Meet Julie Chernoff – Restaurant Guru, Cabaret Star, Community Powerhouse

A biting wit and decades of culinary experience accompany every bite she takes, making Julie Chernoff a most discriminating and entertaining diner and writer.

But our favorite foodie does so much more than make reservations under a nom de plume. She’s also an accomplished singer and community leader who lovingly tends her historic home – as well as a Yale graduate, rock star chef, Galas galore chairwoman and former Evanston School Board member and Woman’s Club President!

Here are her 5 Faves:

We have to start with your favorite food, because we can’t ask about your favorite restaurant.

Cheese. But especially real Parmesan because it’s on or in all my favorite foods and none would be possible without it. Like an arugula, lemon, olive oil and Parmesan salad. Or pasta. Or risotto.

We asked Julie to wear her favorite outfit, so we could get a sense of her style.

This is a Cabi, which my good friend Lori Kaplan sells. I love the soft cotton and it travels like a dream. It’s like someone’s giving you license to wear PJs all day.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Evanston?

I love the feeling of community and diversity. Not to mention, we’ve got a majestic lake that looks like an ocean just a block from my home.

What was your favorite thing you did this summer?

I traveled to Cuba with my daughter and the Yale Alumni Chorus. We spent 10 days traveling and singing. It was a great shared experience; discovering a new culture and singing together in a choir. The people there were amazing. They had an energy, hope and warmth. Plus they love music and dance.

How did a singer from Yale end up a food writer?

I started catering for my parent’s friends when I was 15. When I finished college and moved to New York for theater, I supported myself by catering, and then landed a job at Weight Watcher’s magazine. I eventually moved out to California, where I attended the California Culinary Academy. When I came back, I worked at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, until I was too pregnant to fit between the chairs.

Now it’s kind of come full circle. The English major who gets to use her food background writing for Make It Better.

Here’s an easy one. Who are you going to meet tonight who’s on your list of favorite people?

Ruth Reichl.
(Legendary food writer and the last editor of Gourmet magazine.) I’ve read everything she’s ever written and can’t wait to meet her in person.

We’re pretty sure Ruth will be just as delighted to meet Julie!

Editor’s Note: You can catch Julie in action next week at Woman’s Club of Evanston’s Cabaret Nights 2010. Click here for more information.