| Dec 11, 2011
| 7:16 PM
In January 2010, chef Curtis Duffy took a one-month sabbatical from Avenues to creatively recharge. He set a goal for himself: conceptualize one dish for every day that month (one he came up with was called “The Life Cycle of Fennel”). He...
| Dec 14, 2011
| 10:14 PM
I'm usually a blur when watching Top Chef. My fingers clack away at the laptop, my eyes dart back and forth between TV and computer screen, as I mentally organize plot summaries, attempt to compose some pithy Tweet while simultaneously taking bites of...
| Dec 22, 2011
"Just so everyone knows," Tom Martin announced to all in the diner, "it's this gentleman's fault that I'll be singing a song."
On the word "this," Martin gestured to me. Sitting at the counter alone, like a duck in the cross hairs, I suffered the judging...
| Dec 21, 2011
| 10:03 PM
Do you buy into the idea of karma? I don’t. I’ll tell you what I do believe: Television works best when packages come delivered tied up with perfect bows.
Because on Wednesday's "Top Chef" installment, as soon as Beverly Kim (Aria) said,...
| Dec 30, 2011
Close watchers of Chicago's food scene may have been surprised to learn that Alinea — one of the most highly regarded restaurants in the city and the world — failed its routine health inspection a month ago.
But what may seem like a big...
| Jan 25, 2012
| 8:40 PM
In honor of our fallen samurai chef, a series of haikus for Chicago's most lovable molecular gastronomist:
Chris Jones of Moto
You're Padma's "Lovable Nerd"
Melding science, food
We've bonded with you
You're sodium alginate
We're calcium salt ...
| Jan 28, 2012
| 11:58 AM
The Jean Banchet Awards, the local Emmy's of the restaurant world, were announced in a lavish ceremony hosted by Steve Dolinsky and Alpana Singh at the Fairmont Hotel Friday night. The awards were part of the 15th annual Grand Chefs Gala. Chef Jimmy...
| Feb 1, 2012
| 7:59 AM
Thursday's Dining cover story is our profile on chef Paul Kahan as he and his team prepare to open Publican Quality Meats, the Fulton Market butcher shop. A few newsworthy items from the piece:
*** As we reported earlier, Publican Quality Meats is...
| Feb 1, 2012
| 9:09 PM
We’ve reached the equivalent of Mile 22 in the Top Chef marathon. Vision gets blurry, the lactic acids are burning holes through our calves, and everything around you starts to feel ... weird.
We know the show’s taping schedule is...
| Feb 8, 2012
| 8:57 PM
For the first 11 episodes of Top Chef, Beverly Kim’s journey was a Greek tragedy. Castigated, chastised, verbally beaten down by fellow contestants, she was booted in an episode where no one deserved elimination.
In that Charlize Theron-starred...
| Feb 9, 2012
Of all the reality competition dreck infesting TV screens, Top Chef is one of its better shows (I still think The Amazing Race is the gold standard). Unlike singing competitions where talent might be God given, or insect-eating shock challenges where fear...