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Newcity Chicago April 2020

Published by Newcity, 2020-03-24 13:10:21

Description: This month's issue features Newcity's "Big Heat: Chicago's Food & Drink 50," our annual celebration of our city's culinary culture. Food and drink editor David Hammond interviews our Chef of the Moment: Mariya Russell, head of Kumiko and Kikkō in the West Loop and the first black woman to receive a Michelin star. Elsewhere in this issue, a profile on the production that was not meant to be: Lyric Opera's epic mounting of Wagner's "Ring Cycle," which was laid low COVID-19. And while the city is currently under a shelter-in-place order, you can still see "Chameleon Blind," an installation by artist and activist Mara Baker, in vacant storefronts across the city. As we hope for a speedy return to business as usual, be sure to peruse some reviews and contemplate additional content at


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APRIL 2020 CHICAGO’S DFroiondk &50 Mariya Russell OF KIKKO

THE A of fiber art OF MATT Left to Right: Shi Hui, Float, 2000/2007/2013. Installation view, Wrightwood 659. gu wenda, united nations: american code, 2019. Installation view, Smart Museum of Art.

ALLURE of miles of human hair TER THE ALLURE OF MATTER Material Art from China On view at the Smart Museum of Art on Chicago’s South Side and at Wrightwood 659 on the North Side. Through 48 works of art by 26 leading Chinese contemporary artists The Allure of Matter highlights the unconventional use, and transformation of seemingly everyday objects like melted plastic, paper-thin porcelain, half a million cigarettes, and 300,000 iron nails. MUST CLOSE MAY 3rd.

From dance to literature: you want to be here. The Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago is a multidisciplinary home for artistic practice. Connect with the Logan Center for concerts, exhibitions, performances, family programs, and more from world-class, emerging, local, student, and international artists. Logan Center for the Arts 773.702.ARTS 915 E 60th St loganUChicago Photo: Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre dancers in Between Us, courtesy of the company.

APRIL 2020 CONTENTS Lifting the Veil on Valhalla ........................................................ 10 Behind the scenes of a Ring Cycle we might never see now Chef of the Moment 16.............................................................................. Mariya Russell masters Japanese cuisine and everything else Big Heat Food + Drink 50 20............................................................ If you need a reason to dine out, here are fifty ARTS & CULTURE ART LIT APRIL 2020 Newcity Chameleon Blind Pilsen has a plan for vacant spaces .........................42 Community Books lives ................................. 57 DANCE MUSIC The Seldoms take on Robyn Hitchcock an existential crisis of our time...................... 48 still has that magical iconoclasm...................59 DESIGN S TA G E If you think tiny houses are The most spectacular cool, you should know Ken Isaacs................ 50 designs of Miss Izumi Inaba........................... 61 DINING & DRINKING REVIEWS The real A selection of our taste of Chicago.............................................52 latest critical weigh-ins..................................63 FILM LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL What does that Teen Dream logo mean to you? .........................................5 4 contemplates parenthood..............................66 5

N O O N E E X P E C T E D , in this “cancel culture” era, that the culture would literally be canceled. But here we are. As we go to press, the governor and mayor announced that the battle against the deadly coronavirus necessitated curtailing nearly all public gatherings, a decision that was either mandatory or just moral, depending on the size of the event. The result? For the next two weeks to two months, just about every play, every museum, every concert has been postponed. While the public health imperative is inarguable, the shock and pain is palpable. Whether you mourn the loss of a rare opportunity to see something like Wag- ner's complete Ring Cycle at the Lyric—the logistics of opera make rescheduling almost impossible in the near future and it will likely take years—or the life-shaking loss of income that threatens the survival of so many artists and other workers who rely on the artistic economy for sustenance (including arts publications!), this wave of cancellations only adds to the somber mood. Letter Though this issue was nearly finished when these announcements came, frEodmitothre we grappled briefly with how to handle it: should we postpone it, or simply cancel the articles covering events that will no longer take place? In the end, we decided neither would do: we would publish, as that's what we do, and we would run the interviews and coverage that we planned even if you won't see the work live—for these artists and their creations deserve that, at least. If you can't see them now, you now know about them. We've done our best in limited time and early in the cancel cycle to update stories and listings where we can, but please call the venue before heading to a show or exhibition. And please, please put your safety and the safety of others as your top priori- ty, but if you're comfortable going out, to see a small theater company still performing or artwork hanging in a gallery, please do that, too, for your sake and theirs. And remember that so much of the cultural economy that you rely upon to nourish your soul survives on a shoestring, and needs your support, especially including the restaurants that we're featuring in this issue. Go to a restaurant, please. But if you don't think that's the right thing to do, don't go. Order in. They need our business. And we need them to survive. And please subscribe to Newcity. We'll mail it right to your BRIAN social-distancing sanctuary. HIEGGELKE Newcity APRIL 2020 6

A Tale of Today Nate Young and Mika Horibuchi The Nickerson 40 East Presented by Mansion Erie Street takes center driehaus stage Apr 4–Aug 9 A Tale of Today: Nate This exhibition is pre- and Scott Johnson, and Young and Mika Horibuchi sented by Northern Trust. the Richard H. Driehaus is organized by the Additional support is Annual Exhibition Fund. Richard H. Driehaus provided by Eugene and Photograph by Alexander Museum. Jean Stark, Gary Metzner Vertikoff, 2011.

Contributors DAVID HAMMOND (Writer/editor, “Big Heat LAUREN KNIGHT (Writer, “Big Heat 50”) ON THE COVER 50” and “Chef of the Moment”) is Newcity’s is a voracious eater, an amateur baker, Mariya Russell on location dining and drinking editor and a frequent and a student of food systems—if it's about at Kumiko/Kikko food and beverage contributor to the something edible, she's all in! When not Cover Photo Monica Kass Rogers Chicago Tribune, DiningOut, Wednesday writing about food, she's talking about milk Cover Design Dan Streeting Journal and other local and national at fairlife, a dairy-based health and wellness publications. He is currently under contract company. You can also find her swimming Vol. 35, No. 1402 with University of Illinois to write a book laps in a pool or saving up for the next with WBEZ’s Monica Eng about foods that stamp in her passport. PUBLISHERS originated in Chicago (not just Italian beef Brian & Jan Hieggelke and deep dish but the Mother-in-Law, LEIGH KUNKEL (Writer, “Big Heat 50”) is Associate Publisher Mike Hartnett Sweet Steak and Chicken Vesuvio). a journalist in Chicago whose work has also EDITORIAL appeared in Lonely Planet, the New York Editor Brian Hieggelke MONICA KASS ROGERS (Photographer, Times and Eater. She lives in Humboldt Park Managing Editor Jan Hieggelke Cover, “Chef of the Moment” and “Big with her boyfriend and their two dogs. Art Editor Kerry Cardoza Heat 50”) Of all that Monica Kass Rogers Dance Editor Sharon Hoyer photographs, food and the people who make EMILY LARSEN (Writer, “Big Heat 50”) has Design Editor Vasia Rigou it are favorite subjects. “My job has given worked in the Chicago food writing scene Dining and Drinking Editor me the privilege to learn about food from since 2014. She loves sinking her teeth into David Hammond the chefs and restaurateurs who make it. all that is delicious in the Windy City. Film Editor Ray Pride Seeing their smiles and intensity through Lit Editor Tara Betts my lens, connects the personality of these DENNIS POLKOW (Writer, “Lifting the Veil Music Editor Robert Rodi hard working people with the plates they on Valhalla”) is an award-winning veteran serve. I like that.” journalist, critic, author, broadcaster and eater Editor Kevin Greene educator. He grew up with Wagner in the ART & DESIGN REBECCA HOLLAND (Writer, “Big Heat 50”) house as his sister was a lyric soprano. Senior Designers Fletcher Martin, is a freelance travel and food writer published Her husband was then-president of the Dan Streeting , Billy Werch in The Guardian, Food & Wine, The New York Wagner Society who fell in love with her Designers Jim Maciukenas, Times, Chicago Tribune and more. She is also while she was singing the “Liebestod.”  Stephanie Plenner the founder and editor of Curiosity Magazine.  MARKETING Marketing Manager Todd Hieggelke JUNE 2019 OPERATIONS General Manager Jan Hieggelke WHO REALLY BOOKS IN CHICAGO Distribution Nick Bachmann, + EVE EWING Adam Desantis, Preston Klik, Quinn Nicholson Perfect Visions: Feb 2020 Eleven Leaders on One copy of current issue free at select locations. How the Twenties Additional copies, including back issues up to one year, may be ordered at DTTHIHSEECCBSOIEUVTNRYEEFRAATCHEWillRoarinChicago Copyright 2020, New City Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Newcity_Feb_2020_final.indd 1 1/19/20 10:06 PM Newcity assumes no responsibility to return May 2019 March 2018 unsolicited editorial or graphic material. All rights in letters and unsolicited editorial or BreAarktiosutst graphic material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes Newcity APRIL 2020 + Designer of the Moment and subject to comment editorially. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Newcity is published by Newcity Communications, Inc. 47 West Polk, Suite 100-223, Chicago, IL 60605 Visit for advertising and editorial information. Newcity_May2019_coverFinal.indd 1 4/14/19 1:52 PM Newcity_NOV_BOC_FOB-3.indd 1 10/15/18 1:55 AM Subscribe at 8

MIX AT SIX 20/21 Meklit . Photo by John Nilsen. DWAYNE DOPSIE + NATHALIE JOACHIM + THE ZYDECO HELLRAISERS SPEKTRAL QUARTET Rooftop Concert Fanm d’Ayiti August 19, 2020 December 2, 2020 CAMILA MEZA + THE CAMBRIANS THE NECTAR ORCHESTRA Chicago Dances 2021 Rooftop Concert January 21, 2021 September 2, 2020 MEKLIT COMPAGNIE HERVÉ KOUBI The Barbarian Nights or April 27, 2021 The First Dawns of the World THE CHICAGO ACADEMY November 10, 2020 FOR THE ARTS ALL PERFORMANCES AT 6PM May 6, 2021 312.334.7777 | | 205 East Randolph Drive Chauncey and Marion D. Claire and Mike O’Grady Conor O’Neil McCormick Family Foundation Community Engagement Sponsor Nathalie Joachim Performance Sponsor Mix at Six Series Presenting Sponsor

Newcity APRIL 2020 AN INSIDE LOOK AT LYRIC’S “RING” CYCLE by Dennis Polkow IT’S A BEAUTIFUL, WARM AND SUNNY AUGUST DAY IN CHICAGO. Given that it was in its off-season, few might suspect the activity inside the Lyric Opera House. The massive Ardis Krainik Theatre is empty and, by-and-large, dark. The stage is dimly lit and some twenty-five rows back, there is a concentrated three- row quadrangle of light revealing desks covering audience seats. Lights over music stands and the illumination of computer screens stream out into the tenebrosity. “Let’s see ‘Siegfried’s Death,’” calls out Sir David Pountney in a confident but invit- ing British accent. Pountney is in town supervising a week’s worth of tech rehearsals of “Götterdämmerung,” the final work of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, which premieres in April before three full subsequent “Ring” cycles throughout April and into early May. The orchestra pit is empty so the familiar orchestral music is not supplied by live musicians. Instead, it comes back to the stage from one of the computers like a way- ward transistor radio. A circle of dancers and actors surround a stand-in for Siegfried, covered in a shroud, and proceed to move around him reverently while keeping an outer shroud in the air but close to the floor around him. Even without the music, anyone could walk in during this eleven o’clock moment of this twenty-some-hour music drama and know we were witnessing the death of a hero. On a break, this observation pleases Pountney. “For us, that act of narration, and the telling of a story, is very important,” says Pountney. “You can argue endlessly about whether the ‘Ring’ has a political message, whether it has a philosophical message. Is it really about capitalism? Is it about the abuse of nature? The piece is so rich, so open, that, actually, the most important thing for me to say is ‘Once upon a time.’ Here’s this story, listen to my story. Out of it you will derive a limitless palette of significances. And I don’t want to tell you which sig- nificances you should listen to and which ones you shouldn’t. A lot of directors like to do that, especially with the ‘Ring.’ ‘No, no, no: it’s all about the misuse of oil, or cap- italism, or triumph of the will or Schopenhauer.’ There's all of this intellectual baggage 10

“Götterdämmerung” tech rehearsal, Lyric Opera of Chicago/Photo: Andrew Cioffi 

Christine Goerke that goes with it, and political baggage, tos. It is, in many respects, a grand opera as Brünnhilde, “Die Walküre” too. Like any great story, it has resonanc- in the tradition that was established by es in all those fields. But it’s very much Rossini with ‘William Tell,’ but above all, /Photo: Cory Weaver our choice to focus on the process of sto- expounded in the actually slightly inferi- rytelling, even in a slightly naïve way. And or works of Meyerbeer. And so, in ‘Göt- to leave aside those big questions of what terdämmerung’ you have things like APRIL 2020 Newcity is the ultimate significance of the ‘Ring.’ wedding processions, choruses, ensem- That, to my mind, is the audience’s job to bles, trios, big scenic moments: a lot of decide and each one of you will decide the apparatus of a grand opera. No bal- something different and that is also part let, that’s the major difference.” of the richness and the charm of it.” Having begun by writing the libretto The “Ring” is the short name for Wag- of the final work of the “Ring” in a fairly ner’s four-part epic “Der Ring des Ni- conventional manner and going system- belungen” (“The Ring of the Nibelungs”), atically backwards, Wagner’s process which consists of “Das Rheingold” (“The and the narrative become increasingly Rhine Gold”), “Die Walküre” (“The Valky- radical by his explaining more and more rie”), “Siegfried” and “Götterdämmerung” how we arrived at various points along (“Twilight of the Gods”). the way of the story. The original plan was simple enough: “So ‘Rheingold,’ the opening work of Wagner was fascinated with the ancient the cycle,” Pountney says, with childlike Scandinavian, Germanic and Icelandic wonder, “is the most radical of the four sagas of the gods and wanted to focus operas in dramatic and libretto terms! By on the hero Siegfried. Thus he wrote the contrast, Wagner composed all of the poem “Siegfrieds Tod” (“Siegfried’s music for the ‘Ring’ sequentially in the Death”), in effect the libretto for “Götter- order of the works. That meant that the dämmerung,” before it became obvious music becomes increasingly radical as that one opera—not even one of nearly the drama becomes more conventional. six hours—was not enough to properly explain who Siegfried was. “So, he started writing the music for ‘Rheingold’ and the musical language is “Der junge Siegfried” (“Young Sieg- at its most—and I use the word careful- fried”) followed, essentially the libretto ly—’primitive’ in ‘Rheingold.’ And of for “Siegfried,” where too, Wagner real- course, halfway through the last act of ized that in order to understand who ‘Siegfried,’ he stopped.” Siegfried was the audience needed to know where he came from. Thus “Die There was indeed a twelve-year pause Walküre,” which explains how Siegfried’s whilst a stranded and sleeping Brünnhil- parents met and how the Valkyrie Brünn- de is left waiting for Siegfried to rescue hilde lost her divinity by disobeying her her on a mountaintop. While searching father Wotan, king of the gods. Going for the musical language to adequately further back into the story and in order convey their erotically ecstatic union, to set the scene for the entire epic, Wag- Wagner wrote “Tristan und Isolde,” trans- ner wrote “Das Rheingold,” a one-act forming not only his own musical lan- prologue that explains how the ring was guage, but that of the nineteenth centu- forged from the gold of the Rhine River ry and of the Romantic era. This was by the dwarf, Alberich, and stolen back followed by “Die Meistersinger von by Wotan and Loge, the god of deceit Nürnberg” before Wagner came back to and fire. Alberich has put a curse on the composing the rapturous music for the ring, and Wotan is persuaded by the final scene of “Siegfried” and then all of earth goddess Erde to give the ring to “Götterdämmerung.” the giants Fasolt and Fafner as payment for building the gods their mountaintop “In so doing, Wagner completely trans- abode. The curse takes over as Fafner formed his musical language so that kills Fasolt for possession of the ring, ‘Götterdämmerung’ is in that intensely which after all, is said to give the one who chromatic, involved style that came out possesses it all the power in the world, of ‘Tristan und Isolde,” says Pountney. even greater than that of the gods. “We’re looking at a piece that involves twenty-five years of an artist’s life. By the “All of this means there is this extraor- time we get to ‘Götterdämmerung,’ we’re dinary element of time traveling in the at the point where his most advanced ‘Ring,'” says Pountney. “By having con- musical language meets his most con- ceived and written ‘Götterdämmerung’ servative theatrical language.” first as a libretto, in operatic terms, it is the most old-fashioned of the four libret- That curious to-ing and fro-ing with the libretto and the music going in op- posite directions is a huge part of the 13

richness of the “Ring,” as Pountney sees it. Eric Owens being and now “Götterdämmerung,” he quickly He echoes Wagner’s own sense of time made up as Wotan, corrects me: “Music is the main element!” travel back and forth across its creation by Lyric Opera of Chicago echoing that element across his produc- /Photo: Cory Weaver “I am a musician,” Pountney says, despite tion. In “Götterdämmerung,” for instance— his international renown as a director. “I the only opera of the cycle wherein Wotan ly, a shameless manipulator of passions, come from a family who were all good, am- does not appear—in this production, he is which is why his music always has and ateur musicians and I grew up in that kind seen, if not heard. continues to provoke such immediate and of tradition. I was a chorister and a trum- extreme responses. peter and I played with the National Youth “There is a sense in which ‘Rheingold’ ex- Orchestra; I could play quite decently. So, ists in a world of itinerant gods, which When I mention how refreshing it is that to me, music is a very natural language. I might be the equivalent of itinerant courts Pountney has consistently allowed the read music fluently. I can sight-read. That of older Europe. With the Ibsenesque music to be the main element throughout training as a chorister is pretty amazing for drama of ‘Walküre,’ we seem to somehow “Das Rheingold,” first seen here in 2016, “Die that kind of thing. I can glance at a score be approaching the 1940s. With the naïve Walküre” in 2017, “Siegfried” last season and see what the music is about and un- and childish fairytale of ‘Siegfried,’ we’re in derstand what I should be doing and re- our own age of innocence, the fifties and specting in terms of the staging. I’m not sixties. And now in ‘Götterdämmerung,’ saying there aren’t also great directors who we’re in a dystopian future world. We’re don’t have that musical equipment, but I looking into a bleak future in which evil has do. For me, it’s natural. It’s home territory. laid a very firm grip on the world.” The fact that Wagner’s music in the ‘Ring’ is more or less in a permanent state of tran- One of the chief ways that Wagner sition, it’s important to be sensitive to that achieved continuity from “Das Rheingold” and to see that the music is flowing on in through “Götterdämmerung” is the use of a particular way and transforming into leitmotivs, or what comedian Anna Russell, something else.” in her classic sendup of the “Ring,” refers to as “signature tunes.” These are recurring “Götterdämmerung” is the only work in themes associated with characters, ob- the cycle to have a chorus, the Gibichungs. jects, events and emotions that allow for “We arrive somewhere where we haven’t various transformations across various been at all within the entire cycle,” says scenes, often in amazing combinations. Pountney, “a very different space. When Wagner called his leitmotivs “melodic mo- we go into the Gibichung Hall, we know ments of feeling.” Indeed, what is extraor- we’re meeting a different group of charac- dinary about them is how magnificently ters and we’re in a different kind of place, they emotionally evoke specific feelings a grand dwelling where we have a kind of from an audience. Wagner is, undoubted- governmental elite who are in charge of society [and] who are able to summon Newcity APRIL 2020 14

many vassals if they blow their horns in the ment rehearsals for actors and singers in Director Sir David Pountney, right key. So, there’s a whole kind of re- Rhinemaiden and Valkyrie scenes. For “Die Walküre” tech rehearsal, source behind these people that we hav- those in the premiere productions, it was en’t seen before. We’ve had an isolated a brush-up; for new cast members, the Lyric Opera of Chicago human house with Hunding’s house in moves were being introduced. /Photo: Michael Brosilow ‘Walküre.’ But otherwise we’ve been in the forest, fantasy land. Then suddenly we In the theater itself, space is at a premi- row is a performance day for another opera have a kind of modern palace, a ruler’s res- um in the music pit, where an augmented and there are several orchestra rehearsals idence. We’re at a place at the same time Lyric Opera Orchestra is crowded into ahead before the carefully constructed more political, more financially explicit. every inch of space for the first orches- enormous jigsaw puzzle pieces will be fit- What kind of a White House is this?” tra-only rehearsal of the cycle. You can see ted together as a gargantuan single artis- and hear the four harps warming up at the tic entity. Lyric’s chorus master Michael Black has back of the left side of the stage within the been transforming the mostly male chorus instrumental mishmash of simultaneous What does it all mean when all is said Wagner calls for into Gibichungs for weeks. Wagnerian bits. and done? The results, heard at the seventh and final chorus-only rehearsal on a windy and cold Sporting a crimson turtleneck and care- “Well, I think what we see is that the mid-February afternoon in a third floor fully carrying his “Das Rheingold” score as power of love in ‘Götterdämmerung’ is in- Lyric Opera House studio, is chilling. if it were Rhine gold, Lyric’s music director sufficient to withstand the corrupt manip- Sir Andrew Davis—the conductor for all of ulations of evil,” says Pountney. “And just “We have thirty questions we ask,” Black the “Ring” premieres and for all three of when we’re at the edge of the abyss, so to says, who has the chorus say their words the “Ring” cycles—walks in briskly from speak, and you think that this piece is in perfect German together before they within the theater itself rather than making going to have a terribly dark ending—imag- sing them out. The sound is beautiful, but his way through the crowded ensemble ine if Hagen really did get his hand on the terrifying. The chorus is in street clothes, from the back of the pit as occurs on per- ring at the end of the piece—it turns out but their black costumes, vests and wigs formance nights. Surprise: the pit door that love is the purifying agent in water and are being attended to by busy teams over opens in the center at the conductor’s neck in fire. As in ‘The Magic Flute,’ the world is in Lyric’s wardrobe and wig departments, level but it is a long couple of steps down purified and evil is washed away in the final all by hand. Watching wigmakers at work, to the conductor’s usual position. flood of the piece. And we’re left with a one human hair at a time yet with surpris- clean world, I think, is the implication of the ing speed, is fascinating. The wigs look as- Davis gave up his baton a decade ago final dozen bars or so of this twenty-five- tonishingly lifelike and light. Allowed to due to “tennis elbow, even though I never hour epic. So it does turn a remarkable pick one up proves they are indeed. played tennis.” So the hands are flowing corner and leaves us with a clean slate. freely as he conjures the sounds of the That can be looked at as either an optimis- Meanwhile, the principal singers have Rhine that gradually and blissfully fill up tic thing—surely, they’re not going to make arrived in Chicago from international com- the empty theater. Not surprisingly, he the same mistakes again—or it leaves you mitments and are having costumes fitted adds audible vocalisms where there will with the terrible feeling that the clean slate and their first rehearsal with Pountney fol- be singing. It is quite a show. What is re- is going to be followed by another series lowing a week of choreography and move- markable is that a “Ring Without Words,” of horrible errors and inability to stop reliv- as presenting music-only of the “Ring” is ing bad history. Which we do observe in Entry of the Gods into Valhalla, often called, is sonically satisfying as noth- our funny world, don’t we?” “Das Rheingold,” Lyric Opera ing else. The rehearsal will stop short of arriving at Valhalla, since, as Davis notes, At presstime, all April performances of Chicago/Photo: Andrew Cioffi  “we still have a long way to go.” About eigh- for “Götterdämmerung” and the teen hours worth at that point, but tomor- complete “Ring” cycle have been cancelled until further notice. APRIL 2020 Newcity (312)827-5600, 15

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Chef of the Moment 2020 HOW SHE’S APRIL 2020 Newcity MARIYA LIKE JOKER RUSSELL We wanted to hear about Russell’s approach talks about JOKER, to cooking, of course, but we also wanted to SPOUSES WORKING TOGETHER, hear about Russell herself, so we asked what movies have made an impression on her. “’Joker’ EMBRACING JAPANESE was such a dark movie, but as a chef, I can re- late to the dark mindset,” Russell says. “Some- by David Hammond times you have to deal with issues that are dif- photos by ficult, and you don’t have anyone to talk to, no one who can understand what you’re going Monica Kass Rogers through. Just watching the movie and the pro- gression of his mental state made a lot of sense “Being the first black woman to me.” to receive a Michelin star The counter at Kikkō seats only eight, and Rus- is empowering to me because now I can be an example for other sell is in front most of the time, preparing food young black women to follow their dream.” right before the eyes of guests, which is a tradi- That’s Mariya Russell talking. Along with Julia Momose, the tional omakase format, but also, at times, a chal- highly regarded mixologist, and Michelin-starred chef Noah lenge for the chef, who has to be on all the time. Sandoval and Cara Sandoval of Oriole, Russell is the chef de cuisine who prepares the food at Kumiko and Kikkō, a two- “Because our restaurant is so open, and the restaurants-in-one concept that opened last year. Kumiko focus- guests are sitting there and can see everything, es on cocktails, and Kikkō is all about omakase, the chef’s-choice I have to present myself, and what I’ve created, approach to Japanese dining, a seven-course seafood-forward to guests. And if the day has been stressful, I presentation of elegantly composed small plates. can’t take that with me. I have to switch off something in my brain. And it’s difficult, be- cause if earlier in the day I’ve been having a difficult time with something, it might carry over to the afternoon, and I can’t let guests see me like that. “For instance, yesterday my backpack was sto- len. I don’t know how it happened. I went to change before service, and my bag was gone. I had to force myself to forget that it happened, or it would have affected my performance. I had to sit in my car for a while. I had fifteen minutes, and I thought, I have to push this cry out, take a deep breath and get back to work.” That’s a pro talking. “When people leave the restaurant, I want them to feel comfortable, happy and satisfied that their expectations have been met.” Those expectations are high due in large part to the Michelin star. People visiting Kumiko and Kikkō expect something extraordinary, and that puts a big responsibility on Russell, from whom many expect greatness. “Even before we got the star, I was very critical of myself, and ques- tioning myself, ‘Am I good enough?’ Or ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ After the star, expecta- tions have grown for me, especially being the first black woman chef to win a Michelin star. I think about it all the time, and it could just be me being crazy, but people are coming to Kikko just to make sure it’s good, just to make sure I actually deserve the star.” 17

Newcity APRIL 2020 WHAT SHE DIDN’T year-old white supremacist]. That was check with her to make sure I’m on the right near where I worked. It was time right track, and so that she can come up LEARN IN CULINARY to go.” with pairings for it.” SCHOOL Back in Chicago at Oriole, Russell took WORKING WITH A SPOUSE a job as a back server, which is similar Russell attended CHIC, the Cooking to being what used to be called a bus- I had to ask Russell if it is a challenge and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, and boy or a busser. It is very much not a working with her spouse, Garrett, who she feels that “if I hadn’t gone to culinary Michelin-glamorous position, and al- is a cook in her kitchen. school, I wouldn’t be where I am now.” though it must have been humbling for But still, there are, as we hear from many someone with her talent to work at that “It can be, for sure,” she says. “At the be- young chefs, some things that culinary job, it also taught her how to deal with ginning, it was a fairly large learning school cannot, or did not, teach. the public, a skill that proved important curve. We have worked together sever- when she became chef de cuisine at an al times at different jobs. This was the “A culinary school can’t teach you how omakase restaurant, which places a pre- first time we’d worked together in a fine to be a cook. They teach you the ABCs mium on interaction with customers. dining restaurant. He had worked at of the book, which might explain how to This was critical to her development be- more casual places, but he did work at do a brunoise, how to use your knife cause, she says, “as a cook, you never Schwa for a while. Still, at the beginning, properly, but what you don’t learn is how talk to anybody all day. I learned from there were some things he didn’t under- to work in a kitchen. That’s all stuff I had Cara Sandoval about being approach- stand, so he’d get upset. Finally, I just to learn outside of school, and I learned able and from Eric McManus about wine, had to say ‘Even if you don’t agree with that there were a lot of things that I just how to select and serve it. If I hadn’t had me, I don’t care. I’m the one everyone is couldn’t do, that I didn’t learn in school, that experience, I don’t know if I’d be looking to, so we have to see eye-to-eye.’ like how to move around in a kitchen, able to work at Kikkō as well as I do We had to have that conversation. how to deal with the hours you have to now…without being super-scared.” work, just simple things. You don’t learn “We also had to talk about just being nice what your life is going to be like when SLEEP IS WHERE to each other because ‘I love you and I you’re a professional chef.” respect you… And this has to work.’” INSPIRATION HAPPENS LEARNING WHY EVERYONE IS Some chefs take a very organized ap- HOSPITALITY AT HOME, proach to the development of a dish. EMBRACING JAPANESE Grant Achatz at Alinea, for instance, HUMILITY AT ORIOLE uses a technique called “flavor bounc- Right now, there are many Japanese- ing,” which involves charting out what influenced restaurants in Chicago, in- “I used to cook for my family,” says Rus- flavors work together by meticulously cluding Mako, Omakase Yume, Jeong, sell, “mostly simple stuff like rice and diagramming the relationships of flavors Kyōten and, of course, Kumiko and vegetables. And I went to a career acad- in a dish. Kikkō. Sushi and sashimi remain im- emy for high school, so I would a lot of mensely popular, so it’s easy to under- times cook for people who went to my Russell’s approach to arriving at the stand why there’s a flowering of these church. I would make chicken Parmesan concept of a dish is different. restaurants. “It’s really cool,” says Rus- for people a lot. I would go over to their sell, “that all these places are opening houses to make it for them. Just for fun.” When I asked Russell what she likes to at around the same time, lots of people do in her spare time, she says, “Sleep!” are thinking about it.” Three years after she and husband Gar- That should have been no surprise be- rett decided to escape the Midwestern cause if there’s one thing a chef needs The simple elegance of Japanese cuisine cold to warmer Charleston, South Car- more of, it’s rest. But turning off her mind appeals to Russell because “sometimes olina, they decided to come back. “We’re is also a way to encourage the subcon- things can get pretty crowded on a plate. a biracial couple,” says Russell, “and scious to suggest recipes. “I’ll usually There are too many ingredients. You we’d get a lot of looks; people would al- wake up thinking about a new recipe, I’ll need to be disciplined.” ways be staring at us. I did meet a lot of have the concept for a dish in my head, wonderful people and great chefs, but and then I’ll write it down—I write every- Around 2009, I interviewed Mark Men- the environment was not great and the thing down—and keep thinking about it dez, who was then chef at Carnivale. perspective of the people there was kind and building on that idea by adding dif- This was at the height of the fascination of… garbage. The things people would ferent flavors, thinking about the textur- with molecular gastronomy, a trend that say to me would be outrageous. Some- al components, the balance of acid, had chefs transforming food until the one asked me how it was that I was so sweetness and fattiness. main ingredient of that food was almost pretty, and I thought, ‘Have you never unrecognizable. A carrot could be pu- seen a black person before?’ It was very “I make the dish for myself, then I tweak reed and plasticized and made into a surprising. South Carolina was not con- it and then I give it to everyone else, as kind of balloon, the meat entrée convert- ducive to who we were, and this was many staff members as I can, chefs, and, ed into a transparent gel. These plates around the time of that church shooting of course, Julia. She lived in Japan, so I of scientifically altered foods contained [the 2015 murder of nine African Amer- icans in a prayer group by a twenty-one- 18

obscure and exotic ingredients. Mendez ferent,” says Russell. “She’d use different nothing,” and she explains that, to her, APRIL 2020 Newcity told me that he could “tell how old a chef types of pasta and different types of this means “you should be accepting of was by looking at his menu.” Younger cheese every time. Sometimes it would other people and what they know, be- chefs, he said, tend to throw a lot of in- be white and sometimes it would be or- cause you can always learn something gredients on a plate, and that may be ange. It was exciting. I remember when from someone else.” generally true. Russell, however, follow- she started putting pepper jack in there. ing the Japanese aesthetic, is avoiding I was like ‘Oh, my god.’” THE MOST unnecessary ingredients to enable the beauty of the fundamental ingredients Not to read too much into a simple bowl IMPORTANT THING to shine through. of mac ‘n’ cheese, but Aunt Connie’s reg- ularly changing recipe may have opened “The most important thing to me right AUNT CONNIE’S Russell’s mind, at an early age, to culi- now is being a healthy person. Drinking nary possibility. That openness to ex- enough water during the day, and eating, MAC ‘N’ CHEESE AND ploring different combinations of fla- just eating, period. Taking care of my vors and textures is an attitude that mental health and making sure my hus- RUSSEL L’S TAT T OOS Russell puts into practice every night band is taking care of his health and that at Kikkō. he’s in a good place. Many of us have fond memories of Kraft Mac & Cheese. Whatever you think of it, I note Russell’s tattoos, not uncommon “I’ve had multiple sinus infections in the the product has something going for it for chefs, and she says that she has tat- past six months,” says Russell. “I had to that appeals to younger people: consis- toos reminiscent of the wallpaper in her do something. So now I’m eating lots of tency. Kraft Mac & Cheese is always the grandmother’s kitchen, some African fruits and vegetables and drinking lots same, and that’s something children, patterns, herbs and fruits, like a lemon, of water. and many adults, cherish. “one of my favorite acids,” says Russell. She also has tattooed on her leg a quote “I just turned thirty, and my body is chang- Russell’s Aunt Connie’s mac ‘n’ cheese from Anthony Bourdain, “I am certain of ing, so I have to get used to that.” was never the same. “It was always dif- 19

20 Newcity APRIL 2020

Chicago’s Food and Drink 50 BIG HEAT 50 2020 This year our Big Heat listing focuses on chefs, pit masters, bartenders, bakers is written by and those who prepare and serve the food that makes us all so lucky to live in David Hammond, one of the world’s major culinary centers. Rebecca Holland, Instead of repeating many of the same names year after year, we have elevated Lauren Knight, to the Hall of Fame those figures in the community who have appeared three Leigh Kunkel times or more on this list. The new Hall of Fame designation means we can now recognize these perennial all-stars while making room for new faces. We’re and proud that our 2020 list includes at least two dozen new names, representing a Emily Larsen. broader and deeper cut into our local culinary culture. All photos by Did we miss one of your favorites? Almost undoubtedly. There are over 10,000 Monica Kass Rogers restaurants in Chicago, and no one list can cover more than a tiny fraction of with photo assistance by that number. Ryan Thomas Lay. It’s our hope that with this list we’re recognizing not only the well-known names Shot on location at but also the up-and-comers who, one day, may very well be enshrined in our Kumiko and Kikkō. Hall of Fame. — DAVID HAMMOND APRIL 2020 Newcity 21

JULIA MOMOSE John and Karen Shields Chefs 2 Newcity APRIL 2020 1 Smith|The Loyalist won the 2020 Jean Banchet Restaurant of the Year and two Michelin stars; it is, doubtlessly, one of Chicago’s— JULIA MOMOSE, and the world’s—premier dining destinations. Both John and Karen Shields spent time at Charlie Trotter’s, and John tells us NOAH and CARA SANDOVAL, that a key takeaway from that experience is that “Chef Trotter always said, ‘yes, you work for me, but you need to want this for MARIYA RUSSELL yourself and set your bar even higher than mine.” The Shields have two young girls, and we asked the chefs how they’re edu- Creative Director and Mixologist, cating the kids about food. “Both of our girls are creative and Executive Chef, GM, Chef de Cuisine curious, so food is interesting to them,” Karen says. “They love to spend the day on The Farm [in Bourbonnais] with the Papin- Kumiko and Kikkō are the joint creation of eaus [the family that grows produce for Smith|The Loyalist], feed- Julia Momose, Noah and Cara Sandoval and ing chickens, foraging for berries, picking tomatoes, tasting new Mariya Russell. “Kumiko and Kikkō are a rep- herbs. Learning how food grows, and the dedication and hard resentation of my Japanese heritage,” says work it takes to produce it, are lessons they learn naturally. They Momose of the upstairs and downstairs will periodically add their two cents when they hear us concep- restaurants in the same building. “Everything tualizing a dish.” with deliberate care, many small parts coming together to create something beautiful.”  Rus- sell adds, “It’s most definitely a team effort.” And the team is scoring big: Food & Wine named Kumiko one of the best new restau- rants of 2019, and Time magazine named Kumiko one of the “World’s Greatest Places” of the year. Russell is getting well-deserved attention as the first black woman to ever head a Michelin-starred kitchen, but she’s quick to point out how it’s not all about her. “I worked with Julia closely doing R & D for Kumiko before it opened, and I always come by to give her tastes when I’m developing a new dish. With Noah, it’s like ‘Just do it.’ That’s a great feeling, because he trusts me.” 22

3 Michael Lachowicz Chef Le Francais—the restaurant where they say the Chicago-area food scene took off in the 1980s—was a crash course in French haute cuisine for diners, and it was a crash course in French cooking for many young chefs, including Michael Lachowicz, the man behind Winnetka’s triple threat of George Trois, Aboyer and Silencieux. Lachowicz worked with Le Francais founding chef Jean Banchet, and he says “the experience was extraor- dinary. I had some chops, but I was not ready for what I was about to experience there. It was absolutely necessary in mold- ing me to what I do today, to represent the thought and the nuance, the structure, method and technique of French cuisine.” So, it seems fitting that last year, Lachowicz took home the Jean Banchet Restaurant of the Year award—the first of those prestigious awards to go to a suburban restaurant. 4 APRIL 2020 Newcity DIANA DÁVILA Chef Three years after opening Mi Tocaya Antojeria, Diana Dávila, the much- lauded chef and owner, has found her rhythm and isn’t slowing down. “We’ve started to get the hang of things,” she says, “but there’s always so much to do, so much more I want to do with food, so many things changing con- stantly on what’s available, what could work better for systems, hiring, man- agement…” Dávila wants to be a resource for aspiring chefs who may want to someday own their own busi- ness. “There are a lot of things out there that should be talked about more, business plans and contract negotiation, or knowing how busi- ness works, how taxes work,” she says. “Restaurants are difficult. It’s really important to be talking about that to young cooks and not to live in this land of make-believe.” Dávila is also working on her own new con- cept, although her lips are sealed except to say it will not be a full-scale restaurant but rather a complement to Mi Tocaya Antojeria. 23

5 Husband-and-wife team David and Anna Posey composed and elegant, a far cry from simple protein received a Michelin star after their first year at Elske. and spuds. David believes the name of the place might David and More recognition followed with James Beard and Jean have been unintentionally misleading: “With a name Anna Posey Banchet nominations. Elske means “love” in Danish, like Elske, we open ourselves up to be classified as and there’s definitely a Scandinavian vibe to the place, Scandinavian, and we have little touches of Scandi- Chefs but David says that although “the ingredients we use navia, with ingredients like rye and smoked fish, but are very common in Scandinavia, Scandinavian food it’s really not Scandinavian food.” Whatever you call is very simple, a lot of meat and potatoes.” The plates it, the food at Elske is some of the most carefully at Elske leverage high-quality ingredients, carefully composed and delicious in the city. Erick Williams Chef 7 Newcity APRIL 2020 6 Although it’s been open only about a year, Erick Williams’ Virtue in Hyde Park has earned multiple BRIAN FISHER plaudits: he was listed by the New York Times as Chef one of the sixteen black chefs changing food in America and Esquire crowned his new place one After almost three years in Lakeview, Brian Fisher and his Michelin-starred of the annual Best New Restaurants in America for Entente moved to River North, where Fisher says the space “better suits 2019. Williams is philosophical about his vision for our style and ability for culinary expression.” He and owner Ty Fujimura Virtue: “People go on very exotic trips just to be also opened an outpost at the Time Out Market, where more casual able to escape everything else and focus on what dishes showcase Entente’s imaginative, seasonal style. The two locations, matters most. At Virtue, for a very affordable price, Fisher says, “complement each other by showing diners who may not we want to be able to do that at the dinner table, have been to our restaurant the creativity and dedication that they would because we recognize that before people could fly expect to find at both spaces.” Back at Entente, Fisher is planning a across the world at a moment’s notice, when we spring and summer menu he’s excited about, and the dessert program didn’t have access to all the things we do now, we has “never been better,” thanks to Jared Bacheller, who came onboard had one thing that has been consistent, and that in late 2019 as pastry chef. “We’re very appreciative to all of the diners one thing has been the opportunity to commune and neighbors that have visited so far, and we’re constantly trying to with one another and to share something as little improve and be the best that we can be.” as the breaking of bread. And for a moment, if just a moment, nothing else matters.” 24

8 - CARLOS GAYTÁN 5 - ANNA & DAVID POSEY 8 9 APRIL 2020 Newcity Carlos Gaytán THAI and Chef DANIELLE DANG Chicago celebrated the return of Chef and Director Top Chef alum and Miche- lin-starred chef Carlos Gaytán In Thai and Danielle Dang are the second half of 2019. Thanks the type of people you root to nudging from his daughter, a for. After a painful end to Chicago resident, Gaytán came their first restaurant, back to the city to open his Embeya, the Dangs rose three-concept restaurant, Tzuco, to top of mind with Chi- which tells the story of his culinary cago diners once again journey from Huitzuco, Mexico, to with their latest restaurant, his endeavor in the Gold Coast. HaiSous. “We moved to The most casual of the three con- Chicago over ten years ago cepts is Panango!, a colorful bak- and had only read about ery stocked with authentic Mexi- chefs and operators,” the can pastries, tortas and salads. pair say. “It is an amazing The bakery opened shortly after feeling to have gained the Tzuco, which offers a French and experience to be written Mexican-influenced menu show- about and looked to for casing comfort food in shareable, advice and guidance.” Hai- family-style portions. The soon- Sous and adjoining café to-open Tales of Carlos Gaytán is Cà Phê Dá have impressed where Gaytán wants to “bring and delighted, and Thai Mexican cuisine to the next level.” was tapped as one of the There will only be twelve seats all-stars to open the ambi- with one seating per night. “It was tious Time Out Market. my dream,” Gaytán says, “to open “Lucky for us, Chicago is full up a [three-concept] restaurant of happy and hungry din- like this.” ers,” says Danielle, “eager to try exciting new flavors and experiences!” 25

10 Abe Conlon Chef “Honest food with a story.” That’s what you find on your plate when Abe Conlon is in the kitchen. Conlon has cooked for diverse tables in the past year, from a Fat Rice pop-up in New York to a multisensory col- laboration at ComplexCon. He’s serving it up at the Time Out Market as well, bringing his Portuguese-by-way-of-Macao heritage to the plate in a simple, sincere style and filling a gap in Chicago’s offering of cuisines. “If I have the opportunity to tell a story peo- ple don’t know,” he says, “that’s a situation I will take head on.” 11 CHRIS PANDEL Chef Few chefs juggle as many restaurants as Boka Restaurant Group chef Chris Pandel, with Swift & Sons, Cold Storage and Cira in his portfolio. “It’s a blast to have so many fun projects,” says Pandel. “I’m grateful to have amazingly talented and dedicated teams at each restaurant that keep me moving and on my toes.” Pandel has been “personally energized” after opening Cira in 2019, saying “Cira's first year has been wonderful and we are continuing to evolve.” No matter which restaurant Pandel is at on any given day, his food philosophy is constant: “While the styles and inspiration for each [restaurant] menu may vary, the philosophy remains the same: to cook crave-able food.” Michael Carlson 12 Chef Newcity APRIL 2020 If the Chicago dining scene were to name a rebel in its ranks, it would be Michael Carlson. After turning down the opportunity to open Alinea as sous chef in 2005, Carlson gleefully disrupted fine-din- ing rules with his restaurant Schwa. Innovative dishes that toyed with molecular gastronomy mixed with a boozy, loud atmosphere where the kitchen and dining room bled together—and it all worked! Even rebels mellow over time, and while Carlson may not party like he used to, his influence on Chicago restaurants and on some of the city’s most successful chefs ensures his unique point of view will rock on. 26

Marcos Campos Chef 13 At Black Bull and Porto, both restaurants in the Bonho- 14 mme Hospitality Group portfolio, chef Marcos Campos makes dishes such as paella that he’s known since his SARAH GRUENEBERG youth in Galicia on the northwest coast of Spain. The newer restaurant, Porto, deals in canned seafood, or Chef conservas, composed into wonderfully complex and innovative dishes. “Many people in Galicia just want In a city with an abundance of Italian options, Sarah Grueneberg traditional cuisine; they want well-done traditional food, showcases a unique and worldly perspective on regional Italian and they’re really not open to trying something new. For cuisine with her West Loop hotspot, Monteverde Restaurant & Porto, I wanted to do something new, as I do with the Pastificio. At Monteverde, chef Grueneberg pays homage to her conservas. In Galicia, they just open the can and eat; love of Italian food and wine, while putting her “personal upbring- they don’t use conservas to build other dishes. To me, ing and story” into every dish. The 2018 Jean Banchet Restaurant conservas deserve more respect.” of the Year focuses on freshly made pasta, an endearing task that Grueneberg believes has “reinvigorated people’s interest” in everyone’s favorite carb. This November will mark Monteverde’s fifth anniversary, a milestone that finds the James Beard award-win- ner in disbelief. “It blows my mind! It still feels like we’re the new kid on the block,” Grueneberg says. With her talented team brain- storming ideas, diners can be sure to expect a grand celebration worthy of her nationally acclaimed restaurant. 15 O T T O P H A N APRIL 2020 Newcity Chef Since Otto Phan opened Kyōten in Logan Square in August 2018, Chicago has embraced his omakase. “Chicago has a lot of great places with tasting menus,” says Phan, “but none of them focused on sushi, until just recently.” The local lack of high-quality omakase menus was what convinced the Texas native to seize the opportunity and practice his craft “on a higher stage” in Chicago. Through his twen- ty-course tasting menu, Phan expresses his talent and personality, offering curious eaters a unique dining experience. “Chicago has been so accepting of me; I want to keep giving my craft to the city and push the limits of what Kyōten can be.” 27

17 MATT KERNEY Chef Matt Kerney of Brass Heart wanted to push the limits of the tasting menu with one tightly focused on plant-based food. He had seen fine-dining vegetarian tasting menus at Charlie Trotter’s years ago, but Kerney, formerly of Michelin-starred Longman & Eagle, thought he’d go Trotter’s one better with a fine-dining vegan menu. “A vegan diner is looking for an interesting and fun new way to see their favorite vegetables,” says Kerney. “Much of current vegan food is trying to trick people into thinking they’re eating meat. We sought to serve them vegetables, in a fun way, not in a way they had seen before.” JARED WENTWORTH and JARED ROUBEN Chef and Brewmaster 18 16Newcity APRIL 2020 Moody Tongue brewery’s new space is full of rich colors, warm wood and luxurious fabrics that transport you away from the city––and that’s Jennifer Kim how brewmaster Jared Rouben wants it. “I love the idea of walking into a restaurant and finding an escape for a few hours,” Rouben says. “The Chef opportunity to relax in luxurious furniture and gaze into a fireplace with someone you love, a drink in your hand and a delicious plate of food Korean food is increasingly visible on the Chicago is the mental vacation I hope we provide for our guests every day.” dining scene, and one spot earning significant Rouben’s quirky beers––think black truffle pilsner and chocolate churro attention is Andersonville’s Passerotto, where porter––are the ideal accompaniment to chef Jared Wentworth’s menu Jennifer Kim (previously of the One Off Hospital- of seasonally inspired plates. “My favorite part of the day is discussing ity restaurants Blackbird, Avec and Nico Osteria), pairing possibilities with chef Jared Wentworth,” Rouben says. “I look puts out beautifully composed Korean dishes forward to continuing the process, particularly once the farmers mar- with a twist. Kim wants people to think differently ket begins in May.” about the cuisine of her childhood; she pairs it with wine and cocktails, and Italian items like golden raisin caponata and manicotti dot the focused menu. As a woman of color, Kim says she looks for ways to create connections within the community. “We have two or three bigger projects in the works to connect, support and grow with marginalized groups within the hos- pitality industry,” she says. 28

19 Joe Frillman Chef There’s no shortage of great restau- 20 APRIL 2020 Newcity rants in Logan Square, but the laid- back vibe and incredible home- JOHNNY CLARK and BEVERLY KIM made pasta at the vegetable-fo- cused Daisies set it apart. Chef Joe Chefs Frillman’s menu is a love letter to the Midwest, with dishes like fried After the applause Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim received for Parachute, mushrooms and cheese curds with their neighborhood Korean-American spot, we wondered what they’d do tarragon-buttermilk dipping sauce, next. The answer is Wherewithall, an Avondale restaurant with a menu and pierogi with “beer you cook that changes regularly, sometimes daily. How challenging is that? “In the with.” The dishes at Daisies are a heat of the summer,” says Clark, “menu changes and new ideas are almost family affair: Frillman gets much of too easy: produce is abundant, beautiful and delicious. In the dead of his produce from his brother’s farm winter, sourcing becomes scarce, and we tend to start with an idea first nearby. “Having an unbelievable and then source the products. The frequency of winter menu change is a resource [like that which] we get few days slower, but the dishes we come up with are always solid as we to utilize all season long drives us rely more on our techniques and experience.” Clark and Kim also have to better utilize his product in cre- another challenge: raising a newborn in a restaurant environment. “Bowie ative and delicious ways,” Frillman was born eight weeks before our opening night, so it was necessary for says. Daisies launches a lunch Beverly to keep him close. All three of our kids spend time in our restaurants. menu this summer and Frillman Our life is what it is, and it’s important to us for our children to know where hopes that it will be another chance we are and what we do and to be part of our family dynamic.”  to build relationships with Logan Square’s expanding population. 29

21 Z A C H E N G E L Chef 22 Jimmy Papadopoulos Zach Engel (2017 James Beard Rising Star Chef), opened Galit (Hebrew for “wave” last year), a Middle Eastern restaurant in Chef Lincoln Park. Engel, who perfected his skills in New Orleans restaurants, appreciates every aspect of the Chicago food scene, Three years into helming the kitchen at Bellemore, Jimmy including the close-knit chef community that welcomed him Papadopoulos is settled in but not slowing down. “I’m work- from the beginning. “There’s a lot of variety here in the types of ing to cement the restaurant in the dining community,” he restaurants. There are Chicago classics, chef-driven spots that says. But he’s not doing it alone. He works hard to empower have been successful for decades, legendary pioneers of cook- his team and instill in his staff a sense of ownership and ing, and young talent making a name for themselves.” With the pride in decision making. “It’s not a hidden secret that one workload of a restaurant still in its first year, chef Engel has yet person’s success isn’t about just that person so much as to explore Chicago’s culinary mecca as much as he’d like: “Right the fabric behind that person to get them where they need now, I’m spending a lot of time at Galit.” to be,” he says. “It’s not for me, this is for us, we’re all part of this success, together.” He’s received praise from diners and critics, and he savors each moment. “This right now is what you dream about if you’re in our profession.” Newcity APRIL 2020 23 The Zaragoza family—John (Juan), Norma, Jon- goal as a chef,” says Jonathan, “is to have a cul- athan, Andie, Tony and Erik—are the folks behind tural impact in my community and beyond by The the counter at Birrieria Zaragoza, recognized by telling my ancestors’ story through food along Zaragoza the Jean Banchet awards and praised by people with using my platform to spur social change.” like Andrew Zimmern and Rachel Ray, as well Telling that story brings Jonathan around the Family as the Chicago Tribune and Steve “Hungry world: “I just signed on to be the keynote speaker Hound” Dolinsky. The Zaragozas make goat at Yale University’s wellness retreat in March, birria, perhaps the finest you will ever taste, in collaborating with them to put on a week’s worth the style of their ancestral Jalisco. “My biggest of activations for their students and staff.” 30

Won Kim Chef 25 24 The Korean-Polish fusion at Kimski started as “kind of a funny joke, to see if we could get away with smashing them together,” DAVE PARK says Won Kim. Despite that, the love from diners is completely serious, and Kim has created something truly special in his Chef creative dishes. “Approachability is a big thing for us,” he says. “We want to present a fine-dining mentality, but not so stuffy or Dave Park came onto the radar of Chicago diners in an in need of explanation.” Supporting that independent spirit in unusual way: serving up precise and intricate Korean the dining scene is what Kim really loves about his role: “I love dishes filled with flavor in a suburban food stall. Park’s taking care of my people and being able to hook up cooks who food at Hanbun drew acclaim and reservations as far as never thought they’d be able to meet, much less work with, chefs a year out for his exclusive dinner tasting menu. “We were they’ve read about.” able to offer a different take on the flavors of my childhood in Korea,” Park says. He and fiancée Jennifer Tran moved their vision to West Town in 2019 and opened Jeong to hungry diners and high praise. With the space to apply his own style to beloved traditions, Park will strive to con- nect diners from palate to soul with his heartfelt take on the food he loves. “We are able to offer something here in Chicago that I always dreamed of doing,” says Park, “show- casing the flavors of the cuisine that I have wanted to cook since I started.” Margaret Pak APRIL 2020 Newcity 26 and Vinod Kalathil Chefs Chicago has had an influx of new, creative Indian restaurants, and one of the most exciting is Thattu, a Kerala-style street food stand in the West Loop’s Politan Row Chicago food hall headed by husband-and-wife team Margaret Pak and Vinod Kalathil. Pak serves her take on dishes learned from Kalathil’s Keralian mother as well as other regional specialties. She says the pair is excited about bringing new dishes and flavors to the Chicago dining scene, particularly their kadala curry with appam. “Both are unique ingredients and dishes that you don't see in any other restaurants,” Pak says. “Black chickpeas are slow cooked with curry leaves, tomatoes, spices and ground roasted coconut to make this simple and hearty vegetarian curry. We pair it with an appam, a lacy rice crepe made from fermented rice and coconut milk.” 31

27 TREVOR TEICH 29 Chef 32 Trevor Teich, the chef behind Claudia, the beloved fine-din- ing pop-up which opened per- manently in the West Loop after a Kickstarter campaign, puts the same amount of play- fulness and love into his cook- ing as he always has, but it’s different now. “When it’s your restaurant and your food, and people are making memories with your restaurant, the feel- ing is irreplaceable,” Teich says. “It’s even more rewarding than before.” He’s focused on a new spring menu, featuring a fun take on tomato soup and grilled cheese, working with somme- lier Alexander Reed on a wine program, keeping things adventurous. “People are tak- ing their time and money to come in, so the menu should be fun, and that’s really import- ant to me because I fell in love with food by going to restau- rants that were fun.” Newcity APRIL 2020 Soo Ahn 28 Chef GREG WADE Chef Soo Ahn likes a good Baker challenge, which drew him to Band of Bohemia after years If you’ve enjoyed bread at a Chicago at Grace and EL Ideas, creating restaurant recently, it was probably a dishes that stand out on their loaf from Publican Quality Bread’s head own but also complement the baker, Greg Wade. With the help of Wade, brewpub’s beers. “The way I a bakery that once was in the basement approach new dishes has com- at Publican Quality Meats has trans- pletely changed,” Ahn says. formed into a growing community of “Since I’m trying to come up chefs who literally break bread together. with dishes that complement Wade believes working with local chefs the beer, not the other way “has helped me become a better baker. around, I constantly have to Knowing what each of them is using our think outside the box with the bread for has driven me to train our team flavor combinations. Two ingre- to strive for consistency and quality day dients could go well together in and day out.” With over eighty Chicago but when paired with beer restaurants boasting PQB’s bread, Wade these same ingredients may has more in store for fans in 2020, includ- taste off or disconnected. Then ing a wholesale breakfast pastry pro- I look for another ingredient gram that will feature rye Kouign-Amann, that’s like one of the ingredi- naturally leavened croissants and fire- ents, or scrap the dish entirely.” roasted, white-cornmeal Danish. He finds inspiration in food he ate growing up: “My grand- mother always used to make dishes that were spicy with hints of sweetness. I like to do the same.”

OLIVER POILEVEY 30 Chef Oliver Poilevey took up at Le Bouchon and Le Sardine after his parents, Jean-Claude and Susanne, passed in the last few years. Young Poilevey grew up in the French culinary tradition, and he’s comfortable and successful at both his restaurants. Still young and full of energy, Poilevey is seeking other outlets for his creative culinary expression. “I’m looking to do something in the Bucktown neighborhood,” says Poilevey. “French is my bread and butter, so I’m thinking about opening a raclette place, where every table would have a grill, kind of like a French-Korean barbecue. Some friends and I have been talking about doing a higher-end taco place with a wood- fired oven. As we already have two regular restaurants, I’d like to do something that’s more counter service.” 32 31 ZOE SCHOR APRIL 2020 Newcity Alisha Elenz Chef Chef Split-Rail, Zoe Schor’s house of comfort food, has a menu that features familiar chow with universal appeal, includ- Executive chef at mfk and, more recently, Bar Biscay, Alisha ing mac ‘n’ cheese, fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Elenz was named Jean Banchet Rising Chef of the Year in “I am, by nature, a nostalgic person,” says Schor, “and I 2018. At Bar Biscay, she prepares food influenced by Span- reach into my past when I'm creating, always trying to ish traditions. “Spanish food is what I’m most comfortable represent and recreate the flavors and textures that I with,” Elenz says. “I love the simplicity of the plate: what remember loving as a kid.” The joy Schor had as a child you see is what you’re tasting. Simple and delicate flavors, continues to fill her as chef: “I’m lucky to be constantly not overly complicated. You can put just three things on a surrounded by other people's joy; working in a restaurant plate and prepare them beautifully and let the proteins and means that people are always celebrating something, the other things on the plate do the work. Don’t overcom- even if it's just getting to sit down at the end of a long day plicate it.” Her background, however, is Italian, and her and enjoy something delicious in good company.” Italian grandmother, who is 103 years old, taught her about making everything from scratch and honoring the integrity of the ingredients. 33

34 33 Sandra Holl KEVIN HICKEY Pastry Chef Chef Floriole Café & Bakery has come a Kevin Hickey has been on a long way since its beginnings in 2006 campaign to bring more and as a table at Chicago Green City better dining options to Market—and that’s thanks to Sandra Bridgeport. His first major Holl, its pastry chef and owner. What initiative in this neighborhood, started out with a few French-in- where he grew up, was the spired pastries has grown into a much-praised The Duck Inn. decade of success at Holl’s brick- Now he’s working with others and-mortar spot that she opened to revive the Ramova Theater with her husband in Lincoln Park in and the adjoining Ramova 2010. In those ten years, the acco- Grill. When he was a kid, “the lades have stacked up for the Mid- Ramova Grill was next door west native, including being named to the Ramova Theater, so a Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2015 favorite thing was to go there Jean Banchet Awards as well as the after a movie and eat cheese- thriving café gaining recognition as burgers and chili and talk one of the top bakeries in the country about the movie we’d just by national publications. seen, especially if it was R-rated, as they let us in when 34 we were ten years old to see R-rated movies.” TODD STEIN 35 Newcity APRIL 2020 Chef With restaurants like Formen- to’s, Balena and The Bristol under its umbrella, B. Hospi- tality is one of the strongest players in Chicago dining, and executive chef Todd Stein is a big part of it. Stein oversees the kitchens at Formento’s, the Bristol and Nonna’s, where his nose-to-tail seasonal dishes have earned accolades from GQ and the Chicago Tribune. Stein searches for ways to push his menus forward, and he often looks to fellow Chi- cago chefs for inspiration. “I’m excited to see a more diverse selection of food outside of the contemporary American des- ignation,” Stein says. “I think what chefs like Erick Williams of Virtue and Marcos Campos of Porto are doing is exciting. Whether it’s cooking from America’s South or regions of Spain we aren’t familiar with, it’s fun as a fellow chef to watch this happen.”

36 Mary Aregoni 37 Chef B.K. PARK Mary Aregoni of Saigon Sisters took a leap of faith ten years ago when Chef she left the corporate world to pursue her culinary passions and open her own restaurant. Today, Aregoni regularly shares the ups and downs B.K. Park’s omakase restaurant Mako, of starting from scratch, and she advises other female chefs through which received a Michelin star just collaborative pop-ups which support and promote their own culinary six months after opening, was a dreams. “It’s a lot of fun getting to know these women by showcasing dream a decade in the making. Park their cuisines. I started out not knowing anything about owning a restau- began serving omakase at Juno, and rant, so I opened my place up and now I give advice, especially to those he waited until he felt Chicago diners who never ran their own restaurant before.” were ready for a full omakase menu before opening Mako. “Sushi is so 38 R O B E R T A D A M S simple,” he says, “but it’s how we’re APRIL 2020 Newcity cooking, what kind of garnish we use, Pitmaster how we cut the fish, our own inter- pretations that make things different.” It took pitmaster Robert Adams Sr. a couple of tries to find the right At Mako, Park focuses on technique neighborhood for his slow-smoked barbecue, but since moving from and isn’t too fussy about tradition, Bucktown to Bronzeville, Honey 1 has thrived. Adams, who grew up in mixing in American or French ingre- Arkansas, gets smoky, savory crust the old-fashioned way, cooking it slow dients here and there. As for that over a wood fire––never gas––using an aquarium smoker, one of the Michelin star, he says he wasn’t hallmarks of Chicago-style barbecue. Honey 1 is a casual spot with counter expecting it but “it was amazing.” For service but without dedicated seating, which only adds to the charm for now, he’s focused on changing up the host of regulars that can’t get enough of Adams’ rib tips, pulled pork the menu for spring, “hanging in and the house specialty, hot links. For anyone looking for incredible food there,” and hoping to work soon in on the South Side, a stop at Honey 1 is at the top of the list. collaboration with other chefs. 35

JOSHUA KULP Newcity APRIL 2020 39 40 CHRISTINE CIKOWSKI Barry Sorkin and JOSHUA KULP Chefs Pitmaster Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp have served Much of the best barbecue in Chicago is found on the South some of the finest fried birds in Chicago at Side, but Smoque BBQ in Old Irving Park is an exception. Since Avondale’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Aside it opened in 2006, there have been lines out the door for pit- from poultry, Cikowski and Kulp defined their master Barry Sorkin’s smoked meats and house-made sauces. place “as a safe, welcoming and inclusive space Sorkin hasn’t got a secret or a shortcut: “It just takes patience. for all our customers, vendors and employees, The secret is that there’s no secret. There’s nothing like babysit- regardless of their personal story.” Vocal sup- ting a brisket for fourteen hours and then cutting that first slice porters of sustainable food and sustainable and discovering that you’ve nailed it!” Not only has Smoque employment, Cikowski and Kulp say they are received a Bib Gourmand each year since 2011, but it opened “committed to the core tenets of hospitality, of an outpost in Revival Food Hall in the Loop for ‘cue fans who making people feel welcomed and taken care don’t make it to the North Side. of. This includes customers, employees, farmers and vendors. For us, that extends to the entire 41 restaurant industry and the world. It’s important for us to stand up for what we believe in and to DAN PANCAKE and BETH PARTRIDGE do what is right and good.” Also, there’s that Chefs knockout fried chicken.  Autre Monde is a fine-dining restaurant on a stretch of Roosevelt 36 Road in Berwyn. It was a risk, Pancake and Partridge say, but “we were confident that there was an audience around the restaurant that would support a place like ours. At the time, there wasn’t really anything like Autre Monde in the area.” Now, nine years after opening, Autre Monde is as strong as ever, meeting “our original expectation of creating a neighborhood place where our local audience always feels welcome and comfortable. There’s quite a community built around restaurants and music venues on Roosevelt Road, and we seem to have fit right in.”

The Hall of Fame These folks, or the roles they inhabit, are so well-established and foundational to the dining and drinking world of Chicago that they are always near the top of any list. GRANT ACHATZ JOHN MANION Chef-Owner, Chef-Owner, El Che Steakhouse & Bar Alinea, Aviary, Roister and Next ASHLEE AUBIN RYAN McCASKEY Chef, Fisk & Co. Chef-Owner, Acadia 42 JIMMY BANNOS, PAUL McGEE SR. AND JR. Mixologist, Lost Lake DUNCAN BIDDULPH Chef-Owner, CARRIE NAHABEDIAN Chef Heaven on Seven and Purple Pig Chef-Owner, Brindille and Kostali Tortello executive chef Duncan Biddulph RICK BAYLESS ILIANA REGAN returned from a culinary research trip to Italy Chef-Owner, Topolobampo, Chef-Owner, Elizabeth and Kitsune with fresh ideas for his multifaceted Wicker Park restaurant and pastificio. “We [owner Frontera Grill, Xoco, BRUCE SHERMAN Dario Monni and I] are playing with the idea Bar Sótano, Leña Brava, Chef-Owner, North Pond; of hosting regional dinners focusing on spe- Cruz Blanca Brewery & Taquería, Board Member, Chefs Collaborative cific regions in Italy and typical foods, spe- Tortazo, Tortas Frontera, and Green City Market cifically pasta,” Biddulph says. These dinners would further his restaurant’s philosophy of Frontera Foods GIUSEPPE TENTORI offering authentic Italian cuisine using tra- Chef, GT Fish & Oyster, GT Prime ditional, nonna-style techniques, approaches CURTIS DUFFY and Boka Catering Group and ingredients. Biddulph and the Tortello Chef-Owner, Grace eagerly await patio season as they roll out new plans to transform their outdoor seating PAUL FEHRIBACH area into a communal gathering space. Chef-Owner, Big Jones “There is always something to improve about [the restaurant] and engaging with our com- PHILLIP FOSS TOM VAN LENTE munity is a big part of it. It brings a whole- Chef-Owner, EL Ideas Chef-Owner, TVL Culinary some feel to the enterprise.”  JASON HAMMEL PAUL VIRANT Chef-Owner, Lula, Marisol and Chef-Partner, Vie, Vistro and Gaijin Superkhana International STEPHANIE IZARD LEE WOLEN Chef-Partner, Girl & the Goat, Chef, Boka, Somerset Little Goat and Duck Duck Goat and GG's Chicken Shop BILL KIM ANDREW APRIL 2020 Newcity Chef-Owner, Belly Shack and ZIMMERMAN Chef, Sepia and Proxi Urban Belly 37

44 JOE and ANN MARIE QUERCIA Chef-Owners 43Newcity APRIL 2020 Freddy’s Pizza is a throwback gem, a grocery that carries Italian products almost exclusively but is Art and Chelsea Jackson also a deli bar serving beautifully simple and sat- isfying lunch items like rapini and beans, sausage Chef-Bakers with potatoes and peppers, pizza and other warm items, including wonderful breads, most made \"Chef-baker is a great way to describe us,” says Art Jackson, in-house. And gelato! Every lunch, the aisles of who started Bridgeport’s Pleasant House Bakery in 2011 with the small store are lined with construction work- wife Chelsea; the two now own and operate Pleasant House ers, cops, firemen and others who know where Pub. “Having started out as traditional restaurant cooks and to score a wonderful meal. Joe tells us that his chefs, our love for British pies led us on the baking path. Like proudest moment is “when customers tell me all areas of food and cooking, it's the journey of discovering Freddy's is part of their childhood and family mem- new foods and techniques, practicing them and then intro- ories. I have served generations of people since ducing them to the world.\" Chelsea is especially thankful to working here in 1968 at the age of thirteen upon her customers, “We’ve been fortunate to have such curious, my arrival from Naples. It is an honor to have friendly, welcoming customers. Especially when we opened people from all walks of life enter Freddy's and our first location, we were off the beaten path and making a enjoy our creations.” type of food that was new to many people in Chicago. Cook- ing for them has sparked some fantastic conversations and has given us the opportunity to share with others and learn from them.” 38

JASON VINCENT 45 Chef Jason Vincent of Giant and City Mouse always has ideas. When he saw a space in Wicker Park where he could focus on cocktails, serve Chinese-American food, and be in a receptive neighborhood, it made sense to open Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar. Other things that make sense to Vincent include providing healthcare to employ- ees, which he does through a three-percent bill surcharge: “If we can be a barrier between [lack of affordable healthcare] and our employees and reduce their stress so they give better service and do a better job at work, it’s a win-win,” he says. Sustainabil- ity is important: “If you run a restaurant and the seafood that you bring in does not say ‘sustainable’ or have a good ranking, don’t buy it.” Some things are more important than the bottom line, Vincent says. “We’re talking about the planet.” 46 47 Kevin Beary LANIE BAYLESS Bartender Spirits Director At Three Dots and a Dash, Kevin Beary’s team serves up about Guiding beverage choices at restaurants and bars APRIL 2020 Newcity 2,000 cocktails each Saturday night to eager drinkers at the like Topolobampo and Bar Sotano, Lanie Bayless speakeasy-style tiki bar in River North. From the start, Beary has tells us the spirits she selects “must either be from made adjustments to add value to the South Pacific drinking the Midwest—the closer to us, the better—or from experience. Case in point: shaved ice for drinks. “Shaved ice made Mexico.” Her interest in Mexican spirits is right for from cold-pressed fresh juice and other well-balanced flavors the times, she says, as the U.S. market is becom- like tea offer upgraded iterations of blended cocktails,” says Beary. ing more and more accustomed to, and enthusi- “Blended ice allows us to incorporate fresh flavor elements with- astic about, mezcal. “Even though we have fea- out over-diluting.” And the experimentation continues: “We’ve tured mezcal in our back bars and in our cocktails been working with the weak elements for cocktails recently. Build- for decades,” Bayless says, “the amount of curi- ing on the principles of the early rum punches that have a fairly osity and excitement around it has really grown large proportion of weak elements such as tea, we’ve been exper- over the last five years. This has been an incred- imenting with making teas from traditional leaves but more often ible opportunity for me and has led to more mez- spices and dried fruits to lengthen cocktails by reducing ABV and cal on every menu. Right now, I'm beginning to increasing flavors.” work with Bacanora and Pox [a relatively obscure Tzotzil Mayan spirit from Chiapas], which have me really jazzed.” 39

48 49 LAMAR MOORE Rafael Esparza Chef Chef Lamar Moore has big plans and a wide vision, but at the heart of it is his desire to “My vision for Finom Café,” a coffee shop on the Old Irving Park be “able to teach and train [new chefs] and neighborhood that specializes in Hungarian food, Rafael Esparza seeing the constant growth,” Moore says. says, “was to build a community in a neighborhood that is relatively ”That is very satisfying; to give back and unspoiled by rapid gentrification and overdevelopment, and that nurture the South Side evolution.” He’s still feels like the Chicago I grew up in.” The menu pushes a few made his mark across Chicago, from the boundaries, says Esparza: “the head marrow toast [veal brains kitchen at Currency Exchange Café and and chicken liver on toast] is one of those dishes that people Swill Inn to mentorship through the ProS- kinda order for the shock value, but once they try it, they love it. tart culinary training program. “Being able I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone leave more than a few micro to teach and mentor more and building a greens or pickled tomato pieces on the plate when we bus their culinary brigade—those are my goals,” says dishes.” And bussing at Finom is done carefully, because “the Moore. “I’m also hoping to build more of a teacups and most of the plates come courtesy of my mom’s china global brand.” He’ll be taking his shot at cabinet. So, to all: please don’t break them!” that goal on television—catch him on Food Network’s “Vegas Chef Prizefight.” CAMERON GRANT 50 Chef 40 Newcity APRIL 2020 Chef Cameron Grant attributes the diversity of his menu and the success of his restaurant, Osteria Langhe, to the Italian region of Piemonte. “It’s the culinary Disneyland of food and wine,” he says. The Scottish-born chef takes pride in honoring the food culture of Piemonte through his unique menu and curated wine list. Tra- ditional Piedmontese dishes such as poached beef with tuna citrus caper aioli and prosciutto-wrapped rabbit loin are some of the unusual dishes people come in to try then wind up loving. For the rest of this year, Grant will focus on his pasta, developing six ravioli flavors for eventual distribution to national grocers. “I think we can bring something new to the table and highlight some fun flavors for consumers.”

“The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene” rts & Culture at the DePaul Art Museum through August 16 Forty international artists, including Trevor Paglen and Gabriel Orozco, look critically and curiously at the human impact on the environment. Gideon Mendel, “Mushaq Ahmad Wani and Shafeeqa Mushtaq, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, October 2014,” from the series “Drowning World,” 2014. Chromogenic print. Courtesy of the artist and Axis Gallery, New York and New Jersey.

Art Ma\"UramBRakaedri,o\",\"CGhawmyneeletohnZBelleinndyUApntdoewrsno,\"n2/P0h2o0t/oP:hKoytole: FUlusbefauclkAerrt Services. A Hack in the System In “Chameleon Blind,” Chicago’s grid system serves as a blueprint to the structure and to Raising Chameleon Blind in Chicago’s Vacant Spaces the channels of viewer access to the work. Displayed in windows at street level, the grid By Amanda Dee undergirds the Uptown installation’s twenty-six panels, some of which appear like large bright Newcity APRIL 2020 Chicago artist and educator Mara Baker metal and LED light to assemble structures looms woven with strings of LED lights and doesn’t consider herself an activist, but her she calls “light paintings.” The installation is found materials (purple fiber from CSA potato life’s work is activation. Acrylic glass from a illuminating the corner of the temporarily sacks is a “staple”); others frame colorful construction site, a potato sack from a CSA, vacant Gerber Building across from the Wilson geometric patterns. “Being a painter and a detritus collected from walks in Garfield Park, CTA station until the summer opening of the fiber artist, in both of those practices the grid over the years become the bones and Chicago Market co-op, and will continue on to is significant on the formal level,” Baker says. sometimes the garments of a newborn venues across the city, from Wicker to artwork. Humboldt Park, at times simultaneously. In Although Baker reuses materials and panels April, the project will be on display at the 4032 from previous installations, each reincarnation In February, Baker opened the Uptown North Milwaukee Avenue storefront and is built in response to the environment, iteration of “Chameleon Blind,” a public art Ignition project space. growing from the ground up—sometimes project integrating those gleaned materials, literally (some “Chameleon” panels are woven with fiber dyed with wildflowers from walks on the West Side and other parts of the city). Since some of her earliest work, her ethos of 42

L to R: by Aden Weisser, by Debby Peck, by Diane Kamm, Racine Art Museum Don’t Miss the 11th Anniversary of PEEPS Art at RAM! Learn more about all Racine Art Museum current exhibitions and events at April 2 – 19 RAM 11th Annual International PEEPS Art Exhibition Through June 7 Open Storage: RAM Showcases Artists‘ Book Archives Through July 26 It's Like Poetry: Building a Toshiko Takaezu Archive at RAM Through August 9 Open Storage: RAM Showcases Glass Archives Through August 30 Open Storage: RAM Showcases Ceramic, Fiber, and Regional Archives Racine Art Museum Racine, Wisconsin 262.638.8300 Calling All Creative APRIL 2020 Newcity Thinkers and Makers Adult Continuing Education courses are available for both new and experienced artists and designers. Flex your creativity and connect to a new community at a world-class institution. Register Now Art, design, and writing courses for adults, teens, and kids. SAIC CONTINUING STUDIES | | [email protected] | 312.629.6170 43

ART TOP 5 thrift has driven her relationship to exhibition with local government, chambers of com- space. In “Internal Weather Project,” from merce and business owners. Partnering with As of presstime, cancellations and program more than a decade ago, Baker rigged a community members and development efforts changes in response to the Coronavirus have system of tubes to hang from the ceiling and to reinvigorate public and private spaces and begun, so please check with individual venues pump water mixed with rust (scraped from old local business is a practice that has been on current status. metal containers at the venue) to write on the termed “creative placemaking.” In the 2019 wall. The place becomes a participant in the West Town iteration of the project, Baker 1 The World to Come: making. demonstrated what could be possible with this Art in the Age of the placemaking model for other artists and Anthropocene. DePaul Art Museum. “I don’t think I could work any other way,” she neighborhoods—the work drew people to Forty international artists, including says. “It’s just built into the DNA of who I am those windows, that building rented, then the Trevor Paglen and Gabriel Orozco, look as an artist.” installation came down. critically and curiously at the human impact on the environment. Through The “Chameleon Blind” project began in 2018 “I think, philosophically, because I’ve worked August 16 site-specifically for so long, it’s just built into as a response to Chicago artist Lynn Basa’s 2 Artists Run Chicago 2.0. The Corner Project in Avondale, a few blocks my practice: things don’t last forever,” she Hyde Park Art Center. from where Baker lived. Corner started as an says. “And in reality, life is like that.” HPAC highlights a vast cross-section of the artist-run storefront, garage art space on Milwaukee Avenue and expanded Displaying in these private-public ways also and telephone pole galleries that make Chicago's art scene so vibrant. beyond its walls, becoming a community Opens April 6 collaboration to make sure the neighborhood’s brings visibility of the work to new heights. interests are maintained as forces of gentrifica- Thousands of people can walk by these 3 Jeffrey Augustine Songco: spaces every day. It’s pedestrian: artwork Commercial Break. FLXST tion hover over Avondale. Baker noticed the Contemporary. The Michigan-based work of The Corner Project and, walking in the meant to be taken in transit. The viewing artist displays bright, mesmerizing experience may shift with the rotation from day fabric collages of flowers and plants, neighborhood, observed the schedule of life made up of dozens of tiny self-portraits. to night as the installation lights turn on, but it Through April 19 and lights in mom-and-pop shops. The end can be seen during any commute. It’s free. It’s 4 Frida Kahlo, Her Photos. result was circadian. At dusk, “Chameleon” National Museum of Mexican Art. metamorphoses. Black lights turn on, and the currently located across from a CTA station A highly anticipated exhibition of the and will continue moving, increasing access by artist's personal photographs, which work must be seen in a new light. offer a glimpse into her own life and bringing it to different areas of the city. As a into this period in Mexican history. Opens April 3 In turn, Baker looked to the community of community college teacher, access to 5 Jessie Edelman: Golden Hour. artists in Chicago and the system containing contemporary art “without watering it down” Andrew Rafacz. In her paintings, most of them. “There’s less space for artists to and while “maintaining its rigor” have come to the NYC artist places the mostly show than all of the amazing artists who live in mean a lot to Baker’s own practice. For her, solitary female figure in quiet scenes of the city,” Baker tells me in her studio, where “the pure joy” of “Chameleon” is watching contemplation, as if the minimal photos strangers walk by, look in the space, activate it. of an Instagram influencer were she shows me a note she wrote last spring: rendered in oil pastels. Through April 11 “HOW MANY WAYS / TEST DRIVE MAKING 44 LARGER WORK / SKIPPING THE GALLERY / The pure joy at the Uptown opening on a cold night in February, for me, was the light. As we HACKING GALLERY SYSTEM OR STRUC- TURE OF ART FUNCTIONING IN CHICAGO.” walked from panel to panel animated in glowing purple, green and pink, there was a This is the loophole—to make space for art flicker of something in the audience, a and for viewers where it has not been thought potential energy. In the conceptualization of “Chameleon,” Baker was living through a gray to exist or has been forgotten, such as the Chicago winter and thinking about color, city’s vacant buildings. Vacant spaces in communities can have an insidious effect on a specifically from David Batchelor's color theory book, “The Luminous and the Grey,” in which neighborhood’s property values, crime rates and mental health. In Chicago, the city requires the sensation of light on the street is com- pared to that of light on the ocean. At night, owners of buildings that are vacant for more streets and architecture may remain physically than thirty days to register with the city, and the same, yet everything appears to have Newcity APRIL 2020 relies on residents to report the rest. Since changed. Flying into the city or seeing it from a December 2018, over 6,900 unique vacant properties have been reported to the city, and high rise, the grid system glowing, there is a change, I feel it. The feeling won’t last, but for the others remain uncounted. a moment, I see everything differently. I wonder A building with visible artwork may have less of what could happen if I acted on it. a risk of being vandalized and may increase foot traffic to a property that’s struggling to sell. “Chameleon Blind,\" Ignition project space, In determining where “Chameleon Blind” can through April 28, and at 4032 North Milwaukee travel, Baker first builds symbiotic relationships starting March 30.

SPENCER APRIL 2020 Newcity FINCH April 3–May 9, 2020 45

EXHIBITIONS THE ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO DEPAUL ART MUSEUM 201 East Ontario Street At DePaul University 312 787 3997 935 W. Fullerton Avenue [email protected] / 773 325 7506 Tues–Fri 11-6, Sat 11-3 [email protected] / Through May 22 Jennie C. Jones: Constant Structure Mon–Tues closed, Wed–Thurs 11-7, Fri–Sun 11-5 Through April 6 Garden Project | Bernard Williams: March 19–August 16 The World to Come: Art in the Age The Black Tractor Project of the Anthropocene April 23–August 8 Garden Project | Marissa Lee Benedict, GRAHAM FOUNDATION Daniel de Paola, David Ruetter: Repose 4 W. Burton Place THE BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART 312 787 4071 [email protected] / At Northwestern University Wed–Sat 11-6 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL February 11–April 25 Poured Architecture: Sergio Prego 847 491 4000 [email protected] / on Miguel Fisac Tues, Sat–Sun 10-5, Wed–Fri 10-8, Mon closed January 21–April 5 Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish, and Indian Highlights GRAY from NYU’s Abby Grey Collection Richard Gray Gallery, Hancock: 875 N. Michigan Avenue, 38th Floor January 21–April 19 Terence Gower: Ciudad Moderna Mon–Fri 10-5:30, Sat by appointment Opening April 28 Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, Gray Warehouse: 2044 W. Carroll Avenue Tues–Sat 11-5 1950s – 1980s 312 642 8877 [email protected] / CARL HAMMER GALLERY April 17–June 20 McArthur Binion DNA:Work and the 740 N. Wells Street Under:Conscious Drawings 312 266 8512 [email protected] / KAVI GUPTA GALLERY Tues–Sat 11-5:30 March 6–April 25 Crawling from the Wreckage: Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd., 835 W. Washington Boulevard Tues–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 C.J. Pyle - New Drawings Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St., 219 N. Elizabeth Street Thurs–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 DEPARTMENT OF VISUAL ARTS 312 432 0708 AND LOGAN CENTER EXHIBITIONS [email protected] / Through April 4th Tony Tasset: The Weight (Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St.) At the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts Opening April 18 Alfred Conteh (Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St.) 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 773 702 2787 [email protected] / Tues–Sat 9-9, Sun 11-9, Mon closed April 3–April 26 2020 BA Thesis Exhibition

MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY 451 N. Paulina Street At the University of Chicago 312 243 2129 5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb Hall, 4th Floor [email protected] / 773 702 8670 Tues–Sat 11-6 [email protected] / April 4–May 22 Nate Young: The Transcendence of Time Tues–Wed, Fri 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Sat–Sun 12-5 April 18–June 28 Miho Dohi MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY RHONA HOFFMAN GALLERY At Columbia College Chicago 1711 W. Chicago Avenue 600 S. Michigan Avenue 312 455 1990 312 663 5554 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues–Fri 10-5:30, Sat 11-5:30 Mon–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5 April 3–May 9 Spencer Finch: looking around, gazing intently, beholding January 16–March 29 In Real Life April 9–July 13 Temporal: Puerto Rican Resistance SMART MUSEUM OF ART THE NEUBAUER COLLEGIUM At the University of Chicago FOR CULTURE AND SOCIETY 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue 773 702 0200 At the University of Chicago [email protected] / 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue Tues–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sun 10-5 773 795 2329 February 7–May 3 The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China [email protected] / Mon–Fri 9-5, First Saturdays 12-4 (co-presented with Wrightwood 659): March 12–August 21 Apsáalooke Women and Warriors WRIGHTWOOD 659 POETRY FOUNDATION 659 W. Wrightwood Avenue 61 W. Superior Street 773 437 6601 312 787 7070 [email protected] / [email protected] / Through May 2: Thurs–Fri 12-8, Sat 10-7 (Reserved ticket required) Mon–Fri 11-4 February 7–May 2 The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China Saturday, April 18 11-4 January 9–April 30 A.R. Ammons: Watercolors (co-presented with Smart Museum of Art): ZHOU B ART CENTER 1029 W. 35th Street 773 523 0200 [email protected] / Mon–Sat 10-5 March 2–April 2 Membranes of Perception

Dance Newcity APRIL 2020 The Seldoms in the world premiere of \"Floe\"at University of Wisconsin Madison. The Biggest Question tant future, addressing it is going to take every- thing we as a species has got. The Seldoms Take On the Existential Crisis of Our Time in Hanson made a piece related to climate Floe at the Art Institute of Chicago change in 2012, “Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead,” back when the matter at hand By Sharon Hoyer was internet dialogue and denialism, the press release used the term global warming, and Near the end of our interview in an Hanson has long been attracted to complex, before the coining of the phrase fake news upstairs office of the Dance Center of historically informed, not-ostensibly-dance-y and the relentless frequency of catastrophic Columbia College, Carrie Hanson, founder topics—political and personal power, the 2008 weather events. Hanson restaged “Exit and artistic director of The Seldoms holds her recession, overflowing landfills, rock music and Disclaimer” last fall to set the table for “Floe” head and says, sighing, “I’m trying to change revolution—and for this, the biggest of all and, despite some updates Hanson made to the world.” We were with Hanson’s collabora- questions, upon which the very survival of the the show, the reboot felt surprisingly flimsy and tor, playwright-director Seth Bockley, human species hinges, Hanson pulled on myri- dated. “Floe” promises to be anything but. discussing the completion of “Floe,” The ad threads—science, literature, internet Research and residencies for the project Seldoms’ three-years-in-the-making culture—and as many collaborators. But then, stretched from Kaktovik, Alaska on the Arctic performance about climate change, making for a problem so massive, so seemingly Ocean to Houston, Texas on the Gulf Coast; its Chicago premiere April 22-25 in the intractable, which scientists agree has her creative team was informed by climate reconstructed Chicago Stock Exchange irrevocably altered the world as we knew it scientists at the University of Texas Marine Trading Room in the Art Institute of Chicago. and many fear has passed the point of no Science Institute, The Nelson Institute for return for human habitability in the not-so-dis- Environmental Studies at University of Wisconsin Madison, plus there are personal 48

stories of survivors of Hurricane Harvey. Add in The same can be said of Hanson’s approach setting of Louis Sullivan’s elaborately references to \"Moby Dick\" and flat-earth to dance theater, which blends pure, stenciled temple to capitalism is reminder conspiracists for good measure. contemporary dance with supporting set enough that we’re all together on this ship of “There is a kind of overdetermination, and a design—“Floe” includes huge inflatable fools, helmed by a madman. Hanson says too-muchness, it’s totally baroque. Carrie had icebergs by frequent collaborator Bob Faust— that the post-show discussion is a critical prompted me to think about climate change, and relaxed, authentic-feeling dialogue that component of the performance. “'Floe' is but also the novel 'Moby Dick' by Herman has space for gentle conflict and humor. meant to be a platform to spark thinking and Melville. I’m a huge Melville fan and I have Hanson and Bockley seem keenly aware of conversation,” she says. “We’ve had some literary adaptation background,” the need to include a spoonful of sugar in a post-show talks in Madison and at an Bockley says with understatement. “And then potent dose of some bitter medicine. We excerpt showing at the Newberry Library, but going to Austin and meeting with these discuss how “Moby Dick” factors into the I don’t feel like at any of these we’ve had the scientists. And we’re going to an English show, and Bockley talks about adapting the conversation I’ve been wanting to have. class to talk about 'Moby Dick.' And also cook's sermon to the sharks into a sermon to We’re in Chicago. Lake Michigan is rising. we’re going to be in this studio playing. All of the audience about consumption. Why aren’t we talking about that?” those pieces were happening very fast and all at the same time. It was kind of a wash “It’s ironic. In ‘Moby Dick,’ it’s a burlesque and The key is talking. Hanson says that consen- that I was responding to, sitting off to the everyone is in on the joke, including the cook,” sus amongst the climate scientists and side writing text. Sometimes Carrie would Bockley says. “He's saying, ‘Hey, come on activists she talks to, reads and follows on place the text, sometimes it would get thrown sharks, knock it off,’ and they’re all eating in a Twitter is that we need to talk more, which will out. It was iterative, generative and really fun.” frenzy of blood. It’s parodying religion, telling lead to more voting and more action. “I’m not people to not be who they are.\" too interested in making work anymore that “Floe” is a first-time collaboration between doesn’t have all of that information, all of that Hanson and Bockley, who is not one to shy Hanson says, “In ‘Floe,’ Damon [D. Green] is content,\" she says. “Climate change is the away from overabundance, as proved by his admonishing the audience in a very preacherly issue. Bernie Sanders calls it the existential 2016 Jeff Award-winning adaptation, with way, and it’s kind of direct address.“ She turns crisis of our time, and I think that's true. It Robert Falls, of Roberto Bolaño’s 900-page to Bockley, \"You’ve been open to him shaming contains economic issues, it contains issues of magnum opus “2666.” Both Hanson and the audience, I’ve been more like, ‘Mmm, let’s racism and power, it contains all of it.” Bockley agree the partnership has been a fun not point the finger too much.’ But he’s talking and fruitful one. “What I love about your to the audience as sharks as consumers, as Art Institute Chicago, 111 South Michigan, writing is how nimble it is,” Hanson says to frequent fliers: use less, use less.” (312) 857-7132, $15 Art Institute members, Bockley. “It moves immediately and $25 non-members, beautifully from soothing to really grave to Whether “Floe” directly points a finger or not, At press time, this event has been postponed. something light and humorous.” the reality is we’re all implicated here, and the The rescheduled date TBA. Photo: Effy Grey APRIL 2020 Newcity ABBY Z AND THE NEW UTILITY Radioactive Practice April 9–11, 2020 | 7:30 p.m. Go to for more information. 49 41994_20_DAN_Abby Z_3.5x4.88Color.indd 1 3/4/20 1:00 PM

Design Newcity APRIL 2020 DESIGN TOP 5 Interior view of The Knowledge Box (2009 version) in the exhibition “Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia,” As of presstime, cancellations and program 2015. Photo: Greg Beckel, courtesy the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. changes in response to the Coronavirus have Before the Tiny House begun, so please check with individual venues on current status. Inside the Matrix Dives Into the Design Legacy of Ken Isaacs 1 Could Be Architecture: McCormick AfterParti. By Michael Workman Elmhurst Art Museum. An exhibition that converts the McCormick House Published by micro-press Half Letter, A precursor to the popular tiny houses that into a home filled with bright colors, operated by members of the artist collective have become the rage among architectural movement, light, activity and Temporary Services, this slim volume by thinkers in pursuit of affordable solutions for conversation. Through April 12 longtime critic Susan Snodgrass is essential low-income and homeless housing, Isaacs’ reading for those interested in socially basic idea was to extrapolate from “a 2 Bauhaus Chicago: Design in conscious design histories. Ken Isaacs three-dimensional modular frame,” or matrix the City. Art Institute of (1927–2016) was briefly head of the design design that “would become foundational\" to all Chicago. Your last chance to department at the Cranbrook Academy of Arts, of his designs. contemplate Bauhaus’ influence in taught at UIC, IIT and elsewhere, and was the city of Chicago in the light of the famous for his “matrix”-based modular designs. In an era where scientific models apply the German school’s centenary. Through Simultaneously a fête of a beloved thinker, laws of natural physics to create spatial April 26 colleague and educator, Snodgrass worked models used in everything from game engines, with him to stage the 2009 “Learning Modern” advanced medical imaging, robotics and 3 Maxwell Street Market. exhibit at SAIC and IIT, where his “Knowledge space-travel scenario calculations, Isaacs' sim- 800 South Desplaines. A Boxes” was presented in the Sullivan Galleries. ple slicing of space into blocks may seem shopping experience bringing anything and everything imaginable under one roof—clothing and furniture, rare finds and collectibles, delicious Latin street food. April 19 4 Great Ideas of Humanity 2020. Design Museum of Chicago. Chicago Public School students, inspired by local public artworks, respond with creative ideas that cross disciplines and cultures. Through April 19 5 Macy’s Flower Show. Macy’s State Street. Take a dive into the deep sea flora and fauna in “Voyage to Oceanum: A Sea of Inspiration.” Through April 5 50

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