AboutRead It & Eat

Welcome to Read It & Eat, a culinary bookstore located in the heart of Lincoln Park. Established in 2015, Read It & Eat is dedicated to providing food lovers with exceptional culinary experiences through carefully selected books and events.


The book collection highlights selections on cooking and baking, organized by region, ingredient, technique, or specific diet; memoirs, travel, and food history; and beverages from coffee and tea to beer, wine, and cocktails. We carry over 3500 titles, available in the store and right here in our online shop.


We also regularly host events including author and chef signings, discussions, demonstrations, tastings, and hands-on cooking and baking classes with dedicated instructors.


Visit us today -- there’s something delicious for everyone!

our Team

  • Esther Dairiam Owner
    Esther Dairiam Owner
    Esther Dairiam, a Management Consultant for over 10 years, opened Read It & Eat in 2015. While she is not a culinary professional, nor a professional bookseller; she has a keen love for eating and enjoys culinary books.
    Today, she can be found at the store's kitchen in hope of getting first dibs on tasty treats prepared by the resident culinary instructor.
  • Madelaine Bullwinkel Chef Instructor
    Madelaine Bullwinkel Chef Instructor
    Madelaine Bullwinkel has been teaching French cooking skills in hands-on classes for almost 40 years, currently as the resident chef at the Alliance Francaise de Chicago. She brings a wealth of experience in the classroom and as a culinary tour guide for 20 years in Paris, the Limousin and Provence. Madelaine enjoys demystifying and simplifying French cuisine for the home cook.
    In 2001, The Chicago Tribune honored her with the Good Eating Award noting: ”The standards she has maintained have elevated culinary education in Chicago.”
  • Kelly Dull Pastry Chef Instructor
    Kelly Dull Pastry Chef Instructor
    Kelly Dull is a pastry chef with nearly 15 years in the food service industry. Originally from the Midwest, she received her Baking and Pastry Arts degree from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, and honed her skills in kitchens all over the country.
    Kelly enjoys helping others learn about the techniques and science behind baking. She likes to stay busy, and when she's not working she can be found reading, playing with her dogs, or cooking at home.
  • Stephanie Johnston
    Stephanie Johnston
    Stephanie has a passion for the art of cooking, as well as talking in the third person. While studying philosophy at DePaul University, she naturally ended up in the food industry because well, what else does one do with a philosophy degree? From working corporate events to children's birthday parties, she connects with guests at all levels.
    When she’s not at Read It & Eat coordinating events and keeping the kitchen space in order, Stephanie teaches cooking classes and cooks privately for families all around Chicago, specializing in health conscious family meals. She dreams of having her own culinary talk show. Food Network here we come!
  • Dylan Mullins Marketing Assistant
    Dylan Mullins Marketing Assistant
    Dylan Mullins hails from small-town Kentucky. His love of food is inspired by the deeply rich Appalachian cuisine, full of garden-fresh vegetables and heavy on the butter. Though he may not be a culinary expert, you can find him writing about food and other things, as he holds a degree in English and Creative Writing from Berea College.
    Dylan's experience span from content writing for both regional and national magazines, as well as whipping up creative copy for any and all things social media related. When he's not in the kitchen or on the job, you may see him out biking around the city, drinking hard ciders, or scribbling down poems while he eats lavender-honey ice cream.
  • Torrence O'Haire Sommelier
    Torrence O'Haire Sommelier
    Torrence O'Haire (C.S. - Court of Master Sommeliers; C.S.W (Wine), C.S.P. (Spirits) - Society of Wine Educators; C.S.S. - Sake Education Council) has spent 16 years in the hospitality industry, with experience as a restaurant chef, private chef, beverage manager, sommelier, restauranteur, patissier, wine director, food writer, and culinary professor.
    He holds academic degrees from Grand Valley State University, and relocated from Grand Rapids, MI to Chicago in the summer of 2016. He still writes professionally and teaches at Kendall College of Hospitality, while he moonlights as a restaurant & bar consultant. He loves M.F.K. Fisher, Italian wine, gardening, oreos, and board games.
  • Ronak Patel Chef Instructor
    Ronak Patel Chef Instructor
    Chef Ronak Patel gained a love of preparing and eating eclectic foods at a young age. His parents welcomed his company in the kitchen and introduced him to food from around the world. After first pursuing his interest in film at Columbia College, Ronak decided to pursue his initial love of cooking through attending Le Cordon Bleu Chicago. He joined the Read It & Eat team as a culinary instructor in January 2017.
    Today Ronak is the owner, chef, and instructor of his own private dining company, Chef Ronak, and has worked for numerous catering companies including Chef Daniel Private Dining, Creme Catering, and Gourmet Gorilla. His affection for local food and healthy eating shows in his additional work at the Peterson Garden Project Community Cooking School, Purple Asparagus, Sugar Beet Food Co-op in Oak Park, and Cook, Cork and Fork in Palatine.

Join The Team

If you're interested in joining us as a Bookseller, Culinary Instructor or Kitchen Assistant, please send us an email at info@readitandeatstore.com with your resume.