Five of the top farm to table chefs in the midwest worked side by side last night in the kitchen at North Pond, to present a vision of what organizer Steve Plotnicki calls "Modern Midwestern Cuisine." Although no one can quite put their finger on what makes some farm to table cooking fit that bill and others not even North Pond chef Bruce Sherman, who hosted the dinner, admitted he wasn't entirely sure the dinner from these five chefs began to paint a clearer picture, with food that is not only local but prepared cleanly, almost minimally, somewhat outside the traditions of French/fine dining kitchens (but sometimes taking in other ethnic traditions of the midwest). Whether or not you can pin the concept down, there was no question that this was a great opportunity to try the cooking of important chefs outside the Chicago area who deserve more notice within our Chicago-centric focus. Meet the chefs and see what they made in our slideshow below.
Hosting chef Bruce Sherman at the head of the line of star midwestern chefs in North Pond's kitchen.
Gerard Craft of Niche in St. Louis preps ice for his egg curds as Josh Adams of June in Peoria works next to him.
Gerard Craft's lemon curd with bonito pearls.
Bruce Sherman's cumin-scented scallop dish.
Michael Bulkowski of Revolver in Findlay, Ohio confers with Gerard Craft.
Reflecting his Armenian heritage, Justin Aprahamian of Sanford in Milwaukee starts off with a baked cheese boereg in a pickled watermelon salad.
Michael Bulkowski makes Great Lakes walleye with beets and pickled tongue.
Bruce Sherman contributes a celeriac-pear soup with smoked trout and ginger-pickled pear.
Josh Adams of June in Peoria fries up candied sweetbreads with fennel and preserved apples— "like General Tso's chicken."
Gerard Craft of Niche in St. Louis makes barbecued pork trotter with blood sausage and wild sorrel sauces.
Dessert starts with a "pre-ssert" of Jupiter grape jam, Concord grape sorbet and verjus foam.
North Pond pastry chef Greg Mosko finishes with spiced carrot cake, white chocolate-sage namelaka and cranberry sorbet.
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