Posts for November 22, 2011

Today in Frozen Lobster News; Eat Your Fresh Green Beans

• Who's been eating lobster in my bed? asked Sox GM Kenny Williams when he discovered his downtown townhouse had been broken into, his beer had been drunk, and his frozen lobster had been defrosted. [Sun-Times]

• Here's a cheery thought: This is the fourth Thanksgiving since the economy tanked. Predictably, people are once again scaling back. [USAT]

• Here's a reason to eat real green beans instead of canned ones tomorrow: People who regularly consume canned foods have high levels of the nasty chemical BPA in their systems. [Atlantic]

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Chicago's Hottest Venue: The Butcher & Larder?

Owen, live with dead meat.Photo: courtesy Owen

Just a few weeks ago we were shooting video in the walk-in at The Butcher & Larder; little did we suspect that soon, all the kids would be doing it. But in fact two new videos popped up this week shot at everyone's favorite sustainable butcher shop. One, by a commercial filmmaker named Sergio Salgado, offers an artily-shot, very handsome 7-minute introduction to butcher Rob Levitt and why he does the kind of thing he does. That, at least, is the kind of thing you expect to be shot at The Butcher & Larder, and well worth seeing not only for the slickness of its making but for the message Rob offers in it. Salgado explains his purpose in making the film, the first in a series:

P&S (Practice & Space) is a web series that investigates people's commitments to their craft and is filmed on location in their unique spaces. There is a growing movement of people that dedicate themselves to more sustainable, more difficult and more expensive practices in order to produce a higher quality result. This series examines these stories.

The thing you might not expect is the second one— a live acoustic performance, shot inside the walk-in, by a performer named Owen who apparently does all his videos in interesting business locations around town. Watch them both below.

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What You Missed at A Voce: Goats, Girls, and Growlers

Stephanie Izard, Top Chef season four winner and chef-owner of Chicago's Girl & the Goat, has been on a countrywide "Goat Tour" to promote her new book, Girl in the Kitchen. Last night, the tour took her to A Voce, where she teamed up with Missy Robbins to host quite the unconventional meal, featuring beer as the belle of the ball.

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Support Your Burger-Chowin' Police at 25 Degrees Tonight

We wouldn't begrudge you a Grand Opening celebration even when you've been open for a while, and especially not when it's for a good cause. And really not when there are policemen and an alderman involved. All of which is to say, some of Chicago's finest will be engaged in a burger-eating contest tonight at the (pretty new) upscale burger bar 25 Degrees, to benefit a range of charities including the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, which aids families of killed or injured officers, Officer Al Porrata who has stage-4 cancer, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The eating contest kicks off at 7:30, emceed by ABC 7 sports announcer Jim Rose and with the first burger being eaten by Alderman Brendan Reilly of the 42nd Ward. Attend, eat a burger, and buy $10 raffle tickets to show your support for the boys in blue and these worthy causes.

Curtis Stone Is a Dad

Speaking of the oven, congrats to Top Chef Masters host Curtis Stone and actress baby mama Lindsay Price on their first child, a boy, reportedly named Hudson. Earlier today, Stone tweeted, "Lindsay and I are so excited to welcome our sweet little baby boy into the world. It feels so great to be a dad!!!!" [People]

GQ Names David Kinch Chef of the Year, Tries to Define His Cooking Style Without Saying ‘Farm-to-Table’

Kinch doing his morning 'shopping' at Love Apple Farms.Photo: John Kernick/GQ

Earlier this year, GQ critic Alan Richman took note that Manresa's David Kinch was the "father of [the] emerging movement" in Bay Area food that Richman found to be the most vital in the country right now. He called Kinch's food, "startling, local, Eurocentric, and revered," and now GQ returns to Los Gatos and Santa Cruz's Love Apple Farms to pen a glowing profile of the man and crown him the mag's Chef of the Year. "David Kinch is an anomaly," writes Charles Bowden, "A man who labors intensely, day after day, in a single restaurant and a single garden, quietly inventing a new kind of cooking and dazzling anyone lucky enough to sit at his table." Bowden then struggles, as many have, to figure out what to call this new kind of cooking.

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Slurping Turtle to Open Monday, Probably

Doors will open soon.Photo: courtesy Rachelle Bowden

The announced date has slid a couple of times, as restaurant openings do, and at least one instance of tweeted media exasperation has come of that, but Slurping Turtle, Takashi Yagihashi's affordably-priced ramen and noodle-oriented place downtown on Hubbard Street should open Monday. We say affordable by the somewhat inflated standards of downtown lunchtime dining, but still, with bowls of noodles going for $13 or $14 and bincho, grilled skewers, going for $4 or $5, it's at least in the ballpark of nearby chef-driven lunch spots such as Xoco, rather than expense account lunching. Lack of well-crafted ramen has long been one of the city's unexplained deficiencies, and if anyone can lift skewers above the yakitori-mall-food-court level and make it comparable in quality as a cuisine as sushi and sashimi locally, as it is in other cities, Michelin-starred Takashi is the one our hopes are pinned on.

Chicago Reader Goes Vegetarian For a (Short) Week

Vegetarian dishes at Wishbone.

Brien Comerford, happy at last with the Chicago Reader! After frequently offending its vegetarian readership (by no means inconsiderable, it being an alt-weekly) with Mike Sula's chronicles of livestock ownership, sausagemaking and the like (what's he gonna eat next, squirrel?), not to mention a certain multimedia series with a propensity for gross-out animal proteins, the Reader seemingly atoned this past week with a vegetarian issue.

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Table Fifty Two Launches Weekday Southern Supper Tonight

When we first read that Table Fifty Two was introducing something called "Southern Supper," we thought, isn't that what they do every night? But their new "Southern Supper" is a special meal— one could call it an early-bird special— served Tuesday through Thursday from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. For $35 per person, you're served family style salads or starters, an entree and sides reflecting the restaurant's (and chef de cuisine Rey Villalobos's) twists on Southern flavors based on what's in the market. The opening menu, starting tonight, will feature Chicken and Dumpling Soup, Braised Pork Shoulder with Piquillio Peppers, Leeks, Savoy Cabbage, and Radishes, Butter Bean Salad with Golden Raisins, Orange, Dates, and Parsley and Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Vanilla-Maple Crème Anglaise. Reservations are suggested (and must be made for 6:00 or earlier).

Groupon Hit But Still Above Water; We Eat Weird

• Groupon shares fell in yesterday's tech retreat, but are still above their $20 IPO price, surprisingly, and not trading at a... wait for it... discount. [Chicago Business]

• "We've become a nation of really weird eaters," particularly Millennials, who consume cereal any old time of day and favor snacking over actual meals. [USAT]

• ... Which actually might be good, since we all need to get used to eating less: Research indicates that world food demand is likely to double by 2050. [Business Week]

• And don't go blaming fat people: Contrary to what you might think, those who are overweight actually eat fewer meals than normal-weight people. [Reuters]

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