Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Obama chef a 'total hottie' . . .


. . . says MenuPages blog editor Helen Rosner about former avec chef Sam Kass and former personal chef to the Obamas:

"He's also dedicated to sustainable and organic agriculture, as evidenced by his menus and philosophy at his private chef service, Inevitable Table. He grew up in Chicago, went to the University of Chicago, and, as evidenced by this picture, is a total hottie."

He'll be working under current White House chef Criseta Comerford.

UPDATE: Ummmm, Gawker just put their snarky spin on his appointment:

"Hah, the Obamas brought their own personal home chef with them to The White House. And oddly that bit of crazy elitism will please all the hippies.

Because Sam Kass—who will just be one of their personal cooks, with White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford keeping her job!—is 'one of the new breed of chefs who are concerned about the environment and about poor eating habits in this country.' Americans eat like shit, and this chef would like to change that, with his 'private chef service in Chicago that, according to its Web site, is the client’s "link to clean, healthy food."' Oooooh, the smug liberalism on display here is enough to make us want to read The Corner."

Uhmmm, Goat Brain Ravioli?!

The Bristol's Chris Pandel is whipping up offal in the form of Goat Brain Ravioli at his Bucktown hot spot. (Photo: Chris Pandel)

Local food writer Lisa Shames gushes on the latest dining trend of offal—think liver, kidneys, heart, head and other animal innards and extremities—on menus at The Bristol, Mado and Publican:

"'Offal is the most intensely flavored part of the animal and really rings true to what it tastes like,' (Bristol chef Chris) Pandel says.

'If done correctly, offal can be delicious. That's the eye-opener for a lot of people,' says (Publican chef Brian) Huston, who sheepishly admits his mom's overcooked liver doesn't fit the bill.

In addition to its flavor, these eco-conscious chefs also cite respect for the farmer and the animal as another strong motivating factor.

'Farmers can't raise just a rack of lamb,' (Mado chef Rob) Levitt says. 'They have to raise the whole animal and these other parts need a home.'"

Sinatra and Biggie?!


More than 3,000 ballots were cast for Landmark's first-ever poll for the 40 Greatest Songs of All-Time...Countdown.

If you want to find out who made the cut, you'll need to check out the party happening tonight at the Lincoln Park eatery. All we could get out of owner Kevin Boehm is that you're definitely gonna hear some Sinatra and Notorious B.I.G., plus the Top 5 get the live music treatment. Starts at 7pm, so arrive early for those comped appetizers. No cover.

Also happening tonight:

It's snowing again. But you can get a taste of summer with the newest dish on the Smoke Shack menu. Those with uber-hearty appetites can go for The Taste of Smoke Shack that comes with two St. Louis ribs, two Baby Back ribs, 1/2 pulled pork, 1/2 brisket and Argentine chorizo. Mmmmmm, break out the picnic utensils!

The ultimate networking events are always wine-tasting parties and these two are no exception: Quartino returns with the monthly wine affair spotlighting favorites from 2008 in its upper-level party room at 7pm. $20. And Bin 36 hosts a walkaround social where you'll also get deals on special bottles. Starts at 6pm. $25.

And The Local Tourist has a hit on its hands with Chef's Table, a monthly cocktail party highlighting the talents of our local culinary kings and queens. Tonight's event with master mixologist Adam Seger at Nacional 27 is, alas, sold out, but get in touch with them about their sweet soiree happening at Sugar Bliss Bakery on Feb. 18.