If you’ve always wanted your food to taste as good as it looks or vice versa, an extraordinary line up of events which began last night and goes through the weekend will satisfy your aesthetic cravings. Fete Chicago is a pop-up night market hosting some of the city’s best and most beautiful food and conversations with chefs, critics and designers all weekend long. Best of all? Most events are reasonably priced! Check out the landscape of delicious design here.
Congratulations to Brian Lambrecht, who is going to this year’s BaconFest on April 20th at the UIC Forum. His original video, “Can You Smell The Fryer?” was truly inspired; a bacon-y ode to that magnificent belly. Kudos to all who entered, but seriously, with the amount of effort and love that went into this brief video, it was a landslide. Hope you enjoy it, and Brian, just bring your ID to will call that day and you’re all set!
I know it’s impossible to come up with just five experiences, considering I just spent 10 days devouring more ramen, sushi and kimchi than most people do in a year, but such are the limitations of this space, and the ridiculous Top 5 corner I’ve backed myself into. As the images swirl in my head, it’s pretty easy to come up with my top 5. Here they are, in no particular order:
TOKYO – Screw Wheaties. What passes for breakfast in the U.S. – a bowl of cereal, two scrambled eggs, maybe a strip of bacon – looks positively caveman compared to what the Japanese consider a proper way to start the day. Channeling a bit of Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson at the Park Hyatt here one morning last week, the Japanese Breakfast couldn’t be more understated. It’s listed on the menu pretty simply:
Selection of Juices (Orange, Apple, Grapefruit, Cranberry, Vegetable or Tomato)
Appetiser, Grilled Fish, Simmered Vegetables, Egg, Tofu
Miso Soup, Rice, Pickled Vegetables
But the rundown bares little resemblance to what is actually served.
Since I just returned from Korea yesterday, and saw dukbokki at every night market and street corner, I couldn’t resist re-running this favorite from last year. It’s one of those images you’ve seen countless times driving down the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago. No, not the Wrigley’s digital sign or that building on Ashland that’s always getting painted over with a new billboard. I’m talking about the white lettered, green sign that used to say “Chicago Food Corp.”, and now just says “Joong Boo Market.” Most people think it’s an Asian wholesale market, but those in-the-know realize it’s a fantastic Korean grocery store with a grandma-led kitchen in the back, serving home-cooked food to both novice and more seasoned Korean food fans. Read More
SEOUL – As I type this post from the Seoul airport, where the WiFi speed makes U.S. carriers look like dial-up circa 1998, I have dozens of images and flavors locked into my permanent taste memories. The fatty toro from Matsu, served at the counter inside a charming two-story home in Kyoto; the cacophony surrounding the immense Tsukiji Fish Market, juxtaposed against the delicate, serene sushi lunch a few minutes’ walk from there, at Dai Bekkan; the raging hot bowls of spicy tofu soup and funky kimchi from Seoul…all of these images – including the bowl of cold bibimbop you see above, have only solidified my love for Japanese and Korean food. I was also pleased to learn that some dishes – like the Korean street snack of rice cakes immersed in chili sauce (dokbokki) and the dolsot bibibimbop, served in piping hot stone bowls – are done just as well in Chicago and in the Northwestern suburbs, as they are prepared in some parts of Korea. Read More