Chicago's food scene has never been stronger. Brisan is proud to highlight brilliant amuse-bouches, beverages, hors d'oeuvres, entrees, or desserts from the hardworking, creative chefs working in our home turf. Our #represent campaign is our way of doing "shout outs" to deserving chefs and to express excitement of being located within Chicago's very own restaurant district.
Why is Brisan the force behind this? Well, we're food & beverage experts with a speciality in culinary trends. Click here to learn more about Brisan.
This self proclaimed "avant-garde", BYOB, 16-seater is bringing contemporary American tastings to Chicago's north side. Goosefoot pays careful attention to ingredient quality and interaction. This dish demonstrates Chef Nugent's sophisticated palate and ability to balance flavor profiles. We'll break some culinary trends seen in this dish:
An awesome Mexican-inspired dish at Bayless's new West Loop restaurant, Leña Brava. The component that stands out as the most forward-thinking, on-trend item is the "Bayless Garden Micro Greens". Rick Bayless and a team built an urban garden program several years ago. All of his restaurants use agriculture from his garden in one way or another.
"The gardens are the result of a 2005 collaboration between Rick and Deann Bayless and Bill Shores, a Chicago-based professional grower with a background in small space intensive food production, ornamental horticulture and temperate and tropical botany."
"The Bucktown garden beds are in production for 8 months of the year, yielding over 700 pounds of salad greens, 65,000 edible flowers, 250 pounds of herbs and 100 pounds of butternut squash.
"In the cooler fall and winter months, production moves indoors to a 150 square-foot heated greenhouse, 60 square-foot unheated outdoor greenhouse and an indoor light garden, yielding another 150 pounds of salad and microgreens, several thousand edible flowers and another 50 pounds of herbs.
"Bill and Rick also established the rooftop garden above XOCO, a 1000 square-foot rooftop space where upward of 650 pounds of tomatoes, 125 pounds of chiles and 80 pounds of Chinese long beans and an abundance of specialty herbs are grown each season. It just doesn’t get more local than that."
[Information courtesy of rickbayless.com]
You say: Pasta and seasonal produce? — Big whoop.
We say: Sophisticated minimalism.
Flavors of Summer how beautifully simple and to-the-point? Flavors of Summer highlights seasonality and is ambiguous — allowing for a great deal of flexibility.
By being vague, there is more flexibility with fruit, herb or vegetable varietal.
Sustainability & Food Waste:
The ambiguity also lends itself to a sustainable dish i.e. by not calling out the specific cut or part of said produce.
Let me explain...if a menu calls out orange peel, there is potential food waste for the remainder of the orange. Same as when menus call out chicken breast, the remaining offal and second cuts are often wasted. If a restaurant were to instead call out chicken, they could use the entire bird, reducing food waste.
Before Roister opened just over a year ago, it was already on food critics', food journalists', and competitors' list of Chicago restaurants to watch.
Owned by the Alinea Group, Roister is under a ton of pressure to perform and demonstrate thoughtful food prepared by a tremendously skilled staff. Their french fries dish is simple, yet anything but basic. Here's our breakdown explaining why these fries are pretty spectacular and how they seamlessly hit important culinary trends:
Oriole has received tons of awards since their opening. They earned two Michelin stars within the first year of opening and were named Best New Restaurant by Chicago Magazine. Below we highlight several key culinary trends Oriole is hitting with their summer menu:
Calling Out Color: "Golden" Ostera Caviar
Coconut Trend: "Coconut" is a huge buzzword right now. Of course coconut is a classic ingredient used in numerous ethnic cuisines, but the enormous coconut craze makes it seem almost as if coconut was rediscovered about five years ago. This trend has already trickled down to numerous categories outside of the food segment (especially personal care).
Dashi: A traditional Japanese stock made using fish, kelp and seaweed. Dashis have an earthy, savory, and umami flavor. There are tons of creative twists to put on a classic dashi. In this dish, Chef Sandoval incorporates coconut.
Lychee: A Japanese fruit, small and rounded with sweet white scented flesh, a large central stone and a thin rough skin.
Novel Fruit Varietals: Sea Grapes, Coccoloba uvifera aka baygrape. Typically harvested in mid-late summer, sea grapes are small green fruits. They grow in clusters and turn a purple hue as they ripen. Each grape contains a big pit that makes up the bulk of the volume.
This dish is a terrific demonstration of three large holistic trends we are seeing with fine dining right now:
1. Distant cue to childhood sweets (with approachable flavors);
Instead of using a bitter dark chocolate fit for a sophisticated palette or trendy “cacao” or “cocoa nib”, Smyth uses arguably the most child-friendly chocolate, milk chocolate.
2. Daring use of savory in confectionery concepts;
Chef Karen steps up the mild milk chocolate component with the pronounced, earthy-savory flavor of preserved shiitake mushrooms.
3. Virtual return to nature.
Numerous 2017 menus from influential restaurants have a high frequency use of terms like: "foraged", "wild", "soil" (Alter in Miami, FL refers to charred cauliflower as "Cauliflower Soil"), "vegetable leaves" (instead of calling out lettuce varietal), etc.
Additionally, fruits that are indigenous to un-landscaped, wild habitats — such as huckleberry — often cue "nature". Huckleberry can spark thoughts of forest preserves in Montana, hiking, "how to survive in the wild 101's"...you get the picture.
More about this restaurant:
Smyth = The fine dining branch, located on the first floor— with 5-course, 8-course, and 12-course tastings.
The Loyalist = Thoughtful, more approachable á la carte menu, located in the basement. But don't get fooled, their food and beverage program is on-point and is sure to wow even the fanciest self-proclaimed "foodie".