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Frozen spheres of cheese. Ham-wrapped baguettes containing exactly nothing. An air-filled foam of carrot that still manages to taste like the most intense carrot you've ever eaten. Part museum exhibit, part history retrospective, Next's latest menu, El...
Tags: Lifestyle and Leisure, Coconut, CLTV News, Spain, Phil Vettel
So much ink has been spilled chronicling the life and career of Grant Achatz, the most-honored chef and best-known cancer survivor in Chicago, if not the country, one wonders if there are stories left to tell. Two things suggest that there are. One,...
When Charlie Trotter announced, just past the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, that he would be closing his eponymous Chicago restaurant at the end of August, quite a few people vowed to get to Charlie Trotter's, one last time or even for the very...
Most Chicago actors do not bring their own Bunsen burners to the rehearsal room. But then, Rick Bayless — the creator of the phenomenally popular Chicago restaurants Topolobampo and Frontera Grill and a chef who embraced celebrity long before it...
Graham Elliot was an aspiring young cook in the late '90s carrying steaks to a party of 20 in the Charlie Trotter's Studio Kitchen when the restaurant's brilliant, mercurial owner stopped him in the hallway and grabbed one of the pieces of meat. "He...
Tags: Alinea, Key West, Naha, Chicago Restaurants, Michelin Group
To eat at Next is to share skull space with some of the most creative culinary minds in America. That is manifestly apparent after one dines at Kyoto, the sixth production, if you will, of Next's culinary repertory. For those who came in late: Next,...
This time, Next is selling memories. "Childhood," the latest menu from Next, Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas' shape-shifting restaurant, is a Proustian food journey that, although based on Achatz's and executive chef Dave Beran's childhoods, is designed...
Matthias Merges worked at Charlie Trotter's for 14-odd years, and he was the man for most of them, serving as chef de cuisine, corporate chef and finally director of operations. "He was the glue to that place," one restaurateur says, admiringly. That...
Vera is a Spanish restaurant that feels like a local pub. That's not a complaint. Though the menu bulges with Iberico hams, Manchego cheese and Spanish chorizo, the sense of place emanating from the unpretentious restaurant is sweet home, Chicago....
Tags: Chicago Restaurants, Onions, Anchovies, Garlic, Butter
I visited Next looking for greatness, and I found it. Next, the sequel restaurant from Grant Achatz of Alinea, is all of 19 days old, but it hums with the grace and confidence of a veteran. Which isn't completely surprising; Achatz, partner Nick Kokonas,...
Next, the shape-shifting restaurant by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas (the principals at world-famous Alinea), dazzled diners with its inaugural "Paris 1906" menu. For an encore, the kitchen went about as far afield as possible. To Bangkok, in fact. "We...
Tags: Alinea, Arun's, Grant Achatz, CLTV, Coconut
For its latest menu, Next restaurant invested in a special piece of cooking equipment. A Weber kettle grill. Standing alongside the recirculating thermal circulators, Anti-Griddles, Sonicpreps and other high-tech gizmos that populate Next's high-tech...
Feb 22, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Oct 26, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
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Mar 15, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
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Dec 1, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
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Apr 25, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Aug 25, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Jun 28, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
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