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NEWS
February 29, 2012 | By Lisa Arnett, RedEye
Episodes 1 and 2: All hail Chicago! Because everything's bigger in Texas, the season kicks off with 29 hopefuls vying for 16 spots in the cast. It's impressive that there are more hopefuls from Chicago than any other city, and even more impressive when all six of them make it onto the show. Episode 4: Richie's ouster Tasked with the late-night challenge creating a new dish out of his team's failed chili, Richie Farina from West Loop restaurant Moto is sent packing, spurring the season's most emotional goodbye between him and colleague Chris Jones.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2014 | By Michael Nagrant, @MichaelNagrant and For RedEye
Worth the trip: Seafood gumbo at Three Chefs Restaurant 8125 S. Halsted St. 773-483-8111 You may stumble upon a decent version of gumbo at stalwart Heaven on Seven or some neo-Cajun spot downtown, but they're no match for the bowl at Three Chefs ($5.99 for a small bowl, $9.99 for a large bowl). All the components that make this gumbo great - the dark and brackish roux (a cooked mix of fat and flour that thickens gumbo), chubby curls of pink shrimp, oval slivers of garlicky caramelized chicken sausage, sweet pepper and cayenne - combine to warm your body and soul.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2011 | By Tracy Swartz and RedEye
The Chicago culinary scene is bigger in Texas. At least five Chicago cheftestants have been awarded the coveted “Top Chef: Texas” jacket in the latest season of the show, which premiered Wednesday night. The final slate of 16 cheftestants, which may include a sixth Chicago chef, likely will be revealed next week. In Wednesday's episode, some of the chefs worked with pig and rabbit to create their dishes. Yawn. It seems “Top Chef” has fallen into the “Project Runway” trap of repeating lame ideas for challenges.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2014 | By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol and RedEye
Three Illinois chefs will compete in the new season of Fox's "Hell's Kitchen. " From the looks of a super-teaser for the season, maybe I should say "will try to survive" the season. When "Hell's Kitchen" returns at 7 p.m. March 13 on Fox, Illinois chefs Jason Zepaltas, Scott Commings and Richard Mancini will be among the 20 chefs vying to outlast Chef Gordon Ramsey's verbal assaults and, if the teaser is an indication, physical assaults from each other. Here are the competitors, who will be split into the following teams: The Blue Team (Men)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2012 | By Erin Brereton and For RedEye
Two local chefs this year have an alternative to the annual Chicago Restaurant Week . Phillip Foss and Shin Thompson are hosting a joint feast Feb. 21 and calling it the Anti-Restaurant Week Dinner, but they say they aren't necessarily against the annual 10-day event designed to entice new diners with discounted menus. “Restaurant Week was always a great means to build revenue during a generally slow time of the year,” said Foss, who serves elaborate multicourse meals at his restaurant El in Lawndale.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 9, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz and RedEye
Good morning foodies! I'll be filling in as your TCT recapper today. Since I just figured out last week that my oven actually does turn on, I'm more than qualified to Wikipedia ingredients for you. Let's get cooking! We open with a shot of Ed trying to bet a pack of cigarettes on Bev. He's sure that she's won "Last Chance Kitchen," and I fear this bet may be the only thing Ed wins today. Sarah, channeling Heather and "Heathers," is convinced it's going to be Grayson and a banana.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2014 | By Michael Nagrant, @MichaelNagrant and For RedEye
Worth the trip: Seafood gumbo at Three Chefs Restaurant 8125 S. Halsted St. 773-483-8111 You may stumble upon a decent version of gumbo at stalwart Heaven on Seven or some neo-Cajun spot downtown, but they're no match for the bowl at Three Chefs ($5.99 for a small bowl, $9.99 for a large bowl). All the components that make this gumbo great - the dark and brackish roux (a cooked mix of fat and flour that thickens gumbo), chubby curls of pink shrimp, oval slivers of garlicky caramelized chicken sausage, sweet pepper and cayenne - combine to warm your body and soul.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 2012 | By Lisa Arnett, RedEye
New reality show "Around the World in 80 Plates" has some serious eye candy in the form of co-hosts Cat Cora and Curtis Stone, but that's not the only reason you should tune in. You witness the egos and cooking chops of"Top Chef," the strategy and alliances of "Survivor," and the international travel and adrenaline of"The Amazing Race. " The show debuts at 9 p.m. Wednesday on Bravo and features a cast of 12 chefs - three with Chicago ties - traveling to different foreign cities and taking over local restaurants in an...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2014 | By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol and RedEye
Three Illinois chefs will compete in the new season of Fox's "Hell's Kitchen. " From the looks of a super-teaser for the season, maybe I should say "will try to survive" the season. When "Hell's Kitchen" returns at 7 p.m. March 13 on Fox, Illinois chefs Jason Zepaltas, Scott Commings and Richard Mancini will be among the 20 chefs vying to outlast Chef Gordon Ramsey's verbal assaults and, if the teaser is an indication, physical assaults from each other. Here are the competitors, who will be split into the following teams: The Blue Team (Men)
ENTERTAINMENT
May 24, 2012 | By Jessica Reid Johnson and For RedEye
Many restaurants claim to be Farm-to-Table, but two Chicago chefs recently took this connection a step further, by bringing their farm to your table. Chef Didier Durand of Cyrano's Farm Kitchen has long been a supporter of local farming, filling the tables at his River North restaurant with ingredients bought at farmers markets in Michigan City, Ind.  Because he dreamed of returning to his grandparent's farming roots and misses the “daily life of the farm,” he said, he purchased six acres of farmland in nearby Laporte, Ind. last year.
NEWS
March 3, 2014 | By Mick Swasko, @swasko and RedEye
Midwest TV stations hard up for programming over the holidays were ripe for the pranking.  Nick Prueher, one half of the team behind the Found Footage Festival, spent the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's booking himself as a guest on TV stations in Illinois and Wisconsin. His angle was "Chef Keith Guerke," a cooking guru who was supposedly an expert on what to do with leftovers.  However, the supercut of footage above showed Chef Keith was anything but. He makes ice cream cones out of mashed potatoes and gravy, blends a Thanksgiving dinner and even...
NEWS
February 14, 2014 | By Matt Pais, @mattpais and RedEye
Just to be clear: This column is written by Matt Pais. It's a Matt Pais column, and the important thing to remember is that it's written by me. Matt Pais. Oh, does that sound egotistical? How about a restaurant that reopens with a new name just because they're so proud of the chef that they've acquired? It happened in 2011 when Perennial became Perennial Virant (after chef Paul Virant, who won awards for his cooking at suburban Western Springs hit Vie). It happened in November when Chuck's Manufacturing decided people were less interested in Chuck...
NEWS
February 6, 2014 | By The Great Burgerelli and RedEye
Burger review: Chef's Burger Bistro 164 E. Grand Ave. 312-374-3092 Rating: 2 (out of four) I, the Great Burgerelli, have eaten burgers here, there and everywhere. I have eaten them in the finest of restaurants, in the northern woods of Wisconsin and from a Styrofoam box sitting on the hood of my ketchup-red 1960 Alfa Romeo Spider. But until my visit to Chef's Burger Bistro in Streeterville, I had never had a burger presided over by a certified master chef. To earn that honor, chef/partner Edward Leonard endured a grueling ten-day cooking...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 2014 | By Kate Bernot, @redeyeeatdrink and RedEye
The gravy train will pull into Chicago for a second year in a row, as Poutine Fest announces a date and location for a 2014 fest. On February 23, the competition for gravy-and-cheese-topped supremacy returns to Haymarket Pub  & Brewery , pitting chefs against each other for audience votes. The Gage will defend its title against challenges including Sunday Dinner Club, The Barrelhouse Flat and The Brixton. New sponsors Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Roelli Cheese Haus will provide the curds.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 2014 | By Samantha Nelson and For RedEye
Former Sunda chef Rodelio Aglibot is opening a dim sum restaurant in Lakeshore East in March. The so-called "Food Buddha" said he's always looking for spaces for new restaurant concepts and decided to open Yum Cha at 333 E. Randolph St. (formerly French restaurant Maison) because he saw a void for Chinese food in the neighborhood. "Dim sum is hot right now," he said. "The idea of eating small plates is something Chicago has embraced. " Aglibot and his partners have traveled to Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York,...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2013 | By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol and RedEye
"MasterChef Junior" will be searching for talented young home cooks at an open casting call in Chicago and other cities in January. The Fox series is looking for kids ages 8 to 13 as of March 10, 2014. The Chicago casting call is set for 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Chicago Hyatt Mag Mile, 633 N. St. Clair. Minors coming to the open call must be accompanied by an adult guardian, and applications must be completed by parents or legal guardians. Other casting calls are planned in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 24, 2012 | By Lisa Arnett and RedEye
The masters are back! “Top Chef Masters” returns for a fourth season Wednesday, with 12 chefs competing for prize money to benefit the charity of their choice. Takashi Yagihashi and Art Smith are proudly representing Chicago restaurants, and it's a return of sorts for both. Yagihashi made a guest appearance on a Vancouver-set episode of “Top Chef: Texas” and also competed on an episode of “Iron Chef” that aired earlier this year. Smith, known for his legendary fried chicken and his gig as Oprah's chef, appeared on the first season of “Masters” in 2009.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 9, 2013 | By Michael Nagrant, @MichaelNagrant and For RedEye
Stella Barra 1954 N. Halsted St. 773-634-4101 Rating: !!! 1/2 (out of 4) Push . I've heard a lot of great chefs say it. Push through the pain. Push forward. Push past your limits. Nothing is impossible if you push. The difference between the successful chef and the pedestrian line cook, or so it appears, is returning a force just a little harder than the force that comes at you, aka pushing. "Push" is also what's tattooed on the right wrist of Jeff Mahin, the executive chef partner behind Stella Barra, a new pizzeria in Lincoln Park.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2013 | By Lisa Arnett, @redeyeeatdrink and RedEye
There's more to come from the New Orleans-based 11th season of "Top Chef" than host Padma Lakshmi tossing the cheftestants Mardi Gras beads instead of making them draw knives. This year's cast features a rockabilly chick, a proud recipient of the title of Philly's Hottest Chef and Stephanie Cmar, whom fans will recognize as the roommate of Season 10 winner Kristen Kish. It also features two Chicago chefs who met for the first time on the show: Carlos Gaytan of Mexique in West Town and Aaron Cuschieri of Slurping Turtle in River North.
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