April 4, 2012 |
They both made Chicago proud on Bravo reality TV show “Top Chef.” They both became known on said show for saying exactly what was on their minds. And now Dale Levitski and Chuy Valencia are both bringing their colorful personalities and inventive food to a stretch of North Broadway in Lakeview that's ready for a breath of fresh air. Last week, Sprout executive chef Levitski opened French-American bistro Frog N Snail (3124 N. Broadway) with partner Mike Causevic. Valencia, who until recently was the chef at Chilam Balam (3023 N. Broadway)
April 2, 2012 |
Chuy Valencia, one of six Chicago chefs to compete on Season 9 of the Bravo reality TV show"Top Chef," is taking a “sabbatical.” Valencia said he is selling his shares of Chilam Balam (3023 N. Broadway), the seasonal, small-plates Mexican restaurant where he's been co-owner and chef since 2009, to pursue other interests, which include a new restaurant and a book project. Valencia is teaming up with coffeehouse entrepreneur Philip Tadros (Dollop, Kickstand) on a new concept that he describes as “a really hearty, Midwest, but kind of modern-day Chicago take on diner classics and cafeteria food.” The spot will fresh-roast coffee up front, operate a two-kettle brewery in back, and serve up old-school dishes like buttered noodles, lasagna, patty melts and meatball sandwiches, cafeteria-style (and undoubtedly updated)
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.
February 29, 2012 |
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.
February 29, 2012 |
The final showdown on "Top Chef: Texas" pitted a Texan against a Chicagoan raised in Texas. And sorry to disappoint, y'all, but it was Austin-based chef Paul Qui who won the title on Wednesday's finale over Chicagoan chef Sarah Grueneberg of award-winning Gold Coast restaurantSpiaggia. "I think in nine seasons and 'All-Stars,' this was the best food we've seen in the finale," judge Tom Colicchio said. "In the end, this was about as close as it can get. " The chef's final challenge was to prepare a four-course meal for their dream restaurant, with not just judges but also their families in attendance.
February 23, 2012 |
It didn't take long for remaining Chicago chef Sarah Grueneberg to point out the irony in the second-to-last episode of “Top Chef: Texas.” Now that Beverly Kim, berated for sticking to Asian cuisine throughout the run of the show, was sent home for the second time, the cast headed to Chinatown in Vancouver for a collaborative challenge “Thank God Beverly went home, because she would have nailed it,” Sarah said. Other nods to departed Kim include a stay at the Fairmont in Vancouver (Kim works for Aria in the Fairmont Chicago)