Chi-Town Stories.

The day has finally come. After five months of waiting and anticipating, I am thrilled to finally share my Jewel Osco Chi-Town Stories segment with you!

When I was first approached to be a part of this project I was excited, thrilled even. But what I didn't realize was how much I would get out of the experience. How much it would show me about what I wanted for this website. Having the opportunity to share my passions with new people, with friends, and now with the entire world through this video is unlike anything that I have ever experience. It's reminded me why I started Smak and why I enjoy cooking and food so much. Sure, I like to eat. I like to feel full and satisfied. Let's not fool ourselves, we eat to survive.

But what about more than the physical? So we eat because our body needs substance and nutrients. But is that all we get out of it? Is that really all that food has to offer? No. Food, cooking, dining, it all brings a sense of identity and community to those that partake. So I make a marinated cucumber salad and gravlax? It absolutely tastes delicious, but it helps inform others of where I've been. Of who I am. And of the story that I bring.

With that said, I hope you enjoy my story. It's a little piece of Smak, of Tommy, that you can sit back and enjoy. I hope you like it! And please, feel free to share with your friends and family!

Special Thanks to:

A Few of My Favorites - 09.05.14

090514 1. Mast Brothers Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt: I've been on a huge Mast Brothers kick lately. And it is definitely something that I need to curb! The cost of these chocolate bars aren't that of the dollar store, but they are a treat worth having from time to time. My favorite that I've had so far is their dark chocolate with sea salt. In fact, I'm eating a piece right now. Yum.

2. Orrefors Sadeh Child sculpture: I am extremely Swedish. And damn proud of it! My mom started buying my siblings and I Swedish crystal when we were young and I am so grateful to have a wonderful collection. From classic tea light holders, to contemporary sculptures, Orrefors has just about anything you could want.

3. Hardwood Lump Charcoal: This one goes back to the Caveman Porterhouse recipe. I've tried cooking other steaks (filets) with this method it is superb. I implore you, please try grilling directly on hardwood lump charcoal. The flavors are out of this world.

4. Marc Jacobs water bottle: I bought this water bottle when I lived in NYC for $10. I use it on a daily basis. Doing yoga. Watching TV. Writing for SMAK.

5. Method Green Tea + Aloe soap: Every time I go to Target I purposely walk by this soap. I don't buy it every time, but I want to. My favorite scent is green tea + aloe.