Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

LUSH West Town
1412 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642

The original gypsy brewer, Brian Strumke, popped in to LUSH West Town for an impromptu tasting of his Stillwater Artisanal Ales.  Based in Baltimore, Maryland, this rockin’ beer dude makes beer all over the world.  He has paired up with 12% Imports, headed by Brian Ewing, to form a most dynamic duo.  Alas, no brewery.  But, no problem.  Following suit to Mikkeller ‘in’ Denmark, Stillwater beer is crafted on borrowed time with borrowed space in breweries far flung.  It is about good beer. And good relationships. And beer.

We tasted American. English. And Belgian style brewing.  Beautiful (and creepy) labels catch the eye. The rest happens in the bottle, in the glass, and with friends.  It is all about collaboration. So, join LUSH and Mister Strumke for an epic evening of beer…swing by to check it out. More special, whimsical, gypsy ales jumping onto the shelves soon.

jip-sē brü-ər
modus operandi:
‘A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.’ -Sir William Dobell

‘The goal of Stillwater Artisanal is just that, living art. Although packaged within a medium often overlooked for its artistic merits, our desire is to offer something new and intriguing. We present more than just a fine crafted beverage, rather an occasion that evokes an emotion and inspires contemplation. For art is not a sum of actions but rather an approach to life. We draw our inspiration from the world around us, whether that be a season, location, or even humanity itself. Our intent is to encapsulate this muse exhibiting an artistic rendition to the best of our abilities.’  –

LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Joncarl Lachman

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Ten Questions With…

Joncarl Lachman

Chef/Owner, Home Bistro and Vincent

One of our favorite people in the world, Joncarl Lachman is currently the Chef/Owner of Home Bistro (HB), a unassuming but altogether spectacular BYOB in Boystown. Opening Vincent in Andersonville next week, Joncarl is making his mark on Chicago; there is great anticipation of this American/Dutch inspired spot. We at LUSH cannot wait, and we wish the bubbly and Burgundy-loving Joncarl the best of luck with his new endeavor!

1) What is the best thing you’ve drank in the last week? What about in the last year?

Best thing I drank, this week.—being the chef of a BYOB with lots of very friendly regulars (Jane [manager at LUSH, ed.] included), who are aware of my Champagne addiction, I am very well treated!!!…This week alone I got tastes of a ’95 Dom Perignon rose (from a group of lovely ladies from the green city market) and a demi of a delicious KRUG!
This year—another regular brought in a bottle of “OUDE TWAALF JENEVER”…a fantastic aged Jenever from Holland…don’t get me started in this!!!! YUM!!!

2) What do you think is the most underrated grape varietal or region? Overrated?

Overrated region…Bordeaux

3) Who are your favorite food and wine writers?

JodyRobbins as been a great friend to HB…
I am also a big fan of Anthony Bourdain’s approach to food.

4) What are your three favorite food cities?

AMSTERDAM…great street food…frites, herring, febo…plus the best Indonesian cuisine.
PHILADELPHIA…again, great street food…pretzels, water ice…and the best BYOB city in the country.
SINGAPORE…again with the street food….I had a fish ball soup that changed my life!!!

5) Top three restaurants you revisit all the time in Chicago?

Svea, for breakfast.
Taste of Peru….delcious byob in Rogers Park.
Avec…when I have some $ in my pocket…I always spend so much money there.

6) What is your most memorable dining or drinking experience?

Eating paella seaside, in Majorca with a group of good friends.

7) Between wine, beer, and spirits – when do you reach for each? If you HAD to do without one, which would it be?

Hands down I love my grape…wine, especially sparkling, is what I reach for….
If I had to go without one…I would probably chose beer….because going through life without tequila seems highly unfortunate.

8) What is the best thing about your job?

The wonderful support that we get from our regular guests at HB.

9) If you had to describe yourself as a certain wine, what would it be? (i.e. Australian Shiraz – spicy, bold, and seductive. German Riesling – sometimes sweet (but hard to predict if it will be), elegant, and requiring of patience.)

I am sparkling!

10) You’re on death row (sorry). What’s your final meal?

A  huge bowl of steaming cherrystone clams, with lots of crusty bread.

LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Ms. Jane

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Ten Questions With…
Jane Lopes
Manager, LUSH Roscoe Village

A native of sunny California, Jane grew up virtually surrounded by the vineyards of the Bay Area and exposed to the culture of eating, drinking, and breathing wine earlier in life than many of the Lushies, which may help to explain her deep-seated passion for all things fermented. The moment she walked into the shop for an interview, decked out with electric orange, rubber robot earrings dangling beneath her flaming locks, we knew she was meant for LUSH. In the precious few moments when not running the show as manager and wine buyer at LUSH in Roscoe Village, Jane’s [also tall & redheaded] doppelganger can be found slangin’ classic cocktails at the Violet Hour one night each week. Ms. Jane has an ingrained knack for discerning obscure nuances and flavors, as well as a gift for creating amazingly quirky flavor combinations and innovative, classically inspired cocktail recipes. Like both Rachel and Erin, curiously enough, Jane is also a University of Chicago graduate, rounding out the three stores’ trifecta of innate, total geekiness. Word on the street is that she harbors a literary nerd deep within, and may or may not have been a notoriously clever Shakespeare scholar while in school. True to her alma mater, Jane will happily get down and dirty and all educational with you over whatever wine or spirit about which your little heart desires to learn. (more…)

LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Ms. Erin

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Thanks for agreeing to be a part of the Lush Wine and Spirits blog. Please answer the following questions in whatever way you see fit. We want your voice, personality, and opinions to come through!

BIO (penned by the ever-lovely Rachel Driver, LUSH general manager): On the streets of Philadelphia, born and raised, Ms. Erin Drain now spends most of her days slinging wine at LUSH in University Village or pounding the streets of Pilsen exploring the good eats and fun times to be had in the ‘hood.  Surly, but sweet, Erin is super passionate about the business of wine drinking and education, the preparation and consumption of delicious eats, and creating a fun and exciting vibe at LUSH.  With a penchant for big knives and chopping veggies, drinking and researching wild brews, concocting quirky cocktails, and sipping on dirty, earthy, and mysterious wines, this lady is quite the imbibing enthusiast.  She is on a mission to teach you a thing or two about fermented beverages and the craft of wine, as well as challenge you to try something new and unusual.  Erin is the life of the party at LUSH on Halsted, with street smarts and general savvy.  Trained as a linguistic anthropologist, Erin has traveled far and away, picking up a colorful palette of experience, flavors, and weird booze along the way.  She brings a bit of grrr and no-nonsense wine geek to the shop.  Swing by LUSH to visit her, sip on free samples, and perhaps catch a glimpse of her new rescue pup, Kedzie.


LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Carl Sutton

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

10 Questions with

CARL SUTTON, Winemaker

BIO:  Please refer to our prior blog about Carl Sutton for a full bio.  Love him!

INTERVIEW:  Thanks for agreeing to be a part of the Lush Wine & Spirits blog. Please answer the following questions in whatever way you see fit. We want your voice, personality, and opinions to come through!


LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Lily D.

Friday, May 29th, 2009

 Ten Questions With…

Ms. Lynn Dakulous

Lush staff member, and soon to be Doctor of Medicine


BIO:  Ms. Lynn, wine-lover, snowboarder extraordinare, and soon to be fabulous medical student has been a LUSH for a little over 2 years.  Formally a manager of the great Spiaggia, her knowledge and love of wine has taken her on many adventures, most recently to Oregon.  The Wall Street Journal has also shown love to Ms. Lynn, honoring her wine and food pairing advice with an excerpt in a national article, alongside her very own pencil-sketched portrait  featured in their wine section!  While she will be leaving Lush to pursue becoming the most wonderful doctor ever, she will always have a place in our hearts, a stool at the bar, and a full glass at the ready.  She is one tough, sassy lush lady that will be dearly missed by local customers in the ‘hood, as well as her Lush friends!


LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Rob Salitore

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Ten Questions With…


BIO: Rob is a long time supporter of LUSH, actually one of our first customers!  Although he works mainly in construction, Rob’s latent talent is developing deep friendships and creating a growing appreciate for sharing moments, and sips, with amazing people.  He also has phenomenal connections in the beer and wine world.  On his ‘off’ time, Rob represents Linne Calodo wines in Chicago.    This is one cool guy.


LUSH Interview: 10 questions with Chuck Sudo

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Chuck Sudo
Chicagoist Food and Drink Editor

BIO: Chuck Sudo is a modern day renaissance man[-about-town]. A Chicago native and an early supporter of LUSH, he can also be found checking out brews at the area’s greatest bars, as well as hanging around Bridgeport with his pooch, Emmylou Harris. Fact: One time, former LUSH on Halsted manager Lance’s dog, Jip, once attempted to ‘romance’ Emmylou outside the Bridgeport Coffee Company. She was, uh, less than responsive. Chuck’s got his finger on the pulse of Chicago’s eating and drinking news, and can either be found writing for Chicagoist, his personal blog Bridgeport Seasoning, or roaming the city in spandex. He insists it’s for optimal bike riding but we think he just enjoys the stretchy. Always one step ahead of the next food trend and a fellow supporter of pork products, we’re proud to have him as a LUSH enthusiast, kindred spirit, and fellow South Sider.


LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Efrain Cuevas

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Clandestino Dining
All over Chicagoland

BIO: Efrain Cuevas is one of LUSH on Halsted’s neighbors, and lives right down the street from LUSH Lady Erin, which makes him even more awesome. We first met him slangin’ BBQ with the Honky Tonk crew over the summer in various spots, and have been dying to get in on his Clandestino dinner parties ever since. Originally from Aurora, IL, Efrain has a strong background in all things food. His Mexican family’s cooking inspired him from an early age, and experience tending to–and even slaughtering–farm animals for food was part of his childhood, and it influences his cooking today. Playful and fun, but grounded in a deep respect for farmers and the sourcing of food, Efrain’s style is in tune with the current local food movement. LUSH is so happy to have collaborated with him recently, and we look forward to rockin’ it out with him this summer.


LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Fernando Beteta

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

LUSH Interview, 10 Questions with…

Fernando Beteta,

Sommelier and Manager of NoMi at the Park Hyatt

At the Park Hyatt Hotel
800 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 239-4030

BIO: So, this kid knows a thing or two about wine…and food. When Fernando speaks of his mom’s cooking, he is evoking the essence of real freakin’ authentic Guatemalan food. But, he has traveled extensively, sampling language, culture, food and beverage from the east and west, as well as the middle, up and down. Mr. Beteta is graced with an advanced palate, a good nose, and a charming personality. His wine and menu pairing is quite lovely and he is absolutely adept at pulling off such a prestigious and demanding position at NoMi. Fernando has dashing good looks and a rockin’ collection of awards, including 3 editions of ‘Best Young Sommelier Midwest’ by L’Ordre Mondial Des Gourmets Degustateurs Chaine Des Rotisseurs and is officially a ‘Rising Star’, although we think his star quite high enough at the moment. Wanna meet us at NoMi for a glass of wine?