This week, the table is crashed by none other than Chef Jonathan Zaragoza, the intrepid Goatboy of Birria Zaragoza. He walks us through the process of making birria (turns out it's good to start with a goat that's no longer alive), kitchen mishaps, and his family's less-than-legal culinary origin story. Listen to hear tips about the best Mexican spots in and around Chicago, the importance of under-promising and overdelivering, and so much more.
Aug 22, 2022
This week, we have the pleasure of speaking with Lily Wang, who along with her partner Joe opened up Nine Bar, an exciting new cocktail bar located in Chinatown. Nine Bar opened up in the back end of her family's restaurant, Moon Palace, which has been around for quite some time, and continues to serve its expansive menu to go. Lily takes us through the process of growing the concept from a pop-up to a permanent fixture, unravels a fake Google review conspiracy, and extols the virtues of working fast behind the bar.
Aug 15, 2022
1 hr 18 min
A good soup takes time. It's intuition and breadth of knowledge that brought this week's joiner, Ethan Lim, to his current station as the chef-owner of the renowned Hermosa Restaraunt, a one-of-a-kind dining experience built around intimacy, connection, and a profound seriousness. This week's conversation runs the gamut -- from Ethan's time selling cars for Mini and Tesla to his experience making meals for a surprising celebrity clientele.
Aug 8, 2022
This week, the two-top is crashed by Ronnie Kaplan, business-owner, writer, and contributor to the great LTH Forum, a beloved resource for Chicago food enthusiasts and insiders seeking the best neighborhood restaurants and bars throughout Chicagoland. A formative interaction with the late Anthony Bourdain helped him find his place in the hospitality landscape -- and from this one-of-a-kind perspective, he delights us with stories, insights, and recommendations.
Aug 1, 2022
1 hr 15 min
This week, we're joined by John Manion, fire-breathing chef and raconteur. He takes us on a journey through his formative years as a Hemingway-inspired youth seeking connection in Brazil, to his salad days navigating kitchens across the US, and how it all lead him his current station: chef-owner of the renowned El Che Steakhouse.
Jul 25, 2022
1 hr 28 min
This week we have Charles Joly, one of Chicago's most celebrated bartenders who has in many ways done it all. His skills have literally taken him around the world, and now he has a line of ready to drink craft cocktails, called Crafthouse Cocktails. Join us as we discuss Charles ascent from humble barback to World Champion Bartender.
Jul 18, 2022
1 hr 16 min
This week, we talk to the dynamic Zoe Schor of Split-Rail, a Boston native who cut her culinary teeth in the country's three biggest markets. In addition to telling us a bit about her new venture, Dorothy Downstairs, a neighborhood lesbian bar, she explains the difference between competing on Chopped and being in the weeds at a restaurant on a particularly busy night, and details the relationships she's formed via the food competition circuit. A thorough ribbing of the played-out "menu tour" format, the importance of fostering a culture of mentorship in the culinary space, unconventional pest control strategies: this episode has a little bit of everything.
Jul 11, 2022
1 hr 3 min
This week we're joined by Nicole Alexander of Siren Betty design. She has designed several beautiful concepts across commercial and residential spaces in Chicago and throughout the country. She tells us about her path, studying art and fashion in college, and finally finding herself in interior design.
Jul 5, 2022
1 hr 10 min
This week we talk to owner and operator David Posey, who could have become a florist, but instead decided to pursue the culinary arts. David attended the Culinary Institute of America before working in some of Chicago's best kitchens. After meeting his future wife and culinary partner Anna, he opened the award-winning, Michelin-starred Elske, a gem in the hospitality landscape. Join us for a delightful conversation that spans food allergies, rye-crust pizza, kitchen drama, and so much more.
Jun 27, 2022
For the inaugural episode of Joiners, we take a peek under the proverbial hood of the creative side of marketing and PR with Jenna Liberman. Jenna cut her teeth with beloved Chicago restaurant group One Off Hospitality as their first in-house marketing and PR person. After that, she moved on to a full service agency called Skoog, where she managed several clients. She eventually spun off of that and started her own agency, Slow Down Co., that provides marketing and PR for hospitality clients. She's also half the brain behind creative agency and not-so-secret society, Eye Eaters, which she shares with her partner Paul Octavius. We talk with Jenna about her career path through the hospitality world and what she's learned along the way.
Jun 14, 2022
1 hr 6 min