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updated: 3/13/2013 8:37 AM

From the Food Editor: Going green isn't just for the Irish

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  • Gnocchi is pronounced nyawk-kee. Say it like you have a stuffy nose.

    Gnocchi is pronounced nyawk-kee. Say it like you have a stuffy nose.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • Gnocchi -- like this dish from Francesca's Familia in Barrington -- is pronounced nyawk-kee.

      Gnocchi -- like this dish from Francesca's Familia in Barrington -- is pronounced nyawk-kee.
    BILL ZARS | Staff Photographer


St. Patrick's Day is all about being green -- green beer, green cupcakes, green river.

Yet there's another sort of greening taking place this weekend on Chicago's west side: the Good Food Festival and Conference.

Running March 14 to 16 at the UIC Forum, the festival is the place to be if you're enthusiastic about tasting locally grown food, concerned about food policy, interested in becoming a food entrepreneur, want to get inspired by celebrity chefs or all of the above.

Thursday's workshops and seminars focus on the dollars and cents side of the local food movement while Friday is trade show and policy day.

You're probably most interested in Localicious, the food frenzy featuring more than 40 restaurants and food and beverage companies -- including Duke's Ale House in Crystal Lake and White Oak Gourmet in Arlington Heights. The tasting event runs 7 to 9:30 p.m., costs $75 ($90 at the door) and includes live entertainment.

Tickets to Saturday's festivities, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., cost $10; $15 on site. Kids 12 and younger get in free, so make a family day of it. Saturday's lineup includes kids activities, chef demonstrations (Rick Bayless, Carrie Nahabedian and Paul Virant), workshops and exhibits by more than 150 farmers, restaurants and food artisans.

Get tickets and details at

Tongue-tied: That Italian potato pasta … what's it called again? If you answered no-key, head to the back of the line.

Gnocchi -- pronounced nyawk-kee -- is one of the most commonly mispronounced food items, according to online ordering service

For those times when you're out with family and friends and don't want to embarrass yourself with a slip of the tongue, here's a pronunciation guide for some other popular foods.

Bruschetta: broo-SKET-ah

Gyro: YEE-row

Pho: fuh

Sriracha: shree-RA-cha

Tip of the toque: Culinary teams from Technology Center of DuPage and Elgin High School took top honors at the recent Illinois ProStart Invitational.

The student competition, now in its 12 year, was hosted by the Illinois Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation and sponsored by SYSCO Foodservice-Chicago at Kendall College in Chicago.

Teams from across the state competed Feb. 23 in culinary and hospitality management competitions. The Technology Center of DuPage Culinary team won the state championship for the second consecutive year for its execution of a menu that included carrot soup with lobster salad, sauteed chicken and braised chicken Swiss chard roll and white chocolate orange mousse.

A team from Elgin High School won the management competition for its unique concept Sol de Dorado, featuring the cuisine of Argentina. In addition, EHS's culinary team tied for third in that menu preparation leg of the competition.

Both first-place teams will advance to the National ProStart Invitational April 19-21 in Baltimore. Good luck to all our future chefs.

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

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