Last week, Terzo Piano hosted a Chefs' Playground, which featured celebrity chefs cook their gourmet plates right in front of you, including Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan, Bill Kim, Sarah Grueneberg, and many, many more.
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It seems like the food world has an enormous hunka-hunka burnin' love for Rick Bayless. Even though I've had plenty of tastes of his food, I'm still on the fence on whether or not I like his style.
As the first meal of a very busy day, breakfast is the one we often think the least about. (Plus, taking pictures of food is immeasurably harder before a cup of coffee.) It's automatic, almost like a ritual, and personal.
In this month's version of "We Drink All the Hot Chocolate at..." we go on a little soul-warming vacation south of the border with the five hot chocolates at Xoco (just kidding: this is not actually a new column we're starting...or is it?).
Scrambled eggs, pork chorizo, poblano rajas, Chihuahua cheese, and avocado are pressed between slices of chewy-crackly bread until the whole thing is compressed into gooey perfection. Paired with a reasonably priced cup of Intelligentsia coffee, this was a breakfast fit for first class.
Rick Bayless is starring in a new dining theater production called "Cascabel." During his time on stage he cooks, dances, and acts. Obviously, we already knew he was good at the first item, but it was completely up in the air whether he'd be able to pull off the other two things, or whether the play itself would hold up. But the first reviews are in.
The Milanesa has an engaging balance of flavors and textures: the crunch of the moist, panko-crusted chicken contrasts with the smooth, citrusy crema, while the rich avocado coats your tongue before the spicier-than-expected jalapeños get a few jabs in at the end.
What did you do last week? Rick Bayless opened a location of Tortas Frontera in The Loop, and started rehearsals for a theater project he's going to star in. Oh, and he had to deal with Lady Gaga, who stopped by Frontera over the weekend.
It's no real surprise that Mayor Rahm Emanuel tops Chicago Magazine's list of the 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans, but we were surprised to see that so many people in the food world made the cut.
When I told my coworkers that I was going to Macy's for lunch, some of them looked at me like I was crazy. No, I wasn't going to attempt to eat a Coach purse or eat a whole box of Frango mints for lunch (though if I'm drunk enough I'll eat anything). I thought everybody knew that there was a food court on the 7th floor of the Macy's building on State Street.
A Sandwich a Day: Egg and Chorizo Torta from Tortas Frontera in O'Hare International Airport, Chicago
Rick Bayless, the respected patron of haute Mexican cuisine, has plenty of well deserved achievements and accolades in his trophy case. And he can add another for this egg and chorizo torta ($9) at his Tortas Frontera restaurant in Terminal 1 (near gate B11). While eating it, I was actually glad to be subjected to a one-hour layover in O'Hare airport.
With salty chips and gooey toppings, chilaquiles are just about the perfect hangover food. And the chilaquiles from Xoco in Chicago, Rick Bayless's casual operation, are just about the best I've ever had.
There are breakfast sandwiches born of convenience, and then there are breakfast sandwiches that are worth getting up early for. It shouldn't surprise anyone who's eaten at Rick Bayless's Xoco that the Chorizo-Egg Torta ($7.50) is one of the latter.
If you're looking for churros in Chicago and want to go straight to the fried source, you'll end up at Don Churro, the churro factory. They're only $1, served hot, about a foot long, and you won't have to wait forever in line for them.
[Photograph: Michael Nagrant] My first high school Spanish textbook was named Churros y Chocolate. Though I loved the language, due to an overbearing teacher whose pronunciation I'm pretty sure most Mexicans would have made fun of or mistook for Italian,...