I am well behind in food bloggery but also think that some sort of non-work thing is a key to retaining one's sanity. So, back to Cooking with Ideas. And thanks, dear readers, for your patience.
Today: an oldish magazine that has been hanging around: New City (free from newcity.com) had an issue in April (April 17 & 24 to be specific) entitled "The Big Heat: Chicago's Food and Drink Fifty." Yes, I read it cover to cover at the time, and no, I did not blog. Hence this entry, today, in early June.
One thing I like about this is that it was NOT focused on restaurants or bars per se, but on the people who make it all happen. The line up includes chefs, and more, though chefs well outnumber others. Think Grant Achatz, Stephanie Izard, Rick Bayless (though number one is Paul Kahan and one reason I really like that is I know less about him and more about his restaurants since I think blackbird is the bee's knees). The first woman on the list, of course, was Izard; the next is one of my faves: Carrie Nahabedian. (I recently ate at Brindille, which is a terrific and wonderful place. The tasting menu was -- well, one of the best I have ever had -- though I would have cut a course or two. Naha is, of course, on everyone's list.) The first non-chef is Sandra Holl, labelled "baker." I did not know her place, but will -- Floriole Cafe and Bakery and love it that she has a blog; the next is a pastry chef (Leigh Omilinsky) and then, there at number 22 is Charles Joly as mixologist, beverage director at Aviary. Yes. Hurrah. There are other jobs -- chocalatier; sommelier; slumiwere, breakfast queen, brewer. And, of course, this is Chicago: pizza maker.
The profile are brief, but the zing is there -- pushing people outward to try new possibilities but also recognizing that there are people who make Chicago the food city (and drink city) it is.
Hurrah! And thanks! And: who would you put on your list of influential Chicago foodies? (Of course, eating at home -- that means we all have to acknowledge those we live with. And my partner can definitely cook. Step outaide the boundaries: who is your number one Chicago food influence?)