Posts for January 31, 2013

David Dworshak Leaving Carnivale For Takito Kitchen in Ukrainian Village

To be honest, our interest in "modern tacos" was somewhat modest when Takito Kitchen was announced. (Our heart belongs to the non-modern kind of tacos.) But okay, we just got more interested in this place, which is set to open soon at 2013 W. Division. Why? Because of the appointment of David Dworshak as head chef. Dworshak has been head chef of Carnivale for the last two years, and before that he worked under Carnivale's Mark Mendez, now of Vera, for six years and counts him as his mentor, which is a big plus mark for anybody in our book. So while Takito Kitchen may still be the sort of place that refers to a taco as a "small plate," we're definitely intrigued to see where Dworshak will take his training and experience in this new setting. Meet Dworshak in his Key Ingredient segment from 2011 here. [EC]

Nestlé Found Guilty of Spying on Activist Group

Not really the best disguise.

The world's largest food company has been ordered to pay civil damages to an anti-globalization activist group it spied on for a year, the Independent reports. In 2003, Nestlé hired Swiss security firm Securitas AG for the purposes of infiltrating the meetings of Attac, which touts the benefits of breastfeeding and actively protests the market saturation of the corporation's ubiquitous formula. Using a false name and identity, Securitas AG embedded at least one employee with the protestors for a year, during which time she sat in on meetings and strategy sessions and then reported findings to Nestlé. Her identity was discovered after someone placed an anonymous call to a Swiss anti-corruption hotline, and while criminal charges stemming from the investigation were dropped in 2009, the maker of Nescafé, Nesquik, and several candy bars has now been ordered to pay 3,000 Swiss francs, or approximately $3,238 dollars, to the nine activists. That's a lot of Kit-Kats. [Independent UK, Attac]

On The Lookout For Asian Surprises

Peter Yuen at Patisserie P.

Some ethnic cuisines seem settled, you just have to discover what they have. That's not the case with Chicago's Asian scene which, if not as vast as those on the west coast where immigration is focused, is nevertheless always changing and full of new discoveries. Here are a couple of recent pieces aimed to help you find what's out there. Chefs always seem to be up on Asian offerings, as they're endlessly novel and usually cheap, and Tasting Table asked local chefs what their favorite Asian finds were; there's no General Tso Chicken here, the suggestions range from clay pot soup at Tank Noodle (from Kristine Subido of Pecking Order) to custard buns at Patisserie P on Argyle, courtesy of Ryan Poli (we've had the ones at Chiu Quon, but we'll have to check these out).

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America’s Sick Restaurant Workers Are Contributing to This Country’s Disease Outbreaks

Does this guy look a little green around the gills?Photo: iStockphoto

Your salad may be making you barf, but should you also be blaming the sick cook who can't afford to take a day off, back there in the open kitchen trying not to fall into a pot of bolognese? Precarious relationships between restaurant owners and employees who work long hours for typically low shift pay are all the more tested by outbreaks of food-borne illness, a new study suggests, and the whole thing is pretty grim.

Barfing and accounted for. »

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Ships, Icebergs, and Scylla and Charybdis

Maritime law dictates that plates on ships must be very intricate and complicated.Photo: David Moir/Bravo

The gang is overjoyed at Josie’s elimination. Five chefs remain — enough to field a team in this Sunday’s Super Bowl. (I think this is true, but I can’t check because I don’t want my Internet browser history to have a record of me searching for sports.)

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Nepal House Coming, Ending South Loop Mystery

Chicago Curry House will open Nepal House in a location with an interesting backstory.

Every neighborhood has one of those places... the mysterious business that never seems to actually do any business, yet remains open... and you just get a vibe that it's not a good idea to check it out too closely. Well, the South Loop has one less such place, actually, since the news is that an Indian restaurant called Nepal House (from the same people as Chicago Curry House) will open on the hot South Michigan Ave. restaurant row at number 1301, according to the blog Sloopin. But we have to admit that we were more fascinated by the story of the business that just departed that space, A'Cappella Bistro, which apparently mystified readers of Sloopin for some months:

I've been there once and the whole thing is suspicious... It took years for them to open their doors and when they finally did...little to no business... Who has the money to keep the place open and partially decorated yet doesn't put any money into creating atmosphere and drawing in business...? There's no music or TV in the place, no liquor served, plasticware and cheep dishes, food prices are dirt cheap... The place makes me nervous.

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Coca-Cola Pulls Ads From French Public Television Over Controversial Documentary

Oh là là.Photo: Coca-Cola

The beverage corporation has allegedly pulled all of its advertising from the state-owned France Télévisions following a controversial documentary that aired on France 2, according to reports. Coca-Cola et la formule secrète apparently rubbed executives the wrong way, because its "troublemaker" host posed questions about the safety of the soda directly to the company's chief executive in front of shareholders.

In other news, it seems as though soda may be bad for you. »

Our Super Colossal Super Bowl Roundup Post

The teams train for the big game... the advertising agencies work on the big TV commercials... and we take all the press releases we got about the big game and put them into a post for you. Let's start with one that we'd be tempted to take advantage of ourselves: Table, Donkey & Stick chef Scott Manley will be cranking up the sausagemaker to make a special Super Bowl sausage special on game day for pick-up or local delivery. The package includes 10 house-made pork sausages, 10 pork fat pretzel rolls, braised sauerkraut, house pickles and whole grain mustard for $75. Sausages must be reserved by 5 pm Saturday by emailing with a contact number. Delivery can be arranged or packages may be picked up at 2728 W Armitage until 5pm on Sunday. Now here's more Super Bowl Sunday specials.

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Beavers Coffee + Doughnuts Opens Today in French Market

Yesterday's opening of Lillie's Q in the French Market brought out a crowd, we are told, of more than 200 people desperately seeking BBQ at lunchtime. We'll see if today's produces similar crowds for the steadily growing market: food truck Beavers Coffee + Donuts is opening its first permanent location in the market today. They'll be offering the same menu as their truck (which will continue operation), which you can see at their site, but we're told that because of the added resources and room afforded by their new, non-rolling space, they'll be able to offer more special and seasonal flavors along with their regular menu. Today is a soft opening; the official opening will be next Wednesday, February 6, and will be marked by free 4-doughnut samplers from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

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