Sunday, August 9, 2015

Eli's Cheesecake Festival 2015

August 1, 2015

Eli's Cheesecake has just celebrated its 35th anniversary at Taste of Chicago. 
In conjunction of the National Cheesecake Day, Eli's Cheesecake held its cheesecake festival for two consecutive days on August 1st and 2nd.

The sun was shining gloriously that day. Superstar and I arrived at the company around 1:45pm. First thing I saw was workers giving out free cheesecake samples, can you imagine it? It's like entering a cheesecake wonderland! 

When one of the workers brought us to Marc Schulman, he was like any other employees, wearing the "I  Eli's" t-shirt; no suit or tie, approachable.

This is a picture of Maureen Schulman, Mr. Slice and Marc Schulman from the Fotio Booth at the Eli's Cheesecake Festival.
I want you to get the idea of how Marc looks like when I saw him. That's the Eli's t-shirt I was talking about :)
[Read their love story here, and you are very welcome]

At first glance of Marc Schulman, I thought he was Will Ferrel. 
Eli's Pres Marc Schulman and his look-alike Will Farrell
[Picture obtained from Eli's Cheesecake webpage]

Oh yes, now you know what I mean. 99% lookalike isn't it?

Warning: You are now entering the Cheesecake Wonderland, pictures may cause excessive salivation.

The stage and some of the tents selling grilled lunch, beverages and desserts

Nothing stops the workers from grilling the perfect patties and hot dog, which was available for sale at about $5, oh it comes with complimentary chips too!

Couldn't be happier to receive these guest passes for complimentary food.

A hamburger for myself....and hot dog for Superstar.

Mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and toppings like tomato, onion and lettuce are served as well.

Huge and juicy corn on the cob....

The Eli's Cheesecake Company is located at the Dunning neighborhood. The Eli's Bakery Cafe is located right beside of the factory, selling cheesecakes, pastries and drinks. 

The creamy and buttery smell greeted me as I opened the cafe door. It was packed with people, 20% off on the purchase, STEAL!

Here are some of the collections at very affordable prices!

The huge cow....

and the huge cheesecake display.

The book of Eli- Short story on history of Eli's and some of the major events' photos

Throughout the day, there were games for patrons of any age, definitely a great day for the entire family.

Cheesecake hoola hoop

Cheesecake bean bag toss

Cheesecake DIY Chef Hat

Cheesecake Bingo....
I've always loved Bingo! It makes me emotional LOL 
Mischievous face

My magical hoola hoop
bodybuilder smiley

There were more crafts and activities for the patrons such as Midwest Rails Modular Railroad display, Fotio Photo Booth (free photo!), Cheesecake walk, Cheesecake trivia, Cheesecake Frisbee, classic car show, costume contest, etc. Enjoying food and games? I could sit there all day without getting bored 

Mr. Schulman brought us around and introduced us to some of the employees. From our conversations and the interactions between him and his employees, you just know that he is a down to earth and very well-respected man. It is just rare to see the leader of a company to be so involved and supportive of company events.

We went into the kitchen and met up with Executive Pastry Chef, Laurel Boger. She briefed us on the products and gave us samples of Eli's best sellers.

What I have here is the Hot Chocolate Cheesecake; it is a transformed slice. It used to have the salted caramel mousse, now it is topped with vanilla mousse. Combining with a dark chocolate bottom, very creamy, very rich in flavor. 
chocolate smiley
Chocolate has always been my favorite for cake and ice-cream choice. Not sure what flavor to get for your family or friend? This could be the one!

The middle piece: Turtle Cheesecake; with chocolate cookie crust. This slice is a mouthful of pecan, caramel, and chocolate, sweet and salty; it just compliment each other perfectly well.

Fresh Michigan Apples to Eli's Cheesecake Company doorstep- allowing them to bake the freshest Apple Streusel Cheesecake! Chef Laurel said that Eli's Apple Streusel Cheesecake is unlike any other apple cheesecakes. It has more apples and less syrup. Knowing that Eli's taking the effort to make sure apples are fresh out of the box, and all desserts are made with fresh ingredients; you can definitely enjoy their cheesecake at ease.

Excitement is written on my face :)

Oh, not to forget the complimentary Oreo Cookie Cheesecake

Already looks scrumptious before having it, don't even have to mention about the taste 

Flowers spotted at site.

Yellow hibiscus (Bunga Raya)- Fact: Malaysia's national flower.

Here's a picture with Superstar aka the photographer.
Thank you for your company.

Thoughts: what I have observed from the event is that patrons are from diverse backgrounds- Hispanic, Blacks, Whites, Asians...Employees who are friendly and helpful, variety of games that gives out cheesecakes as prizes,  and executives who were present at the event. This itself says a lot about a company. Going home with a smile on my face and a satisfied stomach, I could not ask for more.

Thank you once again for the invitation Eli's Cheesecake!
Do keep up the great work! 

For more pictures of the event, you may click here.

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