Seneca Park Clean Up

On Saturday, April 23rd, Eli’s Cheesecake Associates participated in the annual Seneca Park & Eli M. Schulman Playground Clean Up. Each year associates team up with students from the Miguel Juarez Middle School to help clean up the park as part of our effort to engage with the community and our local environment. Eli’s Associate Erin Arceo and husband, Ray, made this partnership possible, and continues to strengthen it because of his role as a PE teacher at the middle school. Seneca Park & the Eli M. Schulman Playground means a lot to the Eli’s Cheesecake Company because the playground was named in honor of our founder, and Chicago food legend, Eli M. Schulman.

Below is a list of all the associates who participated in the park clean-up:

  • Erin and (husband) Ray Arceo
  • Donna Carberry
  • Jennifer Stohl (husband and  son)
  • Rosalinda Quijas (and daughter)
  • Precious Laserna (and daughters)
  • Celina Guevara (and daughters)
  • Christopher Lopez (and cousin)
  • Jesus Martinez
  • Stephen Dunbar
  • Christopher Dunbar
  • Hector Pacheco
  • Fidelmar Espino (and wife)
  • Juana Rivera (and Husband Marcos)
  • Antonio Rivera

Behind the Scenes with Suso’s Fork

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of teaming up with food blogger, Marianne Murciano of Suso’s Fork to record a special segment for her blog. Marianne seeks to find ways to “Latinize” foods, so we joined forces to create a Latinized cheesecake which we are proudly naming: Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake con Mango. Why Mango? Marianne told us that Mango has been a major part of her Cuban family’s life. She loves mango on everything, and we couldn’t think of anything better than putting mango over our favorite cheesecake. blogger Marianne Murciano, her son, and chef Laurel Boger

 

The recording of the segment consisted of our Executive Pastry Chef, Laurel Boger, guiding Marianne through the process of creating the perfect Original Plain Eli’s Cheesecake. One of the repeated phrases, which is stressed in The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook is, “scrape the bowl.” This is our secret to mastering the art of cheesecake–Eli’s Cheesecake, that is.

Afterwards, chef Boger taught Marianne how to make her mango topping freezer ready. And finally, it ended with garnishing the cheesecake with candied limes and tasting it. We wanted to make sure our fans got an exclusive sneak peek of our collaboration and creation of a new type of plain cheesecake, so we went LIVE on Facebook.

cheesecake con mango coming soon

 

IMG_0636

 

Only the best for Mom

QUALITY INGREDIENTS…QUALITY DESSERTS.

At Eli’s, our products are made with natural ingredients, and no preservatives, to assure the
highest quality and premium taste. “Local” has been one of the biggest trends over the past
ten years, but we’re starting to recognize that nature defines which regions are best for which
ingredients. We pride ourselves in supporting local businesses – but in our search for the
finest ingredients, we source from the right location.

What about our vanilla?

We only us pure cold-pressed Madagascar Bourbon vanilla
extract and vanilla beans from Nielsen-Massey Vanilla, a
certified Fair Trade™ Company. The finest, hand- picked vanilla
beans and an exclusive cold extraction process create one
of the finest vanilla extracts in the world.

Oh honey!

Eli’s honey is harvested by student bee keepers from the
Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS),
one of the only urban agricultural high schools in the
country located on a working farm. Proceeds from our Honey
cheesecakes go toward college scholarships for the students.

NEW Products!

 

We are excited to introduce 4 new tarts: Salted Caramel Cheesecake, Lemon,  Original Plain Cheesecake, and Butter.

Flavor Profile:

  • Salted Caramel Tart: A layer of salted caramel and a layer of rich bittersweet chocolate ganache, baked in an all-butter pâte sucrée crust, and sprinkled with sea salt.
  • Lemon Tart: Tart housemade lemon curd baked in an all-butter pâte sucrée crust, dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Cheesecake Tart: Eli’s creamy Original Plain Cheesecake, made with pure Madagascar vanilla, baked in an all-butter pâte sucrée crust.
  • Butter Tart: A sweet and gooey butter filling, baked in an all-butter pâte sucrée crust.

 

Where you can experience our tart goodness:

Eli’s will participate at the National Restaurant Association Show, May 21st-24th.
Visit us at booth #1425 to learn more about The Eli’s Cheesecake Company and see everything
we have to offer: layer cakes, fruit tarts, mini pies, dessert bars, and, of course, cheesecake! We
will be featuring our new products as well, including our NEW Individual Tart Collection.

Refugee One’s Annual Gala

On Saturday, April 2nd, The Eli’s Cheesecake company participated in Refugee One‘s Many Voices One Vision Gala. The Gala was a celebration for the people and companies who help refugees attain jobs and develop their careers, as well as highlight the success stories of many refugees. This year, the Eli’s Cheesecake Company’s CEO, Marc Schulman, received the Many Voices. One Vision. Award for being a champion for hiring hard-working refugees for more than twenty-five years.

Attending the event was Eli’s associate, Elias Kasongo. He, along with many others, has developed his career with Eli’s. WBEZ CHICAGO recently did an interview with him and Marc Schulman, which you can listen to here. Kasongo spoke about his life and the 22 years that he has been working for Eli’s Cheesecake. Kasongo came to Chicago from the Democratic Republic of Congo in June 1994.  Through Refugee One, he was connected to The Eli’s Cheesecake Company and received his first U.S. job. He was able to work his way up from working in the dish room, to becoming product purchasing manager.

Schulman spoke about his policy of hiring refugees. He believes that, “refugees are a very important part of who we are.” He believes that refugees are as much as part of the community as anyone else. They are “important contributors.” Additionally, he stressed that at Eli’s, “we consider ourselves a family [and] are successful because of the great associates we have.” March Schulman stressed the importance of hiring refugees and people with disabilities and responded to some of the negative discourse behind it. He believes that these workers are some of the hardest workers. Schulman holds his father’s, Eli M. Schulman, words, “treat others as if you were the other,” close, which is why at Eli’s, everyone is treated equally.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, similarly praises Eli’s Cheesecake for hiring refugees who need work.

March Schulman and Elias Kasongo.

March Schulman and Elias Kasongo.

Easter Egg Roll at the White House

On Monday, March 28th, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company participated in the 138th annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House. The White House tradition dates back to 1878. This is the first time that Eli’s participates in this traditional event. Eli’s debuted a new and exclusive product for the event—Honeycomb Tart.

An estimated total of over 35,000 people attended the event, and Eli’s made sure to have enough product, so much so that a forklift was required to deliver the product. A special thanks goes to associates Elsa and Veronica Gomez for being the face of Eli’s at this event.

 

 

Here’s a closer look at the fun:

Eli’s Welcomes UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi and RefugeeOne

Eli’s had the pleasure to welcome UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi of UNHCR and many other officials of RefugeeOne today, March 18th.

Filippo Grandi became the 11th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on January 1st, 2016. He was elected by the UN General Assembly to serve a five-year term, until December 31st, 2020. Grandi is responsible for of all refugee affairs in the world, and his visit to us Eli’s was greatly appreciated. The visit was a special opportunity for Eli’s associates to share their stories with not only our guests, but with each other.

High Commissioner Filippo Grandi tours Eli's Bakery and chats with associates

High Commissioner Filippo Grandi tours Eli’s Bakery and chats with associates

At Eli’s Cheesecake, we are very proud of our long time partnership with RefugeeOne, the largest full service refugee settlement agency in Illinois. RefugeeOne is a refugee resettlement agency that provides a full range of services to refugees resettled in the Chicago area. Without RefugeeOne, we would would have never met Elias Kasongo, who came to Eli’s Cheesecake in 1994, at the age of 22, after being held for 4 years in a refugee camp in Zambia after leaving his home in the Congo. Over those years, Elias has gone from the dish room to becoming Purchasing & Materials Manager with a degree from Northeastern Illinois University, having a beautiful family and now a home owner. Elias now sits on the Board ofDirectors for RegueeOne and  was a keynote speaker at the 2014 RefugeeOne Gala.

Eli’s is proud to have a number of associates whose lives have been aided by RefugeeOne, and looks forward to continuing our longtime partnership with the Organization.

Eli's Elias Kasongo with Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner

Eli’s Elias Kasongo with Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner

We were delighted to welcome the following guests:

  • Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner UNHCR Geneva
  • Chiara Cardoletti-Carroll, Deputy Regional Representative, UNHCR Washington
  • Brian Hansford, Senior Media Officer, UNHCR Washington
  • Larry Yungk, Senior Resettlement Officer, UNHCR Washington
  • Joshua Lott, Photographer
  • Ngoan Le, Illinois State Refugee Coordinator, Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Melineh Kano, Executive Director, RefugeeOne
  • Mark Youtem, Senior Case Manager, RefugeeOne

 

New Cheesecake Alert

We are proud to introduce our newest addition to our cheesecake family

 

This cheesecake was created by Illinois resident, Rebekah Baer, winner of our 3rd annual Eli’s and O’Briens “Cheesecake with an Irish Twist” Bake-off contest. The recipe includes Granny smith apples baked on top of apple cider reduced cheesecake covered in caramel.  It is a three-layer cake: orange, white and green -to honor the Irish Flag.

Rebekah Baer and her winning cheesecake at O'Briens Restaurant.

Rebekah Baer and her winning cheesecake at O’Briens Restaurant.

Rebekah will receive our grand prize, a year’s supply of Eli’s Cheesecake. Her cheesecake will be featured and sold at the Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe, for $3 a slice, and at O’Briens throughout the month of March. All proceeds will benefit the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls

Eli’s admires all the creativity from the contestants who participated. A big THANK YOU to all those who participated. Here’s to next year! 

 

Chicago’s Flower & Garden Show

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company participated in the annual Chicago Flower & Garden show this past weekend. The show, which is located in Navy Pier’s Festival Hall and runs from March 12-20, 2016, features an array of garden and flower exhibits and outdoor displays.

On Friday, March 11, Eli’s participated in the opening gala, “Evening in Bloom,” for the show and served an assortment of desserts. On the table were: Original Plain Cheesecake, Original Plain Cheesecake with Raspberry sauce, and Honey Mediterranean Cheesecake slices, Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars, Michigan Cherry Oat Bars, and Chocolate Espresso Tarts.

The event consisted of tables featuring many Chicago restaurants and bakeries, a live DJ, a performance from a school choir, welcoming words from Bob Mariano, and endless fun. Eli’s Cheesecake was a crowd favorite that night. While everyone seemed to enjoy all our desserts, people could not stop raving about our Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars, so much so that they came back for seconds..and THIRDS!


 

Below are some photos from the event:

 


 

On Saturday, March 12, 2016, Eli’s Cheesecake Executive Pastry Chef, Laurel Boger, held a live demonstration, featuring our Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake Tarts from The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook, on the Mariano’s stage at the Show. Chef Laurel Boger always knows how to put on a good show as she actively engages with the audience.

After the demo, audience members had the opportunity to meet Laurel and ask her questions. Below are some more pictures from the event:

Upcoming March Events

1.) Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 – HELP Dinner

The Eli’s Cheesecake company will continue it’s 16 year tradition by serving dinner to The Chicago Help Initiative’s Wednesday dinner program from 5-7pm.

2.) Friday, March 11 & Thursday, March 12, 2016 – Chicago Flower & Garden Show

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company is proud to participate once again in the annual Chicago Flower and Garden Show. On Friday, March 11, Eli’s will provide dessert for the inaugural Gala, which will give a preview to the actual show. The preview offers a first-hand look at the Flower & Garden Show, which is presented by Mariano’s, and the proceeds will benefit local charities. The evening will consist of a variety of food from notable Chicago Restaurants and chefs along with specialty drinks.

On Saturday, March 12, 2016, Eli’s Executive Pastry Chef, Laurel Boger, will hold a live demo at 1:30 pm. Audience members will get the chance to sample cheesecake and learn some tips and tricks. Click here to purchase tickets to the event.

3.) Friday, March 18th, 2016 – TimeLine Theatre’s Gala

On Friday, March 18th, 2016, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company will provide dessert for TimeLine Theatre’s Anuual Gala Benefit. Proceeds for the event will benefit TimeLine Theatre and its programs. Click here to get information on tickets.

4.) Thursday, March 24th, 2016 – Good Food Festival & Conference

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company is proud to have President March Schulman participate as a conference Co-chair and guest speaker and tell the Eli’s story in the Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference at the UIC Forum. The Eli’s Cheesecake company will provide dessert for the conference in the early and late afternoon.Click here to purchase your tickets to the event.