Chef Sean Pharr at our Master’s of Food & Wine pasta making class:
chef a sketch by Chef de Cuisine Sean Pharr
Hyatt PR introduces Alice Waters’ organic menu for kids.
Enjoy this Lolla Spotify Playlist mixed exclusively for #LollaNailBar at NoMI SPA by DJ Megan Taylor.
Ardie Farhadieh is The Billions Corporation’s Marketing and Media Manager, overseeing all marketing, media, and sponsorships for a roster of over 200 artists.
A native of Chicago, Ardie came to Billions from Rethink Music in Boston, a solutions-focused music conference hosted by Berklee College of Music and Midem, where he spent eight months as project manager overseeing the programming, booking, marketing, and production of all aspects of the conference. During his time with Rethink Music, Ardie was able to attain significant growth and put Rethink Music on the map as one of the leading music conferences in North America.
Prior to Rethink Music, Ardie was an Agency Associate at The Windish Agency, where he handled all day-to-day contracting, advancing, offers, and negotiations for approximately 90 artists. While at Windish, Ardie developed the associate role along with his colleagues and collaboratively transformed the position into what it is today.
Ardie is a music business graduate, summa cum laude, from Berklee College of Music. He currently serves as a junior board member for Rock For Kids in Chicago. When not working or at a concert, Ardie can be found playing the violin, the backbone for the musical path he has chosen to this day. An ardent lover of innumerable genres of music—from electronic to rock, and from classical to acoustic—he loves nothing more than to turn people on to new music, and constantly connects people to artists and sounds they might otherwise never have heard. His DJ sets in both New York and Cannes have garnered rave reviews from hard-to-please audiences. Music is his passion, and he shares it everywhere he goes.
Get to know Ardie a little better:
Name: Ardie Farhadieh
Twitter Handle: @ardieparty
Title: Marketing Manager, The Billions Corporation
Neighborhood: Wicker Park
Favorite Band/Artist: I’m listening to a different artist at any given moment but tend to revert back to Andrew Bird more than any other artist
Red, white, or bubbly? Red or White depending on my mood and what I’m eating
What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? Caprese Salad
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): I’m on the Junior Board for Rock For Kids
Anthony is a Wealth Management/Strategic Products Consultant with Centier Bank. With Centier, Anthony is on the Strategic Products Team and assists with new product development and sales. The Strategic Products Group creates institutional financial products to service the needs of plan sponsors throughout the country. In addition, Anthony works to identify and develop new markets for Centier in which he can introduce Centier’s wealth management and business banking services. In this capacity, his role is to interface between all of the banks departments and ensure that his clientele are provided with holistic and comprehensive financial solutions which are delivered in a seamless synchronized delivery model.
Anthony has a passion for philanthropy and has worked with several organizations in varying capacities including that of the American Heart Association, Paws Chicago, and the Illinois & Midwest Eye-Bank.
Anthony is an avid traveler and enjoys exploring the world search of new adventures, gastronomic experiences, and exposure to diverse cultures.
Anthony, his wife Melissa, and two children (Kristoff and Aspen) live in Chicago, IL.
Get to know Anthony a little better:
Name: Anthony R. Contrucci
Title: Wealth Management/Strategic Products Consultant
Neighborhood: Gold Coast
Favorite Band/Artist: Agnostic… everything from classical and country to opera and jazz
Red, White, or Bubbly? Champagne & Prosecco
What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? Double cheeseburger with melted gruyere & blue cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, & paprika mayonnaise sauce on a toasted brioche bun.
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): American Heart Association, Illinois & Midwest Eye-Bank, PAWS Chicago
Over the course of the last two decades, Graham Hickey has played an advisory role, helping guide brands in the music, entertainment and culinary verticals. He has made a direct impact through sales and marketing at national magazines including Rolling Stone, Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine, all the while creating deep in roads and building out relationships with key players in those segments. Through these relationships, Graham played a key role in the relocation and expansion of Lollapalooza to the Chicago market. Today, he builds on that experience advising businesses in the music, restaurant and hotel industries throughout the United States.
Get to know Graham a little better:
Name: J. Graham Hickey
Twitter Handle: @grahambam
Title: Brand Advisor
Neighborhood: Logan Square
Favorite Band/Artist: dEUS band and Stuart Davis artist
Red, white, or bubbly? All three
What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? Kebabs
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): New Leash on Life Chicago www.nlol.org/chicago/
Juanita Vanoy Jordan is President of Vanoy Jordan Enterprises, LLC, the parent company that oversees her numerous business endeavors.
She was co-founder of The Michael and Juanita Jordan Endowment Fund, where she was responsible for directing the Jordan family’s charitable contributions. Through her philanthropic endeavors, she continues to support numerous educational organizations and is a founding member of The Chairman’s Circle of Columbia College of Chicago.
Easter Seals Society of Metropolitan Chicago, Ronald McDonald House and The Rotary Club of Chicago have recognized Juanita for her generous philanthropic support and dedication to improving the quality of life for children and persons with disabilities.
She is a former Cultural Columnist for Copley Newspapers and television host of CHICAGOVISION, a local cable network show that featured Chicago’s major cultural attractions.
Vogue Magazine has named her a member of “The Vogue 100,” a group of influential business and civic leaders recognized for their distinctive taste in fashion and culture
She has served on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Children’s Museum,
The Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois, The White House Endowment Fund, and currently serves on the National Council of The American Film Institute.
Juanita is an Illinois licensed Real Estate Broker. She enjoys traveling and is an avid collector of art. She grew up in Chicago and continues to reside there. She is the proud mother of three children.
Get to know Juanita a little better:
Name: Juanita Vanoy Jordan
Title: President, Vanoy Jordan Enterprises, LLC
Neighborhood: River North
Favorite Band/Artist: Prince
Red, white, or bubbly? Red and Bubbly
What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? Ribs, spaghetti, baked beans and cole slaw
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): As co-founder of The Michael and Juanita Jordan Endowment Fund, she was responsible for directing the Jordan family’s charitable contributions. Through her philanthropic endeavors, she continues to support numerous educational organizations and is a founding member of The Chairman’s Circle of Columbia College of Chicago.
Laura Schwartz, author of the acclaimed book Eat, Drink & Succeed was the White House Director of Events for the Clinton Administration where she created and executed more than 1000 White House events including 12 State arrival ceremonies and dinners, America’s Millennium Celebration and NATO’s 50th Anniversary. Prior to be named the Director of Events, Laura served as the White House Director of Television and the Midwest Press Secretary. Today, Laura has a world renowned speaking series and appears as a commentator on CBS News and internationally on Good Morning London, the BBC World News and Sir David Frost’s “Frost Over The World.” In addition to her television appearances, Laura is the founder of White House Strategies, www.WhiteHouseStrategies.com, and works with Fortune’s Top 50 and 500 companies, independent businesses, industry associations, universities and nonprofit organizations, teaching people of all ages how they too, can: EAT, DRINK & SUCCEED!
Get to know Laura a little better:
Name: Laura Schwartz
Twitter Handle: @lauraschwartz
Title: Author of Eat, Drink & Succeed! Professional Speaker and International Television Commentator
Favorite Band/Artist: P!NK
Red, white, or bubbly? Bubbly
What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? A Caprese Salad I make with ingredients fresh from that day’s farmers market!
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): Advocacy Board of the AHA, United Way, YWCA, Illinois School of Art
Andrew Kaplan is the Director of Rachael Ray’s nonprofit organization,Yum-o!, where he is responsible for managing its core initiatives and day-to-day operations. Andrew developed a lifestyle at a young age that involved cooking and appreciation for food. That lifestyle inspired him to create a charity that celebrated his passion for cooking and his desire to share his knowledge of the culinary world with children. After spending time with Rachael Ray, the two realized they had both grown up with a similar admiration for the culinary world and decided to launch Yum-o!. Andrew is also the Director of Special Projects for Rachael Ray/Watch Entertainment where he is involved in managing various projects and appearances for Rachael. He also served as an Associate Producer for Rachael Ray’s daytime television show, Rachael Ray.
Get to Know Andrew a little better:
Name: Andrew “Kappy” Kaplan
Twitter Handle: @OnKappysPlate
Title: Director of Special Projects, Rachael Ray – Director, Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! Organization
Neighborhood: Wicker Park (Rookie)
Favorite Band/Artist: Not super into music, but I will listen to whatever you put on while I am cooking
Red, white, or bubbly? Bubbles- red or white bubbles
What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? Bacon-Jalapeno Cole Slaw
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): I am the Director of Rachael Ray’s cooking and kids charity, but anything food/kids related, as well as hunger organizations. Also Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago.
Jessica Murnane is the owner of Suitor, the high-end stationery line known for both its personal and professional custom paper goods and its accompanying retail line found in such stores as Cursive at ABC Carpet & Home, Greer and Walker Art Center.
In addition to her work at Suitor, Murnane has worked as a creative consultant for brands including RSVP Gallery, Optimo Hats, Nina Falana and RM Champagne Salon.
Murnane’s work has appeared in publications including House Beautiful, Oprah Magazine, and Real Simple. She is currently a contributing editor at Country Living Magazine.
Get to know Jessica better:
Name: Jesssica Murnane
Twitter Handle: @suitorlife
Title: Owner/Designer – Suitor, Contributing Editor at Country Living Magazine
Favorite Band/Artist: There is no way I can choose one…but Jay-Z (new school) & Can (old school) are always on rotation.
Red, white, or bubbly? I do not discriminate.
What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? I make a mean Jerusalem Salad.
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): Salvation Army Angel Tree. And for the past five years I have mentored young adults as they enter the workforce – without a doubt one of my biggest passions.
Kelli Zink grew up with a microphone in her hand, always knowing she wanted to be a reporter which saved her parents thousands of dollars as she graduated college in 4 years at Michigan State University .
From knocking on the door of a Fox Sports production truck after a basketball game in her cheerleader uniform to winning an ESPN reality show, she did whatever it took to get her foot in the television door.
By age 22, she had been a sports anchor in two markets and decided it was time to move west. She drove her 1996 Ford to LA and helped launch the NFL Network- even creating the network’s original slogan; “Where Football Season Never Ends”.
After 3.5 wonderful years of working behind the scenes in sports she came back to the Midwest to launch CelebTV.com.
She has appeared on is and is regular guest for various TV outlets including; Anderson Cooper 360, Nancy Grace, Prime News, Showbiz Tonight, Geraldo at Large, multiple specials for TV Guide Channel and she hosts weekly segment on My Fox Chicago. Kelli has also written for various publications and hosted two network specials for ABC.
When not interviewing celebs, Kelli enjoys eating “seagan”, doing yoga, documenting her life across various social media platforms, drinking champagne and dancing like Elaine from “Seinfeld”.
Get to know Kelli better:
Name: Kelli Zink
Twitter Handle: @KelliZink
Title: Host of CelebTV.com
Neighborhood: Gold Coast
Favorite Band/Artist: The Bravery
Red, white, or bubbly? Pink bubbles
What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? Great conversation or a bottle of champagne
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): Bright Pink
Mr. Wirtz oversees all aspects of marketing and sales for the Wirtz Beverage Group portfolio throughout the country. The alcohol beverage wholesaler is among the country’s industry leaders with more than $1.8 billion in sales and 3,000 employees. In this role, Wirtz serves as a primary liaison with suppler partners and focuses on using innovation to expand brand and market share for each of the company’s state affiliates.
In addition to bringing new and luxury brands to the Wirtz Beverage portfolios, Wirtz also uses his national and international marketing experience to lead strategic initiatives for the company. These include integrating technology solutions to both sales and marketing and overseeing the company’s Digital Activation Teams dedicated to advancing e-commerce, social technology and trade marketing efforts.
Wirtz is a member of the company’s OPCOM executive team and leads the SELLCOM sales leadership team directing the overall strategic initiatives for the company’s wine, spirits and beer divisions.
Previously, Wirtz held several positions with Wirtz Beverage Illinois, including overseeing luxury and multicultural sales positioning in the Trade Development department. His business acumen is matched by significant marketing experience where, prior to joining the company, he aided large-scale promotion campaigns for global product clients including Nike, Apple and Motorola.
Wirtz also leads the philanthropic efforts for Wirtz Beverage Group and is actively engaged with both community and industry affiliations including serving as a member of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association Board of Directors, Christ the King Jesuit High School Rising Leaders Council and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Council of Leadership Development.
Wirtz is also a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, among the world’s foremost educators and endorsers of the wines of Champagne. This distinction includes promoting the wines unique features, their ways of consumption and everything which contributes to their reputation and image as the most prestigious symbol of success and celebration.
Mr. Wirtz holds a vested interest in Wirtz Corporation, whose diversified holdings include the Chicago Blackhawk Hockey Team, the United Center, Wirtz Realty, Wirtz Insurance and banking interests in Illinois and Florida. To that end, he offers strategic insight and coordination of business strategies to all the Wirtz Corporation’s family of companies.
A graduate of Boston College, Danny and his wife Anne live in Chicago with their two children.
Get to know a little more about Danny:
Name: Danny Wirtz
Twitter Handle: @dannywirtz
Title: SVP, Wirtz Beverage Group
Neighborhood: Ukrainian Village
Favorite Band/Artist: An ever evolving questions. Currently listening to new Brendan Benson record.
Red, White, or Bubbly: Yes, please.
What is your Signature Dish for a backyard barbecue? Bison Burgers
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): Member of the Rising Leaders Council for Christ the King Jesuit Prep High School in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. http://www.ctkjesuit.org/about/overview.html
Also, proud supporter of Common Threads, Meals on Wheels, and Francis Xavier Warde School
Julia Buckingham Edelmann’s passion for antiques, artifacts, and found objects translates into beautiful and exuberantly youthful homes with a timeless quality.
As a former antiques dealer, she designs her interior environments with keen interest in integrating antiques and artifacts with modern elements to reflect today’s lifestyles. Her degree in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing from the University of Arizona led to multiple jobs in the fashion industry, where she honed her aesthetic eye, all the while visiting antique markets across the world while on holiday with her husband and three children.
From the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Los Angeles to the famous Parisian market, Clignancourt – and all points in between – Julia developed an educated eye for only the best and most unique pieces. She further cultivated her experiences and knowledge of both dealers and collectors as co-owner of an antiques store in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as by exhibiting at the Botanic Garden Antiques and Garden Fair and the Bridgehampton Historical Society Antique Show.
A return to her hometown of Chicago led her to open her own showroom and interior design firm, where she concentrates on mixing styles and eras to create surprising, whimsical, and unique environments. Now on her 2nd Chicago Showroom, located in the burgeoning design district on Grand
Avenue, she welcomes a visit to see in person her unique perspective – where antiques can be observed as pieces of modern art.
Get to know Julia a little better…
Name: Julia Buckingham Edelmann
Twitter Handle: @BuckinghamID
Title: Principal of Buckingham Interiors + Design
Neighborhood: North Shore
Favorite Band/Artist: Counting Crows & Snow Patrol
Red, white, or bubbly? Bubbly – Veuve Clicquot!
What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? BBQ Chicken with Sweet Baby Rays Sauce
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): I donate to and am involved with Pi Beta Phi National Fraternity, the sorority I belonged to and was president of, while at University of Arizona.
Gary Metzner joined Sotheby’s in 1997. He is a specialist in paintings, prints and sculptures from Old Masters to Contemporary. As an Auctioneer, he has conducted hundreds of charity auctions throughout the Midwest including Cows on Parade and the Banner auctions for the City of Chicago.
Prior to Sotheby’s, he was Director of Fine Art for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers beginning in 1993. Prior to that, he was Director of Hokin Kaufman Gallery in Chicago.
Mr. Metzner can be seen on Chubb’s Antique Roadshow on PBS, has appeared on the Home and Garden Television network’s programmes At the Auction and The Appraisal Fair, and participates in heirloom discovery days across the country.
Mr. Metzner is a graduate of Indiana University and earned a graduate degree in Art History from the University of Chicago. He is a recipient of the Plummer Scholarship in Fine Art and sits on the board of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
Get to know Gary a little better…
Name: Gary F Metzner
Title: Senior Vice President, Sotheby’s Midwest
Neighborhood: River North
Favorite Band/Artist: Sufjan Stevens
Red, white, or bubbly? All three
What is your signature dish for a backyard barbeque? Inviting someone who knows how to cook
To give back (community involvement/philanthropic efforts): Board of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago…River North Chicago Dance… Illinois Dem Party Leadership Circle.