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Welcome to our new series Fashion Foodie, which profiles Chicagoans who really sink their teeth into style.
Photo: Joshua Albanese
One part gourmand, one part fashion addict, and 100% rock-and-roll, Kelly Rizzo is the force behind Eat, Travel, Rock. When producers from the brand new ArchLive.TV network got hooked on the fun, Chicago-based blog, they approached Rizzo about hosting her own show —and she said yes faster than she would to a Big Star pork taco.
"I've always been a huge foodie and done a lot of on-camera work," Rizzo says, explaining why her new show Food Junkie: Chicago lets her check "land dream job" off the list. "It is such a blast to be a part of, and it's definitely different than any other food show out there. It really goes behind the scenes of the Chicago food culture, which is huge these days! It's also very different in that every episode has a different theme or focus."
The first few episodes, which began airing late last month, have profiled Slagel Family Farm, featured an in-depth interview with chef Ryan Poli, and explored some of Chicago's most down-home Southern restaurants. The best part of every episode? Rizzo's wit and carefree spirit—"I just get to be myself and have fun with it," she says—and her constantly-killing-it, rocker-chic style.
We chatted with Rizzo about what she wears while cooking for friends, which local boutiques she adores, and which local chef has great style. Read on for the dish.
You interview a lot of chefs. Which ones have great style?
Sometimes it's hard to tell, because they're usually in their chef whites! But if I had to pick one, I'd say Ryan Poli. I actually did an entire chef profile on him for "Food Junkie." Ryan is also a very close friend, so I've seen his 'look' on many different occasions. I like his style because it reminds me of the male version of how I like to dress: super chill and laid- back with an edge. And like myself, he loves to adapt his unique casual style to whatever the occasion may be.
What are the most stylish restaurants in Chicago? And, can you recommend an outfit to wear to your favorite restaurant or bar?
This is a fun one! I love going places where I can dress how I want and not feel conformed or pressured to have to dress a certain way. Sometimes it's fun to intentionally go to a 'fancy' spot and wear a rocker t-shirt and Frye boots to switch it up and throw people off a bit. But I'd have to say that I love dressing up to go to Bavette's, Gilt Bar, Nellcote, Sunda, and Mercadito. They are some of my favorite fashionable restaurants, and I can always try out a new trendy and chic look there! Mainly I love to put my twist on a night-out outfit. If I'm going to wear heels, I'll wear jeans with a band t-shirt or maybe a sexy dress but with cowboy boots. As long as you have a quality purse or belt to back it up—Gucci and Dior are my go-to—you can't lose!
When you cook, what's in-the-kitchen look?
If I cook for my family and friends at home, you can bet I'll be running around my kitchen in my ripped Genetic denim, a comfy Wildfox tee or Splendid sweatshirt, and my Converse. Or maybe Lululemon if they're very close friends.
What Chicago restaurant dish most accurately represents your personality, and why?
The 'Taco De Panza,' or pork belly taco, at Big Star. I love Mexican food, and [that dish is] high quality, well-balanced, and delicious, but casual and laid-back. And, you know you'll hear some killer tunes and get to drink a cold Mexican beer while you're eating it.
Ok, last up: What are your favorite Chicago stores?
Akira is so fun and funky; I love Intermix for all my jeans and when I need to be a bit dressier; and TopShop is great for trying new trends. [I go to] AllSaints for my country-chic side, and I'll definitely be a regular at the new Frye store.
· ArchLive [Official Site]
·. Eat Travel Rock [Official Site]