Maisha Wynn’s inaugural ‘What’s on the Menu Tour’ launched with three nights of food at three Chicago downtown restaurants. The culinary tour showcased Maisha’s favorite restaurants and their vegan dishes.
Tour patrons celebrated healthy living with a special prix fixe menu that included an appetizer, entrée and dessert available each evening. Maisha and other vegan influencers shared tips for healthy living during this World Vegan Month celebration.
“I had so much fun launching the ‘What’s on the Menu Tour’ in Chicago. I’m truly thankful for those who came out to embrace something new right after Thanksgiving. They truly made our tour a complete success,” said LivetoWynn Founder, Maisha Wynn. “The chefs at tour restaurants: Latinicity, Portsmith, Volare, Mercadito outdid themselves. We were able to show that vegan living is not only delicious, but also healthy for the body and soul. I hope everyone will take a step towards being more mindful in the near year.”
The ‘What’s on the Menu Tour’ began with a vegan soiree at Latinicity with Executive Chef Marcos Flores on November 24th. Attendees enjoyed vegan bites from various parts of Latin America, sultry music by DJ Lugo, and a vegan “SHERO” panel discussion with influencers Karyn Calabrese of Karyn’s Raw, Darlene Paris of Insight Awareness, Heather Bodine-Lederman of Pie, Pie My Darling, and Kay Stepkin of The National Vegetarian Museum.
Downtown Chicago restaurants: Portsmith, Mercadito, and Volare were highlighted during Wynn’s pop-up tour that offered a three-course vegan meal for $33 dollars.
“I was excited to be a part of Wynn’s food tour, but truly thankful we had a full house for our night,” said Executive Chef Nate Henssler at Portsmith. “As a proud parent of a vegan daughter, I’m elated to provide vegan items on the menu and we work hard to provide options off the menu for our vegan guests.”
• Portsmith - this fresh fish and seafood restaurant is located in Chicago’s Gold Coast on the ground floor of the Dana Hotel & Spa. They make it their mission to find the freshest ingredients. The #wynning experience at Portsmith included: mushroom soup with cashew cream followed by charred avocado with roasted sweet potato. And the dessert was concord grape and lemon tapioca with granola and sorbet.
• Mercadito is a Mexican restaurant - their culinary team is led by Chef Patricio Sandoval featuring popular Mexican dishes inspired by the flavors of Mexico's small markets. The #wynning experience at Mercadito included: guacamole and salsa tomatillo followed by corn masa quesadillas with Brussels sprouts, and the dessert was a dark chocolate donut.
• Volare Ristorante Italiano reflects the look and feel of an old world Italian establishment. Family owned since the beginning, they’ve called Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood home since 1997. Their food represents traditional Italian cuisine with modern accents. The #wynning experience at Volare included: baked pastry puff with fresh mushrooms, spinach and asparagus with a chickpea sauce followed by lasagna with mixed vegetables and cheese, and the dessert was a poached pear in red wine syrup with fall spices.
The ‘What’s on the Menu Tour’ was supported by NorthShore University HealthSystem and attracted influencers, radio personalities, foodies, bloggers, and friends including: Mike Love from 106.3FM, Chicago Mayoral candidate Dorothy Brown, AC Green from Inspiration 1390AM, Food Blogger, Angela Carpenter, of The Yoga Life, Comedian Keith “Smacks” Dean, and Batters & Berries owners Mr. and Mrs. Craig Robinson.