No one believes it (certainly no one expects it): a luxurious menu of local ingredients…in the winter…in Chicago. Still, the deliciousness that unfolds on this menu celebrates joyously that it can be done.
In fact, Chicago cooks a century ago wouldn’t have understood what the fuss was about. They cooked with local ingredients all winter in those days — they had no choice — which I learned nearly 30 years ago from our restaurant’s first farmer (an octogenarian) who’d grown up on a winter-producing farm west of town.
What’s old is new again. Which is why we choose the winter to showcase local farmers’ bounty. Much is freshly harvested or produced, some comes from the modern root cellar, some we’ve preserved for just this occasion.