WBEZ | Rick Bayless http://www.wbez.org/tags/rick-bayless Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: November 27, 2015 (My Life in Three Songs Special) http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-30/morning-shift-november-27-2015-my-life-three-songs-special-113996 <p><p>All this month, we&rsquo;ve been asking listeners to tell us about their lives with just three songs, as part of our series called &ldquo;My Life in Three Songs.&rdquo; On this holiday special, we hear from six special guests from the Chicago area: celebrity chef Rick Bayless, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg, jazz expert Alyce Claerbut and Jeanne Nolan (aka The Organic Gardener.) We also get song picks from Lee Green, a woman who not only brought a certain kind of pepper back from the brink of extinction, but also has a secret past in the world of opera. Each person gives us three songs and explain how they are connected to his or her life.</p><p><strong>Restaurateur and TV host Rick Bayless</strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/235457290&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Heirloom-pepper advocate Lee Greene</strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/235455985&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>&ldquo;Wait Wait&hellip;Don&rsquo;t Tell Me!&rdquo; host Peter Sagal</strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/235460829&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Jazz promoter and advocate Alyce Claerbaut</strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/235459993&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg</strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/235459037&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Master gardener and author Jeanne Nolan</strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/235458330&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 10:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-30/morning-shift-november-27-2015-my-life-three-songs-special-113996 Small meat produces take their slaughterhouse gripes to Congress http://www.wbez.org/news/small-meat-produces-take-their-slaughterhouse-gripes-congress-113369 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/img_9073-524fd68bfe9ba02f55a34a5b59e5ff800ee9b6b5-s900-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res448956336" previewtitle="Greg Gunthorp converted his garage into a slaughterhouse so he wouldn't have to truck his hogs and turkeys to a federally inspected plant in Michigan."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Greg Gunthorp converted his garage into a slaughterhouse so he wouldn't have to truck his hogs and turkeys to a federally inspected plant in Michigan." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/15/img_9073-524fd68bfe9ba02f55a34a5b59e5ff800ee9b6b5-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="Greg Gunthorp converted his garage into a slaughterhouse so he wouldn't have to truck his hogs and turkeys to a federally inspected plant in Michigan. (Courtesy of Gunthorp Farms)" /></div><div data-crop-type="">Nowadays consumers are more willing to pay extra for a rack of ribs if it&#39;s produced nearby. A local bone-in rib eye is, on average, costs about $1 more than a conventional steak.<br /><br />A pound of locally sliced bacon has a $2 upcharge, according to retail reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.</div></div><p>What are we paying for when we pay more for local meat? Lots of things. But small producers say one key issue that&#39;s holding them back, and driving up costs, is the strict rules when it comes to how they slaughter their animals.</p><div id="res448959382">There aren&#39;t enough government-regulated slaughterhouses to go around anymore, for one. The number of small federally inspected cattle slaughter plants (that slaughter under 10,000 head per year) declined by 12 percent between 2001 and 2013, according to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1763057/ap068.pdf">USDA</a>.</div><p>Meanwhile, the slaughterhouses that aren&#39;t as heavily regulated &ndash; called &quot;custom slaughterhouses&quot; &mdash; place too many restrictions on what cuts of meat small producers can sell, some small farmers say.</p><p>Small producers in remote areas often have to make long drives from the farm to the slaughterhouse, says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. They also have pay high processing costs to bring local meat to market.</p><p>Under the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/rulemaking/federal-meat-inspection-act">Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906</a>, farmers who want to sell meat commercially across state lines must get their animals slaughtered and processed at a meat plant that has been approved by the USDA. Government meat inspectors are required to be on the floor anytime those plants are operating.</p><p>To make it easier for more home-grown meat to reach consumers, a small but vocal group of farmers and local food advocates is trying to change federal meat inspection law.</p><div id="res448946774" previewtitle="Virginia farmer Joel Salatin says the PRIME Act would make it easier for consumers to buy more affordable local meat and give small farmers more access to the market."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Virginia farmer Joel Salatin says the PRIME Act would make it easier for consumers to buy more affordable local meat and give small farmers more access to the market." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/15/joel-salatin_custom-91522c449d8bc32127615424fd1d23091ae6c9e9-s900-c85.jpeg" style="height: 415px; width: 620px;" title="Virginia farmer Joel Salatin says the PRIME Act would make it easier for consumers to buy more affordable local meat and give small farmers more access to the market. (Abbie Fentress Swanson for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky who&#39;s also a grass-fed beef producer, introduced the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3187/text">Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption Act (PRIME) Act</a>&nbsp;in July. The bill, if passed, would allow farmers to get their meat processed at custom slaughterhouses that are inspected by USDA occasionally but do not have meat inspectors overseeing daily operations. Farmers could then sell these custom cuts of meat commercially within state lines. It&#39;s currently legal for farmers to use custom slaughterhouses to process their own animals into frozen quarters and halves but these large quantities of meat cannot be labeled and commercially sold.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;Under the PRIME Act, I can take a steer into custom slaughter and piece it out to 100 people, some of whom want a T-bone steak, and I could sell it retail,&quot; says Virginia farmer and local food advocate Joel Salatin. &quot;It would allow these small struggling community slaughterhouses to have an influx of business that would keep them surviving.&quot;</p><p>The PRIME Act now has 15 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives and has been sent to the House Agriculture Committee. If the PRIME Act does not pass in this session, Rep. Massie says he plans to introduce it as an amendment to the next Farm Bill.</p><p>But some meatpackers and consumer advocates say they oppose the bill and are monitoring its progress.</p><p>Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for the consumer advocacy group Food &amp; Water Watch, says all of our meat should be inspected by trained workers at slaughterhouses and processing plants to prevent the spread of mad cow and other possible animal diseases.</p><p>Eric Mittenthal of the North American Meat Association agrees: &quot;Food safety standards should not be compromised for the convenience of a market segment,&quot; he says.</p><p>To stay in business, some producers have come up with their own creative solutions to deal with the dearth of slaughterhouses.</p><p>For years, Will Harris, owner of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.whiteoakpastures.com/">White Oak Pastures</a>&nbsp;in Georgia, says he hauled his cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry 100 miles to the closest federally inspected slaughterhouse. When the plant could no longer process his farm&#39;s growing volume of animals, Harris decided to build his own slaughterhouse and processing plant. But it wasn&#39;t cheap. Two abattoirs &ndash; one for cattle, hogs, sheep, goats and rabbits and another for chickens, turkeys, geese, guineas and ducks &ndash; cost Harris a whopping $7 million.</p><p>&quot;Building a facility that meets the standards for USDA to issue a certificate of inspection is expensive,&quot; says Harris. &quot;But any businessman who is willing to take the risk can build a USDA-inspected slaughterhouse<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/15/448942740/small-meat-producers-take-their-slaughterhouse-gripes-to-congress?ft=nprml&amp;f=448942740#_msocom_1" name="_msoanchor_1">[AS1]</a>&nbsp;.&quot;</p><p><img alt="It took several years for Greg Gunthorp to get USDA approval, but he now processes 60 hogs and 3,000 chickens each week on the farm, much of it for Rick Bayless' restaurants in Chicago." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/15/gunthorp-meat_custom-26d8a8e5c0e03edb615bb646a05de2e31722fb85-s300-c85.jpg" style="height: 407px; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="It took several years for Greg Gunthorp to get USDA approval, but he now processes 60 hogs and 3,000 chickens each week on the farm, much of it for Rick Bayless' restaurants in Chicago. (Courtesy of Gunthorp Farms)" /></p><p>Over in Indiana, Greg Gunthorp converted his garage into a slaughterhouse instead of trucking his hogs and poultry to a federally inspected meat plant in Michigan. It took several years for him to get USDA approval, but he now processes 60 hogs and 3,000 chickens each week on the farm, much of it for Rick Bayless restaurants in Chicago.</p><p>Pennsylvania farmer John Jamison bought a local slaughterhouse 21 years ago and converted it into a USDA-approved facility to process his grass-fed sheep and lamb. &quot;We did it because we couldn&#39;t find anyone to slaughter and process our meat at the quality level we needed. If we were going to grow our business, we had to be able to sell to restaurants,&quot; says Jamison.</p><p>The investment has been paying off: Jamison now counts chefs Dan Barber, William Telepan and Anne Quatrano among his chef clientele.</p><p>Another option, for farmers living in Washington, Arkansas, California, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, New York and Texas, is to hire a refrigerated USDA-approved mobile slaughter unit to harvest animals and process that meat on site.</p><p>&quot;USDA treats them like any other small plant. It&#39;s just they move around,&quot; says Bruce Dunlop, whose mobile slaughter unit was among the first to be approved by USDA in 2002.</p><p>Dunlop&#39;s truck and trailer is equipped with running water and heat, and processes animals at 70 farms in northwest Washington state.</p><p>But even with the growth of mobile slaughter units in parts of the country, it may be some time before customers see more affordable local meat at the farmers market or grocery store.</p><p>Barring changes to federal meat inspection law, farmers will still be required to truck their animals to the nearest certified meat plant, build their own slaughterhouse or come up with more inventive ways to bring their local meat to market.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/15/448942740/small-meat-producers-take-their-slaughterhouse-gripes-to-congress?ft=nprml&amp;f=448942740" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 15 Oct 2015 16:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/small-meat-produces-take-their-slaughterhouse-gripes-congress-113369 Handpicked: Radler sausage party, Mole de Mayo and more http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-05/handpicked-radler-sausage-party-mole-de-mayo-and-more-107349 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bangbangchocolate.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Chocolate pie on side yard picnic table at Bang Bang Pie Shop in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p><strong>Friday, May 24</strong><br /><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/air-events-wbezs-day-service-102174">Inaugural WBEZ Day of Service registration deadline</a></em>. Presented by WBEZ and <a href="http://www.chicagocares.org/"><u>Chicago Cares</u></a>, volunteer for service projects with a range of non-profits across Chicagoland. Food-wise, on Wednesday (May 29), sort and pack donations for food pantries and soup kitchens at the <a href="http://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/site/PageServer"><u>Greater Chicago Food Depository</u></a>; and Thursday (May 30) throw a Bingo and Birthday Party for 40 seniors with food, balloons, and lots of fun at the <a href="http://www.thecha.org/pages/Flannery_Apartments/50.php?devID=221"><u>CHA&rsquo;s Flannery Apartments</u></a>. On Saturday (June 1) celebrate service with your first Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale on the house at Schubas. Admission FREE, but <a href="https://www.kintera.org/AutoGen/Register/ECReg.asp?ievent=1071750&amp;en=efJEKMMrFcJHJPOxE7IDJQMyGnIXJ4NCKiLTKYMwFaIKITMyGtG"><u>reservations required here</u></a>.</p><p><strong>Saturday, May 25</strong><br /><a href="http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/378235"><u><em>Inaugural West Loop Craft Beer Fest</em></u></a> on Clinton between Lake and Washington.&nbsp;Last call for Chicago Craft Beer Week 2013 with the city&#39;s largest craft beer outdoor block party. There will be local craft beer of course plus food for purchase by participating Chicago French Market vendors Lillie&#39;s Q, Saigon Sisters, Beavers Coffee &amp; Donuts, Fumare Meats, and Ovie Bar &amp; Grill. Admission $40 general, $65 VIP including one hour of free food.</p><p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/MoleDeMayo"><u><em>Fifth anniversary Mole de Mayo</em></u></a> at Halsted and 16th. The mole cook-off and outdoor festival will feature mole judging, food vendors, a beer garden, open-air market, lucha libre, and more. Admission FREE, food and drink additional.</p><p><strong>Sunday, May 26</strong><br /><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/153776991463938/"><u><em>The Radler Kickstarter Kickoff Party</em></u></a> at Heineman Bar Company. Former Vie chef de cuisine and sausage meister Nathan Sears hosts this highly anticipated first taste of his upcoming modern Bavarian beer hall. There will be handmade sausages, German potato salad, and Flesk Brewing beer. Your donation will be used to protect the existing 120 year old mural discovered in the space, commissioning local artists for new work, and much more. Admission FREE, but please donate at the event or <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1171962748/the-radler"><u>The Radler Kickstarter</u></a>.</p><p><strong>Monday, May 27</strong><br /><em>Happy Memorial Day!</em></p><p><strong>Tuesday, May 28</strong><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/chemistry-chocolate-107081"><em><u>Chemistry of Chocolate</u></em></a> at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Presented in partnership with Illinois Science Council, this chocolate chemistry workshop will be led by Northwestern University chemistry lecturer Dr. Shelby Hatch and Blommer Chocolate R&amp;D Specialist Melissa Tisoncik. The adults-only night will feature a local craft beer cash bar, plus access to the new exhibit Food: The Nature of Eating, live animal interactions, live music, and more. This event will be recorded for WBEZ&rsquo;s Chicago Amplified. Admission $35, $25 for Nature Museum members.</p><p><strong>Wednesday, May 29</strong><br /><a href="http://www.greencitymarket.org/calendar/event.asp?id=692"><u><em>Rick Bayless chef demonstration </em></u></a>at the Green City Market. Watch the Top Chef Master demo ingredients from the market. In case you were wondering, yes, his Taste of Chicago turn as Celebrity Chef du Jour sold out. But you can always listen to his turn on WBEZ&#39;s own Lauren Chooljian&rsquo;s <em>Year 25</em> series: &quot;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-rick-bayless-25-106967"><u>Where was Rick Bayless at 25</u></a>?&quot; Admission FREE.</p><p><em>Follow Louisa Chu on <a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu"><u>Twitter at @louisachu</u></a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 24 May 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-05/handpicked-radler-sausage-party-mole-de-mayo-and-more-107349 Where was Rick Bayless at 25? http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-rick-bayless-25-106967 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 8.27.33 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>When you think about <a href="https://www.rickbayless.com/" target="_blank">Rick Bayless</a>, the things that come to mind likely aren&rsquo;t Anthropological Linguistics or French food.</p><p>That just goes to show how little you know about the 25-year-old Rick Bayless.</p><p>At 25, Bayless was at the University of Michigan, knee-deep in the final stages of his dissertation.</p><p>He was also teaching cooking classes&mdash;mostly pastry or savory French food&mdash;and was seriously dating another U of M student.</p><p>But it was around this time that he realized that it wasn&rsquo;t linguistics that he loved, it was food.</p><p>So he decided to make a change. A big one.</p><p>As he tells WBEZ&rsquo;s Lauren Chooljian, it was that year that he sat his girlfriend down, and asked her two things: Would she marry him? And would she travel with him to either France or Mexico?</p><p>She said yes to both questions, and the two decided to move to Mexico.</p><p>Bayless says if not for that dinner table conversation, he might be living out his days as a French chef or pastry chef instead of the James Beard award-winning Mexican chef we know today.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s morning producer and reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 03 May 2013 07:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-rick-bayless-25-106967 Do food and theater mix? The new generation of dinner theater http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/do-food-and-theater-mix-new-generation-dinner-theater-97985 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Mangiameli%2C%20Bayless%20-%20H.jpg" style="float: left; width: 300px;" title="Rick Bayless and Chiara Mangiameli in 'Cascabel'">Chef Rick Bayless has conquered the mediums of television and print. Now, as co-creator of the Lookingglass production<em> <a href="http://lookingglasstheatre.org/content/box_office/cascabel">Cascabel</a></em>, a new sensory explosion combining circus and food, he takes on theater. Bayless talks about his new project and the drama of dining, from Alinea to Medieval Times. And WBEZ<em> Onstage/Backstage </em>bloggers Jonathan Abarbanel and Kelly Kleiman weigh in.</p></p> Fri, 06 Apr 2012 08:15:42 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/do-food-and-theater-mix-new-generation-dinner-theater-97985 Tony Award-winning troupe turns to dinner theater with Rick Bayless http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-20/tony-award-winning-troupe-turns-dinner-theater-rick-bayless-92224 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-20/rickbayless_flickr_Ed Fisher.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://lookingglasstheatre.org/content/">Lookingglass Theatre</a>, winner of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-03/lookingglass-theatre-company-snags-2011-tony-award-85992">2011 Tony Award as Outstanding Regional Theatre</a>, will experiment with a dinner theater policy for a limited run, next March 23-April 22.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-20/rickbayless_flickr_Ed Fisher.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 266px; height: 400px;" title="Rick Bayless tweets in his kitchen (Flickr/Ed Fisher)">It won’t be your suburban grandmother’s dinner theater, however. The chef de cuisine will be superstar TV Mexican cookery guru<strong> </strong>Rick Bayless. Each three-course meal will be prepared in the kitchen of his Frontera Grill before being trucked to Lookingglass to be finished and served to 150 guests nightly.</p><p>But wait, there’s more! Bayless also will co-star in the theater portion of the evening playing—what else?—a love-struck cook in a 1940’s Mexican guest house. Bayless is co-author of the work, too, along with Lookingglass Ensemble member<strong> </strong>Heidi Stillman, who will direct it.</p><p>But that’s not all! There are three wings to flap on this particular Mexican chicken (we dare not call it a <em>pavo</em>, which is Spanish for “a turkey”). The third co-creator is circus artist Tony Hernandez, a Lookingglass associate. That means that various circus acts will be part of the performance, too.</p><p>It’s all summed up in the title of the work: <a href="http://lookingglasstheatre.org/content/box_office/cascabel"><em>Cascabel: Dinner—Daring—Desire</em></a> featuring a sumptuous feast, world-class circus acts and a love story, as the press materials describe the show. The Lookingglass theater in the Water Tower Pumping Station will be turned into the outdoor courtyard of a Mexican hacienda, where guests will be seated at long tables to enjoy the meal and, perhaps, interact just a touch with the performers.</p><p>Bayless explained that cascabel has three meanings. It’s a spicy type of Mexican pepper, also a small silver bell and, finally, the rattle of a rattle snake.</p><p>You probably can guess that this sort of dinner theater doesn’t come cheap. Tickets for hors d’oeuvres, three courses, non-alcoholic beverages and the show are $180-$205. Wine pairings are extra. Lookingglass subscribers have first crack at the tickets from now through Oct. 17. Whatever places at the table are left then will be offered to the general public, but the press announcement warns, “Prices will go up, based on demand.” Preview performances, March 20-24, are a bargain at $130-$155.</p><p>Now, who will Chicago Public Media send to review <em>Cascabel</em>? Food writer <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu">Louisa Chu</a> or the Dueling Critics . . . or both?</p></p> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 16:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-20/tony-award-winning-troupe-turns-dinner-theater-rick-bayless-92224 Chicago chefs say they educate customers one plate at a time http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/chicago-chefs-say-they-educate-customers-one-plate-time-85348 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/Randy Zwieban of Province. Courtesy David Hammond.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If you’ve dined out in the past five years, chances are you’ve ordered from menus annotated with references to where the food came from: short ribs from <a href="http://www.dietzlerbeef.com/" target="_blank">Dietzler Farms</a> in Elkhorn, Wisconsin; lettuce from Farmer Vicki of <a href="http://www.genesis-growers.com/" target="_blank">Genesis Growers</a> in St. Anne, Illinois; and so on. Serving food sourced locally has become almost an entrance requirement for opening a restaurant in Chicago.</p><p>For some years, Bruce Sherman has been serving up dishes that make heavy use of local ingredients. At <a href="http://www.northpondrestaurant.com/" target="_blank">North Pond</a>, his Lincoln Park restaurant, his carefully composed plates have no doubt educated many Chicagoans about what it means to “eat local.”</p><p>“As chefs, we have this opportunity to be sort of profound educators,” Sherman said. “Whether it’s front-of-the-house with diners, in terms of educating them indirectly as to how we or what we source; whether it’s back-of-the-house in terms of what we do with our waste; whether it’s the tail of the animal or the box the animal came in. If we do our job right, as chefs, and we cook something delicious and creative, then those customers are going to ask us about the product. It’s a great entrée into educating them about where it came from and what it is.”</p><p>At <a href="http://provincerestaurant.com/" target="_blank">Province</a> in the Loop, chef Randy Zweiban has found when people go out to eat, chefs may be able to leverage a “teachable moment,” an opportunity to help diners learn, for example, just how good local food can be.</p><p>“If I were to take a carrot, for example, from Green Acres farm, an heirloom carrot and put it next to a commodity carrot, you wouldn’t even think the two were the same vegetable—even with your eyes closed,” Zweiban said. “When you get the ability to have really, really great local products, I think that you get to really understand the flavors of food.”</p><p>With restaurants like Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, <a href="http://www.rickbayless.com/" target="_blank">Rick Bayless</a> taught Chicago that Mexican cuisine is so much more than just tacos and refried beans. He’s also the author of a number of books that join academic rigor with a fundamental love of tastes and flavors.</p><p>Said Bayless: “I always see my role as an educator. What we want to do is sort of seduce people with really great food. That just opens the door for us to be able to start a conversation. Any server at our restaurant will tell you it does open that door. Talking about the history of the dish or where it comes from in Mexico certainly helps people understand our local landscape because there are a lot of people from Mexico here. It helps us get to know that side of our own culture.”</p><p>Increasingly, restaurants are becoming models for sustainable living.&nbsp; For instance, Zweiban recycles paper in ways that demonstrate to customers that there are many small things that can be done to go greener.</p><p>“We buy recycled paper to print our menu on,” Zweiban said. “After we use both sides of the paper that we print our menu on, we then take that paper and cut it up and use it for a variety of things. We cut it up and use little squares for notes in the restaurants, like allergy alerts. That menu paper that starts on recycled paper goes through about three or four more processes before it’s ever done, and then it goes in the garbage can that gets recycled.”</p><p>To cut down on waste, Bayless has rethought how he packages food to go.</p><p>“In our new place Xoco that has some takeout things, we’ve been very, very forward in letting people know how we’ve chosen the packaging,” Bayless said. “We explain everything down to the metal spoons used for caldo, our big meal-in-a-bowl soup, because I didn’t want to create any more trash. To tell you the truth, I could buy an inexpensive metal spoon that could be reused many, many times for almost the same price as a compostable spoon.”</p><p>Although it may cost a little more in the short term, many chefs feel that being a model for green business makes economic sense. Take California’s legendary chef Thomas Keller. At restaurants like <a href="http://www.frenchlaundry.com/" target="_blank">French Laundry</a>, Keller has pioneered the combination of innovative green technology and business smarts.</p><p>“In 2004, we installed a geothermal loop system in our restaurant, the first one in California,” explained Keller. “Now, did I do it strictly for green purposes? No I didn’t. I did it for creature comfort, but at the end of the day, it significantly affected our energy use, and it’s reduced our energy costs. At the same time, it was an enormously expensive piece of equipment to put in.”</p><p>Perhaps the best reason for a restaurant to go green is that customers expect it. And as Rick Bayless points out, they’re often the ones doing the teaching: “I love hearing from our guests if they’re concerned about things that maybe aren’t on my radar screen yet.&nbsp; And even though I think of us as a very green restaurant, if you will, I think that there’s a lot of stuff that we still have to learn. And I love it when the guests push me in that direction.”</p><p><em><a href="http://www.dchammond.com/" target="_blank">David Hammond</a> is a regular food contributor to </em>Eight Forty-Eight<em>and </em>Worldview<em>.&nbsp; Every Wednesday, you can read his </em>Food Detective<em>column in the Chicago </em>Sun-Times.</p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 18:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/chicago-chefs-say-they-educate-customers-one-plate-time-85348 2011 James Beard Award Nominees Announced http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-21/2011-james-beard-award-nominees-announced-84041 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-March/2011-03-21/Publican Inside.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="298" width="448" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-21/4583318584_6df377567c.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Publican is nominated for Outstanding Restaurant Graphics (photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sifu_renka/">Sifu Renka</a>)</em></p><p>The 2011 James Beard Foundation Award Finalists were announced <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/beardfoundation">via Twitter </a>today. It's no suprise that several Chicagoans made the list.</p><p>Girl &amp; The Goat&nbsp;is nominated for Best New Restaurant in the country, along with Torrisi Italian Specialities and ABC&nbsp;Kitchen in New York, Menton in Boston and Benu in San Francisco.</p><p>Other national award nominees from our area include: Topolobampo for Outstanding Service, Paul Kahan for Outstanding Chef, Blackbird's Patrick Fahy, Hot Chocolate's Mindy Segal are both nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef, The Publican for Outstanding Restaurant Graphics and Rich Melman for Outstanding Restaurateur.</p><p>Four of the nominees for Best Chef: Great Lakes are from Chicago, and include Schwa's Michael Carlson, Avenue's Curtis Duffy, North Pond's Bruce Sherman and Vie's Paul Virant.</p><p>For the journalism awards, the Chicago Tribune's Monica Eng was nominated in the Environment, Food Politics and Policy category and the Reader's Michael Gebert and Julia Thiel were nominated in the Multimedia Food Feature for their Key Ingredient series.</p><p>Visit the <a href="http://jbfawards.com/2011/nominees.php">James Beard Foundation website </a>for a full list of nominees.</p></p> Mon, 21 Mar 2011 21:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-21/2011-james-beard-award-nominees-announced-84041 Friday Foodie Forecast: Green Eggs and Ham http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/friday-foodie-forecast-green-eggs-and-ham <p><p><br />It may be hard to believe, but Easter is just around the corner (really!). What better way to celebrate spring than with an homage to the incredible, edible egg: a tiny, minimalist package that contains amino acids, vitamins and protein. Whether you prefer cage-free, vegetarian-fed, brown, jumbo or anything in between, you can take your pick of egg celebrations this weekend. </p><p><a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/"> Chicago's Green City Market</a>, the year-round farmer's market dedicated to sustainable and locally-grown food, is honoring the egg this Saturday, March 27 with a market called <strong>&quot;Green Eggs and Ham&quot;</strong>. From 8 am to 1 pm at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the market will feature chef demonstrations, a kids' Easter egg hunt and vendors that all promote the Seussian theme of green eggs and ham. </p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/dolinsky/2010/03/friday-foodie-forecast-green-eggs-and-ham/19132 /greeneggs_ham" rel="attachment wp-att-19135"><img height="240" width="180" alt="" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//greeneggs_ham.jpg" class="size-full wp-image-19135" /></a> <br /><em>Green City Market's &quot;Green Eggs and Ham&quot;</em></p><p>The <strong>chef demonstrations </strong>will take place in the south gallery of the Nature Museum, and will feature the following Chicago chefs: </p><p>9:00 am: Kristine Subido of Wave </p><p>10:00 am: Michael McDonald of one sixtyblue </p><p>11:00 am: Christophe David of NoMI </p><p>12:00 pm: Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill/Xoco/Topolobampo</p><p>Capacity for the demonstrations is limited and an RSVP is required. To reserve a space, email <a href="admin@greencitymarket.org">admin@greencitymarket.org</a> with the demo you wish to attend and the number of guests. Check out other upcoming chef demonstrations <a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/calendar/">here</a>. </p><p>The children's<strong> Easter egg hunt</strong> will take place in the north gallery of the Nature Museum at 9:30 a.m and is open to children ages 3 to 6. <!--break-->Plastic eggs will be filled with temporary tattoos and Green City Market treats. Space is limited and children must be registered by emailing their names and ages to&sbquo;&nbsp; <a href="admin@greencitymarket.org">admin@greencitymarket.org</a>. All children are asked to arrive for registration at 9:15 a.m on Saturday. After the hunt, an <strong>Easter egg workshop</strong> will take place in the North Science Lab of the museum. Children will learn how to dye eggs without chemicals, using natural dyes such as beets and spinach. No RSVP is required for the workshop.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/dolinsky/2010/03/friday-foodie-forecast-green-eggs-and-ham/19132 /natural-dyed-easter-eggs" rel="attachment wp-att-19138"><img height="234" width="156" alt="" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//natural-dyed-easter-eggs.jpg" class="size-full wp-image-19138" /></a> <br /><em>Naturally dyed Easter eggs at Green City Market</em></p><p>In keeping with the spirit of Green Eggs and Ham, the market will feature vendors of micro-greens, eggs and ham and pork. Micro and petite greens will be available from vendors such as <a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/farmers/farmer.asp?id=45">Three Sisters Garden</a>,<a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/farmers/farmer.asp?id=34"> Heritage Prairie</a> and <a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/farmers/farmer.asp?id=37">Tiny Greens</a>. A limited selection of standard greens including spinach, mesclun mix, watercress and possibly bok choy will be available from <a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/farmers/farmer.asp?id=17">Genesis Growers</a>. Ham and pork products will be available from<a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/farmers/farmer.asp?id=35"> Twin Oak Meats</a>,<a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/farmers/farmer.asp?id=38"> Liberty Family Farms</a> and <a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/farmers/farmer.asp?id=68">Meadow Haven Farm</a>. <a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/farmers/farmer.asp?id=41">Mint Creek Farms</a> will offer lamb &quot;hams&quot; for sale.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: x-small;"> </span>Eggs vendors include <a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/farmers/farmer.asp?id=36">TJ's Free Range Poultry</a>, Mint Creek Farm,<a href="http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/farmers/farmer.asp?id=20"> Ellis Farms</a> and Meadow Haven Farms. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is located at 2430 N. Cannon Drive. Call (773) 880-1266 for more details. </p><p>Stocked up on eggs, but not sure what to do with them?<a href="http://www.greengrocerchicago.com/index.php"> Green Grocer Chicago</a>, a West Town neighborhood market featuring organically-grown local produce will host a<strong> &quot;Spring Cleaning&quot; cooking demonstration</strong> on Saturday, March 27 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Host Lee Greene will focus on the egg as a symbol, a meal and a work of art, demonstrating how to clean out your fridge by cooking &quot;Fridge Frittatas&quot;. Sign up for the class <a href="http://tiny.cc/Cooking2pm">here</a>. Green Grocer Chicago is located at 1402 W. Grand Avenue. Call (312) 624-9508 for more information.</p></p> Fri, 26 Mar 2010 15:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/friday-foodie-forecast-green-eggs-and-ham Tuesday Foodie Forecast: Wine holiday and craft beer for hunger http://www.wbez.org/dolinsky/2010/02/monday-foodie-forecast/14955 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img width="364" height="364" alt="" title="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-17/wine.jpg" /></p><p>National Drink Wine Day may not be a real holiday, but it's the perfect excuse to drink more than the doctor-recommended daily glass of wine. So this Thursday, pull out the corkscrew and enjoy that expensive bottle of wine you've been saving or break out that box of Franzia if you're on a budget .</p><p>On Thursday Feb. 18, <a href="http://www.frascapizzeria.com/">Frasca Pizzeria &amp; Wine Bar</a> is celebrating National Drink Wine Day with their regional dinner wine series that a four-course meal to highlight the wines and cuisine of Tuscany, Italy. The menu includes:<!--break--></p><ul> <li><strong>Zuppa Toscana </strong>spicy sausage, potatoes and kale in a creamy chicken broth</li> </ul> <p><em>Casalfameto Verdicchio</em></p><ul> <li><strong>Risotto </strong>with prosciutto, peas and Tallegio cheese</li> <li><strong>Porcini-Crusted Skirt Steak</strong> with green lentils and gorgonzola</li> </ul> <p><em>Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva</em></p><ul> <li><strong>Roasted Apple Zepole</strong> Italian-style &quot;doughnut&quot; with powdered sugar and maple caramel</li> </ul> <p><em>Badia Coltibuono Vin Santo</em></p><p>Dinner starts at 7 p.m. and costs $50 per person. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 773-248-5222.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><a href="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//hotchocolate.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-15252" title="hotchocolate" alt="" width="360" height="274" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//hotchocolate.jpg" /></a></p><p>In celebration of their 5<sup>th</sup> anniversary, on Monday, Feb. 22, <a href="http://www.hotchocolatechicago.com/">HotChocolate</a> will host a charitable <a href="http://www.hotchocolatechicago.com/anniversary.html">craft beer dinner</a> to benefit Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to eliminating child hunger.</p><p>Hot Chocolate owner Mindy Segal has brought together a cast of Chicago's all-star chefs to prepare a dinner paired with beer from domestic craft breweries.</p><p>Chefs include:</p><ul> <li>Bill Kim -- Urban Belly, Belly Shack</li> <li>Paul Kahan -- Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, Big Star</li> <li>Rick Bayless -- Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, Xoco</li> <li>Paul Virant -- Vie Restaurant</li> <li>Michael Kornick -- mk/DMK Burger Bar</li> </ul><p>Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $150 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling HotChocolate at 773-489-1747.</p></p> Tue, 16 Feb 2010 13:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/dolinsky/2010/02/monday-foodie-forecast/14955