Thursday, October 22, 2009

Minority Chefs Overlooked in TOC Chef Issue

Mark Mendez is the executive chef at Carnivale. (Photo: Mark Mendez)

Just got the latest copy of Time Out Chicago, and this week they're focusing on chefs.

In it, the staff did a roundup of the 12 Most Important Chefs Right Now, and somehow forgot to include ANY people of color.

It wasn't a surprise to find Frontera Grill's Rick Bayless on the list, and I was happy to see folks like Michael McDonald (one sixty-blue) and Jared Van Camp (Old Town Social) get their shine on, but could not believe a number of amazing chefs of African-American, Asian and Latin descent were excluded.

Since TOC didn't give up the props, 312DD will to . . .

. . . Rodelio Aglibot (Sunda): The Filipino-born executive chef oversees the kitchen in the hottest Asian restaurant in the city, attracting A-List celebs and local diners alike.

. . . Sandeep Malhotra (Marigold): Almost every dish on Malhotra's menu is flavorful, memorable and can easily compete with any traditional Indian restaurant on the famed Devon Street strip.

. . . Mark Mendez (Carnivale): Mendez is a big supporter of locally sourced produce, his Latin-laced restaurant is jamming seven nights a week, and he's always looking to take his menus to the next level. Oh, yeah. We also love him for this.

. . . Erick Williams (MK): The iconic River North resto is 10 years old, and Williams has been there all along, rising in the ranks to become the most prominent African-American chef in the city. And he's not just relying on the Michael Kornick name to attract diners; the menu changes every week with fresh and innovative American contempo dishes.

And that's just a few of the names who should have been considered for that list.


dancinart said...

Fabulous. Thank you.

Chicago Brunch Blog said...

Bill Kim!

David said...

Aurdashia, I think it's valuable that you're bringing up these issues, and we, too, love the chefs you give props to in this post. That said, I feel compelled to point out that our list does indeed include people of color. Furthermore, I hope you'll agree that we've demonstrated a commitment to highlighting the best food/drink people in the city, regardless of their backgrounds. (Some recent stories that come to mind include our mixology package from last month [] and our profile of Quentin Love from August []).

As always, we appreciate the feedback, and we're happy to have readers like you who obviously pay close attention.


David Tamarkin
Food Editor, Time Out Chicago