Monday, June 1, 2015

How a cook from Tennessee is making himself into a Japanese chef

Posted By on 06.01.15 at 01:00 PM

Scott Malloy

People are always on the move in the restaurant business, and I've known plenty of chefs on the way up. But there's something different about the moves made by a cook named Scott Malloy, who currently works at Momotaro's izakaya. A Tennessee native, Malloy didn't have Japanese food till he was nearly an adult, but he's made up for lost time by being obsessive about it ever since. That's been reflected in a career driven less by where he could boost his salary and title, and more by where he could learn the next thing about the cuisine he loves. Next year he plans to take his first trip to Japan, with his wife Becky, office manager at Grace, and the couple is working on eventually living there for a time. The ultimate goal is, yes, his own restaurant, but for now he's more determined to learn everything he can from others than to run the show himself. I met him at Star Lounge (hence the coffee beans in the background) to learn more about how he's driven his career to satisfy his obsession with Japanese cuisine—and what he plans to do with it someday.

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Dennis Hastert isn't just another corrupt Illinois politician

Posted By on 06.01.15 at 12:30 PM

Dennis Hastert, pictured in 2007
  • Susan Walsh/AP Photos
  • Dennis Hastert, pictured in 2007
Writing about Dennis Hastert, the former Illinois congressman who's been indicted for lying to the feds about withdrawing large sums of money, allegedly to pay off a man he sexually abused years ago while a Yorkville teacher and wrestling coach, the Sun-Times's Carol Marin passed along a question posed by a woman in Arizona to her brother in Chicago:

"Is there anybody in your state who isn't guilty of something?"

The answer is no. Guilt is as widely distributed in Illinois as it is in any other of the world's warrens of humanity. If Illinois is exceptional it's in its unwillingness to pretend otherwise and success in keeping sins of omission to a minimum. When a public dignitary in our fine state walks around feeling guilty, it's not hard to put your finger on why.

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Check out the first single from the Cairo Gang's forthcoming album

Posted By on 06.01.15 at 12:00 PM

Cairo Gangs Emmett Kelly
  • Rachel Cassels
  • Cairo Gang's Emmett Kelly
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Emmett Kelly has always been the sole constant of the Cairo Gang. He usually plays everything on the project's recordings, but surrounds himself with a strong Chicago-based band for live shows—guitarist Sam Wagster, bassist Ryan Weinstein, and, lately, drummer Marc Riordan. Kelly (who might be best known as a crucial foil for Will Oldman's Bonnie "Prince" Billy) has spent many years in Chicago, but he generally ends up returning to Los Angeles, where he was born and raised—indeed, that's where he is now. I don't know when we'll get the chance to hear him play the terrific songs that fill the new Cairo Gang album, Goes Missing (due on Ty Segall's increasingly impressive God? imprint on June 23)—the group is embarking on a series of supporting dates for Mikal Cronin in September, but there's no stop in Chicago scheduled. In the meantime I suggest you check out the infectious first single from the album: "Ice Fishing" is today's 12 O'Clock Track.

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Did you read about Lennie Merullo, police unions, and Lata 65?

Posted By on 06.01.15 at 11:20 AM

RIP Lennie Merullo
  • Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images
  • RIP Lennie Merullo
Reader staffers share stories that fascinate, alarm, amuse, or inspire us.

Hey, did you read:

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The school board's moment of insight on charters

Posted By on 06.01.15 at 10:00 AM

Come to the Hideout tomorrow for First Tuesdays to hear Karen Lewis talk to Mick and Ben about charters.
  • Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times
  • Come to the Hideout tomorrow for First Tuesdays to hear Karen Lewis talk to Mick and Ben about charters.

As part of my ongoing effort to be more appreciative of every little good thing—no matter how little it may be—let me take this opportunity to congratulate the school board for postponing a decision on Noble's latest charter high school application.

I realize it sounds odd to get excited about a what's basically a moment of school board indecision.

Especially when saying no to charters should qualify as a no-brainer for a system that's so broke it can barely afford janitorial service.

So why would you be so dumb to create new schools when you can't afford the ones you already have?!

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Who lied in drug and double murder case: Police or their key witness?

Posted By on 06.01.15 at 07:30 AM

An attorney for convicted heroin dealer Jason Austin, shown here in 2008, says witnesses against him committed perjury.
  • Brian Jackson/Sun-Times Media
  • An attorney for convicted heroin dealer Jason Austin, shown here in 2008, says witnesses against him committed perjury.
Who told the truth, and who didn't?

A former street dealer, an FBI agent, and several police officers testified in federal court last year that they'd learned Jason Austin murdered two people in 2008 to protect his west-side drug operation, which sold more than ten kilos of heroin and reaped thousands of dollars a day.

By the end of the sentencing hearing, federal judge Joan Lefkow—known as one of the fairest jurists in the northern Illinois district—said she had little choice but to give Austin a 35-year prison term. "Your drug trafficking has been a scourge on your community," she said. "You destroyed two innocent lives."

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Max Ophuls's five best films

Posted By on 05.31.15 at 08:00 AM

The Earrings of Madame de . . .
  • The Earrings of Madame de . . .
This weekend, the Music Box wrapped up its series "Weepie Noir: The Dark Side of Women's Pictures" with a 16-millimeter screening of Letter from an Unknown Woman, the great melodrama by master filmmaker Max Ophuls, whose unfortunately brief career yielded one of cinema's richest and most resonant filmographies. He is, of course, known for his baroque style and brilliant long takes, but as Francois Truffaut explained in his obituary of the director, "He was not the virtuoso or the aesthete or the decorative filmmaker he has been called. . . . Like his friend Jean Renoir, Ophuls always sacrificed technique to the actor." That's true—however, at the risk of sounding presumptuous, I think characters, particularly female protagonists, interested Ophuls far more than actors. He calibrated every filmmaking decision to the minds, desires, and lives of the people in his films, so much that his camera became an extension of their being, visualizing a hidden quality that literary critics describe as "interiority." I also don't think Ophuls "sacrifices" anything—his style is built into his artistic mission. He once said, "The camera exists to create a new art and to show above all what cannot be seen elsewhere, neither in theater nor in life," a notion exemplified in his best films. You can see my five favorite Ophuls films below.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Redwood Landing's groovy 70s folk-rock made them favorites on the midwestern college circuit

Posted By on 05.30.15 at 08:00 AM

Since 2004 Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) has used the Secret History of Chicago Music to shine a light on worthy artists with Chicago ties who've been forgotten, underrated, or never noticed in the first place. Older strips are archived here.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

A hip Friday night princess heads to East Room

Posted By on 05.29.15 at 04:30 PM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

IMG_8994.jpg

How I love Amara's look—always so urban and earthy. (See more of her style in a previous post here.) Plus her hair! This time when I ran into Amara, she was about to go party at East Room and couldn't look more appropriate for just about any occasion. Nothing's more versatile than a maxi denim jacket. She embellished hers with a charming puppy brooch, matched its collar with a tucked-in top, and instantly became a hip Friday night princess.

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A Trenchermen bartender makes a porky peach-soda float

Posted By on 05.29.15 at 03:35 PM

When Andy Rivera of the Publican challenged Trenchermen's Rachel Rodeghiero to create a cocktail with pork stock, she didn't want to just use the liquid in a drink. Instead, she and pastry chef Sierra Smith made pork ice cream. Using a quart of pork stock didn't impart quite enough piggy flavor, so they tried another batch with the addition of pork jus.

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Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle Museum of Science and Industry
May 23
Galleries & Museums
Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College
April 06 1

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