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Elysabeth Alfano
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Elysabeth Alfano is a culture and entertainment journalist, and a TV and stage producer and host. She has been bridging the gap between chefs, entertainers, celebrities and the public for over 20 years.

In 2009, Alfano started her production company, Fear No ART Chicago, which launched its first show, Fear No ART on PBS’ WTTW, with Alfano as its Creator, Executive Producer and Host. The success of the show was remarkable and, with the gaining momentum of the internet, it branched out into a very popular, bi-weekly web series.

Alfano launched a reimagined celebrity talk show, entitled, The Dinner Party with Elysabeth Alfano, on January 30, 2012. The Dinner Party is a celebrity, round table TV talk show in which Alfano invites 3 celebs to a dinner created by a guest chef. Over food, wine and a few impromptu performances, the conversations flow! Filmed live in front of a live audience, the show streams live on The Chicago Sun Times before being edited for Chicago’s Ch. 19, TiVO, Youtube, and iTunes. Viewers can participate in the show by asking celebs questions via Twitter and winning prizes if their tweet is picked live during the show. The Dinner Party is both popular and interactive, offering an up-close with celebrities experience. You can view the show sizzle reel at . In 2014, Elysabeth began a podcast version of The Dinner Party, which was picked up by WGN Radio’s WGN Plus in August of 2015.

In addition, Elysabeth blogs for The Huffinton Post. She has done voice-overwork for Kurtis Productions and took the “Improv for Actors” series with Second City. She has done countless TV interviews and has produced and hosted interviews for NPR’s WBEZ. Often, The Dinner Party with Elysabeth Alfano is also a radio show on WGN Radio.

Alfano is the winner of the following awards for The Dinner Party: Telly Award, Best Web-based TV show, Alliance for Community Media Excellence Award, Best of the Midwest Video Fest Excellence Award.

Entries by Elysabeth Alfano

Renee Fleming on Life as a Cross-Over Opera Diva

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 3:11 PM

Famed opera singer Renee Fleming joined me on my most recent podcast of The Dinner Party on WGN Radio's WGN Plus. In a funny, natural and easy-going interview, Renee talks about fitting her enormous gowns on a plane, her love of Jazz, being an ambassador for music, and...

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Movie Producer, Gigi Pritzker, Dishes on the Movie Biz

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 10:06 AM

What does it mean to be a movie producer? More specifically, what exactly does a movie producer do?

In the podcast below, movie producer and CEO of Oddlot Entertainment, Gigi Pritzker, joins me in the WGN Studios. Over Beet Bruschetta with black kale, smoked pecans, red onions, and whipped...

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Vanessa Carlton Talks About Her Newest Album, Liberman

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2015 | 6:28 PM

Imagine starting out as a singer-songwriter and the first song you put out commercially goes to the top five and you have a Grammy nomination for Best Song of the Year.

Such was the case for singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton. She was signed to A&M records by the incredible age...

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Rookie Founder Tavi Gevison on Feminism and Facing Your Fears

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 10:50 AM

Before there was Lenny Letter and the show, Girls, on HBO, there was Rookie magazine, the online publication geared towards teenage girls about love, life, friends, fashion and pop culture founded by Tavi Gevinson. Giving high school women a voice and the encouragement to embrace their questions, fears...

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Actor Michael Shannon on Chicago Theater

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2015 | 1:27 PM

Ever wonder what your life might have been like if you dropped out of high school? Well, for actor Michael Shannon, it put him on the path to being nominated for an Academy Award by the age of 34.

Shannon was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting...

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Wrigley Scoreboard Operator, Darryl Wilson and Hot Doug's, Doug Sohn, Dish on Life at Wrigley

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 1:19 PM

I am fascinated with the scoreboard at Wrigley Field. It is made of sheet steel, as are the numbers that are manually adjusted by operator Darryl Willson to reflect the scores of the games going on at any one time in the National and American Leagues during Cubs baseball games....

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David Baldacci's Never-Ending Love of Writing

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 6:17 PM

David Baldacci has to be one of the most prolific writers writing today. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. Including his book coming out next month, David has published 36 novels for adults...

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Want To Feel Good? Gratitude Might Just Be the Answer

(1) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 12:08 PM

According to a national study on gratitude, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, it seems that 94% of Americans believe that people who are grateful are more fulfilled and lead a richer life, but less than half of us express gratitude on a regular basis. That makes no sense! Particularly...

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Nate Bargatze: Clean-Cut and Funny

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 4:19 PM

You may not know his name yet... but you will. Nate Bargatze is gaining audiences in the comedy world for his rare kind of funny: the clean-cut kind!

With surely more to come, Nate has already had two specials on Comedy Central Presents, and has appeared multiple...

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Famed Rock 'N' Roll Photographers Tell Their Stories

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 11:25 AM

What does it really mean to party like a rock star?

On The Dinner Party podcast, I turned the WGN Radio A1 studio into a British pub to welcome Pattie Boyd (photographer, author and first wife to both George Harrison and Eric Clapton), Carinthia West (Rolling Stones...

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Falls Kicks Off With an Incredible Visual Arts Lineup

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2015 | 2:44 PM

Fall is always culturally rich in Chicago. However, beginning September 14, the city comes alive with an unprecedented lineup of nationally interesting exhibits and performances centered around the visual arts. Many of these are curated by or connected to the fourth annual Expo Chicago, the international exposition of...

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What It Means To Be Authentic: Chef Michael Taus

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 10:17 AM

I often wonder what is more important to chefs these days. Is it the food or is it stardom?

With the proliferation of food festivals, social media blitzes and reality TV deals, it seems that being a celebrity might be the highest priority. However, with Chef Micheal Taus of

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Chicago's State of Culinary Affairs

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 11:01 AM

Something new took place at Taste of Chicago this year. In the city's on-going efforts to promote our stellar foodie community, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events put on the Food For Thought Podcasts tent, designed to stimulate on-going communication regarding the Chicago foodie scene through...

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Gloria and Emilio Estefan's "On Your Feet" Renews Faith in the American Dream

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 10:43 AM

On Your Feet!, the musical of the life and music of Gloria and Emilio Estefan now playing at the Oriental Theatre through July 5, reminds me of one of my favorite lessons: You are never going to be any better than yourself. And the moment you change who...

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Brad Whitford of Aerosmith in Conversation With His Son, Zack Whitford, Photographer for the Band

(2) Comments | Posted June 11, 2015 | 10:54 AM

When one prepares to sit down with a rock star, one imagines that there is going to be a lot of ego, flightiness, and bling going on. When I sat down with Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford, noted as one of the 100 greatest guitar players of all time by Guitar...

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Mark Ruffalo Talks Openly on the Gene Siskel Film Center Red Carpet

(1) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 10:59 AM

The Gene Siskel Film Center (GSFC) of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a beacon in the film industry for more than 40 years. Formerly the Film Center of the SAIC, it was renamed after the late film critic in 2000 and has maintained its...

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The Creative Surprise of Acanto's Chef Gawronski

(1) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 11:17 AM

Humble, unassuming, low-key: these are all words that would describe Chef Chris Gawronski of Acanto. Flying gently under the radar of Chicago's culinary media frenzy, Chef Gawronski is more action than talk, more talent than flash.

To my delightful surprise, when I filmed Chef Gawronski for the...

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Party Like a Rock Star? No, Party Like a Chef! The James Beard Awards in Chicago

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 10:51 AM

The waiting seemed to go on forever, but it finally happened. The James Beard Awards, celebrating its 25th year, came to Chicago on May 4, granting the Chicago culinary community the national recognition it has long deserved.

With gobs of pre and post parties, the core festivities for the...

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Grant Achatz: The Search for the Impossible

(2) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 6:01 PM

In his search for the impossible in the restaurant world, Chef Grant Achatz continually draws international attention to the Chicago culinary scene. His restaurant, Alinea, currently ranked 9th in the world on the 2014 list of the 50 Best Restaurants, has made even the most cynical on the...

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Chef Homaro Cantu: Creative Genius and Giver of Gifts

(1) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 3:11 PM

Chef Homaro (Omar) Cantu said yes to everything. He was a believer in possibilities, in people, in change. An inventor, a creative genius and a leader in molecular gastronomy, as well as a Michelin-starred chef, Cantu believed that one person with one idea could change the world, and he moved...

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