WBEZ | Jackie Shen http://www.wbez.org/tags/jackie-shen Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en So long, chocolate bag...Jackie Shen leaving Red Light http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/so-long-chocolate-bagjackie-shen-leaving-red-light <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//chocolate-redlight.jpeg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="264" width="191" alt="" title="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-23/images-1.jpeg" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<img height="219" width="230" alt="" title="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-23/images.jpeg" /></p><p>After eight years, Jackie Shen has had enough. &nbsp;&quot;I want to be creative again,&quot; an exasperated Shen told me last night, just before working the line during service at <a href="http://www.redlight-chicago.com/">Red Light</a>. A recent spate of 80-hour weeks has taken its toll on the Chicago veteran, and while she hinted at other issues within the restaurant, she says the decision to move on didn't come easily. &nbsp;She'll stay in place through the next month while the restaurant figures out which direction it wants to go.</p><p>&quot;I'm not sure what I want to do, but I do want to travel,&quot; said Shen, who has been making due with fewer staff over the past few months.&nbsp;</p><p>Shen earned her stripes in Chicago at her eponymous Lincoln Park restaurant on Lincoln Avenue, which was ahead of its time, fusing Asian ingredients and French technique. &nbsp;She learned the business of running a staff and a budget while at Lawry's the Prime Rib, then was lured by Jerry Kleiner and Howard Davis to take the helm at Red Light eight years ago, after Michael Kornick departed. &nbsp;One thing that has always been a constant for Shen has been her signature dessert - the Chocolate Bag. &nbsp;A trick she taught herself after watching the late Julia Child demonstrate a similar technique, she creates a dark chocolate shell, resembling a mini-shopping bag, then fills it with fresh whipped cream and berries. &nbsp;Despite the pan-Asian menu at Red Light, it's been a staple since she took over.</p><p>I, for one, will miss seeing her expediting orders and chatting amiably with her staff; always teaching and always pushing to be better. &nbsp;An advocate for more charity causes than one can count on two hands, she has been a tireless advocate for animal rights as well as local hunger relief. &nbsp;No word yet on where she'll end up in the new year, but here's wishing her success.</p></p> Wed, 24 Nov 2010 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/so-long-chocolate-bagjackie-shen-leaving-red-light