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Nov 28, 2023Liked by Michael Nagrant

Beyond Nahabedian (a legend for sure!), there are other prominent women in that 90's Chicago scene like Stegner, Crofton and Goss. They didn't get the pump up of the men, but damn did I have some great meals at those places.

I'd give an awful lot of money to sit in the warmth of Zinfandel with the crackers and beer cheese, or another massive flavor memory is the first time I had grilled baby octopus at Crofton and Wells. Her hospitality was legendary.

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Nov 28, 2023Liked by Michael Nagrant

Well, you really opened the proverbial can of worms here now, didn’t you? 😘 It was a really interesting exercise and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I didn’t weigh in with my own Mt. Rushmore as I felt a little insecure, but after reading the responses my choices would have aligned with the rest. That said, I hope no one had anything negative to say about Rick Bayless. I have met the man on several occasions and can attest to his kindness and warmth. We have toured his gardens in Bucktown and he was the consummate guide; friendly, knowledgeable, passionate about food and his stewardship of the land he gardens. I can’t think of a more down-to-earth and approachable chef, unless maybe it’s Paul Virant. I have taken several hands-on cooking classes at his restaurant Vie, in Western Springs and again, a real mensch. The Mr. Rodger’s of Chicago chefs, and I mean that in a good way. He would have a place on my MR. And although I’m aware of Charlie Trotter’s complicated legacy, when we dined at his restaurant I happened to be pregnant to the gills with my second child, he couldn’t have been more charming. Mr. Trotter greeted us warmly at the door and, upon seeing my condition, extended his arm and personally escorted me to our table where he gently tucked me in. Well, as far in as I could get at that time. 🤣 Anyway, those are my brushes with Chicago celebrity chefs. PS - No offense, but Veganism is a cult. I mean no disrespect. ❤️

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I was dining at Chez Panisse with Ms Waters before you were a twinkle and your daddy’s eye. Take me for a dumb Farmer, I love to be underestimated

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