Explore the Artisan Food Movement With Chicago's Greatest Chefs

Explore the Artisan Food Movement With Chicago's Greatest Chefs
  • Chicago chefs gather at Sunda to explore artisan movement from Thai basil to housemade pasta.

  • Role of farming and agriculture growing in bustling Chicago.

The greatest minds in culinary, all at one table: What would you ask? On this episode of Foodable’s At The Chef’s Table, some of Chicago’s greatest chefs discuss how the artisan food movement has been driven by chefs continuously searching for the finest ingredients and striving to create the best dishes for their guests.

James Beard Award Winning Chef Rick Bayless says, “[It’s] about authenticity, but not authenticity in some old stayed way of describing it. It’s authentic meaning that you’re doing what you love; what’s right for you and that you’re authentically putting that food on the table.”

Join host Paul Barron at the table with Rick Bayless, Abraham Conlon, Jimmy Bannos Jr., Sarah Gruenberg, and Mike Sheerin as they dissect some of the industry's greatest questions and brag about the Chicago chef community.

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Will Less Strict Food Truck Legislation Pass in Chicago?

Chicago's Food Truck The Happy Lobster Truck |  YELP

Chicago's Food Truck The Happy Lobster Truck | YELP

Chicago’s regulations for mobile restaurants has been a major headache for food truck operators in the city.

So much so that this has influenced new legislation.

Alderman Proco Joe Moreno (1st) has proposed that Chicago food trucks be able to remain in one location for up to six hours. The current limit is only two.

This was introduced after food truck owners lost in court when they attempted to overturn the strict food truck ordinance.

Moreno argues that the two-hour rule does not take into account that it takes 40 minutes to set up and 40 minutes to take down. The rule makes it especially difficult for Chicago food trucks to survive in the city. He also said the six-hour limit is negotiable.

The New Proposed Rule Has Support From Large Organizations

The Illinois Restaurant Association is backing the new legislative solution.

“The hours should be raised. Two hours is definitely too short of a time, too quick of a turnover time. Restauranteurs understand that you’ve got to set up and break down any time you’re opening and closing a restaurant or food truck,” said Sam Toia, Illinois Restaurant Association president and former owner of Leona’s Restaurants. “Chicago is the culinary capital of the United States and food trucks are part of our great culinary scene here. We have to figure out how we can work to help them stay longer in the designated zones.”

However, Toia said the operators need to determine what the right limit should be.

“I want to make sure that all the food trucks feel that it should be six hours. Should it be four? Should it be six? I’m not sure yet. I want to communicate with everybody and make sure that everyone in the food truck community feels comfortable with the [new] hours being proposed. We’ll definitely get to the table and work something out with everybody,” said Toia.

Toia also believes that the restriction stating that the food trucks stay 200-feet away from brick-and-mortar restaurants should remain.

The two-hour rule was put in place back in 2012, but the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection rarely cites any ordinance violations. Many food truck owners have said they have violated the current rule in order to stay in business.

The Illinois Food Truck Owners Association called the proposed six-hour rule a “positive first step towards treating food truck owners properly instead of as second-class citizens.”

What do you think about the two-hour rule? Is it completely unfair? What should the hour limit be then? Read more

'Nduja Artisans: the Sausage Kings of Chicago

In Chicago, a father and son team are helping spread the gospel of the spreadable pork sausage, nduja. Agostino and Antonio Fiasche run their family’s restaurant in Western Chicago and their company, 'Nduja Artisans, which distributes their homemade pork sausage around the city to top restaurants and stores. Nduja is an Italian spreadable pork sausage that is sometimes called ‘pork butter’ because of its intense, spicy pork flavor and the amount of pork fat in it. The Fiasche’s are from the small part of Calabria that the sausage hails from and liken it to Spanish chorizo. 

The Fiasche's have found fans in chefs and store owners around Chicago. Read more.