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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, March 6

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Event Mon Dec 03 2007

TV Worth Watching

If you weren't able to catch this past week's premiere of the WTTW "Foods of Chicago" documentary with Geoffrey Baer, you are in major luck: the program will be shown again on Monday night at 7:30pm and next weekend.

While a lot of Chicago food points to pizza and hot dogs, I was wondering why the documentary didn't mention anything of the "new school" of Chicago food that includes places like Charlie Trotter's. Producer Dan Protess shed some light on the topic. "Charlie Trotter has been around long enough that he certainly qualifies as historical. But the other criterion is that it had to be subject matter that screamed Chicago. But haute cuisine is not exactly the Chicago stockyards. Or Polish food."

It's an interesting question. Can Chicago cuisine ever legitimately push its deep-fried reputation into something that shows more versatility? Take Alinea, for example. Will the experience of burning leaves being served with your pumpkin pie-ish dessert ever be a Chicago trademark? I suppose many years down the road, were this documentary to be recreated, a mention of Alinea, or places like Trotter's and Moto, will have their own spot in the limelight. But for now, let's be real: I know only two people who had the money to pay for a meal at Alinea, excited that they were able to eat at such a place. And after the 20 courses of bite-sized dishes served on wires and pillows, they went over to Al's #1 for an Italian beef sandwich so that they wouldn't go home furious about being $150 poorer and still hungry.

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Craig Siegelin / December 3, 2007 10:58 AM

I'm really baffled at the "I had 20 courses and was still hungry" comments. Every decent chef in the city plans his or her degustations to equal a reasonable meal in the amount of food served. Adding carbs and calories is the easiest & cheapest thing for any chef to do, so why would they serve less than a normal appetite requires? They don't. There's something psychological going on here that is probably worthy of a research paper.

Ben / December 3, 2007 10:59 AM

I've heard this a few different times. Person goes to X fancy restaurant and despite having X large number of courses they leave hungry. Having eaten at many such restaurants, I must say that I just don't get it. I have never left a restaurant after having a tasting menu feeling hungry. On many occasions, including Alinea and the French Laundry, I have left feeling stuffed. I don't think that I have a small appetite by any means either.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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