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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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Sunday, December 3

Gapers Block

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« A New Bible for Cooking Veggies Friday Foodpic: Ramen »

Event Wed Oct 08 2014

Cooking Demo at Treasure Island with Knife & Tine

dsc_0022.jpgTreasure Island Foods brands itself as "America's Most European Supermarket," though I think "The Lovechild of Whole Foods and Jewel" or "Mariano's Long-Lost Cousin" are more fitting titles. That being said, the one thing that sets Treasure Island apart from its competitors are its cooking demos, which showcase renowned or emerging chefs from Chicago's culinary scene. Past restaurants have included The Publican, Range Chicago, and Honey Butter Fried Chicken. I recently attended a demo by Nate Park, chef at Knife & Tine in Lincoln Park. A Moto and Iron Chef alum, Chef Nate Park cooked a menu that aptly reflected his corn-brimming Midwestern roots:

Cheese ball: Delice de Bourgogne Serano with plum jam, pickled pecans and honey
Braised boneless shortrib with sautéed oyster mushrooms and warm fall marble potato salad
Panna Cotta with blueberry, ginger and mint

dsc_0012.jpgSince I'm a tuber and butter enthusiast, I've included Park's recipe for his warm potato salad:

For Salad Ingredients:
• 3 lbs of Russian fingerling potatoes (cleaned)
• 2 pounds whole beets (cleaned)
• Three Leek Stalks
• 3 ears of grilled corn
• Butter (or Vegetable Oil)

For Sauce:
• 2 oz chopped dill
• 2 cups sour cream
• 1 cup half-n-half
• 1 tbsp each of: Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika
• ¼ red onion
• Salt, pepper, and sugar to taste

• Chop up fingerling potatoes into bite-size chunks, and submerge them in roasting pan filled with butter. Slowly poach these potatoes until they are soft. Once they are soft, drain off the butter, and continue to roast them until the outside is crispy.
• Take your whole beets and rub generously with salt and pepper. Roast them whole at 300 degrees until you can poke through the skin with a fork and the center is soft. Cool beets and slice them into bite-sized chunks.
• Combine salad ingredients into sauté pan. Cook until scallions are slightly wilted but still crunchy. Season for taste.
• Mix in sauce until ingredients are thoroughly coated. Add more for additional coatings.

dsc_0024.jpgWhile it's not as hand-on or upscale as The Chopping Block, I strongly suggest attending a class because 1) the classes are small, and 2) it's cheap. For less than $25, you get a full course meal and 2 hours of people talking about cool food hacks. That's an effing good bargain.

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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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