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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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05.13.09

Good for the Goose

Restaurant Reviews


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Why’s Russell Crowe wearing a chef’s coat and standing in the lobby at Goose Island Clybourn? Maybe craft brewing has finally reached the tipping point and he’s studying up for a role in a beer version of “Sideways.” I can see it now, Crowe bellied up to some tavern next to his sidekick, maybe Steve Zahn, bellowing, “I am NOT drinking any fucking IPA.” More »

05.11.09

Twin Tale: A Sandwich Slugfest

Restaurant Reviews


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If Chicago’s newest gourmet sandwich shops Birchwood Kitchen in Wicker Park and Lunch Rolls in the Loop were twins, they’d be Julius and Vincent Benedict from the 1988 film, “Twins.” In case you’ve forgotten the plot, and really who could blame you, Julius and Vincent were the product of a secret experiment to create the perfect child from six different fathers. While the exercise spawned the superior intellectual/physical specimen of Julius (Arnold Schwarzenegger) it also created a fraternal twin, Vincent (Danny Devito) made from the leftover genetic garbage. Neither Birchwood nor Lunch Rolls is particularly deficient like Vincent (in fact they’re both pretty decent options for their respective hoods), but as sandwich-slinging brethren they’re definitely opposites. More »

05.07.09

Beyond Dining

Events


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When one walks into a restaurant, there are certain expectations of what the experience will be like. One sits at a table, one receives a menu, one dines. There are other things one might not expect, motorcycles, movies, tours, and team building being among them. However, restaurants today are finding that building brand loyalty often requires thinking outside the box, which has led to a lengthening menu of delightful ways one can interact with one’s favorite cuisines or chefs. Here is a sampling of some of the offerings from a few splendid area restaurants. More »

05.04.09

Like a Good Neighbor

Restaurant Reviews


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For five years, I’ve been a food writer without a country, or at least a great neighborhood restaurant to call my own. You might protest that as a West Loop denizen, I’ve been luckier than most, what with the glittering jewel of restaurant row on Randolph and carnivorous visions of glistening lamb spit-roasting in my Greek-joint-littered backyard. But expensive, even if inspired, lacquered glitterati-filled palaces and ethnic-focused conveyor-belt kitchens do not a neighborhood restaurant make. The bustle of such places may boil the blood, but they do not stir one’s soul. More »

04.29.09

The King of Kosher

Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Bill Owades, Kosher buyer for Fairway Market

“I’m friggin’ good at what I do…”

Early afternoon on a weekday is a period of comparative calm in the Harlem branch of Fairway Market, which is housed in a brightly painted warehouse on the Hudson River, not far from Columbia University and New York’s City College. On weekends and evenings, the customers navigate their shopping carts like bumper cars through the narrow aisles, but in the afternoons, they stroll at a very un-New York-like pace. The store’s staff seems to slow down a little, too, unpacking fruit with extra care and indulging customers who can’t make up their minds about the exact kind of smoked salmon they want. More »

04.21.09

Give Me Some Sugar

Food History, Recipes


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Sugarcane has an often vague and definitely checkered past. Because there is now no wild sugarcane growing anywhere in the world, it is hard to pinpoint its place of origin, but most scholars think it originated in India, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. From there, once its sweet secrets were discovered, it spread rapidly to Malaysia, Indonesia, Indochina, and southern China. More »

04.20.09

All Tomorrow’s Dinner Parties

Bites: News and Miscellany


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All of this, minus 27 sous chefs, could be yours for 150 easy payments of $19.95

In order to avoid sounding too much like Oxi Clean pitchman and sharp bearded wonder Billy Mays, we try to stay away from the promotional fare on Hungry magazine, but every once in a while we just can’t help ourselves and end up purchasing a box full of Snuggies and a Barack Obama Chia pet…this time around, we’ve got something much better for you.

To benefit the Writer’s Theatre Nick Kokonas and the boys at Alinea are offering one lucky bidder the opportunity of:

Dinner for 2 at Alinea with wine pairings
A signed copy of the Alinea book

AND….

The opportunity to use the Alinea kitchen on a Monday or a Tuesday when we are closed to host your own dinner party. You bring the food and up to 6 guests… and we will set up tables in the kitchen for you to host. You get the use of the facilities all day to prep… and in the evening myself and one of our chefs will help you out in cooking and service. Make no mistake — you have to cook… we are not going to do the cooking for you… We will also open up the Alinea wine cellar for you to purchase wine at a discount. In short, Alinea is your home kitchen for one night only.

The auction takes place Friday but you can submit a proxy bid by going here and contacting Sarah Ostman at 847-242-6012.

04.13.09

Beet It

Food History, Recipes


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If you say that you like beets, you were likely raised in the U.S. This is not because beets are exceptionally popular in the U.S., but rather because Americans are the only people who call them beets. Everyone else calls them beetroots. More »

04.06.09

Koetke of Kendall Named Cooking Teacher of the Year

Bites: News and Miscellany


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One of the questions I get asked a lot by aspiring chefs is how they can become a great chef. I’ve got a good piece going up this week about how you can be one of the best chefs in the world which should help with that. In the mean time, I came across a little nugget from our intrepid writer Cynthia Clampitt that Chris Koetke, the dean of Kendall college was named Cooking Teacher of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals this weekend. This reminds me of the fact that if you’re choosing to go to culinary school and drop big dollars you should go to a very good one.

On a global scale this means you should consider CIA, Le Cordon Bleu, and Johnson and Wales. If you’re going to stay in Chicago, Kendall seems to be the big one these days…consider grads like Shawn McClain, Doug Sohn, Mindy Segal as great examples. Chances are they like to hire from their alma mater. On top of the networking, you want good peeps guiding you, and Koetke’s nod says a lot. He’s done a good job of building a solid teaching corps including the legendary Pierre Pollin (Le Titi de Paris) and John Bubala (Timo, Thyme). Bubala teaches his class like it’s an afternoon on the line instead of some French gourmet theory. When you walk out of his class, you’ll be able to stage like you mean it.

That being said, cooking is one of the few professions where you can still make it by walking in to a kitchen and working your way up. If you don’t have the cash, be smart and pick a good working kitchen that’ll teach you what culinary school would have. That is to say, don’t focus on a spot using immersion circulators and lasers until you know how to do a traditional braise and make a brunoise of veg. Once you can do that in your sleep, then knock on the back door at Alinea or Moto.

04.02.09

The Fearless Mr. Foss

Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Do you like pinball?

What do you mean?

You know, do you play it? Do you find it fun?

A minute or so passed without an answer from one of Chicago’s mega-celebrity chefs, as he faced a local food reporter while they stood near a pinball machine. The chef was usually so prepared that he’d given the same answers to many questions for almost twenty years with almost no variation in delivery or syllable. His ability to stay on message made even the disciplined Barack Obama look more like the drunken political godchild of Gerald Ford and Sarah Palin. More »

04.01.09

The Cheeseburger Show

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Kevin Pang - CLTV - April 16 - The Cheeseburger Show. A local food show so good it makes me jealous I hadn’t thought of it.

03.30.09

A Healing Journey with my Chicago Mama

Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Karyn Calabrese is like the grandmother I wish I had. Albeit, with the humor and energy of a twenty-something, she’s a smokin’ dynamo of a grandmother. In fact, if she didn’t proudly publicize her age (62), based on her vibrant youthful appearance, I might even be able to call her my Chicago mama. More »

03.24.09

Duck Soup

Food Literature Reviews


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He might eat foie gras on occasion, but even if you’re an animal-rights advocate, there’s no question that Mark Caro is a great human being. The Chicago Tribune scribe and author of the new book “The Foie Gras Wars” gave a reading at Borders in Lakeview last Thursday. He opened the affair with a duck joke told by his young daughter, which engendered a bout of crying from his other daughter who was a tad jealous of her sibling’s moment in the limelight. More »

03.19.09

Almonds

Food History, Recipes


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Though Prunus amygdalus is, as its name hints, a close relative of plums, as well as peaches, you’ll never eat this tree’s fruit. For this drupe (the technical name for fruit with stones, such as plums and cherries), life is the pits. Literally. The fruit of this native of southwestern Asia becomes leathery as it matures, and splits open when ripe, exposing the world’s most popular nut, the almond. More »

03.16.09

Checking Out Clandestino

Restaurant Reviews


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As I went to the ladies’ room, I really felt like I should pick up a dish towel. More »

03.12.09

My Favorite Things:Oprah Diet Edition

Faster than Rachael Ray: Product Reviews


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Well now that Oprah’s declared herself a fatty again and is back on the Bob Greene Best Life diet, you can bet she probably won’t be sharing any food finds during her next favorite-things segment. Have no fear. Though I’ve declared myself a fatty seven times over, I’m always here for you with the latest and greatest of my fabulous food favorites. Enjoy. More »

03.10.09

We Were Only in it for the Fried Clams

Food Memoir


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My father was a home builder in Post -WWII America. His turf: Long Island, the spit of land running eastward from New York City for 150 miles out to Montauk Point. Formerly the exclusive domain of truck farmers and the Great Gatsby, “the Island”, with its Levittown (immortalized by Pete Seeger as “little boxes”), was destined to be the quintessential example of the banality of suburban culture. And while my father was busy draining the city of post-war families fleeing crowded conditions in Brooklyn and the Bronx, we lived in a relatively dense post-war urban setting in Queens. More »

03.08.09

A Designing Frenchman

Profiles in Food: Interviews


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The dapper Frenchman smiles happily, temporarily forgetting his cup of cooling cappuccino as he enthusiastically pours out a lively stream of French history peppered with comments about architecture and food. Segueing from history to his own life, he notes, “When I was fourteen, I wanted to be either a chef or an architect. I ended up doing neither, but in a way, I am involved in both.” More »

03.05.09

You Talkin to Me?

Cookbook Reviews


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The first time I browsed through Andrew Carmellini’s and Gwen Hyman’s new cookbook “Urban Italian”, I was quickly turned off by what I took to be a bit too much attitude. More »

03.04.09

G’Day Mate

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Our food historian Cynthia Clampitt is a master of all things down under (and coincidentally burst our bubble that Fosters is not Australian for “beer”). She recently gave a talk on the foodways of Australia at the gathering of Culinary Historians. Listen here.


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