Chicago Dining Scene 2013 Predictions!!!

Chicago Dining Scene 2013 Predictions!!!

It’s amazing where the time goes each year. Another year, another failed rapture!

This is the third year of my predictions and I’ve nailed the last two prophecies pretty well I think, at least the Michelin parts - 2012 and 2011. I’m not channeling any Mayan gods this year since they can’t be counted on to have a crocodile eat the earth or have gravity disappear. Slackers!

Anyway, here are my thoughts on what will come to pass in 2013!

With the Melmans looking to expand in to BBQ, they cut ties with RPM by selling their stake to Stephanie Izard. The new restaurant will be called RIP.

Rick Bayless decides enough is enough and buys the entire block where his restaurants currently sit. He plans to succeed from America and become the 32nd Mexican State – Bayxaca. Rumor has it, there are plans to build a theatre to support his acting career and love of show tunes.

Phil Vettel, secretly known as Phil the White, announces his retirement and passes on his “Golden Fork” to the next elder of food writing in Chicago, Steve Dolinsky. Steve in close circles will now be known as Steve the White and no longer Steve the Grey. Who knew these guys loved the Hobbit this much?

Kevin Boehm begins to focus on clothing and designs a line of shirts that, not surprisingly, involve no buttons.

Billy Dec’s hat blows off during a freak windstorm revealing he’s a cyborg! The hat has been taken out of rotation.

Chef Homaro Cantu inks a deal with Richard Branson to open the first restaurant in space. They plan a moon outpost by 2045.

Chicago’s Coffee scene gains ground, get it ground, and becomes a new badge of honor in our culinary scene nationally. i.e. the NYT writes a story based entirely on press releases and bad web searches – but we still get a story out of it.

In a weird break from reality, Graham Elliot declares himself the next Masterchef and fights fellow chef Gordon Ramsey on air for the prize. Joe Bastianich will be the color commentator for the bare knuckle brawl slated for Super Bowl Sunday’s pre-game.

Timeout admits dessert isn’t an optional course – turns out no pastry chefs were harmed from their previous thinking.

In a new, weird Alinea/Next video, chef Grant Achatz and chef Dave Beran invoke the hunger games between the two restaurants with the landscape being Aviary?!?

Table, Donkey and Stick changes its name to something less Grimm but keeps the concept.

Brendan Sodikoff only opens two restaurants in 2013. The first is the previsouly announced Dillman's Jewish deli and the second - an Italian restaurant, Tina’s, that will be described as bright and airy. The Jewish Deli also incorporates white in the design. Crazy-town, I know!

In an attempt to capture some Girl & the Goat mojo, Cyrano's Farm Kitchen will rename itself Didier & the Duck.

Chef Grant Achatz and partner Nick Kokonas announce their new project, "Subsequently." It’s a gourmet grocery store that moves around the city every 2-3 months ensuring everyone feels like its local to them.

Time stops for no man or woman, it is sad for me to predict but the Cheeky Girls, as they reach their 30s, realize being cheeky isn’t as fun as sassy. So they sell the name and site to a younger, sorority sister. But don’t fret…they’ll be starting a new site, covering all the hottest Glencoe and Winnetka news, with a launch date in time for summer fun in 2013.

With Beverly Kim being known as "the crier," she inks a deal with Kleenex to be a national spokeswoman. Limited edition boxes are sold with her image for $500 at various “pop-up” events – reserve yours now on Tablehost.

Michael Simon shows restraint and settles down this year while only opening two different restaurants.

The 312 Dining Diva and @iamaudarshia creates a third twitter handle to spread her SEO influence - @chifoxy.

In a major move, Steve Dolinsky takes his elder statesman role of Chicago food writing seriously by upgrading his intern from Hapless to Wretched.

Paul Kahan takes the farm-to-table concept to its obvious endpoint and announces Publican Quality Animals, a Fulton Market storefront where customers can purchase live cows and chickens. You can take them home to harvest or let the butchers do the work for you.

And last but not least…

In a shocking non-food related move, neon, chunky, hip and LA Tan rescind their endorsement deals with the Landon twins because get this, they’re really not twins!

Well that’s all for now…the crystal ball is getting murky and I have some leftovers to eat. Have a wonderful New Year’s and see you all in 2013 the year of the Chicago Coffee Roaster.

 Joe Campagna is the Chicago Food Snob. A former restaurant General Manager, Server and Chef you can find him on twitter @chifoodsnob. You can reach him through email at Joe has also contributed to Chicago and

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