicago! We began the day with an early morning visit from Tanja Babich of ABC 7 Chicago and Commissioner Michelle Boone at our booth, located at the corner of Columbus and Jackson.  After, Marc went to go visit Eddie V’s Road Show, a weekly comedy podcast featuring Chicago Radio Legend Eddie Volkman, to talk about our longstanding history with the Taste and to give out some treats to Eddie and his audience.

After everyone finished wishing us a happy birthday, we went back to the major task at hand– prepping to feed the millions of people that come to the Taste every year! This year, we chose to serve our Original Plain Cheesecake with Strawberries, our Turtle Cheesecake, our Key Lime Cheesecake, our S’Mores Smoosh (S’Mores Cheesecake topped with ice cream) and our new 35th Birthday Dipper. Even though the festival is only one day in, Eli’s has already gotten some rave reviews. The Chicago Tribune called our S’Mores Smoosh “heaven” and said that “the mix of flavors, temperatures and textures was magic” and Time out Chicago featured our Birthday Dipper on their Instagram page.

Yesterday’s celebration didn’t stop at the Taste. We also sent our event team down to the Eli’s Cheesecake at O’Hare Airport to hand out free cheesecake to the weary travelers at United Terminal B and featured our Taste of Chicago flavors in=store at our Bakery Café. Be sure to stop in if you can’t make it down to the Taste.

We’re very happy with yesterday’s Taste of Chicago turn out and are excited to continue the celebration throughout the rest of the week. Cheers to a great opening day!

 

Time Out Chicago's shot of our Birthday Dipper.

Time Out Chicago’s shot of our Birthday Dipper.

Marc And Maureen Schulman at Eddie V's Roadshow.

Marc And Maureen Schulman at Eddie V’s Roadshow.

Mr. Slice greeting people at O'Hare airport.

Mr. Slice greeting people at O’Hare airport.

Tanja Babich visiting our Booth at the Taste of Chicago.

Tanja Babich visiting our Booth at the Taste of Chicago.

Eli Gears up for Taste of Chicago 2015

Eli’s is gearing up for an exciting 35th birthday at the Taste of Chicago! One of our favorite traditions is here again and this time it’s bigger than ever. Today, we put the finishing touches on our 1,500 pound Birthday Cheesecake that will be unveiled at the Taste of Chicago this Saturday. The cake will be made up of Eli’s original flavors, Plain and Chocolate Chip. In addition, one of the layers will be made of a brand new flavor, Birthday Cake Cheesecake! The massive cake required a mind boggling grocery list which included 700 pounds of cream cheese, 200 pounds of sugar, 900 eggs, 40 pounds of chocolate chips, 100 pounds of Eli’s famous Butter Cookie Crust, 70 pounds strawberries, 100 pounds of strawberries and 10 pounds of graham cracker crumb.

Eli’s has a long standing history with the Taste of Chicago. In fact, Eli Schulman introduced our cheesecake the world at the very first Taste of Chicago in 1980. We can’t wait to celebrate at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park this Saturday with all of our associates and fans. If you can’t make Saturday, be sure to visit us at our booth on the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Columbus Drive! We’ll be serving Original Plain Cheesecake with Strawberries (7 tickets), Turtle Cheesecake (8 tickets), S’Mores Smoosh – S’Mores Cheesecake topped with ice cream (9 tickets), 35th Birthday Dipper – Birthday Cake Cheesecake dipped in chocolate and decorated with sprinkles (7), and taste portions of  Original Plain or Key Lime Cheesecake (4 tickets) Wednesday through Sunday. We hope to see you there!

Executive Pastry Chef Laurel Boger applying the buttercream frosting to the Big Cake.

Executive Pastry Chef Laurel Boger applying the buttercream frosting to the Big Cake.

The ingredient list for our Big Cake!

The ingredient list for our Big Cake!

Our new Birthday Cake Dippers.

Our new Birthday Cake Dippers.

Eli’s Hosts Speakers for High School Students

Thursdays are always fun at the Eli’s Cheesecake Company, and yesterday was no different. What looked like a dreary day in the morning turned into beautiful sunshine and a cool breeze. A perfect day for our Farmer’s Market! Our chef Antonio made a delicious lunch on the grill and all of our vendors and customers enjoyed the relaxing Thursday afternoon. Our featured vendor, Underground Soap Bakery, set up a display of his various soaps, lotions and scrubs for customers to test out.

On top of all the usual Farmer’s Market excitement, Eli’s had the pleasure of hosting Jenny Yang, Owner of Phoenix Bean, as she spoke to students from the Chicago High School for the Agricultural Sciences about her start in the food industry. Phoenix bean is a premier supplier of soy products located in the Chicagoland area. They are most known for their tofu products. Yang even calls herself a “tofu converter” because of the positive reaction her product gets. Yang’s speech covered a variety of topics from the manufacturing of her products to her various marketing strategies and sales tips. It was especially exciting for Eli’s to host Yang’s presentation because we proudly use Phoenix Bean tofu in our vegan cheesecakes! We deeply appreciate her commitment to quality.

We ended the day hosting students from the National Student Leadership Conference at Northwestern University for a lunch and speeches from our own Marc Schulman and Debbie Marchok. The National Student Leadership Conference is an academic program that encourages young leaders to explore future career interests. Sharing some of our business philosophies and strategies with them was a perfect way to cap our day.

Join us next Thursday and enjoy our Farmer’s Market and speeches from Leland Strom, the director of Farm Credit System Insurance and Tyler Strom, project manager of FARM Illinois. We hope to see you there!

A variety of soaps from our featured vendor, Underground Soap Bakery.

A variety of soaps from our featured vendor, Underground Soap Bakery.

Jenny Yang, owner of Phoenix Bean, talking to the CHSAS students.

Jenny Yang, owner of Phoenix Bean, talking to the CHSAS students.

Our own Marc Schulman and Debbie Marchok preparing to peak to the NSLC Students

Our own Marc Schulman and Debbie Marchok preparing to speak to the NSLC Students. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIDEO:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBvQd7ayFt8

Eli’s Team Visits Barry Callebaut, USA LLC

Yesterday, a few members of the Eli’s Cheesecake team had the pleasure of touring the facility of one of our chocolate suppliers, Barry Callebaut, USA. Barry Callebaut is one of the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products and they provide us with the high quality chocolate that is in many of our cheesecakes, like the Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake. The tour consisted of a Chocolate 101 class where our team members learned about all the processes that go into making the various types of Barry Callebaut Chocolate and a facility tour. There was also a chocolate tasting, including various types of their dark, milk and white chocolates. The tour was extremely informative and interesting. Eli’s would like to thank everyone at Barry Callebaut Chicago for having us!

One of our associates posing with a statue made of chocolate.

One of our associates posing with a statue made of chocolate.

A chocolate tasting tray filled with a variety dark, milk and white chocolates.

A chocolate tasting tray filled with a variety dark, milk and white chocolates.

Eli’s Cheesecake Celebrates 11th Annual Father’s Day Bike Ride

Our 2015 Father’s Day Bike Ride was a huge success! Over 200 of our guests enjoyed the 10 mile ride through Chicago’s North West side guided by police escorts from the Chicago and Harwood Heights Police Departments. Guests were also provided a continental breakfast and free DIY cheesecake decorating. We extend a huge thank you to all of our sponsors, to the Chicago and Harwood Heights Police Departments and to Rudy Kubica of Rudy’s Bike Shop. We also would like to thank our event chair Sharon Mrowiec for organizing the event and all the rest of our associates. The Father’s Day bike ride is one of our favorite traditions here at Eli’s and we can’t wait to do it again next year!

Eli's Cheesecake President Marc Schulman and his family before the ride.

Eli’s Cheesecake President Marc Schulman and his family before the ride.

Eli’s Makes Big Cake for On Your Feet Premiere After Party

Last night, the cast of On Your Feet celebrated a successful opening night and Eli’s was happy to help. On Your Feet is a musical about the life and music Gloria and Emilio Estefan. The show will open on Broadway in the fall of 2015 but is currently calling Chicago home for its pre-Broadway run. The party was hosted at the Walnut Room on State Street and both Gloria and Emilio Estefan were in attendance and even cut the first slice of the cake provided by Eli’s. The cake was a delicious strawberry topped Tres Leches cake made special for the event. In addition to the cake, Eli’s also provided a variety of mini desserts, including our Brownies, 7 Layer Bars, Dulce de Leche Mini Pies, Caramel Flan Cheesecake Bites, Enrobed Original Plain Cuties and our Salted Caramel Bars. Eli’s was overjoyed to be included in such a fun event a wishes the cast and crew of On Your Feet a successful pre-Broadway run!

Gloria and Emilio Estefan pose with our Tres Leches cake alongside On Your Feet stars Ana Villafane and Josh Segarra.

Gloria and Emilio Estefan pose with our Tres Leches cake alongside On Your Feet stars Ana Villafane and Josh Segarra.

The Tres Leches Cake provided by Eli's was a big hits with the party guests.

The Tres Leches Cake provided by Eli’s was a big hits with the party guests.

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Eli’s Helps Celebrate SOAR’s 40th Birthday

Yesterday, Eli’s helped celebrate SOAR’s 40th birthday as well as the inaugural season of their Farmer’s Market. SOAR (also known as the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents) was founded in 1975 and since then has worked to enhance the Streeterville community. Their Farmer’s Market, formerly managed by the City of Chicago Cultural Affairs and Special Events, is one of their newer projects and is hosted every Tuesday at Museum of Contemporary Art Plaza. The birthday and the Market were celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony as well as a big cake provided by Eli’s Cheesecake. Our own Maureen Schulman also hosted a baking demo of our strawberry compote from the Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook, coming December 1st. Eli’s was honored to be included in this exciting community event and wishes SOAR luck with their first Farmer’s Market season.

the celebration cake provided by Eli's Cheesecake.

The celebration cake provided by Eli’s Cheesecake.

The Ribbon cutting ceremony took place at noon, celebrating the opening of SOAR's Farmers Market.

The Ribbon cutting ceremony took place at noon, celebrating the opening of SOAR’s Farmers Market.

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Eli’s Cheesecake Farmer’s Market Opens for the Season

Eli’s & Wright College’s Farmers Market is back again for the summer! Yesterday, guests enjoyed a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, artisan crafts and other goodies from our vendors at our opening day. To celebrate the opening, Eli’s offered free Strawberry Topped Cheesecake from 10 AM to 1 PM to all of our customers. Our Farmers Market runs every Thursday from 7 AM to 1 PM now through September 24th. Each Market will feature different events, special activities and speakers so keep up with who’s coming on our Facebook page. Join us next week as we celebrate our grand opening with a ribbon cutting, free continental breakfast and live music out on our patio! We hope to see you there!

Guests enjoyed slices of FREE strawberry cheesecake from 10 AM to 1 PM.

  Guests enjoyed slices of FREE strawberry cheesecake from 10 AM to 1 PM.

Fresh strawberries from Nichols Farm & Orchard.

Fresh strawberries from Nichols Farm & Orchard.

Birdhouses for sports enthusiasts from Backyard Bed & Breakfast, made by Joe Pacovsky.

Birdhouses for sports enthusiasts from Backyard Bed & Breakfast, made by Joe Pacovsky.

Necklaces, bracelets and earrings from Elana's Jewelry.

Necklaces, bracelets and earrings from Elana’s Jewelry.