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, classes and discussions.


The book collection highlights selections on cooking, travel, biographies, essays and history.


We have a calendar of events that includes author/chef signings, discussions, demonstrations, tastings and cooking classes.


Our cookbook club meets monthly to discuss books, recipes and techniques while enjoying a meal together.


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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lauren Petroff Bookmaster
    Lauren Petroff Bookmaster
    Lauren is the kind of girl who makes a snack while waiting for another snack to cook. A pastry chef by trade, Lauren received her baking and pastry degree from Chicago’s own Kendall College. Over the last 15 years she has traveled the country working in the hospitality industry, seeking to master roles in service, bar, kitchen, catering, events and promotions.
    Her culinary adventures include the low country resort of Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina, the bustling event spaces of Cipriani in New York City, and the open ocean aboard Norwegian Cruise Line in Hawaii (while skydiving Kauai on her day off). When she’s not cooking or reading, you can find her off-roading in her Jeep, tracking down the next great craft brewery or cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Kristine Sherred Event Marketer
    Kristine Sherred Event Marketer
    From behind the bar to her home kitchen, Kristine has spent the better part of the past decade engrossed in food and beverage. Ask her for restaurant and drink recommendations and she (probably) won't let you down.
    With a background in journalism and photography, she relishes the creativity of the culinary world and the admirable hospitality that accompanies it. Aside from cooking, baking, eating and drinking (always in moderation), Kristine adores any opportunity to share a good bite or a fine dram with friend and stranger alike.
  • Michelle Krasny Event Assistant
    Michelle Krasny Event Assistant
    Michelle recently moved to Chicago after completing a fellowship in Food System Exploration as a Community Building Tool. Now, you can usually find her up to her elbows in dirt or dough. When not cooking, gardening, or talking about food, she spends her time vermicomposting and learning Arduino.

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.