If you want to show off that you can cook like a James Beard Outstanding Chef awardee, then Cheers To The Publican is for you. The recently released cookbook is co-authored by Chicago culinary giant Paul Kahan with writer Rachel Holtzman and Cosmo Goss, now a former chef de cuisine at The Publican. Restaurants in the One Off Hospitality group headed by Paul and his business partners — which include The Publican, Blackbird and avec — played a major role in converting the gritty meatpacking district in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood into the city’s Restaurant Row.
Any list of hot commodities in Chicago would have to include the Chicago Cubs, who last year won baseball’s World Series for the first time in 108 years; a world-renowned restaurant community driven largely by chefs who believe in Good Food movement principles and community engagement; and a craft beer scene that has boomed just within the past few years. So it wasn’t a coincidence that the first major event held at The Park at Wrigley — the new event space and community asset built by the team owners right next to historic 103-year-old Wrigley Field — was called Craft and Cuisine.
The organizers who produced the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration took a bit of a gamble by preceding the highly anticipated, chef-driven tasting event with a Good Food Forum. Given that most in the audience were anxious to eat, drink and be merry, the hour-long symposium could have be a buzzkill. But the enlightening, engaging and passionate discussion among five Good Food activists and leaders, deftly moderated by Peter Sagal of NPR’s popular program “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me,” turned out to be a perfect set-up for the food and frivolity that followed.
The people who attended the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday (April 30) — to help accelerate the Good Food movement — hopefully will always remember the evening they spent in what we called the Culinary All-Star Food Court. So as our thank you note, we present a photo essay of all of the participating chefs, with links to the chef profile series that Good Food on Every Table published in recent weeks.
Chef Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo — which brought fine-dining regional Mexican cuisine to Chicago in 1989 — won the James Beard Foundation 2017 Outstanding Restaurant Award at the organization’s annual ceremony, held Monday night at his hometown’s Lyric Opera House. The award, which Rick received with wife-business partner Deann Bayless sharing the podium, came just one day after the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration at The Art Institute of Chicago.
Johnny Anderes is head chef of The Kitchen Chicago, with a beautiful location overlooking the north bank of the Chicago River. The Kitchen restaurant group was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2004 and features delicious food — with a strong focus on local and sustainable sourcing — at its restaurants in Colorado, Chicago and Memphis. Johnny will join Paul Kahan and an all-star lineup of chefs who are participating in the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration, a joint fundraiser for Chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Farmer Foundation and FamilyFarmed, which will be held at The Art Institute of Chicago on Sunday, April 30.
Many people who have worked in Chef Rick Bayless’ kitchen since he opened Frontera Grill 30 years ago have gone on to their own success as chefs and restaurateurs. But among those who have worked for Rick, few — if any — have benefited more than Anselmo Ramirez, chef-owner of Chicago’s popular Ixcateco Grill, where he combines the Mexican food knowledge he gained from his grandmother with the restaurant craft he learned while working for 13 years in Rick Bayless’ kitchens… starting as a 17-year-old dishwasher. Anselmo will participate in the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration fundraiser on April 30 at The Art Institute of Chicago.
Butcher Rob Levitt’s status as a Good Food leader in Chicago crystallized after he and wife Allie opened The Butcher & Larder in 2011. But Rob also is an outstanding chef who met his wife Allie while they were training at New York’s Culinary Institute of America. And it will be in that chef role that Rob will be taking part in the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration, a joint fundraiser for Chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Farmer Foundation and FamilyFarmed, which will take place on Sunday, April 30 at the Art Institute of Chicago.
FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival is this Saturday at the UIC Forum on the campus of University of Illinois at Chicago. With exciting activities for adults and children too, it is hard to boil down the list of things to do. But we think this Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Festival list will be a useful guide.
There are few more important avenues for ensuring continued progress toward a better U.S. food system than teaching children about healthy food produced sustainably, humanely and fairly. Pilot Light, a chef-driven nonprofit in Chicago, is one of the most promising and innovative programs addressing this priority. Paul Kahan, a co-founder of Pilot Light and FamilyFarmed’s 2016 Good Food Chef of the Year, discusses the program in this Q-and-A.
Local Foods, a Chicago distributor of local and regional farm and artisan food products, has opened a 27,000-square foot store not far from the city’s downtown. It is carrying produce, dairy, eggs, and meats from farms in the Midwest region centered on its biggest city, along with fresh, frozen and packaged foods from top regional artisans — and is considered a big step forward in local food retailing by advocates of the Good Food movement.
Greg Wade, the head baker for Chicago’s Publican Quality Bread and the One Off Hospitality Group, conducted a Master Class in bread baking at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival Saturday morning at UIC Forum.
We have been writing so much about FamilyFarmed’s 11th annual Good Food Festival & Conference March 19-21 that we want to make sure that the main events designed for the general public do not get lost in the shuffle. So here is our list of the top 10 reasons you should attend the Localicious food and drink tasting event and the Good Food Festival.
Would you like to hang out with and learn from some of Chicago’s best-known chefs? And have you ever wanted to be a kid again? You might, then, be a little jealous of the Chicago schoolchildren who get to participate in the chef-driven Pilot Light educational program.
by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed Bread, especially bread made with wheat flour, has come under scrutiny in recent years. Some nutritional experts and consumers have turned against it, viewing it as the root of a variety of health issues, from gluten sensitivity to weight gain. These sentiments spawned a rapid rise in interest in gluten-free bread Read more about Chicago Baker Greg Wade: Making Interest in Good Bread Rise Naturally[…]
Paul Kahan is executive chef and partner in an empire of acclaimed Chicago restaurants. Yet he is not too busy to pursue a favorite cause: teaching food literacy and healthier eating habits to Chicago schoolchildren.