Recapping top stories from the weekend: Sky Full of Bacon goes for a ride with Jared Forratt, a much-acclaimed specialist in amuse-bouches (Tru, Graham Elliott) who has decided to launch his own amuse-bouche truck offering freshly prepared amuse-bouches to people who already have their lunch. The idea came about after Forratt found a technicality in Chicago’s food truck regulations which enables single bites to escape the no-preparing-food-onboard rules that other food trucks are subject to:
Forratt works amazingly fast, “plating” each onto a plastic spoon or other utensil with tweezers in less than a minute. Yet not a piece looks out of place, and the buyer receiving each handcrafted jewel holds it carefully, almost reverently, before downing it and then getting on with his chicken salad on Asiago roll or Doritos Locos taco. I ask one customer, graphic designer Wade Murdock, why he’s willing to pay $3 for a single bite of food. “I thought it was crazy, too, but as soon as I had one bite— which is all there was, one bite— of his pork belly niçoise with wasabi poutine gelee and banh mi smoke, I was hooked,” Murdock says. “It’s worth $3 for something that really sets up your slice of Sbarro’s so perfectly.”
At WBEZ.org, Louisa Chu announces the arrival of a new doughnut maker, Arise Doughnuts, specializing in highly local ingredients:
Sugar, made in house from locally grown beets. Salt, from Midwestern salt mines. Oil, pressed from locally grown sunflowers. Even the yeast is wild. Chocolate is coming, thanks to the cacao trees at the Garfield Park Conservatory, and of course fruit in season. Eggs will vary between chicken and duck—and milk among cow, goat, sheep, and even European rabbits through an experimental program at Lincoln Park’s Farm in the Zoo.
But such quality won’t come cheap— Chu estimates the cost per doughnut at $10.
At Gapers Block, Lori Barrett reports that, taking inspiration from Longman & Eagle bartender Derek Alexander, who used breast milk to make a cocktail in the Reader’s Cocktail Challenge, a local cheesemaker plans to make cheeses from the breast milk of animals, such as cows and goats. Will there be an audience for such an exotic concoction? We’ll see, but we know it would go well with this popcorn movie.
Finally, David Hammond in the Sun-Times talks to chefs about April Fool’s pranks. Most want to stay far, far away from pranking customers… but then there are restaurants, like those owned by Homaro Cantu, built on a certain year-round playfulness with their clientele:
When Chefs Homaro Cantu and Nate Park at ING do their take on “Death by Chocolate,” you might be expecting cake, syrup and ice cream — but instead you get a mini-crime scene with a chocolate revolver and a murder victim’s prostrate silhouette created by sprinkles of cocoa dust. Surprise!