November 17, 2011 |
The competition began in earnest last night on "Top Chef: Texas. " To keep things interesting this season, we're kicking off a point-based competition of our own for the six Chicago chefs in the cast. Challenge summary: In the opening quickfire challenge, the 16 cheftestants have one hour to cook rattlesnake, judged by Johnny Hernandez, chef/owner of La Gloria, who is known for cooking game at his Mexican street-food restaurant in San Antonio. For the elimination challenge, the chefs are split into two teams, each tasked with preparing an upscale Mexican dinner for a Texan girl's Quinceañera.
May 7, 2012 |
When two-time James Beard semi-finalist Kendal Duque joined Mainstay Hospitality in 2010 to reinvigorate the restaurant group's South Loop spot Chicago Firehouse, there was talk the former Sepia chef would eventually open his own concept with Mainstay. A year and a half later, Duque is doing just that, working with proprietor Matthew O'Malley to launch City Tavern later this month just down the street at 1416 S. Michigan Ave. in the space that used to house Grace O'Malley's. “We just feel that now is the right time, being that the Firehouse is successful and strong,” he said.
March 7, 2012 |
If the ending of "Top Chef: Texas" has you starved for Chicago chefs on TV, you'll get your fix on a new cooking-centric Bravo show coming later this spring. "Around the World in 80 Plates" is set to fill that 9 p.m. Wednesday void starting May 9. Curtis Stone and Cat Cora host this travel/cooking show that has been described as a combination of "Top Chef" and"Amazing Race. " The cast of 12 features three Chicago-based chefs: The Drawing Room executive chef Nick Lacasse, Table Fifty-Two executive sous chef John Vermigilo and private chef Gary Walker.
July 24, 2012 |
Frontera Grill/Topolobampo 445 N. Clark St. 312-661-1434 These sibling restaurants are the creations of celebrity chef/Mexican cuisine king Rick Bayless, and while Frontera is more rustic and regional in cuisine, Topolo skews toward fine dining. For a taste of Bayless' expert take on Mexican street food, get in line for tortas (sandwiches), caldos (soup) and oh-so-addictive churros at no-reservations Xoco (449 N. Clark St. 312-334-3688). Graham Elliot 217 W. Huron St. 312-624-9975 The baby-faced “MasterChef” judge and Lollapalooza culinary ambassador puts his own spin on fine-dining in the form of an 8- and 14-course tasting menus. A few blocks east, Elliot's sandwich shop Grahamwich (615 N. State St. 312-265-0434)
May 7, 2012 |
Hundreds of Chicagoans and restaurateurs supported local Midwest farmers and shopped for sustainable, organic produce and products at the opening day of Lincoln Park's Green City Market May 5. Although it was a bit rainy and cool, market visitors enjoyed a performance from a local band, Nobody Nobody Sent, homemade crepes from Abby's Crepes and apple cider doughnuts from Zullo's to munch while they shopped. There was also a cooking demo featuring "Top Chef: Texas" runner-up Sarah Grueneberg.