By Kristina Vanni, Food & Recipes Contributor and Better Homes and Gardens BetterRecipes.com editor
Welcome to 2011 Floored! readers My fellow contributing bloggers and I have so much in store for the new year. From the 2011 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show Hot Chef Challenge to the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event Star of the Bar competition, to NRA Show 2011 and IWSB news, information and updates here on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. There is something new every week here at Floored!
It has become something of a tradition I contribute a New Year's story to Floored! Chicago has so much to offer and it is always a pleasure to share some of the adventures with you!
This year I was lucky enough to ring in 2011 at the incomparable Peninsula Hotel in Chicago. It is not only the ideal location to ring in the New Year, but Chicago's premiere hotel to enjoy year-round, including during the National Restaurant Association's NRA Show and IWSB.
The cuisine at The Peninsula is on par with trends forecasted for 2011 by the National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot" Survey. Avenues prides itself on menu items with ingredients that are 80% sustainable and utilizes over 120 vendors to source organic and local products whenever possible. In addition, their "Naturally Peninsula" philosophy offers menu items throughout the hotel to introduce lighter and healthier dining options. It is available to guests of all ages, and we know from the association's survey nutritionally balanced children's dishes will be important to diners across America in 2011.
When enjoying Afternoon Tea, guests select from traditional, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free high tea menus. The hotel can accommodate anyone with special diets or food allergies and provides nutritional information on several of their menus.
I enjoyed every moment from the close of 2010 to the beginning for 2011 during my stay at The Peninsula Chicago. I can't wait to enjoy the patio this summer outside Shanghai Terrace, or sample the seasonal tasting menus from Avenues as it evolves throughout the year, and I think I will have to come back soon for the weekend Chocolate Buffet. One night is simply not enough to thoroughly enjoy everything the Peninsula has to offer!
For more information about the NRA Show and IWSB and to register and save with early bird registration, visit www.restaurant.org/show or www.winespiritsbeer.org. Visit NRA Show Official Housing for hotel and travel discounts. I look forward to seeing you in Chicago in May!