Chicago's culinary world is embarking on an unprecedented journey of food and theater in conjunction with the citywide yearlong celebration of Shakespeare 400.
Spearheaded by Alpana Singh and Rick Bayless, Culinary Complete Works, will feature a culinary tour of the Bard’s plays by exploring the city's vibrant and diverse restaurant landscape from award-winning fine dining to hidden neighborhood gems.
The Culinary Complete Works will showcase 38 of Chicago’s best-known and most inventive chefs as they create menus that interpret the food landscape from 38 of Shakespeare's works.
Whether we'll be eating fillet of a fenny snake or tongue of dog as Shakespeare served up in Macbeth remains to be seen, but methinks not.
Methinks, in addition to food there will be wine and spirits, that is, if the Bard has anything to say about it.
His plays offer a lot more than food for thought as wine takes center stage in 26; with sack (or sherry) getting a nod in 7; along with beer, malmsey, and the Welsh metheglin mentioned in a few others.
Of course, this all may be much ado about nothing. Menus and events are still being added to the culinary extravaganza. Here are some of the highlights from the announced menu of events:
Rick Bayless (Topolobampo) will be waking up diners with some exciting dishes that interpret A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Tony Mantuano’s (Cafe Spiaggia) Italian cuisine is expected to romance diners as he marries love and tragedy from incorporating the spirit of Romeo and Juliet.
Art Smith (Blue Door Kitchen & Garden) tackles iconic dishes that capture the big appetite of King Lear.
Ryan McCaskey (Acadia) will be cooking up some cool dishes that capture the spirit of The Winter's Tale at his newly ranked two-Michelin-star restaurant.
Carrie Nahabedian (Naha) is expected to rule with her calculation of dishes related to Measure for Measure.
The chefs will be getting a little creative insight from Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Creative Producer Rick Boynton, whose expertise will help them craft unique dishes inspired by the thematic richness found in each play.
Stay tuned to the Shakespeare 400 website for more culinary events and updates throughout the year.
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