Chicago 2013 Michelin Starred Restaurants Named: Reserve Now!

Have you dined at any — or all — of these Michelin-starred Chicago restaurants?

OpenTable is pleased to highlight the honorees in the MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2013. Nineteen restaurants are included, with one Chicago restaurant receiving the Michelin three-star level, the highest recognition in the culinary world, and two achieving two Michelin stars, including Graham Elliot, which moved from one star to two. Sixteen restaurants earned one Michelin star, with four new additions.

Being included in the respected MICHELIN Guide is a sign of excellence and quality. In the U.S., Chicago is one of only three cities where Michelin publishes an annual guide. The others are New York and San Francisco. The MICHELIN Guide New York 2013 was published October 3rd, and the MICHELIN Guide San Francisco 2013 was published October 24, 2012. Honorees include:

Three Stars: Alinea.

Two Stars: Graham Elliot and L20.

One Star: AcadiaBlackbirdBokaEverest, goosefootMexiqueMotoNAHA, SepiaSixteenSpiaggiaTakashiTopolobampo, and Tru.

How many of this year’s Michelin-starred Chicago-area restaurants have you dined at? Weigh in here or over on Facebook.

2012 Charlie Awards: Congratulations to the Twin Cities Honorees!

Congratulations to Chef Lenny Russo of Heartland Restaurant and Farm Direct Market on your Charlie Award!

The second annual Charlie Awards were held on Sunday, November 11, 2012, in Minneapolis at the Pantages Theatre. A celebration in recognition of the exceptional contributions of the Twin Cities metro area restaurant, food and beverage industry, nearly 200 local restaurants participated in this year’s awards. The 2012 Charlie Awards honorees include:

• Lifetime AchievementLenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant and Farm Direct Market
• Outstanding ChefDoug Flicker, Piccolo
• Outstanding Restaurant DesignBachelor Farmer
• Outstanding BartenderJohnny Michaels, La Belle Vie
• Outstanding NeighborRandy Stanley, Parasole (Burger Jones, Chino Latino, Good Earth, Manny’s Steakhouse, Mozza Mia, Muffuletta, Pittsburgh Blue, Salut Bar Américain, and Uptown Cafeteria)
• Outstanding Restaurant ItemMasu Sushi & Robata’s Masu Roll

The Charlie Awards are named after the legendary restaurant, Charlie’s Café Exceptionale, which was a mainstay in downtown Minneapolis until the 1980s. The Charlie Awards were created to recognize the outstanding contributions that our metro area food and restaurant industry to ensure a diverse, vibrant and creative lifestyle and economy. The Charlies are the inspiration of Minnesota’s own culinary expert and James Beard award-winning food journalist, Sue Zelickson.

Congratulations to all the nominees and honorees on your achievements.

 

Top Chef Seattle, Episode 1: Only the Strong Survive the Test Kitchens

Chef Lizzie Binder gets lost in Tom Colicchio’s eyes.

Top Chef returned last night for its tenth season. Twenty-one chefs would be competing for an initial place in the competition. I find this part of the series particularly gut-wrenching as some talented folks are going home before the real fun has begun!

The action opens with Tom Colicchio at craft in Los Angeles. Chef Colicchio is both completely charming and utterly terrifying. I fear that the folks trying to impress him will have to try a bit harder than the others auditioning for Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, or Hugh Acheson. The chefs will have to work actual service in the craft kitchen —  and either hold it together or fall apart. It’s tough to come into a strange kitchen, but that is actually what a lot of chefs do every time they look for a new job. So, at this point in their careers, they should be able to come in, assess, adapt, and impress.

First up, 54-year-old John Tesar of Spoon Bar & Kitchen in Dallas does not display anything that would lead you to believe he has a reputation as a hothead, as Colicchio says he does. Tesar has had a great deal of success, while also dealing with some personal issues, but he is very respectful in the kitchen, doing his tasks “the ‘craft’ way.” He’s the first to get a Top Chef jacket – and simultaneously has “3,000 pounds lifted off my back!”

He’s been called the most hated chef in Dallas. Will he stake the same claim on this season of Top Chef?

Lizzie Binder, Executive Chef of Bar Bambino in San Francisco, is from South Africa, has a bit of a crush on Tom (who doesn’t?!), and is a mom. She’s also wholly guileless and works enthusiastically and efficiently. She, too, gets a Top Chef jacket.

Anthony Gray, Executive Chef at Southern Art and Bourbon Bar in Atlanta, has an interesting approach to butchery, preferring to use a paring knife instead of a boning knife or a chef knife. He’s kindly and obviously talented, but he doesn’t hit his stride in the craft kitchen and is sent back to the ATL.

Jorel Pierce, the mustachioed Chef de Cuisine of Denver’s Euclid Hall specializes in butchery, but, unfortunately, he misunderstands Tom’s instructions for taking down chickens and over-salts a beurre fondue. I’m bummed he didn’t get a jacket because his ‘stache is spectacular.

Micah Fields, Executive Chef at The Standard Hotel in Los Angeles skipped over being a sous chef, going from line cook to executive chef in one fell swoop. He’s not great at filleting fish, but he moves with confidence around the kitchen, easily snagging a Top Chef jacket.

“If you’re missing something, I ate it.”

In Las Vegas, at the Palazzo Hotel (I just stayed there and it’s lovely, in case you were wondering), Emeril Lagasse puts another group of hopefuls through the mill at Table 10. They’ve got one hour to make soup. It’s one of the things Emeril judges a restaurant by, and he wants it to have structure, seasoning, and depth. Ready? Go!

Jeffrey Jew, Chef de Cuisine at Blackbyrd, in Washington, D.C. is making a watermelon-tomato gazpacho. Emeril wonders if he can chill the gazpacho quickly enough. Turns out Jeffrey can – he gets the first Top Chef coat.

Kristin Kish, Sous Chef at Stir in Boston, and besties with fellow competitor and spoon-tattoo-wearer Stephanie, makes an English pea broth and sails right into the Top Chef jacket fitting room.

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Post-Sandy Restaurant Recovery Stories: East Village’s Dirt Candy Is Open

Come down to Dirt Candy for Chef Amanda Cohen’s Portobello Mousse with Pear and Fennel Compote + other delicious dishes!

Restaurant Name: Dirt Candy
Location: East Village
Years in business: Four
Status: Fully open and operational.
Damage: None to restaurant; flood damage at storage space for online store.
Losses: Entire food inventory; five days of service.
Owner: Chef Amanda Cohen

Prior to Sandy, had you ever had to deal with a disaster situation at this or any restaurant?

For Irene, we closed for that night, but it was one evening, and it really wasn’t a disaster.There’s been nothing like this.

When did you shut the doors to prepare for the storm?

On Sunday, we came in and prepared. We weren’t sure that we wouldn’t be able to reopen on Tuesday, so on Monday, we actually took in product orders. We  thought that the worst case might be that if we couldn’t reopen Tuesday, we’d be back by Wednesday. We wanted to be be prepared.

When did you first go back to the restaurant and realize the extent of the losses?

On Tuesday, we walked down here. I live about 20 blocks away, so it wasn’t a big deal. Obviously, we realized right away that we didn’t have power. We didn’t touch anything, hoping that the refrigerator would stay cool enough, the freezer would stay frozen, and we wouldn’t have massive losses. But, by Wednesday, following up with Con Ed and  listening to all the news conferences, we realized the earliest we could possibly get power would be Friday. At that moment, we knew there was just no way we could save anything. So, Thursday morning, we came down and threw out everything that was in the restaurant.

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