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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

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[March 01, 2013]  SPRINGFIELD -- 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 on Saturday and Sunday in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Expo hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

"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," said Gov. Pat Quinn. "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," said Agriculture Director Bob Flider. "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 nonfood items, such as soy candles and agricultural-based soaps and lotions, will also be on display and available for purchase.

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 on Saturday.

A cooking demonstration also is scheduled Sunday. It will be presented by Jolene Adams of the Culinary Institute at Lincoln Land Community College.

Admission to the Illinois Products Expo is $5. Children 10 and younger will be admitted free of charge.

There will be drawings 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:

(* new exhibitor)

  • 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

[to top of second column]

  • *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

  • Illinois 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

  • Illinois Pork Producers Association, Springfield

  • Illinois Specialty Growers Association, 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 Co., 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

[Text from Illinois Department of Agriculture file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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