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.
“Farm to table” dining may have become commonplace on Chicago’s restaurant menus. But Chef Paul Virant was in the vanguard of the movement just 13 years when he opened Vie restaurant in the suburb of Western Springs. And he is all about giving back to the community. Within a recent three-day span, Paul did a cooking demo with the Gardeneers audience for schoolchildren in Englewood, then was the honoree for Angelic Organics Learning Center at their annual dinner.
Chefs Erling Wu-Bower of Chicago’s Nico Osteria and Cosmo Goss of The Publican are two of the biggest young stars on the city’s and nation’s restaurant scene. So when they went to their boss at the hugely successful One Off Hospitality Group — James Beard Award winning chef Paul Kahan — a few months ago to tell him that they planned to open their own restaurant, Paul says, “Man, my brain exploded.” But Paul himself had benefited from the nurturing and encouragement of the chefs from whom he learned, such as Rick Bayless, and he and his business partners are helping Erling and Cosmo plan and develop their restaurant. All three chefs will participate on Sunday in the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration fundraiser at The Art Institute of Chicago.