Archive for category Awards

Eli’s Cheesecake Proud to Recognize Shane Benner, a Senior at the Trumbull Career & Technical Center in Warren, Ohio

We were delighted to recently receive an email from Larry Crawford, theAcademic Supervisor of the Trumbull Career & Technical Center. The Center is a vocational school for juniors and seniors in Trumbull County. One of our programs is Restaurant Services, which trains students to become chefs and bakers upon their graduation from high school.

I met Larry right after 9/11 when he was the principal at Lordstown School. We had corresponded about Michael Yoest, a student who had spoke about how important it was to be proud to be an American. We recognized Michael with an Eli’s Cheesecake as a thank you for his patriotism.

In his current role at TCTC, Larry shared with me the story of Shane Benner, a student in Restaurant Services. Shane is becoming a great baker and is best at creating cheesecakes. He bakes it once per week and serves it to the patrons of the student restaurant and recently was honored to have his dessert featured at a large banquet.

We were delighted to recognize Shane and his passion for baking and education by sending him an Eli’s Cheesecake. We were honored that Larry shared the story with the local newspaper which gave Shane the most well deserved recognition.

Shane, congratulations on your achievements and creating a great cheesecake. Also Larry congratulations on celebrating 37
years in education and working to see that your dedicated students arerecognized for exemplary work.

“A teaspoon of sugar makes the cheesecake go down”

 Eli’s Cheesecake of Chicago Recognizes TCTC Student


Recently, the students in Restaurant Services at the Trumbull Career & Technical Center prepared lunch for a large group of visitors to the building. Their topic of conversation quickly turned from the business at hand to the taste and texture of the raspberry cheesecake that was served for dessert. The consensus opinion was, “This is the best we have ever tasted.”

The creator of the cheesecake was Shane Benner, a senior from Hubbard High School enrolled in the Restaurant Services program at the TCTC. He said one of the secrets to making cheesecake is to add just the right amount of sugar to the cream cheese. He uses
3/4th of a cup to make a full size cheesecake. He places raspberries on the bottom of the cake and pours a puree for the topping. One of the guests commented, “If St. Peter promised to serve this in heaven, I would never sin again.”

Benner said that all of the members of his family were encouraged to try their luck in the kitchen. “Cooking was something that everyone was interested in doing at my house.” He attended the TCTC to improve his skills in Culinary Arts. Next year, he will
attend Sullivan University in Kentucky. He will take an 18month course for certification as a licensed professional cook. He plans to become a chef in an upscale restaurant, but eventually, his goal is to own his own restaurant.

Brigitte Gillies, Restaurant Services Instructor, said, “Shane is my go to guy in the program. He is a perfectionist in the kitchen. Every task is completed to the fullest extent possible, but he also uses good judgment. This is a quality you cannot teach.”

When you do good things, the word gets around, but in this case, it traveled more than 400 miles. Marc Schulman, the President of Eli’s Cheesecake in Chicago, heard about Shane’s expertise with the dessert that is the specialty of his restaurant. He was also impressed to know that Shane has excellent interpersonal skills. When Shane passes someone in the hallway, he says hello. When volunteers are needed for a service project, he signs up. A package with Shane’s name on it has arrived at the TCTC containing a refrigerated cheesecake courtesy of Eli’s.In the person of Shane Benner, the TCTC gets two for the price of one; a good cook and a gentleman.

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Eli’s Cheesecake Honored to be named one of the Top Chicago Eats by Chicago Night & Day

Congratulations to author, Wendy Wollenberg, and the publishers of ” Chicago Night + Day,” the Cool Cities Series from PulseGuides. The book has a wealth of information of what to do in Chicago and is organized for easy use by visitors and residents alike.

In the “Chicago Eats” section, the book describes six of the most famous foods in Chicago: baby-back ribs, Cracker Jack (invented in Chicago in 1893 for the World Columbian Exposition,” deep-dish pizza, Chigago Style hot dogs. Twinkies founded in the Chicago suburbs during the Depression and Eli’s Cheesecake.

The description of Eli’s Cheesecake notes that “Eli’s Cheesecake has been made by Eli Schulman and his family for more than 50 years in their bakery on the Northwest side of Chicago. Today, these decadent dreams are shipped all over the world and are completely worth the wait for flavors like Triple Chocolate Truffle and Wildflower Honey.”

Thank you Wendy for the recognition.

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Thank you Chicago For Your Votes in Naming Eli’s Cheesecake Chicago’s Best Dessert and Bakery for 2007 at AOL Cityguide

From November 15th of 2006 until January of 2007, visitors to AOL Cityguide had the opportunity to name Chicago’s Best for 2007 in a number of categories. Voters could only vote once over the entire course of the contest, so being named as the winner is a real testament to your fan base.

Thank you Chicago and our fans around the country for voting Eli’s Cheesecake as your favorite dessert and bakery. We are honored to receive this recogntion and will make sure that your quality and service is always up to the recognition as number one. Eli would be proud!!

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Eli’s Cheesecake Featured Food Company of the Month by the Illinois Department of Agriculture


Food Company of the Month

Eli’s Cheesecake Company

The Schulman family has been in the restaurant business over 50 years and bakes their cheesecakes on the northwest side of Chicago in a 62,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art bakery. Eli’s is sold in 50 states and internationally.

Eli’s cheesecake is a unique Chicago style cheesecake baked with a high profile and has a firm outside and very creamy inside. Their butter cookie crust is baked to a golden brown. For example, Eli’s Original Plain cheesecake ingredients are pure and simple with: cream cheese, sugar, eggs, sour cream, pure vanilla, salt and no preservatives.

Eli’s Cheesecake is a family-run business. That means that each and every person they meet has a special place in their hearts, and well, in their kitchen. And they’ve had the pleasure of meeting some famous people and some famously wonderful people that have made a difference in their family and like-wise, in their business. Check out their website to read about their unique stores.

At Eli’s Cheesecake they value community and have a strong desire to make whatever difference they can. This desire started with Eli Schulman
himself with his great generosity and charity to those in need and has lead the way to what has become a tradition of charitable giving at Eli’s

Marc Schulman, President, continues the support. Most recently he received the Excellence in Agribusiness for Agricultural Education from the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education. Schulman serves as Co-Chair on the Business Advisory Board for the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. The Agricultural industry is fortunate to have such strong partnerships with industry and education as our young people become the upcoming leaders and workforce.

TOUR: To learn and experience the Eli’s way and see the path a cheesecake takes from scratch to finishing touch check into one of their tours. It’s fun and educational to watch Eli’s bakers use their super-sized mixers and bowls to transform mind-boggling amounts of ingredients. You’ll be there when the cakes travel through a 70-foot tunnel oven, take a ride on a 20-foot high cooling rack and then line up for hand decorating. No tour is complete without a complimentary slice of Eli’s Cheesecake. Eli’s state-of-the-art bakery tour was voted the #1 food tour in the country by ”Top 5” on the Food Network .

DINE: Enjoy lunch at Eli’s Cheesecake Café, the perfect destination to enjoy homemade soup, freshly prepared artisan sandwich, gourmet salad, or cheesecake shake. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a slice of the rich and famous Eli’s Cheesecake! Dine in our vaulted ceiling coffeehouse atmosphere or on our outdoor patio during pleasant weather. Eli’s Cheesecake Café was voted Chicago’s #1 restaurant for dessert by America On Line City Guide.

SHOP: Take time to shop in our amazing store where the selection of cheesecakes and desserts are endless. We also have a fresh bake shop with scratch recipe muffins, loaf cakes, crème puffs, big cookies, holiday treats, macaroons, bagel chips, tarts, cakes
and cheesecakes for you to enjoy here in our café over a cup of coffee, cappuccino, or espresso (or take-out!). They make sure everything they bake deserves to be called “Eli’s”!

CONTACT INFORMATION: Eli’s Corporate Office, Bakery, Retail Store and Dessert Café is located on the northwest side of the city of Chicago at 6701 Forest Preserve Drive (at the corner of Forest Preserve Drive and Montrose). Call 800-ELI-CAKE for tour information, times, and availability.

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company
6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive
Chicago, IL 60634
Phone: 800-ELI-CAKE (Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm CST)

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Eli’s Proud to Support Aviation Awareness Day for Students With Disabilities-Vaughn High School and the FAA

Eli’s is very proud of its long support of the Jacqueline Vaughn Occupational High School. This is a very special Chicago Public School that serves students with mild to moderate cognitive disabilities.

One of the great introductions we were able to make for Vaughn was with Jan Lebovitz and the FAA which came out of the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Wright Brothers first flight which was held at Wright in

The FAA has a strong commitment to giving students with disabilities a better understanding of aviation and, as a result, has created an annual event with Vaughn whereby students go to the now Chicago Executive Airport for a day of flight and aviation related experiences.

We are delighted that we can continue our support of this great partnership.

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Miss America 2006 Jennifer Berry visits Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and presents Eli’s Cheesecake with an Award of Excellence

One of Eli’s Cheesecake’s biggest supporters is Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas. Active in the Greater North Michgan Avenue Association and a resident of the Streeterville community, Pappas has a record of expanding
the services of her office to consumers in numerous languages (the international nature of the office is evident by the over 80 international flags that are displayed in the main lobby of the Treasurer’s office) and in protecting the
funds of Cook County, one of the largest county governments in the country.

Today, Maria invited Maureen, Elana and I to an awards ceremony in her office in connection with a visit by Miss America Jennifer Berry. A resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Berry has undertaken a platform of building intolerance to drunk driving and underage drinking.

It was an honor for us to meet Miss America and to be presented with an Award of Excellence from her and the Treasurer for “Sweetening the World with the Best Cheesecake Ever.”

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Congratulations to the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences on its Gold Medal Award at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Congratulations to the students and faculty of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences for their outstanding work in creating “Reinventing the Wheel,” their entry in the 12th Annual Chicago Flower & Garden Show which is continuing at Navy Pier through Sunday, March 19th.

For the first time in its participation in the Show, CHSAS was awarded the Gold Medal in the Horticulture Division, the highest award given in this prestigious competition. The Medal was made possible by a total team effort under the leadership of Principal David Gilligan, Dr. Robert Bush, Scott Nelson and Julie Reynolds and the CHSAS students who designed, built and cultivated the garden,

Over the nine day run of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, ten of thousands of people will see the great work of the students at CHSAS and see the great opportunities in agricultural education in Chicago. This is the third year that the Ag Mech Tech students under the direction of Dr. Bush and the Horticulture students under the direction of Mrs. Reynolds and Mr. Nelson have worked together to create one the premiere gardens in the show. It is great to see the students and school recognized with gold!



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Eli’s Cheesecake Recognized by the Detroit Public Schools for Supporting Entrepreneurship

This summer we were honored to host a group of student entrepreneurs from the Detroit Public Schools. Today, we were delighted to receive this plaque in recognition of the visit. We are displaying it proudly and look forward to the many great achievements of these students and other student entrepreneurs from Detroit.

Our thanks to the students of the Detroit Public Schools, to Rosalind Denning of the Office of Career and Technical Education of the Detroit Public Schools and the Entrepreneurship 2000 Advisory Board.

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Eli’s Cheesecake to be honored at the Greater Chicago Food Depository Food Industry Awards Dinner

Over the years, all of us at Eli’s have been very proud of our partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository. We have been a regular donor of cheesecake to the GCFD and have used a number of our events from our annual Eli’s Cheesecake Festival, to the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and our debut in the Starbucks stores in Chicago as opportunities to raise funds and food donations for the GCFD.

Every year the GCFD hosts a Food Industry Awards Dinner sponsored by the leading food retailers in the Chicago area: Central Cooperative, Certified Grocers Midwest, Cub Foods, Dominick’s Finer Foods and Jewel-Osco. It is a rare occasion to get every retailer working together and it is a testament to our industry and to the important mission of the GCFD.

This year three awards will be given at the Food Industry Dinner on Thursday, October 20th; the Fresh Impact Award to the Chicago International Produce Market; the Consistent Provider Award to Holsum Bread; and the Hall of Fame Award to me (Marc Schulman) on behalf of Eli’s Cheesecake. This honor is a result of the initial award from the Chicago Foodservice Marketing Club, which was endorsed by the GCFD Award Committee.

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Taste of Chicago Host first Memphis v. Chicago Rib Cook-Off

The Taste of Chicago was fortunate to host three of Memphis’ premiere rib restaurants on Thursday. Joining Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Memphis Mayor, Willie Herenton, were Corky’s, Neely’s and The Rendezvous from Memphis and Robinson’s #1 Ribs, Sweet Baby Ray’s and the Fireplace Inn.

Judges included Chicago food critics Pat Bruno and Phil Vettel and noted actor/director, Harold Ramis. The judges in a tight vote selected the Chicago entrants as the winners. We look forward to the rematch in Memphis with their judges and thank these fine Memphis restaurants for coming to Chicago and offering their barbecue at the Taste.

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton thanking Mayor Daley and the participants from Chicago and Memphis.

Charlie Robinson, the High Priest of Chicago Barbecue, with Harold Ramis, known for writing Ghost Busters, directing Ground Hog Day and appearing on SCTV.

Jim Law, the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, can take pride in the success and continued growth of the Taste of Chicago as well as well as summer long programming like “Stirring It Up Chicago” and the international success of Millennium Park.

The winning Chicago team featured Robinson’s, Fire Place Inn and Sweet Baby Ray.

Commercial Appeal

Editorial 07/04: A pig in a poke

July 4, 2005




Last week, three of the best barbecue joints in Memphis — Corky’s, Neely’s and The Rendezvous — sent representatives to Chicago to compete against three of that city’s local restaurants in a cooking showdown.


According to the judges, Memphis lost. To Chicago. In a barbecue contest.


Has the whole world gone mad?


Not that we’re bad sports or anything, but we’ve got our suspicions about this one. Rumor has it that Memphis was leading in the competition until some judges from Chicago’s city cemetery cast their ballots.


OK, maybe that didn’t happen, but it’s worth noting that all of the judges were indeed from Chicago.


Al Capone couldn’t have rigged the jury any better.


Mayor Willie Herenton was on hand to witness this swine-eating charade. Since our mayor has never been the shy and retiring type, we’re wondering why he didn’t raise a protest.


Seriously, the only fair way to settle this is to invite the Chicagoans down to Memphis in May next year for a rematch. Heck, on our home turf, we’re guessing we could even outdo their chefs in making “Chicago style” pizza.


Meanwhile, today being the Fourth of July, many people in and around Memphis will be enjoying our great local barbecue.


Some may be entertaining visitors from Chicago. If so, we encourage those visitors to take a few leftovers home.


We know that, deep down, Chicagoans know our barbecue is better.




Chicago has the better BBQ? Ha, in a pig’s eye

With friendly ribbing, Memphis comes up short


By Leslie Kelly


July 1, 2005


CHICAGO — Nobody was going to suggest the contest was rigged, but when the biggest names in Memphis barbecue were bested by their Chicago counterparts in a “friendly” competition Thursday afternoon in the Windy City, there was some good-natured grumbling.


“They definitely had the home team advantage,” said Patrick Neely, of Neely’s Bar-B-Que. “We never really expected to win. Not with all the judges being from Chicago.”


Nick Vergos from The Rendezvous suggested next time around “we’ll just have to get them to come to Memphis and kick their butts.”


The first Memphis vs. Chicago barbecue contest, billed as a “showdown at high noon,” was a featured event at the 25th annual Taste of Chicago, one of the nation’s largest food festivals. The idea was cooked up by the mayors of the two cities, pitting Corky’s, Neely’s and The Rendezvous against Chicago’s top spots including Robinson’s #1 Ribs, Sweet Baby Ray’s and the Fireplace Inn.


“I was in Chicago on business and Mayor (Richard M.) Daley invited me to his office,” said Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, at Thursday’s competition. “He asked if I had heard of Taste of Chicago and suggested that with all the great traditions our cities share in music and good barbecue, that we might want to come and let the people of this great city enjoy some Memphis barbecue.”


The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Memphis Restaurant Association teamed up to help plan and pay for the trip, which involved transporting thousands of pounds of pork, gallons of sauce and dozens of bags of charcoal and hickory chips in a truck, donated by U.S. Food Service, and driving to Chicago.


The day dawned dramatically when an early morning thunderstorm dumped rain on the city. “Shades of Memphis in May,” joked Vergos.


But by 6:45 a.m., when the Memphis pitmasters arrived at the sprawling Grant Park, along the shore of Lake Michigan, the sun was shining.


By 7:30, the crews were busy getting organized and had started lighting the fires, though much of the cooking had been done in advance.


“We’re finishing off our product here,” said longtime Corky’s pitmaster Robert Boyd.


Vergos and his brother John Vergos cooked their ribs for the contest from start to finish on the grills set up behind a large tent.


“Hey, Nick, anything you need, help yourself,” said Neely, offering up a container of charcoal shovels, mops and tongs.


Neely couldn’t help out on one count. “Somehow, our slaw didn’t make it on the truck,” said John Vergos. “We’re FedEx-ing 100 pounds of it. It should be here this morning.”


By 11, the slaw was delivered and the contest ribs were ready. The judges, a pair of Chicago newspaper food critics, a renowned Chicago blues singer and filmmaker Harold Ramis, started gnawing on plates of bones in a blind tasting.


The judges were directed to score the ribs on a scale of 1 to 10, based on sauce, tenderness and overall taste. “I’ve been eating ribs all my life, whenever I can,” said Ramis, who starred in the movie “Ghostbusters” with Bill Murray.


After judges filled their plates on several trips through the lineup of ribs, ballots were turned in and scores tabulated.


Before the results were announced, the mayors made short speeches and mugged for photos.


“I’m always watching the Food Network to see what you’re doing down there in Memphis,” said Daley.


Herenton thanked his Memphis team and Mayor Daley for his “appreciation of good Southern cuisine.”


Shortly after Chicago was named champ, the mayors went back to the judges’ tent to taste for themselves. And what did they ask to sample?


“They’re asking for Memphis barbecue,” said Neely.

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