Delicious DIRT. Opening

Inside: Union Sushi & Barbeque Bar, D.C. Crenshaw, Brandon Baltzley, Ari Bendersky, Mike Schatzman, Worachai Thapthimkuna (Chao), Cheeky Chicago, James Goeke, Elevate Your Presence, Delicious DIRT, Food Mafia

Courtesy of Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar

We know you’ve been DYING to see the DIRT team’s pictures from Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar‘s Opening party… Here you go folks.   Congrats to friends Mike + Chao on a stellar space, divine unique cuisine (do not miss the Devon roll) and an overall awesome newbie resto!  Post will be updated with details + all our JUICE from the event.  For now –>  Wet. Your. Palate.


Union Co-Owner Mike Schatzman + Union Mixologist Quade Marshall @ Union

Opening signs @ Union

Chef Brandon Baltzley

Pure Deliciousness @ Union = Old City Market roll (inside): spicy tuna, seared salmon, spicy panzu, cilantro, green onion + fried okra. Plus our personal FAVE of the night: Devon roll (outside): sweet potato, curry mayo, chive and pickled radish. Divine Devon!

Executive Chef + Co- Owner of Union Chao w/ Scallop Roll

Hokkaido roll: grilled scallop, avocado, mayo, roasted pepper, jalapeno, @ Union

James Goeke & D.C. Crenshaw @ Union

Executive Chef Chao & Executive Chef Brandon Baltzley @ Union Party

D.C. Crenshaw Enjoying Union's Skewers

Going Going... Almost Gone! Union's chicken skewer + fish cake skewer with Wisconsin pepper jack cheese = surprisingly tasty.

Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar @ 230 W. Erie St.

Delicious DIRT. Interview

Inside: Potenza Productions, Curtis Duffy, Brandon Baltzley, Michael Kornick, Giuseppe Tentori, D.C. Crenshaw, Chicago Cut, Fish Bar, Jackie Shen, Food Mafia, Elevate Your Presence, Delicious DIRT

You watched it, you loved it, you wanted it. Thanks to Potenza, our Food Mafia launch video is an absolute hit!  We KNOW Ebert would give it 4 stars **** aka 5 stars in the resto world for all you food nerds!  From the first minute we saw Potenza’s clips, we were hooked. The day we began working with them, well, let’s simply say, could not have been better!

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Delicious DIRT. Food Mafia Launch Video –> LIVE!

Video speaks a million words!   You waited patiently and now it is HERE!   The Food Mafia launch video is now live!  Thank you to all our lovely chefs / owners + Potenza Productions!

Food Mafia Launch Video from Elevate Your Presence on Vimeo.


Chef Michael Kornick — Chef and Partner of mk, DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar, N9NE
Curtis Duffy — Executive Chef of Avenues
Boka Group‘s Kevin Boehm + Rob Katz — Owners of Girl & Goat, GT Fish & Oyster, Perennial Virant, Landmark, Boka
Chef Giuseppe Tentori — Executive Chef at GT Fish & Oyster, Boka
Brandon Baltzley — Executive Chef at Tribute Restaurant
D.C. Crenshaw — Food Critic
Hubie Greenwald — owner of The Motel Bar
Dion AnticThe Bagel on Damen, Porkchop, Harry’s Velvet Room
Jackie Shen — Executive Chef of Chicago Cut Steakhouse
David Morton — partner at DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar
Mike Gierdon — Chef at FishBar
Stacy Johnson — Founder and CEO, Food Mafia, Inc.

More information –> Food Mafia. Check Food Mafia on Eater and Thrillist.

Food Mafia Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York to launch in the coming months!  Get your fork on!   So much #DeliciousDIRT, so little time…

Food Mafia Launches Exclusive Member Based Restaurant Recommendation Website

Local Eateries Gain Exposure Through Food Insiders; Consumers Learn Best Of In Each City

CHICAGO, IL – March 25, 2011 – –   Food Mafia is thrilled to announce the launch of its website – THE exclusive online destination for food fanatics.   Chicago Food Mafia, the first of many city-centric Food Mafia communities to launch, is the most interactive user-friendly restaurant review site in existence. Users will find this member-based site a scrumptious eatery reference system integrating technology and food. Content is user-generated through Food Mafia members- a community of premiere chefs (ie, Michael Kornick), restaurant owners (ie, Michael Kornick, Kevin Boehm, Curtis Duffy, Jason Freiman), sommeliers, bloggers, industry professionals (ie, George Motz, D.C. Crenshaw), cuisine obsessives and more.

In a world of anonymous reviews, it has become increasingly difficult to find credible recommendations. “Because tastes are subjective, I created Food Mafia to provide users with insight from like minded food lovers,” said Stacy Johnson, CEO/Founder of Food Mafia, Inc. “Food Mafia is a real time social media restaurant guidebook, piloting in Chicago.  I wanted to create a quick easy way to find and give great recommendations for restaurants that are unique to each city.  Food Mafia is the solution,” Stacy explained.

The distinctive site is exquisite, giving consumers luscious Feeds straight from the kitchens of their favorite local culinary personalities and cuisine insiders.  Food Mafia organizes and curates the hottest restaurant suggestions, culinary events, sweet deals and news all generated by food insiders and juicy blogs (ie, Delicious DIRT).

  • Food Mafia supports local by allowing users to sort by local only establishments.
  • Food Mafia gives chefs the opportunity to create a more personal connection with consumers, promote their own restaurants, and share their favorites.
  • Food Mafia features, Feeds such as Delicious DIRT, keep readers up to date on the latest tidbits and culinary happenings through social networking/ blogging integration, food news aggregation, sexy deals and hot events.
  • Food Mafia has the scoop on where and what to eat, pricing, and how the cuisine actually tastes. The Mafia Meter allows users to find exactly what they’re on the hunt for with integrative search options such as sorting restaurant searches by member recommendations.

Visit Food Mafia at and get the Delicious DIRT from your city’s food scene.

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Press / Media Contact:
Molly Bett Kovler
Elevate Your Presence, LLC


I have to tell you loyal followers how fabulous tonight’s opening was!  IPO Restaurant‘s private opening at The W in Chicago simply put- killed it!  IPO, Initial Public Offering was certainly an Initial Public Opening fiesta to remember.

Opening of IPO Restaurant at The W in Chicago last night was phenomenal! Elevate Your Presence loved hanging with D.C. Crenshaw, Chef Trevor Hoyte, & James Goeke! Chef Hoyte’s food was delightfully delicious. Chicago Food Mafia hit the ground running with us! Jill Jellinek Katz‘s opening was a tremendous blowout with a killer live CeCe Segarra performance & a rad human vending machine!! Need we say more?

From the minute we got out of the cab, there was a Lady Gaga look alike dancer dancing on top of the awning on the W to blasting music outside.  Instant buzz in the air…  Walking in we were greeted by W and IPO staff who were on top of it all.   The downstairs was full and the crowd was sexy.

We ate, we drank, we mingled, hung with CECE and Chef Hoydt- a true honor, PR team Jill Katz and Lara Shipp.  My friend D.C. Crenshaw and his crew and I had a great conversation before we all went upstairs to the packed room where CeCe Segarra performed.   She’s hot and talented.  The vibe was intense and upbeat.  We danced, we laughed, we enjoyed every song.

After CeCe performed, her and I had a few minutes to chat.  She is going to make it big!  Talented, bright, gorgeous, energetic and oh, did I say talented?     This event got an A all around for look, feel, spirit and overall awesomeness.

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