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WTTW Press Room

For Immediate Release

November 6, 2007


Premieres Tuesday, November 27 at 7:30 p.m. with a replay to follow directly

Chicago, IL – If you are what you eat, what can we Chicagoans learn about ourselves from the food on our plates? Geoffrey Baer, WTTW11's well-known on-air host, tastes his way through Chicago history, explores the contributions of different ethnic groups, the origins of traditional Chicago favorites, and takes a look behind-the-scenes at local culinary creations – from the home kitchen to massive factory production. Written and produced by Dan Protess, The Foods of Chicago: A Delicious History debuts in high-definition on Tuesday, November 27 at 7:30 pm on WTTW11.

The Foods of Chicago: A Delicious History may be a departure in subject from Geoffrey Baer's highly-successful multi-part series of specials exploring the regions around Chicago, but it brings the same humor, energy, stunning visuals and storytelling that have made Baer-hosted documentaries some of WTTW11’s most popular original productions.

"I wanted this show to be a celebration of Chicago's cultural diversity, because I think that's what makes this such a terrific place to live. And I really couldn't think of a better window into Chicago's diverse communities than food," says writer/producer Dan Protess. "Our timing for this show could not have been better – it's airing at a time when the rest of the world is finally coming to realize what we Chicagoans have known all along: that this is a great place to eat."

The Foods of Chicago: A Delicious History

Shot over the summer of 2007 in high-definition, The Foods of Chicago: A Delicious History brought the crew to a tremendous number of locations in and around Chicago, including:
- Chicago's New Maxwell Street Market
- Sushi night at a Kosher Italian restaurant
- The birthplace of the Puerto Rican sandwich made with plantains called the Jibarito
- A walking tour of Pilsen with Chef Dudley Nieto
- Soul food at a West Side Church
- Azteca Foods, Tootsie Roll, the Berghoff, the Brauhaus, Bobak's Sausage, Jay's Potato Chips, The Billy Goat Tavern, a true Chicago steakhouse and a Lebanese pita bread factory
- The kitchens of home cooks keeping culinary traditions alive for the next generation

The documentary also tells the story of the Chicago-style hot dog, Al Capone's taste for snack food, Italian Beef, deep dish Pizza and other Chicago originals – flaming Saganaki, the cafeteria, the brownie and Chicken Vesuvio. (Yes, those were invented – or at least named – in Chicago.) "I ate, I learned, I ate, I laughed," said host Geoffrey Baer. "This program really brought home for me the importance of our unique culinary heritage and food customs, and how understanding them allows us to better understand each other."

The Foods Of Chicago: A Delicious History is an original production of WTTW11. Writer and producer is Dan Protess, host is Geoffrey Baer, associate producer and researcher is Susan Godfrey, associate producer is Kathleen Singleton, executive producer is VJ McAleer. More information about this production and all of WTTW11's programming is available at www.wttw.com.

WTTW11 Contact
Holly H. Gilson
Director, Corporate Communication
(773) 509-5424

WTTW11 Contact
Julia Maish
(773) 509-5551

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