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February 28, 2013

Illinois Products Expo To Feature New Food And Wine Companies
Cooking demonstrations also added, including an appearance by celebrity chef and local food advocate Patrick Cassata

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Fifteen new exhibitors will be among the nearly 80 Illinois food companies, wineries and agriculture associations that take part this weekend in the 15th annual Illinois Products Expo. 

The “Food and Cooking Extravaganza,” which also features an appearance by celebrity chef Patrick Cassata, will be held March 2-3 in the Orr Building on the state fairgrounds.   

“Illinois is known around the world as one of the leading producers of agricultural commodities, but many may not realize that we are also a leading food manufacturer,” Governor Quinn said. “This weekend’s Illinois Products Expo will help continue to grow our place in the global market by giving consumers a chance to try great Illinois-made products. From pickled asparagus to pecans, the Expo will help boost awareness of Illinois companies, create demand for our products and support jobs in our food industry.”  

Illinois ranks first in the United States in sales of processed food products and third in food processing jobs.  The state’s 2,514 food companies employ more than 83,000 workers.   

“Among the thousands of Expo visitors we’re expecting as many as 100 food buyers,” Agriculture Director Bob Flider said.  “Their attendance is important if we’re going to get more Illinois products on store shelves and begin to realize the economic potential of local foods.”

The Expo’s food offerings, which can be sampled for free as well as purchased, will include fresh meat products, candy, gourmet seasonings and sauces, homemade jams and jellies and specialty dressings.  A few non-food items, such as soy candles and agricultural-based soaps and lotions, will be on display and available for purchase, too. 

To quench their thirst, Expo visitors will have wines from 20 vintners and beer from two breweries to choose from, as well as coffee and soda.  However, while the food samples are free, there is a charge for the drinks.

Cassata, executive chef of The Bank restaurant in Wheaton and an advocate of local, sustainable and socially-responsible food, was a contestant on the Fox television series Hell's Kitchen!  He will give a cooking demonstration at the Expo Saturday.  A demonstration also is scheduled Sunday.  It will be presented by Jolene Adams of the Culinary Institute at Lincoln Land Community College.

Expo hours are Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Admission is $5.  Children 10 and younger will be admitted free of charge.

Drawings will be held for door prizes, including Illinois products gift baskets and a Weber Genesis E-310 LP gas grill (retail value $849). 

A list of the participating food companies, wineries and agribusinesses follows: 

Ahruns Famous, Crystal Lake
*Anthony’s Southern Sauces, Bloomington
American Egg Board, Springfield
*Acacia Spice Company, Springfield
Aunt Em’s Gourmet Popcorn, Deer Creek
Bloodshot Bloody Mary Mix, Springfield
Butch’s Pizza, Morton
C & C Fudge, Lincoln
Central Illinois Event Catering, Elkhart
*Country Bob’s, Centralia
Country Lights Soy Candles, Leland
Crowridge Farm Ice Cream, Elliott
Darn Hot Peppers, Cobden
Davis Bros. Pizza, East Peoria
Eagle Bridges Soy Candles, Jacksonville
*Family Kettle Corn, Jacksonville
Galena Garlic Company, Geneva
*Giannotti Pasta Sauces, River Forest
*Golden Prairie Popcorn, Nokomis
Goose Island Brewing Co., Chicago
Gramp’s Gourmet Foods, Scales Mound
*Hickory Grove Products, Assumption
Ill. Grape Growers & Vintners Assn., Springfield
Alto Vineyards, Alto Pass
August Hill Winery, Utica
Baxter’s Vineyards, Nauvoo
Berryville Vineyards, Claremont
Collver Family Winery, Barry
Fox Creek Vineyards, Olney
Hill Prairie Winery, Oakford
Hopewell Winery, Rockport
Illinois River Winery, Utica
Kickapoo Creek Winery, Edwards
Lasata Wines, Lawrenceville
*Lyn-Nita Vineyards, Elkville
Mary Michelle Winery & Vineyard, Carrollton
Pheasant Hollow Winery, Whittington
*Prairie State Winery, Genoa
Shawnee Winery, Vienna
Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmount
Spirit Knob Winery, Ursa
Vahling Vineyards, Stewardson
Willett’s Winery & Cellar, Manito
Ill. Pork Producers Assn., Springfield
Ill. Specialty Growers Assn., Bloomington
JAVA & Company, Henry
J.D. Mullen Company, Palestine
Jimmy B’s Super Salsa, Springfield
Jones Boys Market, Ashland
Julie’s Corner Store, Lacon
*Just Right Eating, Taylorville
Lime Rock Brown Swiss Cheese, Davis
Ludwig Farmstead Creamery, Fithian
M & G Foods (Grandpa G’s), Hamilton
Meatsmack, Chatham
Oakland Noodle Company, Oakland
Onofrio’s Classic Sauces, Springfield
Pasta Alley, Decatur
Pease’s Candy, Springfield
Perfect Pasta, Addison
*Reinneck Ranch, Mascoutah
ReMARKable Caramels, Danville
Rolling Meadows Brewery, Cantrall
Ropp Jersey Cheese, Normal
Sasse’s Apiary, Chestnut
*Shelley’s Sweet &Chunky Salsa, Arcola
Smo Diddly’s Pickled Asparagus, Lynn Center
Spice of Life, Decatur
SS Backwards Longhorn Meats, Medora
Steidinger Foods, Fairbury
*Sweet Slap’n Salsa Co., Ringwood
The Homestead Bakery, Arthur
Toohill Seed & Beef Service, Heyworth
Turasky Meats, Springfield
Two Fat Guys Gourmet Sauces, McHenry
Uncle Joe’s Sauces, Ina
*Voss Pecans, Carlyle
*Wind Ridge Herb Farm, Caledonia
Zillion’s Chili, Springfield
*new exhibitor


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