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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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Wednesday, October 27

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Event Tue May 13 2014

Culinary Faceoff: Key Ingredient Cooking Challenge

dsc_0919.jpg Cook-offs embody two of mankind's most beloved things: food and competition. Chicago Reader recently held its Key Ingredient Cook-Off at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, and a portion of the proceeds went to Common Threads (a.k.a. Art Smith's charity for kids).

Participating gladiators included Chris Pandel from The Bristol and Balena, Dana Cree from Blackbird, Abraham Conlon from Fat Rice, Jason Hammel from Lula Cafe, Meg Galus from NoMI, and Mark Steuer from Carriage House. These renowned chefs were asked to cook with esoteric products such as chestnut and sheep's milk, and diners voted for their favorite dish in each ingredient category.

I was personally impressed by the creativity and tastiness of these dishes:

NOMI: Sheep milk mousse, cornflake praline, butterscotch, whipped caramel


THEWIT: stomach and tail, young carrots, fennel dust, crispy shallot, rice porridge


HOMESTEAD ON THE ROOF: Toasted chestnut flour cake, candied chestnut mousse, chestnut flour macaroon


CARNIVALE: Brown butter chestnut ice-cream, strawberry rhubarb puree, and chestnut pretzel stick


LULA CAFÉ: Sweet Jonah crab, white miso, apple, hazelnut milk

FAT RICE: Miso Munchkin


I'm especially pleased that bacon and Siracha weren't chosen as one the key ingredients, and I hope that next year's event will yield even more eccentric dishes.

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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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