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Elysabeth Alfano

Renee Fleming on Life as a Cross-Over Opera Diva

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 11.20.2015 | Arts
Elysabeth Alfano

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 ...

Movie Producer, Gigi Pritzker, Dishes on the Movie Biz

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 11.13.2015 | Entertainment
Elysabeth Alfano

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

Vanessa Carlton Talks About Her Newest Album, Liberman

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 11.06.2015 | Entertainment
Elysabeth Alfano

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.

Rookie Founder Tavi Gevison on Feminism and Facing Your Fears

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 11.03.2015 | Books
Elysabeth Alfano

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.

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

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 10.21.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

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.

Want To Feel Good? Gratitude Might Just Be the Answer

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 10.08.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

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.

Nate Bargatze: Clean-Cut and Funny

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 10.02.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

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!

Famed Rock 'N' Roll Photographers Tell Their Stories

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 09.23.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

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 Pat...

Chicago's State of Culinary Affairs

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 07.15.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

You may pick up a few tips for scoring your favorite food from your favorite chef and how being extra nice to a restaurant's executive chef and staff might be the brownie points you've been hoping for.

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

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 06.11.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

When I sat down with Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford, noted as one of the 100 greatest guitar players of all time by Guitar World book, and his son, Zack Whitford, official photographer for the band, my experience with them couldn't have been more opposite than my expectations.

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

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 06.10.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

From the red carpet, minutes before the ceremony, an understated, thoughtful and genuinely approachable, Ruffalo credited his Catholic upbringing for his progressive thinking and support for the underdog.

The Creative Surprise of Acanto's Chef Gawronski

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 05.27.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

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.

Chicago's Most Jovial Chef: Guillermo Tellez of Tippling Hall

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 02.10.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

Things can get dicey in the hot, tiny, bustling quarters of a kitchen, of course, even for the kindest of chefs.

What Makes an Institution? Restauranteurs Keene and Megan Addington Discuss Some of Chicago's Greatest

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 04.01.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

Elaine's in New York. La Coupole in Paris. The Pump Room in Chicago. What does it take to be an institution? In business school, I was taught that you never move forward with the business that you want. You move forward with the business for which there is demand.

Hollywood Director, Cathryn Michon, Discusses Her New Movie, "Muffin Top: A Love Story"

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 03.22.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

It is remarkable and commendable that Michon put her labor of love, Muffin Top, together on the smallest of budgets with the smallest of crews, and yet the film overlooks no detail. The result is a film that looks like it was made for 10 times the budget.

The Bristol's Strength: The Chef Chris Pandel Difference

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 01.20.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

Filming in Chris Pandel's kitchen at The Bristol for the upcoming Dinner Party was just plain fun. Relaxed and unassuming, Pandel just might be one of...

Actor John Mahoney Hosts the Auditorium Theatre's 125th Gala Celebration

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 01.19.2015 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

We are our history, are we not? On December 9, the Auditorium Theatre celebrates its 125th Anniversary with a gala dinner and star-studded performance, hosted by actor, John Mahoney. Looking back, what kind of city would Chicago be if it didn't have the Auditorium Theatre?

Tea and Conversation with Smashing Pumpkins Frontman, Billy Corgan

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 11.26.2014 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

Contrary to most things that I have read or seen, the Billy Corgan I encountered on September 17th was warm, personable, and very thoughtful. It was clear he had spent a lot of time thinking about counter-culture and its mass expectation biases on established art and celebrities.

Chef Jeff Mauro and Singer Phillip Phillips at the Food Network in Concert

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 11.23.2014 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

In a very fun and off-the-cuff interview, I met with funny man, Jeff Mauro, host of "The Sandwich King" and "The Kitchen," and Phillip Phillips whose platinum album, "The World from the Side of the Moon" sold 9 Million copies after he won the 11th season of American Idol.

Giuliana and Bill Rancic and Chef Psaltis Discuss Their Newest Venture, RPM Steak

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 10.19.2014 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

Something we often discuss on The Dinner Party is what makes a successful restaurant. Owning a restaurant is tricky business, with restaurants opening and closing like automated doors

Charlie Trotter Day Is August 17

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 10.07.2014 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

I am grateful to have been affected by the passion and drive that was Charlie Trotter. As his sister Anne noted during the memorial service last year, Charlie felt that "If you are willing to work hard enough, no obstacle is too big to overcome."

Belly Up to Trenchermen Bar With Famed Actor George Wendt

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 10.05.2014 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

Fame is a very funny thing. Some people become completely inaccessible and others remain totally unchanged. This was the feeling I had when famed actor George Wendt.

Interview on the Red Carpet With Woody Allen

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 09.22.2014 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

I was honored to speak with him about his mélange of beauty and sorrow, hope and despair, joy and cruelty, and found him to be incredibly unassuming and vulnerable, answering honestly and candidly about his strengths as an artist.

The Subtle Exuberance of Sepia Chef, Andrew Zimmerman

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 09.06.2014 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

In the back of Sepia Restaurant, tucked away in the kitchen, has to be one of the most levelheaded chefs in Chicago. There, amidst a bustling 11:30 am...

Academy Award Winner Kevin Kline on the Chicago International Film Festival Summer Gala Red Carpet

Elysabeth Alfano | Posted 09.01.2014 | Chicago
Elysabeth Alfano

It was a star-studded evening last Saturday night in Chicago as Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival - celebrating its 50th anni...