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The 2017 Aspen Food and Wine Classic Celebrates 35 Years of Food Festival Success

The 2017 Aspen Food and Wine Classic Celebrates 35 Years of Food Festival Success



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No doubt about it, when it comes to food festivals, the Aspen Food and Wine Classic is the granddaddy of them all. On game day, the event holds all the pomp and grandeur of a major sporting event as thousands of culinary aficionados descend upon Aspen. They come by car, plane, bike, and even by foot, all hoping to sample great wines and food and learn about the latest trends in the culinary arts from the world’s leading experts.

The festival celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, and the festival’s various events were held in pavilions throughout town. Main stage events were at Wagner Park in the heart of the city. There, visitors sampled some of the finest wines, spirits, and food from 300 wine and lifestyle brand vendors, who came from all over the country — and in some cases, the world — to share.

Some of the industry brands represented were All-Clad Metalcrafters (makers of the LTD Cookware Collection), KitchenAid, SproutsIO Personal Produce, and VerTerra Dinnerware.

Attendees browsed the Grand Tasting Pavilion, sampling wines from 165 different exhibitors, including the Wines from Spain trade group as well as spirits like Woodford Reserve, Patrón, and Monkey 47 Gin.

Of course, food was well represented, with cheese and bread stations spread throughout the pavilion. Other areas included a Best New Chef section with selections from up-and-coming chefs and familiar brands including Kerrygold, Sterling Caviar, and Virginia Cocktail Peanuts. Another notable crowd-pleaser was Delysia Chocolatier from Austin. Industrial engineer turned chef and chocolatier Nicole Patel provided samples of her handmade Parisian-style confections. Delysia was named one of the Top 10 Chocolatiers in the Americas.

Seminars and demonstrations (more than 80) also took place, including a panel discussion about changing culinary landscapes led by acclaimed chef Andrew Zimmern and part of the American Express Restaurant Trade Program.

Other presentations included Northern Italy’s Greatest Whites, American Raw Milk Cheeses, In the Kitchen with Top Chef Brooke Williamson, and Remarkable Rioja.

Accommodations for the Food and Wine Classic fill up quickly, so making reservations well in advance is recommended. The Little Nell is the perfect base for exploring the festival as it is within walking distance of all of the events. It is a five-star, five-diamond hotel, and the experience here is pure luxury to unwind after the busy days.

The Little Nell is also very proud of its culinary program, which includes producing about 75 percent of its own produce from the Emma Gardens for a true farm-to-table experience. For steaks and burgers, the meat is sourced from a ranch in Craig, Colorado, which raises 150 head of wagyu cattle. Finally, the Little Nell has an extensive wine program with 20,000 bottles of wine and about 50 sommeliers to help guide you to the best pairings.

Aspen’s Food and Wine Classic is the ultimate food and wine experience. If you are looking for your next palate-pleasing extravaganza, then start planning now for next year’s festival.


Past Chef’s Hall of Fame Events

Chef Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.

Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.

In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.

Fred Hoffmann

Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”

As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.

Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.

During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.

Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.

Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.


Past Chef’s Hall of Fame Events

Chef Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.

Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.

In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.

Fred Hoffmann

Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”

As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.

Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.

During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.

Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.

Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.


Past Chef’s Hall of Fame Events

Chef Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.

Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.

In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.

Fred Hoffmann

Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”

As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.

Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.

During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.

Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.

Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.


Past Chef’s Hall of Fame Events

Chef Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.

Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.

In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.

Fred Hoffmann

Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”

As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.

Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.

During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.

Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.

Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.


Past Chef’s Hall of Fame Events

Chef Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.

Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.

In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.

Fred Hoffmann

Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”

As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.

Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.

During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.

Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.

Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.


Past Chef’s Hall of Fame Events

Chef Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.

Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.

In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.

Fred Hoffmann

Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”

As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.

Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.

During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.

Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.

Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.


Past Chef’s Hall of Fame Events

Chef Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.

Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.

In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.

Fred Hoffmann

Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”

As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.

Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.

During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.

Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.

Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.


Past Chef’s Hall of Fame Events

Chef Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.

Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.

In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.

Fred Hoffmann

Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”

As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.

Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.

During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.

Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.

Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.


Past Chef’s Hall of Fame Events

Chef Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.

Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.

In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.

Fred Hoffmann

Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”

As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.

Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.

During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.

Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.

Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.


Past Chef’s Hall of Fame Events

Chef Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal opened HotChocolate Restaurant in 2005 after years of dedication to her craft and working in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including, Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving 5 nominations in previous years.

Her best selling cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in the Spring of 2015.

In 2016, Mindy partnered with Cresco Labs, Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator. She is now giving back to those suffering from chronic conditions by reinventing the cannabis-infused sweets industry with her new product line. For more information please visit www.mindysedibles.com

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times.

Fred Hoffmann

Fred Hoffmann has owned and operated some of the largest and most successful restaurant and nightlife properties in the Chicago area for over four decades. Starting with a single neighborhood bar on North Avenue in Chicago, Fred built the Snuggery group of 7 locations in the 1970s and 80’s. The Snuggerys perfected the concept of a bar/restaurant, which was not only for quality dining but dancing and socializing all night long. The Snuggerys came to symbolize Chicago nightlife through the 1980s, hosting celebrities, major media events, corporate and private parties. Mr. Hoffmann’s pioneering use of music videos and technology landed the Snuggery in a Time Magazine cover story. There was even an annual outdoor music festival: “SnugFest.”

As the 80s drew to a close, Fred purchased the landmark Chicago Historical Society building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The building had housed the Limelight Nightclub for the prior 3 years. At the time, River North was an un-gentrified neighborhood of artists lofts and commercial buildings, with a smattering of restaurants and bars. After a multi-million dollar remodeling Excalibur opened in October of 1989 as a massive 30,000 square foot entertainment complex, containing multiple nightclubs. As River North grew into Chicago’s premiere dining and entertainment district, Excalibur reigned for 25 years as the largest and most successful Chicago nightlife destination, and the largest non-hotel private event facility in the City. At Excalibur, Mr. Hoffmann continued to attract celebrities and news making events. Excalibur hosted all of the official Chicago Bulls Championship Parties throughout the 90s, and scores of marquee entertainers including Prince, who performed at the club in 1999 and frequently visited in the years to follow. Prince gifted Excalibur with a custom purple felt covered pool table in thanks for the hospitality over the years.

Always ready to experiment and update, in the 90’s Mr. Hoffmann re-invented all the Snuggerys as updated concepts, melding elements including a wide range of dining trends, live music, exclusive “velvet rope” lounges, video, sports bars and unique amenities for public spaces, including two restaurants inside Chicago’s Union Station. The A-List performers at his nightclubs in the 2000’s included Lady GaGa, Bruno Mars, Paul Oakenfold, Michael Bolton and dozens of other marquee names.

During this period, Mr. Hoffmann developed Moretti’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, which currently has eight locations with two more currently under construction. This fast growing restaurant concept offers a full Italian menu for dine in, delivery, take out, catering and private events, as well as large bars with full video coverage for sports viewing, and large outdoor patios.

Fred Hoffmann and his son Mark currently own and operate 19 hospitality locations in the Chicago area, with several more in development. Fred’s younger son Dean is completing his education and will be joining the family business as well.

Mr. Hoffmann is also an active commercial real estate developer, having owned most of the buildings housing his restaurants over the years. He operates Hoffmann Development Group which builds multi-use projects across the Chicago area.


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