I find myself in Chicago for work. Luckily, I have been tasked with actually cooking during the National Restaurant Show this year and am in Illinois for 9 days. The first 4 days are where our company headquarters is, in Schaumburg Illinois. So my food intake was pretty much bar grub for a bit. But during prep, I did manage to cure a load of pork bellies. Aren’t they cute? These little bastards would then get an overnight wet roast and then at will, they would then be crackled until the lovely little logs reach a bubbly, golden crust. I invented this log of meat, and im quite proud of it.
The show starts and because I was cooking I didn’t get time to wander the show and see what was in the spot, but I did happen to find a potato the size of a semi-truck. I was quite exhausted so I left dinner reservations up to home-girl Brown. Homegirl Brown did not disappoint and we were on a long one block walk commute to Aria where Chef Beverly Kim from last season’s Top Chef leads the menu. I got to meet Beverly and she is the cutest little sweetheart of a chef and all the shit that the other chefs talked about her on the show can get shove back in their asses. Yes, she does cook Asian, but hey guess what dumbshits… she IS Asian! And her damn food is good! So we begin our meal with an amuse delivered by Chef spicy tuna roll, rolled in a nice knife skills lesson of cucumber. I went for some Sweet Pea Chawanmushi and tuna tartare. I fucking love peas! Here’s a shot of everyone at the table staring with open drooling mouths at their entrees. I opted for the scallops with hazelnut polenta and wait for it… fresh peas! How do you make Brussels sprouts even better? Mix it with pork belly and top it with a runny egg! Beverly was so cool, she wouldn’t take a pic with me flipping off the camera cuz she is such a sweetheart, but I did get a pic with her with our fists up. I like her.
The next evening Homegirl Brown gets us a large table rezzy at Carnivale. Good thing because my lottery pick of a rezzy at Aviary didn’t come to fruition. Carnicvale boasts Nuevo Latino Cuisine and im very happy with the leg that greeted me on the way to our table. I cant describe everything we ate because there was a lot, and I had exceeded the recommended amount of Caipirinhas one should consume in an evening. We ate piles of appetizers and samplers of cheese, charcuterie, and sashimi. Homegirl Brown gets the winner dish of the evening, Skirt Steak. Oh, theres a dessert menu that’s kinda ridiculous. Anyone for a Doctor Suess type Cotton Candy? Or Maybe a slice of cake for a family? As I tried to pay for some pictures in a photo booth, I authorized my credit card to buy some shoes? This is real and I have never seen this. Ladies acutally buy shoes from a vending machine?
Last dinner play date. Homegirl Brown hooks it up again with the Chef’s Table at Telegraph. With an award winning chef and somellier, I was in as soon as I saw “whipped Foie Gras” on the menu offerings. And you know me likey runny eggs, and they put one on top of a beef tongue. And I ate it. Here Fishy Fishy. My favorite dish of the evening, squid ink papardelle with fresh peas. Did I mention I like fresh peas? Now we ate a load of other foods, but I was a bit caught up with eating to take pictures. Im not a big dessert freak, but they got it going on here for dessert. I grabbed a glass of sauternes and munched on a chocolate cake with a fresh mint puree on top, that redefined mint chocolate chip cake. Finish the evening off with a smoked cheesecake, sweet at first taste, then savory like a mofo at the end. Nom.
9 Days in Chicago, im ready for home. But thanks Homegirl brown for showing all of the team some grub that chefs can be happy to have enjoyed!