Fabio Vivani’s Truffle Mushroom Risotto for BALANI

Truffle Mushroom Risotto Recipe

There comes a time in every man’s life where it becomes absolutely pivotal for him to cook a mouth-wateringly incredible meal. We’re not talking about just any old recipe; it’s THE recipe. A show stopper to be exact. One that makes a lasting impression, and is coveted deeply in your culinary arsenal.

This is that recipe.

(SERVES 4-6)

– 2 C. Aborio Rice

– 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– 2 T. Butter (unsalted)

– 2 EA. Spanish White Onion (diced)

– ½ C. Dry White Wine

– 6 C. Vegetable Stock

– 1½  C. Mixed Mushrooms, Roasted (Shitake & Oyster)  **We added baby bella mushrooms to our recipe**

– 1 C. Fava Beans (Cleaned)

– ½ C. Robiola Cheese (Can be substituted for a Mild Brie Cheese)

– 2 T. Truffle Butter

– 1 T. White Truffle Oil

– 2 T. Truffle Pate (Found in specialty stores like Eataly or online at Amazon.com)

– ½ C. Grated Grana Padano

– Salt & Pepper to taste


STEP 1: In a large sauté pan, melt the butter with the olive oil, once it is melted and hot sauté the onion until translucent.

STEP 2: Add the Aborio Rice and toast it, stirring constantly for 2 min.

STEP 3: Add the white wine and cook until the wine is completely evaporated.

STEP 4: Add Fava Beans & Mushrooms, cooking till well incorporated about 1 min.

STEP 5: Add 2 C. of the vegetable stock & cook stirring constantly until the stock is evaporated.

STEP 6: Add more stock  ½  C. at a time letting it get absorbed before adding the next one. Continue this process until the rice is tender but still has a little bit of a bite to it about 18-20 min. Stir, stir, stir!

STEP 7: To finish the risotto add the Robiola and Grana Padano, cooking the cheeses into the risotto to make it nice & creamy.

STEP 8: Add the truffle ingredients, butter, oil, & pate. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve on plates garnished with micro greens and enjoy!

Elizabeth FasulaFabio Vivani’s Truffle Mushroom Risotto for BALANI
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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Summer Style

1.) Get Sporty
A summer sport coat is the fun cousin to the navy blazer. It gets all the attention and everyone wants to hang out with it. This particular sport coat has a big, bold pattern and lots of color. It’s not meant to blend in – it’s guaranteed to stand out.

Plaids, checks, and bold windowpanes are the perfect pattern for a summer sport coat. It commands a presence whether it’s worn with a pair of cotton trousers or dark denim jeans.

2.) Ditch your Dad’s Tie

Let’s face it, we all have ties in our closet that are old, tired, and need to be tossed. If it’s wider than 3-1/2 inches, has a bizarre 90’s pattern, and looks like it was a hand-me down, it’s time to get rid of it.

Updating your tie collection is the easiest way to modernize your wardrobe. Start by purchasing ties that are between 2-1/2 inches (narrow) to 3 inches (new standard) wide, have modern designs, and compliment your shirt and suit collection. This step will singlehandedly elevate your summer wardrobe game.

3.) Explore shirt colors

Summer fashion is inspired and drawn from the colors we’re surrounded by each day. So don’t be afraid to get out of the shallow end and dive headfirst into the deep end of the color spectrum.

For those who have spent years tiptoeing away from color, incorporating cool pastel tones in a micro stripe or check pattern is a great place to start. Cool pastels are extremely subtle and have bluish/grey undertones making it easier for men to experiment with. Most micro patterns have a white base and accent color in the pattern. Lilac, blush pink, violet, almond, and aquamarine are great options.

For those who freely embrace color, now’s the time to go bold! Try mixing in a brighter color palette such as, coral, tangerine, scarlet, turquoise and yellow.

4.) Accessorize above the waist

After reading step 2, we all know that a fantastic tie is a great addition to any wardrobe. Normally, I would never condone breaking up a suit and tie love affair; however, sometimes a little variety is necessary and quite frankly, a lot less boring.

Contrary to what you might think, men have considerable options when it comes to accessories. Spice up your relationship with your suit by adding a lapel pin, cufflinks, tie bar, or pocket square.

For those who are new to accessorizing, stick to 2 accessories at a time. If you prefer a conservative look, opt for a white cotton pocket square and silver tie bar. For those who want a modern look, add a patterned pocket square and colorful lapel pin.

5.) Lighten Up Your Loafers

Incorporating new colors to your wardrobe is not just reserved for clothing. The concept applies to accessories and shoes as well. With that said, it’s time to branch out from your standard black and dark brown lace ups and add some lightly colored loafers to the mix.

Some of the most dynamic and fashionable colors for loafers are the lighter and brighter shades of the classics. Instead of a dark brown, go for a tan, chestnut, camel, or burgundy loafer. They will help bring out the warmer tones in any navy suit or blazer.

For those who aren’t afraid to branch out, try a bright blue or light grey suede loafer. Different textures will give your outfit visual interest and depth.

Elizabeth Fasula5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Summer Style
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Men’s Top 3 Spring Fashion Trends for Men

Spring is in the air, and this season, men’s custom clothing is brighter, smoother, and bluer than ever. Creamy beaches, cool blue seas, Caribbean sunset tones and earthy greens serve as inspirations for the fabrics and patterns we’re seeing all over the runway. These tropical influenced colors are fresh, fun, and harmonious with the airy feel of spring.

Here’s our recommendation for The Top 3 Spring Fashion Trends for Men

Island Glen Paid Suit

Put down the Hotty Toddy’s and get ready for the mojitos, because spring is officially here. Which means one thing – color!

The “Island Glen Plaid Suit” is unique and a spring must-have, due to it’s beautiful color combination of sky blue and pale grey. This color blend creates an incredibly subtle glen plaid pattern making it extremely wearable, and a perfect option for those who don’t typically gravitate toward a patterned suit. Coconut brown buttons, and a navy lapel buttonhole will help pull the look together.

The suit’s versatility lies within its ability to be dressed up for a daytime event or worn casually for a destination wedding. The bluish-grey hue of the suit, works famously with a crisp white shirt and cotton pocket square. Add a navy tie to incorporate the navy detailing in the lapel buttonhole. Complete the look with blue socks and a caramel leather belt and shoes.

For those looking for casual wedding attire, draw start by going tieless with a powder blue shirt and colorful pocket square. Finish off the look with a navy canvas belt and white Sperry’s.

The Nautical Windowpane

Can’t decide between getting a classic navy blazer or a patterned sport coat? No problem, the “Nautical Windowpane” is the jacket for you.

The dark navy base shares the same characteristics and versatility of a navy blazer, while the light blue windowpane adds the pop and personality of a traditional sport coat. The best part about this jacket is its ability to transition into all four seasons.

For the warmer months of spring and summer, wear the jacket with a pair of cobalt blue cotton pants and a light blue check shirt. A knit navy tie and linen pocket square will add texture and color to the ensemble. When the weather starts to cool down in the fall and winter, swap out the cotton pants for a pair of wool slacks and add a cashmere sweater under the jacket.

Cream Cotton Pants

Not all khaki tones are created equally. In fact, cream is considered the fairest khaki of them all. Keeping with the nautical theme of previous seasons, cream is this season’s must-have color. Less stark than white, and more versatile than beige, cream is elegant, versatile and masculine. Combined with the lightweight cotton fabric, this pant is the ideal investment for spring.

Elizabeth FasulaMen’s Top 3 Spring Fashion Trends for Men
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Top 3 Custom Suits to Own First

Imagine this, you land an incredible new job that requires you to wear a suit twice a week. Your previous job was business casual, so your suit game is outdated, ill fitting and essentially nonexistent.
So where do you start? You’ve already decided to purchase tailor made suits, but what colors should you buy first? What are the most versatile suit colors? Should you buy a pinstripe suit? Or is a solid suit fabric best?

Luckily, we’re here to help answer all your suit questions. Here’s our recommendation for the top 3 custom suits you should own.

1.) Charcoal Suit (Solid)

A charcoal suit is the most valuable suit in your entire wardrobe. Why? For its incredible versatility, elegance, and ability to conform in every situation. Commonly associated with loyalty and trustworthiness, charcoal is a customary choice for men who work face-to-face with clients.

One of the major advantages of a charcoal suit is its compatibility with the majority of shirt colors. Ranging from basic white, to jewel tones, pastels, and earth tones, charcoal has a chameleon like ability to work seamlessly with all colors.

Secondly, charcoal works beautifully with brown, black, chestnut, and merlot colored accessories (belts and shoes.) When you’re looking to lighten up a charcoal suit for spring, wear it with a chestnut shoe and pastel shirt. For a more conservative approach, wear it with black shoes, a crisp white shirt, and white pocket square.

2.) Navy Suit (Solid)

When starting a new job, a solid navy suit is absolutely essential. The rich navy color conveys confidence, power, trust, and stability. Like a charcoal suit, navy is appropriate for any business occasion. For that reason, it’s the perfect suit to wear when attending a meeting with your superiors, or when making a presentation in front of clients.

It is also extremely versatile in regards to shirt and tie combinations. For an important meeting, opt for a white button down shirt and a red tie. For a less demanding occasion, swap in a checked shirt and light blue tie. You’ll achieve two entirely different looks, all while wearing the same suit.

3.) Medium Grey Texture (Sharkskin, Herringbone, Glen Plaid, Nails Head, Birdseye)

Now that you have your two basic suits, your third custom suit should have a little more personality. A great way to achieve this is by going with a textured fabric, over a pattern.

The advantage of a textured fabric is that it provides visual interest, while offering the same versatility as a solid color. While pinstripe suits and windowpane suits are classic patterns, they are bold and much more difficult to match with shirts and tie combinations. Textures on the other hand, are much more subtle and give the wearer the ability treat the suit as a solid while capitalizing on the visual depth of the texture.

Elizabeth FasulaTop 3 Custom Suits to Own First
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5 Men’s Clothing Essentials for Fall 2014

Ready or not, summer is coming to an end.  While we’re not completely ready to say goodbye, we can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Fall clothes are here, and they are better than ever. So put away the white pants and bring out your Fall favorites.

Slate Three-Piece Suit

Not quite charcoal and not quite blue, slate is both unique and stylish. The greyish-blue color makes for a modern three-piece suit and stands out in a sea of basic navy and charcoal suits. Appropriate for the office or a fall wedding, the darker slate color lends itself to a variety of looks.

For those who work in a conservative environment, let the suit speak for itself by keeping it simple and monochromatic. Wear it with a white dress shirt, grey tie, black shoes, and silver cufflinks.

If it’s originality you crave, pair the suit with a checked shirt, patterned tie, dark brown belt, and flannel flower pin.

 Berry Bamboo Blazer

Bamboo. Really? Yes, really! It’s latest and greatest fabric to hit the market, and it’s phenomenal.

Bamboo has the feel of cashmere, the look of silk, and the durability of wool. The natural luster in the fabric gives the jacket an elegant and dressy look. The key is finding the color that is right for you.

That’s where berry comes in to play. Whether you prefer blueberry, raspberry, or even blackberry, berry tones are the “it” shades for jacketing this season. These colors are dynamic and eye catching, yet versatile and sophisticated enough to be paired with trousers or jeans. Suede elbow patches and subtle details will compliment the bamboo and help give it a casual feel.

Cashmere Sweater (Medium Grey)

There’s no better time to reintroduce cashmere into you wardrobe than fall. Known for its warmth and soft hand, cashmere is also incredibly lightweight making it the ideal fabric for sweaters.

The medium grey color, gives you the ability to mix and match outfits with ease. Wear it atop a patterned shirt and trousers and you’ll have a casual layered look for the Fall season. When the weather starts to drop, swap out the vest in your three-piece suit and replace it with the grey cashmere sweater. It’ll give your suit a fresh look and keep you comfortable and warm.

 Whipcord Travel Trouser

A dressier alternative to denim, whipcord is the ideal fabric for traveling. Why? It’s durable, wrinkle resistant, and holds up well to pilling. Originally used for outerwear, the angled twill weave in the fabric gives it strength and resistance to the usual wear and tear. This is the perfect trouser to take with you need to transition your outfit from day to night.

 Flannel Flower Pin

We said it in The 5 Essentials of Spring and we’ll say it again this Fall, flower lapel pins are all the rage. With the change in season comes a change in fabric. Flannel gives the flower a totally different look and feel. The brushed wool is a colorful and cozy addition to a suit lapel.

Elizabeth Fasula5 Men’s Clothing Essentials for Fall 2014
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Dress to Impress – The Job Scholar

Dress to Impress

 Feb 28, 2014

We have all heard the saying “the clothes make the man”, but do the clothes also make the candidate? Our experts in the recruiting and HR space say absolutely yes, that they have been influenced one way or another about a candidate based on their choice of attire on interview day.

Clothes Are a Communication Tool

According to Elizabeth Fasula, marketing coordinator and clothing consultant at Chicago-based Balani Custom Clothers, the way a candidate is dressed is the first communication exchange of a job interview. “First impressions are made within a tenth of a second upon seeing someone. A potential employer will already have a preconceived impression of a candidate long before the first interview question is even asked,” Fasula says. Kenny Frimpong, branding and fashion expert at fashion house Eredi Pisano USA, agrees. “Appearance can be your most powerful non-verbal communication tool in business, especially when you’re interviewing for a job,” Frimpong says. Frimpong warns that when appearance is not attended to properly, it can cause a negative first impression that cannot always be fixed.

Suit Up

Cindy Elhaj, marketing director for community engagement firm Sprocket Media / Digarati, says a candidate’s choice of apparel on interview day communicates the type of employee the candidate will become if hired. “Unless you are applying to be a lifeguard, candidates should button up and clean up. Attire and general appearance reflect your attention to detail, how presentable you are to clients, and whether or not you take the time out to impress. These all are a strong reflection of your work habits, and they start in the closet,” Elhaj says. Fasula agrees. “A suit shows that the candidate is professional, mindful of the company, and cognizant of wanting to put their best foot forward. It’s a sign of success, power and respect,” Fasula says. Fasula also explains that that there are additional benefits of wearing a suit to an interview. “Many studies have shown that what you wear affects how you view and present yourself. Referred to as enclothed cognition, people are automatically more inclined to be professional and able when dressed in a suit,” Fasula says.

Stay Neutral

Frimpong advises that job seekers stick with neutral colors and fabrics on interview day. “Avoid overwhelming colors, textures and patterns, and loud color shirts and ties,” Frimpong warns. He says navy or charcoal gray suits paired with a blue or white shirt and dark tie are the best bet for men, and for women Frimpong recommends suits in a plum, blue, charcoal, or navy color.

Pay Attention to Fit and Be Sure to Cover Up

Barbara Pachter, president of business communication training firm Pachter & Associates, urges job seekers to pay attention to the fit of their clothing, warning that proper fit is essential to ensure that clothing is sending the right message to the interviewer and potential employer. “If your clothes are too big or too small, they are not going to look good,” Pachter warns, and further cautions that interview attire should fit without over-emphasizing curves or showing too much skin. “Ensuring a proper fit applies to everything you are wearing. One interviewer said he was distracted by a man’s short tie,” Pachter explains.

Be Prepared

Pachter strongly suggests that job seekers have their interview attire ready at all times. “You do not want to find out on the eve of an interview that you have nothing to wear, or that your clothes are at the cleaners when you need them. Anything you wear should be clean and pressed. Interviews can be scheduled with a very short lead-time, and you always want to have something appropriate to wear,” Pachter says.

Hygiene Matters

According to Jessica Ekstrom, founder and CEO of the non-profit Head Bands of Hope, being well groomed is also essential in giving the right impression on interview day. Ekstrom says that wrinkled clothing or messy hair gives the impression that the candidate is unprepared. “Iron your clothes beforehand. The quickest way to give a bad first-impression is by coming in with a wrinkly shirt or trouser,” Ekstrom warns. Ekstrom also says that while the “messy bun” look might be trendy for women, it is not interview appropriate. “It might be cute for lunch with friends or at the gym but don’t do it for an interview. It shows you’re unprepared and probably rushed this morning or didn’t look in the mirror.” Ekstrom suggests pinning hair back and away from the face, she says a candidate who is constantly fiddling with their hair can be distracting – and annoying.

Save Personal Style for When You Get the Job

Sarah Doll, senior director of talent recruitment at Chicago-based Enova International says that personal style has a place in the workplace… once a candidate actually becomes an employee. “Obviously the business world is turning more casual, but we’ve had candidates take it a little too far, coming in to interview in shorts and flip flops. While our website says that we ‘wear shorts and flip flops to work,’ it’s not appropriate for you to do so at the interview.” Doll recommends that candidates wait until after they officially land the job to adapt to the company culture and casual dress code.

While there may some exceptions to the rule, all of our experts warned that it is much better to err on the side of caution when selecting interview attire, choosing conservative dress when interviewing for a new position.

Elizabeth FasulaDress to Impress – The Job Scholar
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Why? Because They’re Pros At Making You Look Good.
Ask Men Chicago – askmen.com

What were you doing in 1961? Well, Balani Custom Clothiers was making impeccably stylish suits, and they’re actually still doing it today. The garment-customizing pros at Balani have applied a contemporary filter to its styles through the ages, and continue to impress customers with top-notch clothing that fits as well as a spacesuit glove. Whether you’re looking for a slim or traditional-fit suit, these guys have you covered, and can even hook up pants that sport grip guards so that shirts resist becoming untucked. They say that clothes make the man. if that’s the case, a stop here would make you a self-made man, wouldn’t it?

Read more: http://www.askmen.com/chicago/balani-clothiers.html#ixzz2TZAAW4hf


Elizabeth FasulaWhy BALANI?
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