Monica Eng’s sit-down with a bunch of Chicago chefs is so full of fodder that we are actually sitting here in a state of disarray, so much is there that we want to talk about. It is glorious.
Eng sits down with Michael Altenberg (Crust, Bistro Campagne), Graham Elliot Bowles (graham elliot), Paul Kahan (Blackbird, Avec), Bill Kim (Le Lan, Urban Belly), Carrie Nahabedian (Naha), and Jackie Shen (Red Light), to talk about, well, everything.
And we were going to do a sort of topic-by-topic recap, but then we realized that virtually everything that got our undies in a bunch came out of the mouth of one mister Bowles. Like, for example:Chicago vs. New York: Graham Elliot Bowles counters Bill Kim’s claim that “New York is still the top city” by pointing out that “in New York the chefs that you talk about today—Daniel [Boulud], Jean-Georges [Vongerichten] and [David] Bouley—are the same ones you talked about 20 years ago. It’s not very feasible for people to [open a new place] unless it’s way down in the Village or way in Brooklyn.”
Dude. Graham. We showed that quote to MP:Boston editor Leila and she said “that is retarded.” And she is right! Plenty of new-guard NYC chefs who own their own places are all over the national foodie radar: Chang, Hamilton, Dufresne, Zamarra — just to name a few. And believe us when we tell you we have lived in New York, and opening a restaurant “way down in the Village or way in Brooklyn” is not an “unless” scenario — it is a best-case scenario. Midtown is for tourists and businessmen, and upper west and east sides are culinary wastelands. Downtown or Brooklyn is where you go if you want to be taken seriously as a chef.A good Chicago bakery: GEB claims that his restaurant doesn’t even serve bread, “because we aren’t able to make it in-house and there are really no great bakeries to source it out.”
And then Paul Kahan is all, dude, what about Fox & Obel? Hmm? And we are all THAT IS RIGHT, PAUL KAHAN. YOU SHOW HIM.Bloggers: Ouch: we and our ilk are universally hated, of course, but GEB draws an odd analogy: “Why this obsession with food online? You don’t see people blogging about their new shoes in the same way.”
Has this man never been on the internet?In his defense, GEB has nice things to say about food trends, and we support his decision to consume a $10 lunch at a gyros place on Chicago Avenue. And we hear very nice things about his restaurant. But still.
Top Chicago chefs dish on dining [Tribune]
[Photo: This man does not think people blog about shoes.]