Inside the kitchen at newly Michelin-starred El Ideas | Slideshows | Chicago Reader

November 14, 2013 Slideshows » Blogs

Inside the kitchen at newly Michelin-starred El Ideas 

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Michael Gebert
Phillip Foss starts prep by rolling out tiny pie crusts.
Michael Gebert
Precooked geoduck are trimmed down to tiny disks of the clam for use in a dish.
Michael Gebert
Pecan pies
Michael Gebert
Guest chef Erik Anderson gives sous chef Andrew Iacono a taste of one of the sauces.
Michael Gebert
The kitchen is as well stocked as any in town.
Michael Gebert
Also in the house tonight: words of inspiration
Michael Gebert
Diners begin to arrive and chat with Foss in the kitchen.
Michael Gebert
Chef Anderson prepping the salad
Michael Gebert
The salad consists of bundles of greens, bound with twine; dressing is squirted in between.
Michael Gebert
The salad is finished with a scoop of cod roe, also slipped in between the leaves.
Michael Gebert
Salads, ready to be plated
Michael Gebert
Chatting at the stove
Michael Gebert
Playlist
Michael Gebert
The next course starts with leeks in a bowl.
Michael Gebert
And finishes with a potato tuile filled with ice cream—inspired by Foss's daughters eating french fries and ice cream.
Michael Gebert
Plating
Michael Gebert
The geoduck winds up on the plate with purple radishes and a tamarind gel "noodle."
Michael Gebert
Guests wander into the kitchen to watch the chefs and take pictures.
Michael Gebert
Rodrick Markus of Rare Tea Cellar also shows up in the middle of service, just on a social call.
Michael Gebert
One of the guests brought a bottle of bourbon for the kitchen, so there's a pause in service for a communal shot.
Michael Gebert
Another course begins with a sous-vide egg.
Michael Gebert
The plates are taken to the tables, followed by a small flask of country-ham broth.
Michael Gebert
Back in the kitchen we sample one that didn't go out because the egg broke.
Michael Gebert
This dish is built around many flavors of sunflowers.
Michael Gebert
Sunflower with pear and honey
Michael Gebert
Prepping a Nantucket Bay scallop dish
Michael Gebert
Nantucket scallop with salsify, Concord grape, and almond foam
Michael Gebert
Two more of Anderson's dishes in preparation
Michael Gebert
Filling the egg custard with maple syrup
Michael Gebert
The completed "maple egg"
Michael Gebert
"Pork ribs" with Dr. Pepper and ghost-pepper sauce
Michael Gebert
Ingredients for a dish called Black Hedgehog, with foie, kombu, and black garlic
Michael Gebert
Torching the foie
Michael Gebert
The menu for tonight, annotated with plate choices
Michael Gebert
Foss and his daughters
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Michael Gebert
Phillip Foss starts prep by rolling out tiny pie crusts.

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