Table, Donkey and Stick Names Next Three Chefs; First Competing Chefs Release Menus (Plus an Underground Dinner Series From Shin Thompson)

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The first two aspiring-chef pop-ups at Table, Donkey and Stick sold out fast, but chef Shin Thompson and manager Matt Sussman have announced the next three chefs who will compete for the chance to become the chef at their Alpine inn-inspired concept in the former Bonsoirée space at 2728 W. Armitage. (Two more will be announced for the following week.) The first, on the night of Monday, November 12, will be Brian Beverly, who was most recently sous chef at The Drawing Room; he's also worked at Browntrout, was executive chef of the Saddle and Cycle Club, and worked for Stephanie Izard at Scylla... and a long time ago, he worked at Bonsoirée. The next night, Tuesday November 13, it will be Sean O'Hara, who just completed a stint as chef tournant at The Bristol. He was chef de cuisine at the Metropolitan Club for several years and has worked at Spiaggia and Meritage. And the third of this series of chef contestants, Wednesday November 14, is Evan DeVries. He is currently maitre'd at Au Cheval, but has kitchen experience including Everest, Boka, Green Zebra and Old Town Brasserie, where he was sous chef. He's also spent the most time in Europe, apparently, of any of the contestants so far, cooking, butchering and baking along the way.

As with the dinners being staged by the first two contestants, which will happen next week, admission to the dinners is by reservation only for $15 each, with drinks for sale and half of the profits for the evening going to a charity of the chef's choice. The first two chefs have now chosen their designated charities and released their menus. Jonathan Keeley on November 5 will serve:


  • Beets, carrots, sunchoke , golden endive, mascarpone snow, compressed apple, sherry vinaigrette, poached trout


  • Pork sausage, pate and rillettes, pickled mustard seeds and shallots with grilled pretzel roll


  • Heirloom squash soup, sweet breads, crispy kale, I.P.A foam, chili oil


  • Squid ink parpadelle, braised rabbit , rabbit loin, brussels sprouts, leeks and natural jus and toasted hazelnut crumble


  • Olive oil cake, espresso gel, crème fraiche ice cream, honey comb candy crumble, ganache

His donation will be to Chicago's City Farm. Scott Manley on November 8 will serve:


  • Rye Bread with Boar Rillettes, from a whole Slagel Farm boar


  • Chicken Consomme with Smoked Chicken Maultaschen


  • Duck Charcuterie with Apples, Turnips, Buckwheat


  • Sauerbraten of Slagel Boar, Red Cabbage, Bubespitzle, Celery, Ginger


  • Chocolate with Meringue, Blueberry, Pine

His donation will be to the Tourette Syndrome Association.

Meanwhile, if you don't manage to get in to the chef tryout dinners, there's one more set of events you will want to know about, called Shin's Underground. On six Friday and Saturday nights between now and December 1, Shin Thompson will be holding pop-up dinners in the Bonsoirée space which will combine looks back at Bonsoirée's six-year run with previews of dishes for his still-unnamed Lake Street restaurant opening in early 2013. Here's the menu for these dinners, which melds French and Japanese influences:


  • Amuse of Sashimi


  • Duck Confit & Mushroom Duxelle cooked with Cognac, 63 Degree Farm Egg, Toast Points, Black Truffle, Fines Herbs


  • Scallop Motoyaki!


  • Kabocha Squash and Fuji Apple Soup, Roasted Corn, Seared Trout, Lobster Oil, Crispy Leeks


  • Crispy Skin Suzuki, Japanese Scallion Soy Beurre Blanc, Pearls of Sweet Potato & Grilled Asparagus


  • 60 Hour Zabuton Wagyu Short Rib, Pommes Frites with Nori Dust and Sea Salt, Karashi Punch in the Face Mustard, Chasseur Sauce


  • Matcha Cake Napoleon, Chocolate Sauce and Macerated Fresh Berries

The dinners are November 9, 10, 16, 17, 30 and December 1; the price is $95 and the dinners are BYO, with a small bottle list available. For the Table, Donkey and Stick tryout dinners, go here. For the Shin's Underground dinners, go here.