A Girl & Her Food: Q & A at Chicago Gourmet Sponsor Country Financial with Chef Kevin Hickey and Check Please! Host Cat De Orio


Q & A at Chicago Gourmet Sponsor Country Financial with Chef Kevin Hickey and Check Please! Host Cat De Orio

Since 1925, Country Financial has supported the agriculture industry and local famers. They continue to help restaurants understand what it takes to be financially secure in the industry. As an avid home cook and supporter of the farm-to-table movement, and one deeply rooted in the Chicago restaurant scene, I was ecstatic to join Country Financial with Chef Kevin Hickey at Park Grill for an exclusive Q&A session.  The discussion was led by Check Please! host Cat De Orio and Chef Hickey, and they discussed his passion for farm-to-table and what it means for the Chicago restaurant industry.

When I arrived at the Park Grill for the Q&A, I was greeted by a refreshing mimosa and charred beef carpaccio.

I listened to Cat and Kevin discuss how they both attended Green City Market before Chicago Gourmet. It brought a smile to my face as I did the same.   Every Wednesday and Saturday at Green City Market, I run into Chicago chefs picking up the local and seasonal ingredients for their kitchen, and that has in turn inspired me to do the same in my home kitchen. I may have to spend a little more on the plums, potatoes and peppers, but I get to engage with the farmers and know exactly where my food is coming from. I have been a firm believer of quality over quantity and Chef Kevin and Cat affirmed my belief during their Q&A.  The farmers will take time to educate you on their produce, and even offer their recipes on how to prepare!  Who knew you can make an amazing garlic scape pesto??

There aren’t many “food bloggers” in Chicago like me, as I know every farmer and they know me. I take time each season to visit the farms and REALLY understand the process from seed to harvest to table.  To be honest, it tastes so much better even if it costs a bit more.   There is a sense of satisfaction when you can form a connection with your food.  If we all supported local farms, the cost of their produce would decrease.

After the Q&A, I got to catch up with Cat, who has been a dear friend of mine for many years, and Johanna of Mommacuisine. These girls not only are #girlboss ladies, but they also support the farm-to-table movement in and out of the Chicago restaurant scene.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of COUNTRY Financial.  The opinions and text are all mine.


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