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updated: 4/17/2012 11:41 AM

Get tickets to Chefs' Fest before they run out

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  • Video: Gigi Verrey cooks


If you want the opportunity to sample signature dishes from some of the suburbs' most popular restaurants, sip locally brewed beer and learn about bourbon, you'd better act fast.

Organizers of Chefs' Fest 2012, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, say they're limiting tickets sales to provide a better experience for the vendors and the attendees. Tickets cost $25 in advance, $30 at the door (if there are any left); or (847) 490-1010. The event has sold out in previous years.

This year's feeding frenzy, the 19th annual food and beverage celebration and hospitality showcase produced by the Woodfield Chicago Northwest Convention Bureau, will be held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg.

Besides sampling food provided by forty-some local restaurants, attendees will be able to see what local hotels and entertainment venues have to offer. Live music and beverage seminars also are on the menu.

Getting over getting fat: Local mom Gigi Verrey, author of "OK, So I Got Fat" will share recipes and tips for planning simple, healthy meals Thursday, April 19, at Sunset Foods in Long Grove.

From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Thyme in the Kitchen cooking studio, Verrey will show guests how to prepare a tasty Thai chicken dish that morphs into another meal to save you time and money all while providing tips to bring sanity back into the kitchen.

Verrey wrote the book after a year of learning how to streamline the process of making healthy meals that didn't take hours to prep, that her family liked, and that wouldn't break the budget. The result of her research and passion for cooking is her book and an accompanying website,, and blog.

The demonstration and tasting costs $10. Space is limited; register at (847) 810-0484. The book will be available for purchase at the reduced price ($16) or may be purchased at for $25, which includes shipping.

Sunset Foods is at 4190 Hwy. 83, Long Grove.

Entertaining weekend: The editors at the iconic food brand, Epicurious, have convened a group of Chicago's renowned chefs, sommeliers and mixologists for a two-day experience that seemingly has something for everyone.

Events planned for "Epicurious Entertains Chicago" May 5 and 6 at the Chicago Illuminating Company include a kids' cooking class, a barbecue blowout and an intimate dinner with three of Chicago's star chefs. Consumers can purchase tickets to individual events ($25 to $150) or an all-access weekend pass for $250. Proceeds from some of the events benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

The Chicago Illuminating Company is near the South Loop at 19 E. 21st St. Find event details and tickets at

• Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at or (847) 427-4524. Be her friend at or follow her on Twitter @PankeysPlate.

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