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Best of Wine & Food 2018

By Tara Gardner, Laura Hine, Marjie Killeen, Jacquelyn Lumley and Alyssa Zacek

Photo courtesy of Hewn


Best of Wine & Food

When reporter Amelia Levin came to interview Ellen King, baker and co-owner of Hewn (810 Dempster St., Evanston), the two clicked. So much so that two years later, the duo (with photographer John Lee) have a cookbook coming out this fall: Hewn Heritage Baking ($30, Chronicle Books). “We’re focusing on the Midwest revival,” King says. “Consumers already demand locally grown produce; we’re focusing on increasing demand for locally grown and milled grains.” The bakery has been a leader in championing little-known strains of wheat, like the almost-extinct Turkey Red, and working with farmers and old-fashioned stone mills to revive these heritage grains. And now we’ll have King’s recipes and know-how to turn these flavorful flours into delicious breads—crucial, given how fast the bakery sells out each day. –LH 

Johnson Ho is a man of culture. Originally from Taiwan, he moved to Germany as a child and later to the U.S. for college. He speaks three languages and has an extensive knowledge of art, literature and architecture. He became a sommelier at a Michelin-starred restaurant while in graduate school, and his expertise has grown in the decades since. As owner of Pantheon Wine Shoppe (899 Skokie Blvd, Ste. 102, Northbrook), Ho curates a sophisticated selection of wines and guides collectors at all stages of their journey, including designing and stocking their cellars. “I began designing wine cellars at my customers’ request,” he says. Ho begins each project by considering how his clients plan to use the space, then uses materials, insulation and lighting to preserve the quality of the wine for its natural life. Of course, wine isn’t meant to be stored forever; at some point, it’s time to uncork the bottle and enjoy. –MK