All / Living & Travel

There’s Always Chicago

Now what’s next for me?  Well, there’s always Chicago.  For those of you who didn’t know, I flew out to Chicago last June to compete on a Food Network show and won the opportunity to take a position in the Windy City (http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2013/09/chef-wanted-tavernita-update/). So why am I still in New York?  While I was in negotiations, the owner at my job in New York passed away unexpectedly and everything changed.  After so many years with the company everyone there was like family to me, so I felt personally committed to helping them through the transition and seeing them through the New Year.

Even though the position in Chicago was no longer on the table, I met a lot of great people in the process.  A few months later, I made arrangements to fly out to Chicago for a week to trail in a few kitchens, including Tavernita, and really take a bite out the culinary scene.  It was also the first long vacation D. and I would take together.  So we reached out to the chef at Tavernita and our industry friends to help us put together a list of must-eat restaurants. We didn’t make it to them all, which gives us a reason to return.  Still, over the course of seven days we checked out sixteen different eateries and each gained twenty pounds each. These were highlights and must haves:

This isn’t even the complete list

Roasted Cauliflower at Girl and the Goat

Pork Shoulder with Bomba Rice at Avec

Crispy Duck Tongue at Girl and the Goat

The absolute best burger we have EVER had, at Au Cheval

Must have Caldo de Carnitas at Xoco

Beef Cheek and Pastrami Terrine and Chicken Liver Pate at Sepia

The culinary scene in Chicago appears to be a close knit and supportive community that I wouldn’t mind getting to know better.  During my trail at Little Market, I half-jokingly said that I wouldn’t mind having a trail the The Girl and the Goat.  Without batting an eye, the sous chef said, “Let me make a few calls and see what I can do.”  Wow.

Planning the next trip.  Any recommendations?

3 thoughts on “There’s Always Chicago

  1. OMG! Congrats chef!. That’s such wonderful news that you were on FTVN. Ilook forward to reading more posts about it.

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