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MJN

participating member
  • Content Count

    15
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  • Website URL
    http://www.lifeserial.net

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  • Location
    Chicago
  1. Thanks for the kind words guys. I'm always looking for feedback if you have any. I worry sometimes if the interviews are too long. I know most of the egulleters are hungry for this information, so I tend to err on the side of most information...but of course folks time isn't infinit. I've been toying with the idea of a short version and a long version, so if folks want a quick digest, more like NPR they can get it and go, kind of an amuse if you will....
  2. Just put up a podcast with Grant Achatz. As you can imagine, he's a really thoughtful and intelligent chef, and the conversation covers his vision of constant evolution, perfecting something, throwing it away, and starting again. We also talk about customer expectations, why molecular gastronomy isn’t a meaningful label, how family meal or “comida” is different for the Alinea staff, and of course the most important question, what is Achatz favorite Potbelly sandwich? Podcast There's also a photo slideshow of the Alinea kitchen during prep from a few weeks ago: Pictures
  3. You make your own bitters from scratch... Chicago's Master Mixologist
  4. MJN

    Publican [Chicago]

    Hopleaf in Andersonville is probably the best example. Darwins in Bucktown used to be great, but I heard they retooled and the food is not quite as good as it used to be.
  5. I interviewed Chef Paul Kahan of Blackbird and Avec in Chicago last week. We talked about all kinds of stuff, but the most exciting news is that he and his partners are on the verge of opening a new gastropub. It's not set in stone, as the papers have yet to be signed, but we talked alot about his vision for the new spot in the interview. Imagine pork based comfort food, reasonable prices, and great beer - all in the architectural spirit of Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. To hear more: Paul Kahan Interview Also, we took some photos of Paul and the Blackbird kitchen: Blackbird Slideshow
  6. Paul Virant, of Vie restaurant in Western Springs, is a new school chef focusing on old school ways. Lots of chefs talk about cooking in season, using local products, and cooking from the heart. Many of those chefs are just throwing out buzzwords. Chef Virant, on the other hand, is working hard to source midwestern ingredients, preserving and canning fruits and vegetables, curing meats, foraging for mushrooms, and digging fresh ramps. He believes in the purity of food, and celebrating the simple bounty of the earth. When we spoke during this interview, I asked him who he’d invite to a dinner party he was throwing. His response, Jimi Hendrix, legendary French Chef Fernand Point, and famed ecologist Rachel Carson. Yep, an ecologist. Paul Virant is the real deal. You can find the podcast interview with Chef Paul Virant of Vie here: Paul Virant Interview
  7. I just posted a podcast (mp3) interview with Chef Shawn McClain of Custom House, Green Zebra, and Spring restaurants. McClain talks about developing his simple culinary approach, how tough it is to succeed in fine dining, what it takes to sustain the success, and why GQ magazine food writer Alan Richman should be “put to pasture.” Read it here: Shawn McClain Podcast One of our photographers, Tuan Bui, also took some great food and action shots in the Custom House kitchen, capturing many of the dishes mentioned above. You can find a link in the article above, or go directly here: Custom House Slideshow
  8. MJN

    Hot Doug's

    If Dorothy Parker, the irreverent wit of the Algonquin round table, and Elvis Costello, the British rocker, conceived a love child, Doug Sohn would be their offspring. Sohn, the owner of Hot Doug’s restaurant in Chicago, wears thick black square frame glasses and peppers everything he does with a tiny bit of his Ginzu sharp wit. When I asked him to reveal something intimate, he said, “I don’t like to wear pants, I mean if it weren’t mandated….I just don’t care for them.” Convention is not Sohn’s game. I have just posted a new podcast interview with Doug Sohn, the owner and mind behind Hot Doug's, The Sausage Superstore, in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood. If you have never been, he serves game of the week like cognac infused duck sausage with truffle mustard, and duck confit french fries. You can find the podcast at: Hungry Magazine We have also made our podcasts available on Itunes, so if you want to download directly to your IPOD or other mp3 player through their subscription service, it just became a little easier.
  9. MJN

    Food-Related Podcasts

    Check out Hungry Magazine We recently posted Podcast interviews with Food and Wine Best New Chef 2004 Graham Eliot Bowles of Avenues restaurant, and 2005 Esquire Best New Restaurants in America chef at Butter, Ryan Poli.
  10. I have just posted a podcast (mp3) interview of Chicago Chef Graham Elliot Bowles of Avenues restaurant at: Hungry Magazine You can listen to it on the site or download it to any MP3 player. As you may know, Chef Bowles has been a participant on this forum and a Food and Wine best Chef in 2004. He has worked at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, Charlie Trotters, Tru, and the Jackson House Inn. Chef Bowles is bright, ambitious, and well versed on art,music, politics, and food. It was a real treat to talk with him. It turned into a jam session, with Chef Bowles riffing on music, food, art, and politics. We discussed why a chef has to leave his greatest hits behind, the wider accessibility of fine dining, how constraints actually breed creativity in cooking, and the chef’s tattoo collection. I am doing these interviews weekly, and wondered if anyone had any requests for chefs, food personalities, or topics they would like to see covered. Thanks, Mike
  11. ChefG In the food lab, it looks like you guys are cooking sous vide in a pot over the range, albeit with a thermometer. Many of the folks on the forum swear that you need to have a lab water bath or super special equipment to cook via this technique? Is that true or can you use a regular range as long as you are careful to keep the temp within a couple of degrees? Thanks again for sharing your vision with the group
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