Category: Interviews

The Kung Fu Competition That’s Revolutionizing the Kitchen at Blackbird

Every cook in the kitchen at Blackbird is in the fiercest competition of their lives—against themselves. “The cooks that come in here are very hungry,” executive chef Ryan Pfeiffer comments. “There is a large format of fundamental knowledge with an opportunity to put food on the menu at this restaurant. These competitions give us a... Read more »

“You Shouldn’t Get a F*cking Medal for Not Being a Terrible Person” and Other Teachings from Giant’s Award-Winning Chef

Jason Vincent—executive chef and partner of Giant—has had accolades rain down upon him by some of the most notable publications in the business. And yet, in an interview with Thrillist in 2016, he refers to himself by saying, “No one cares what a washed-up chef in a tiny neighborhood joint is doing.” Thrillist agreed to... Read more »

How to Make Bacon Taste Even More Perfect

Turn it into candy. Which is exactly what Jeff Mauro and Kevin Corsello did three years ago when they first opened Chicago’s beloved BBQ shop, Pork & Mindy’s. “It was the most finely tuned piece of bacon that I’ve ever encountered,” Emmy award-winning chef and Chicagoan, Jeff Mauro says almost wistfully as he recounts when... Read more »

A Hidden Novel Between the Pages of a Chicago Loop Cocktail Bar Menu

In the heart of Chicago’s loop lives a pair of spirit guides who stepped away from the past and blended their lives with our present. These muses glide through a room where warm lamps bathe leather arm chairs and sofas. They run their fingertips across the walls studded with leather-bound books. They weave between men and women... Read more »

6 Steps for a Successful Work Environment from One of Chicago's Fastest-Growing Restaurant Groups

With 17 restaurants to their name (four newly opened in 2017), the Boka Restaurant Group continues to pave their way to greatness in Chicago’s dining space. Newly-opened Somerset is on the lips of every informed diner in the city, while institutions like Boka and the Goat restaurants continue to dazzle and draw crowds from around... Read more »

Reactions to a Memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love (with Recipes)

How many of us have ever really tasted olive oil as if we were tasting it for the first time? Picture the whites of an egg bubbling up, the yolk doing a gentle jiggle as the pan hisses and sputters with beautiful, real olive oil. Granules of salt shower down in the perfect even coating.... Read more »

Green City Market dinners at Travelle Kitchen + Bar

The food scene in Chicago is very different from the food scene in other big cities in that it highlights the food community. Chefs across our city are constantly involved in collaborations with each other as well as local farmers or producers. Small businesses are celebrated often and charitable efforts frequently bring together the biggest... Read more »

Good Fortune: Pop-Up Restaurant or Creative Incubator?

Good Fortune: Pop-Up Restaurant or Creative Incubator?
Good Fortune, the much-discussed pop-up by Andrew Miller and Chef Charles Welch, is more than just a pop-up. It’s the start-up before the start-up; the pre-incubator, if you will. With menus that change on an almost daily basis, Welch and Miller are conducting a break-even market research operation that will support the foundation of their... Read more »

How Grubhub Just Made Online Ordering A Breeze for Restaurants

I don’t know about you guys but a standard weekend in my household involves an hour or more of gentle bickering over what to eat. Well-intentioned plans to explore new neighborhoods fall to the wayside in favor of delivery and binge-watching Netflix in pajamas. And it’s not just the weekends. As I write this, I’m... Read more »

Rotisserie Ēma Offers What River North Sorely Needs—Healthy Lunch Options That Don’t Revolve Around Salad.

One year ago, Top Chef alum and Intro’s original chef, CJ Jacobson’s Ēma opened its doors in River North. The Mediterranean restaurant, meaning mother in Hebrew, captures more than sunshine and freshness within its four walls. Ēma abounds with love, playfulness, and sustenance. Mentored and encouraged by the grand-daddy of Lettuce Entertain You, Rich Melman,... Read more »