Comments icon Comments

As we hunker down again and make new holiday traditions in the comfort of our homes, some Chicago chefs and restaurants want to inspire your festive season. From sauces and jams as delicious, homemade gifts to Brick Chicken or Grilled Butternut Squash to warm the soul on cold, December days, these chef-inspired recipes will keep you in the holiday spirit this year.

The Bristol

  • Fjord Trout, Roasted Beets, Creme Fraiche
    • Executive chef Larry Feldmeier recommends this recipe because it can be easily served family-style and the trout can be smoked a day in advance optimizing time spent with family. Please find the recipe here


  • Arrabbiata sauce in a jar as homemade gifts for the holidays
    • Nothing says you care quite like a homemade sauce. This one, imagined by executive chef David Schwartz, has heat and can be served on pasta, pizza, or as a dipping sauce. See here for the recipe. 

Cafe Robey

  • Blueberry Jam & Sauerkraut as homemade gifts for the holidays
    • While many entertained the hobby of pickling during their COVID quarantines, executive Chef Kevin McAllister lays out just how easy fermenting can be. He maps out the steps to making one’s own sauerkraut and jam and explains the importance of the canning process here
  • Dry Rubbed Smoked Ribs
    • When grilling in the winter, McAllister says if he’s going to go through the hassle of shoveling out the grill and setting it up, he might as well make a day out of it. The spice rub has, black pepper, cumin, cayenne, thyme, paprika, mustard and brown sugar which creates a BBQ flavor with no need for sauce. 

Executive Chef Matt Bumba of Milk Money Brewing

  • Apple Cake
    • Quick and simple, a fall dessert for the whole family. 
  • Flakey Biscuits 
    • Ditch the canned stuff and opt for these homemade biscuits for your holiday meal. 
  • Sous Vide Turkey
    • Mumba recommends investing in the highest quality turkey from a local farmer if you are able. 
  • Homemade Pancake Mix as a holiday gift

Cat-Su Sando

  • Grilled Butternut Squash
    • For those looking for a vegetarian dish to grill this fall & winter, Chefs Shawn Cledening and Will Schlaeger recommend using Asian inspired flavors in their butternut squash poaching liquid to give this holiday dish an international flare. Check out the full recipe here

Superkhana International

  • Methi "Brick" Chicken and Turmeric Cabbage
    • Warm fall flavors and a grilled char make this a holiday dish. Thought up by executive chefs Zeeshan Shah and Yoshi Yamada, this dish uses the high heat of the early fire to cook the cabbage, then the mellower heat after that to cook the chicken. All prep can be done the day before. 

Wixter Seafood

  • Haddock with Peppers, Onions, and Mashed Tomatoes
    • Brighten up your holiday meals with this dish from Wixter Seafood’s sustainable offerings available for nationwide shipping on With simple steps and only one cook pan needed, this dish can be prepared on busy holidays. See the full recipe here.
  • Mussels in Spicy Ginger Broth
    • Add a comforting soup to your holiday menu. This broth can be paired with Wixter Seafood’s mussels. See here for the full recipe. 


  • Grilled Pork Shoulder with Steak-Apple Miso Glaze, Roasted Turnips, Swiss Chard, and Peanut Coriander Dukkah
    • Executive Chef Rolf Pedersen says this dish highlights a cut of meat that's typically used for long cooking or braising, but slicing it thinner makes it easier to prepare on the grill. 
Blueberry Jam
Chef Kevin McAllister's Blueberry Jam (Courtesy of Cafe Robey)

Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea

Fairgrounds’ holiday elixirs are a special, limited time offering, and will be available throughout the season, starting November 17. These new elixirs are twists on the classic holiday drink flavors, which can be replicated at home or ordered at their cafes.

Marshmallow Mocha Melody

  • Espresso, marshmallow fluff, Vosges mocha, choice of milk, topped with a warm toasted marshmallow

Cinnamon Apple Tonic

  • Fresh cider mill apple juice, sweet cinnamon syrup, tonic water, topped with crisp dried apple and cinnamon garnish

Salted Caramel Draft Latte

  • Fairgrounds’ creamy oat milk draft latte blended with salted caramel syrup, topped with white salt flakes

CBD Mellow Mint Melt Away

  • A blend of vanilla, fresh peppermint, Rishi matcha, choice of milk and UnCanny Barista Blend CBD
Screen Shot 2020 11 17 At 9 04 41 Am
The Marshmallow Mocha Melody (Courtesy of Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea)


View Comments (0)