We asked Chicago’s top chefs who else in town is cooking up inspired cuisine. And the list goes on.
ALISHA ELENZ, MFK:
Hot off her big win as the Jean Banchet Rising Chef of the Year, as well as a James Beard nomination, the mfk chef nods to Eden in the West Loop as a particular favorite. “I've never had a meal there that didn't blow me away,” Elenz says. “I'm in love with their concept of growing as much as they can in the on-site urban garden.”
DEVON QUINN, EDEN:
“The only place I eat at consistently is Tempesta Market,” says Eden's chef-owner. “They have a great selection, and the staff is very friendly.” When Quinn is on the hunt for a tasty lunch, he goes for sandwiches like The Dante, a fiery mound of Italian deli cuts topped with 'nduja aioli.
ANTONIO FIASCHE, TEMPESTA MARKET:
It's no surprise that this expert salumiere would choose another flavor-packed restaurant as one of his favorites. “The arroz gordo—the actual fat rice—at Fat Rice is complex with layers of flavors and textures,” Fiasche says. “It's just fantastic.” That's no exaggeration—the namesake dish is packed with curried chicken, woodroasted beef, chile-marinated prawns and smoky linguiça sausage.
ABE CONLON, FAT RICE:
As last year's James Beard Best Chef in the Great Lakes region, Abe Conlon knows good food. “Lula Cafe is a long-standing stalwart of the Chicago restaurant scene,” he says. “My favorite dish is the 3 Sisters Farm baby corn—I wait all year for it, and every summer, I'm excited to see it return.”
JASON HAMMEL, LULA CAFE:
With his many accolades and 20 years of inventive cooking at Lula Cafe, Jason Hammel is something of an expert when it comes to well-executed, intriguing fare. He nods to Parachute and chef-owners Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark for their “off-the-cuff” menu of Korean dishes that never cease to delight.