A Girl & Her Food


Stephanie Izard's Kalbi Ribs and Grilled Corn with Kalbi Butter

With Memorial Day weekend approaching and the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen just weeks away, I wanted to devote a recipe post to Chef Stepahnie Izard of Chicago's Girl & the Goat.  In the June issue of Food & Wine, Chef Stephanie translates some of her favorite restaurant dishes into easy to recreate at home BBQ and grilling recipes. Get up and run to get this issue!  I was eager to try what she had to offer, as I LOVE using the grill and spending as much time cooking and dining al fresco as Chicago's wonderful weather permits.  After my husband and I tested out the below recipe this weekend, I confident to endorse it as part of your Memorial Day weekend festivities.  You will not be disappointed   Your guests will be impressed.  It's easy and delicious and sure to impress.  I purchased flank-style beef short ribs pre-sliced at Marianos, and they worked out great. 


Kalbi Ribs Topped with Charred Okra Relish 
Grilled Corn with Kalbi Butter 

Recipe contributed by Stephanie Izard for Food & Wine June 2015


3/4 cup malt vinegar 
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
3 Tablespoons sambal oelek
2 Tablespoons Asian fish sauce (Stephanie once shared with me that she uses Three Crabs Brand Fish Sauce) 
3 garlic cloves
4 lbs flanken style short ribs (sliced 1/3 inch thick across the bones) 
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 ears of corn, shucked and cut crosswise into thirds
Charred Okra Relish (recipe below) 


In a food processor, puree the vinegar with the olive oil, sambal, fish sauce and garlic. Transfer 1/2 cup of the kalbi  marinade to a bowl. On a large baking sheet, brush the ribs with the remaining marinade and let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Meanwhile, in the processor pulse the butter until smooth.  With the food processor  on,  gradually add the reserved 1/2 cup kalbi marinade. Scrape the kalbi butter into a bowl. 

Light the grill. Brush the corn with kalbi butter and grill over moderately high heat, turning, and brushing with more butter, until lightly charred, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a large platter. 

Season the ribs lightly with salt and grill over high heat, turning once, until nearly cooked through and lightly charred. 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to the platter and serve with okra relish. 

Charred Okra Relish 


1 poblano pepper
1 LB okra
Canola oil, for brushing 
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Asian fish sauce ( Three Crabs Brand is the best!) 
1 Tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 Tablespoon malt vinegar 


Light a grill. Grill the poblano, turning until charred all over. Transfer to bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let cool. Peel, stem, and seed the poblano pepper, then cut into 1/4 inch dice. 

Brush the okra with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill over high heat, turning, until lightly charred all over, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool, then cut off the stems and slice the okra crosswise into 1/4 inch rounds.  Note: I had a difficult time slicing the okra as it would lose it's shape and get slimy during the process.  I will ask Stephanie for some tips to prevent this next time! 

In a medium bowl, toss the okra with the poblano, fish sauce, shallot and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and serve.  Enjoy!


grilled whole fava beans


2 lbs of fava beans, rinsed
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
One lemon, halved
Sea Salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste


Preheat your grill to medium high heat. In a large bowl, toss the fava beans with olive oil and season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Make sure the fava beans are coated evenly.

Transfer the fava beans and lemon directly on the grates of the grill and cook, turning occasionally, about 5-6 minutes per side or until charred.  Remove from grill and put the fava beans on a serving dish. Squeeze the grilled lemon onto the fava beans.  Pop the beans out of shells directly in your mouth like you would eat edamame. Enjoy!


Meet Chefs Cat Cora, Tom Douglas, Johnny Iuzzini & Takashi Yagihasi at Macy's with me!

You are invited to join me 



125 years in the food service 


 Macy's Culinary Council Chefs....

WHO:   Macy's Culinary Council Chefs 

WHEN:  Saturday, May 16th  at 12 pm 

WHERE: Macy's on State
             The Walnut Room, 7th Floor

..... Live music, food, photo booth and more! .....

HOW:    With any purchase of $100* or more in the Home Department, receive two tickets** to the celebration and an opportunity to meet the chefs.

Macy's is honoring America's veterans with an in-store give-back program to benefit Got Your 6, a coalition of veteran-focused non-profits working to make America stronger. Give $3 to Got Your 6 and get 25% off your Macy's purchase on May 16, 2015.***

To learn more about Macy's Culinary Council and upcoming events, log on to www.macys.com/culinarycouncil 

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


Roasted Bone Marrow

Do you always order bone marrow off the menu at a restaurant because you LOVE it?

I do!

If you are a bone marrow eating-freak like me, it's your lucky day as I am going to share with you how to duplicate this sinful yet easy dish at home. 

I recommend calling your local butcher to see if beef bones are available.  Bone marrow can be cut two ways. See pictures below. I love both cuts but most people prefer the long-way cut as you gain full access to the interior goodness. 

If you are a dog owner, the left over bone is a GREAT treat for them! 


If you live in Chicago, I purchase my bone marrow from The Butcher & Larder. 

Roasted Bone Marrow 

Serves 4


4 beef bones
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced 
1 Tablespoon olive oil 
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 teaspoon) 
Coarse salt 
Freshly ground black pepper 

Fresh Baguette or crusty bread, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces, toasted 


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place bones, cut side up, in an oven-proof dish or  a baking sheet lined with foil.  Roast the bone until it is soft and it separates from the bone for about 20 minutes. Do not allow the bone marrow to start to bubble an drizzle out of the bone. 

While the bone marrow is roasting, in a bowl, combine the parsley and shallots. In a cup or small bowl, whisk container the olive oil and lemon juice so it is ready to drizzle over the parsley salad. 

When the bone marrow is roasted, place on a platter. Take your parsley salad and drizzle it with dressing. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Add the toasted bread and parsley salad onto the platter and serve. 

To eat, scoop out the marrow with a knife or small spoon, spread it on the toast and top with some parsley salad. Enjoy!


Cochon 555

Images Via Cochon 555

Cochon 555, the country’s most talked about culinary competition returns to Chicago on April 26, 2015 to celebrate family farms, heritage breed pigs and today’s emerging chef community. This must-do culinary experience features five top chefs in a one-of-a-kind culinary competition featuring over 36 dishes prepared from locally-raised whole heritage breed pigs with endless wine, brews and spirits.


The chefs, champions of whole hog utilization, will prepare a maximum of six dishes with hopes to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges.
A pack of notable judges will be led by Chicago’s 2014 “Prince or Princess of of Porc”, Tim Graham of Travelle, who will be joined by several others including, Carlos Gaytan of Mexique, Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia, and past Chicago champion and 2012 “King of Porc, Jason Vincent. The winner goes on to compete for the title of “King or Queen of Porc” at the tour finale, Grand Cochon at Snowmass/Aspen in June. The grand champion will be rewarded with a 4-day wine experience in Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region. And, new in 2015, the winner’s kitchen countertops will be resurfaced with Wilsonart® Quartz decorative surfacing, a remarkable, beautifully engineered stone material from America’s countertop leader. 
“We are thrilled to welcome the Cochon 555 Tour to the Fulton Market District. This epic culinary experience further validates the area’s rich business mix and celebrates its meatpacking history, award-winning chefs and innovative industries,” said Rod Burch, Executive Director, West Central Association – Chamber of Commerce. Located in the hot West Loop neighborhood, Chicago’s Fulton Market District is home to some of the best restaurants, boutique hotels, event & entertainment venues and innovative technology companies like Google and Uber.
The Chicago version of this fairy-tale heritage pork event includes more than 36 chef-prepared dishes in an all-inclusive stand up reception with notable tastings from Washington State Wine, St. Francis Winery and Sleight of Hand Cellars. Cochon’s “pop-up” culinary experiences include the Petit Format Bar presented by Wilsonart® Quartz decorative surfacing featuring a selection of amazing half-bottles, hand-sliced prosciutto from Prosciutto di Parma and the Wines from Rioja Tapas Bar featuring Chef Jason Vincent preparing delicacies from Agromar. Guests can visit the Mezcal Chupito Bar and enter to win a 4-day Mezcal adventure to Mexico from Panna Cooking and Mezcales de Leyenda. Upon arrival, guests will enjoy Buffalo Trace’s “Welcome Punch Reception” paired with a delicious bite. Attendees will sample foods at Cochon’s signature experiences including the Artisan Cheese Bar from Pastoral Artisan, the Oyster Shelf presented by Pearl Oyster Tavern and the famous TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Farms prepared by Chef Andrew Zimmerman.  Bourbon and whiskey lovers rejoice with the return of Whistle Pig Rye and the “Perfect Manhattan Experience” featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon and Hirsch finished with Luxardo cherries in this hand-prepared classic topped with a special treat from Creminelli. Guests of VIP can enjoy samples from five of the city’s best barkeeps as they compete in Punch Kings – the tour’s whole bottle “meats” golden gloves competition, featuring Breckenridge Bourbon. As guests leave the event, they’ll receive a special departing gift from La Brea Bakery. 
We are proud to announce the return of the Pop-Up Butcher Shop with the support of Williams-Sonoma – a live butchering demonstration with Rob Levitt of Butcher & Larder raising money for the supporting culinary students from Kendall College. Finally, a spotlight Awards Toast to announce the winner. Following the event, all guests are invited to the Chef’s After Party.  
Cochon 555 Events:
The weekend kicks-off on Friday, April 24, with the Chef’s Course Dinner hosted at Nico Osteria and paired with the amazing Washington State Wine. Chef Erling Wu-Bower welcomes guest chefs, Jason Hammel, Gene Kato, Abe Conlon, Matthias Merges and Amanda Rockman and COCHON 555 founder, Brady Lowe for a seated five-course dinnerThe three-hour culinary experience includes thoughtful chef introductions of each course ($125 all inclusive) as they work together to prepare this special, one-night-only epicurean feast, emphasizing high-quality, local ingredients and responsible agriculture. - buy tickets here -
Saturday, April 25 spotlights Cochon 555’s “Large Format Feast,” ($110 all-inclusive) a four-course meat feast hosted at TÊTE Charcuterie with Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski. The preview dinner, featuring St. Francis Winery, Anchor Distilling and Prosciutto di Parma, will celebrate family-raised beef and Duroc pork from Creekstone Farms. This epic “Big Beef vs. Heritage Pig” dinner series features notable chefs who are reinventing the traditional steakhouse experience to spotlight the growing popularity of heritage pork on steakhouse menus, ultimately setting course for a safer food system. – SOLD-OUT -
Also on Saturday, Cochon 555 founder Brady Lowe will lead a special panel discussion on the husbandry culture at Pastoral’s 5th Annual Artisan Producer Festival at Chicago French Market (131 N Clinton St). Other panelists include Veronica Baetje, Owner & Cheesemaker at Baetje Farms, Cristiano Creminelli, Owner of Creminelli Fine Meats, Andy Hatch, Owner & Cheesemaker at Uplands Cheese, and Andrew Jones, Owner & Winemaker at Field Recordings. This is Pastoral’s 5th year hosting the Festival created to make buying and eating great food and wine a fun, inviting and educational experience.  The Festival is FREE and open to the public, and features nearly 100 producers of artisan cheese, bread, wine, charcuterie, confections, and more offering tastes of their products.  For more information, visit the Artisan Producer Festival website.


Being A Celebrity Chef Can Kill You by The Daily Beast

I can across this article and I had to share it with you from The Daily Beast written by Emily Shire:


04.18.156:55 AM ET

Being a Celebrity Chef Can Kill You

The suspected suicide of Chicago chef Homaro Cantu has shone a harsh light on the high-stakes, high-pressure lives of chefs, for whom success is an all-or-nothing game.
“You think it’s glorious to date a chef? Not only does he not cook for you, you usually end up eating alone,” Phillip Foss, the chef and owner at Michelin-starredEL Ideas in Chicago, tells me, a hint of dark humor to his voice as he recounts the two divorces under his belt.
“When most people are at home having dinner and putting the kids to sleep together, I’m in the restaurant winning the bread for the family,” he said. “Whoever gets together with me has to have an understanding about the business.”
Such an understanding may have been absent in the third failed marriage of Food Network star Bobby Flay, who filed for divorce from actress Stephanie March.
According to TMZ, March was “livid” when Flay failed to visit her in the hospital until the day after her appendix burst.
“He said he was busy with work and had to leave before she was discharged…but offered to send his assistant to help out,” the site noted, alluding to the very same marital stresses that Foss described.
However, marital strife seems relatively benign compared to other pressures and tragedies plaguing the culinary community.
This week, Chef Homaro Cantu was found dead, his body hanging in the Chicago building where he was set to open a brewery later this year.
The 38-year-old father of two left no note clarifying his suspected suicide, an act which can never be fully comprehended by those left behind.
His death is only the most recent—and grim—evidence that the kitchens of America’s most popular and prestigious restaurants are filled with crippling pressures, illicit temptation, and lurking inner demons.
In July 2013, Colin Devlin, the owner of Williamsburg foodie landmarks DuMont and Dressler, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a cemetery in Pennsylvania.
“The loss of Devlin seems like evidence of a harsher Williamsburg than the one where he opened DuMont’s doors a decade earlier,” wrote Rebecca Flint Marx forGrub Street at the time of his death. “What once felt casual, accidental, and ad hoc has turned as competitive as any heat-fueled restaurant row in New York.”
Americans have come to revel in the drama of the cutthroat culinary world as they would delight in any boozy ‘Real Housewife’ ripping off a weave or knocking over a table.
“You’re only as good as the last dish you make. You fuck it up, you won’t have guests in the next day. It’s that cutthroat.”
But the most famous chefs often have the most troubled lives. Gordon Ramsay has been arrested for drunk driving and was allegedly defrauded by his in-laws in a scam that has torn his family apart.
Anthony Bourdain is a former heroin abuser and famous British TV cook Nigella Lawson admittedto abusing cocaine to cope with her unhappy former marriage to Charles Saatchi. “I did not have a drug problem, I had a life problem,” she said.
In addition to the pressures of toiling in kitchen and building a restaurant (more on those uniquely devastating financial constraints in just a bit), many chefs face the additional appeal—or onus—of the media spotlight, with the explosion of interest in food and chefs on mainstream TV (The Chew, Rachael Ray) and specialized channels, like Food Network and the Cooking Channel.
Food porn is everywhere; the demand for personalities to cook and explain the glistening and delicious dishes is high, and so chefs have become the new small-screen rock stars.
The hunger to dramatize, scrutinize, and hype life in restaurants is also insatiable. Cooking competition shows are as much about sob stories—*cough* Chopped*cough*—and histrionics that have almost nothing to do with what’s on the plate being judged.
“There is 100% more pressure to have a big personality and be in the limelight and be perfectly primed for media attention than there was 10 or 15 years ago,” said Carolyn Alburger, the cities editor at Eater and wife of Blair Warsham, the chef and owner of American Bao Bar in San Francisco, in an email.
While Julia Child and Wolfgang Puck were once the only chefs on TV, Alburger said, it’s increasingly commonplace for chefs to have Hollywood knocking at their doors.
“Most successful chefs and food truck owners I know in San Francisco [where she is based] have been contacted by TV producers from one of the many, many food-related TV shows at some point,” she said. “The producers present it as this huge honor for you to be selected for the show, but in reality they are often looking for someone to typecast into a plot.”
“In this crazy world that the restaurant industry has become there’s so much pressure. The public talks about you like you’re some sort of celebrities. It’s only in the last few years that chefs have become like rock stars,” said Bernamoff, who founded the popular Mile End Delicatessen in Brooklyn, spawning not only another location but a cookbook, as well as Black Seed bagels and an oyster bar, Grand Army, later this year.
Alburger was quick to stress that fame is not the norm, but the possibility of it looms over up-and-comers as a deleterious shadow.
“If anything, it has set an unrealistic premise for young cooks,” she said. “Instead of aspiring to work their way up the line for years in the traditional sense—from commis to chef de partie to sous chef to chef to cuisine and then years and years later maybe to executive chef—they aspire to be a ‘tv chef’ and fast track to success via food media, food trucks, pop-ups, etc.”
Are chefs the new Kurt Cobain’s and Janis Joplin’s? Maybe not exactly, but chefs and rock stars have an eerily common background of troubled upbringings filled with abuse, homelessness, and illicit substances.
Cantu was open about being homeless from ages six to nine, and he posted onFacebook about being raised first by a drug-addicted mother and then “Sal, the stepmom” who “insisted (i.e. my dad allowed her to) kick us out of the house and force us to live in a shed for eight months. No plumbing, no heat, a leaky roof, and rats.”
As a result of this horribly abusive childhood, Cantu said he became “a grade A fuck up. I almost got sent to a juvenile detention center for lighting fires in the boys bathroom. My sister and I were out of control and hated authority.”
“Most of us didn’t get a university education. We’ve usually gotten into some kind of trouble at school and wound up in the kitchen,” said Foss.
“I’ve encountered a lot of people who are recovering drug addicts, recovering from substance abuse, recovering from situations of homelessness,” said Bernamoff.
He said he had to release one of his employees when he noticed a change in his performance for the worst and eventually realized there was a drug problem.
“It’s like a petri dish for substance abuse. It’s long hours with a ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude. It’s what a lot of people do,” said Bernamoff, who point-blank described the restaurant world as “drug-fueled” and “alcohol-fueled.”
The same temptations are always brewing when it comes to sex. “There’s a lot of stuff that goes on between employees, between managers, that’s not conducive to pre-existing relationships,” said Bernamoff. “There’s definitely a hookup element,” he said, explaining it thus: “If you work in a kitchen with another person for 12 to 14 hours a day, for five or six days a week…you throw some drinks on that…”
“It’s a joke in the restaurant industry, ‘Oh, look who I found in the walk-in box: Mary, the server, and Tom, the line cook. I don’t think they both needed to get the celery.’”
Bernamoff started Mile End with his wife, Rae Cohen. “We definitely experienced a lot of misdirected frustrations, something at work because of something discussed at home or a personal issue at home that we took to the restaurant and aired our dirty laundry in front of people,” he said.
They eventually decided that running the restaurant together was not good for their finances or their marriages, especially after Hurricane Sandy wiped out their smokehouse and bakery.
“After Hurricane Sandy, we decided we wouldn’t have all our eggs in one basket. We realized we could be in a terrible situation,” he said, and his wife took another job.
Problems with sex, drugs, and alcohol may the damaging manifestations of the kinds of personalities attracted to being a chef.
“We’re usually people with a bit of a masochistic side,” said Foss. “We have a high tolerance for poor working conditions and long hours. Honestly, we have a love for food as powerful as scientologists have for scientology. There’s a cult-like addiction.”
This “cult-like addiction” can prove emotionally toxic when coupled with the crushing financial pressures of running a restaurant. “Restaurants operate on insanely thin margins,” said Bernamoff. “There are very few people who would be willing to go into this for how thin the margins are.”
Bernamoff said that it’s standard for chefs to work 14 to 16 hours a day, sometimes six or seven days a week. “It’s not sitting in an executive’s chair. It’s pretty serious labor in a windowless kitchen or a basement,” said Bernamoff, who averages between 70 and 90 hours of work per week.
Their intense love for food and pride in their work make it such that the success or failure of a restaurant becomes not only a comment on their professional, but personal, status.
“People put everything they’ve got into a restaurant. It’s not just a business investment for most people. It’s a personal endeavor,” said Bernamoff. “It’s reflection of themselves, publicly. People see it as a person failing, not an economic failure.”
“It’s a great honor to do what I do. I don’t take it for granted, but once criticism starts coming in and once your product is not being received in the light you don’t feel it deserves, it can be incredibly taxing on the psyche,” said Foss.
At the same time, these extreme stresses are magnified by the fact that most chefs are not trained to deal with the nuts and bolts of business. “You have to deal with bills, with taxes, all these things you never realized you had to contend with as you work your way up,” said Foss. “No one gives you a playbook. You have to learn on your own, and there are casualties.”
Cantu may very well have been one of those casualties. He said he actually collaborated with Foss on a special presentation the day the lawsuit filed against him by a former investor went public.
Alexander Espalin claimed in a March 19 suit that Cantu used the bank account for the restaurant Moto for his personal expenses. He also claimed that Cantu used the account for Moto to support another one of his restaurant, iNG, which has since closed.
There’s no clear indication that the suit contributed to Cantu’s death, but it is evidence of the extreme financial concerns chefs and owners face. “I assumed it was going to be tough but that he’d persevere,” said Foss. “Obviously, I don’t know if other things were in play.”
When I ask Foss if he thought there was a higher rate of mental health issues among chefs, he didn’t miss a beat. “Absolutely,” he said. “I would almost say the only profession with a higher rate of mental health issues are firefighters or paramedics dealing with life and death. Beyond that, the pressures of working in a restaurant are unrelenting, they never stop. You’re only as good as the last dish you make. You fuck it up, you won’t have guests in the next day. It’s that cutthroat.”

It’s critical to remember that most chefs never earn Flay or Bourdain-level fame, but they are still grappling with the same crippling pressures, addictive temptations, and dark pasts—just in an anonymous state of near-poverty.
“The average guy or girl is making no money, working their ass off, and if you come from a place of emotional fragility, I could see someone saying, I’m done with this hamster wheel,” said Bernamoff.
“We go into this because we love what we do, but it could really drive someone to question their place in the world.”


Brunch at BOHO Chicago

Luckily for me, BOHO Chicago started brunch last weekend and I was invited in to preview some items off the menu and believe when I tell you it is AWESOME. 

Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos has created a menu of Bohemian-inspired fare with influences from Eastern Europe, mostly Czech. But to be honest, Czechs, Russians, Germans, Austrians, Poles have very similar cuisine and interchangeable dishes and ingredients. 

As someone born in Poland and raised in a Polish family, I give the stamp of approval on every item I tried off the menu.  I love the concept and cuisine, and deem it expectational and comforting.  Eastern European cuisine doesn't get too much love in Chicago, which is a bit disappointing as we have the second biggest Polish population outside of Warsaw.  I'm hoping with Boho, that trend ends.  No other restaurant in Chicago does what Chef Papdopoulos is doing, and so it makes me extremely happy and proud.  You must give it a shot. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. 

My favorite dish was the steak and eggs spätzle. It was served with mushroom and pepper spätzle, sweet onions and aged gouda. I was not able to capture a picture of the dish because other food bloggers started to devour it before I was able to snap a picture. #PIGS (JUST KIDDING!) 

Gouda Bratwurst 
beer braised onions, radish & house mustard 

Smoked Beef Tongue Hash
poached eggs, mustard hollandaise, sweet & sour cabbage 

Bavarian Pancakes
apples, cider, pecans, farmer's cheese & powdered sugar 

Pulaski Mash 
Gin, honey, passion fruit, green bell pepper & mint 

Lox & Toast
Poached egg, cucumber,  cream cheese, salmon & dill 

Almond Poppy Seed Cake
Orange glaze & strudel

  Pork Schnitzel Sandwich 
rye bread, horseradish cream, sauerkraut, ementaler cheese & fried cheese 

Two Boho girls at BOHO
Kelly Rizzo of Eat Travel Rock 
She's one of my fave bloggers in Chicago! 

11 W Illinois Street
Chicago, IL 60654
312. 955.0439 

Boho - Bohemian House on Urbanspoon