20 Comments

Bayless. Achatz. Kahan. Trotter.

HM: Mantuana. Banchet. Joho

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Nov 17, 2023Liked by Michael Nagrant

Jean Banchet, Paul Kahan, Charlie Trotter, Grant Achatz

We need a bigger Mountain. Kornick, Nahabedian, Bayless, Mantuano, Joho, Stegner, Duffy, Izard, Shields, Shen, Buster

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Nov 17, 2023Liked by Michael Nagrant

I had typed up little blurbs for each of these picks and then lost it all when I accidentally swiped the screen. So no embellishments or explanations (and curse my fat fingers):

Mt Rushmore:

Charlie Trotter

Grant Achatz

Paul Kahan

Jean Joho

Honorable mentions:

Rick Bayless

Ramiro Velasquez

Tony Mantuano

Sarah Stegner

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Nov 17, 2023Liked by Michael Nagrant

How fun! Should be interesting! ❤️❤️

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Trotter

Bayless

Banchet

Hammel

I believe the best indicator of a chef's professional quality is their family tree, and that was my primary criteria. Capital-C Chef is coach, mentor, cheerleader, teacher and dozens of other things that are not directly on the plate. We see those chef traits and the excellence of the chef in the success people have after working for them.

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Banchet, Bannos, Trotter, Hogan

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I moved to Chicago from Ohio in April 2006, so I am only going to include chefs where I was actually able to eat and experience their restaurants., and the overall influence they have had on the dining scene. In no order...

1. Charlie Trotter - put Chicago on the international food stage. Also, the amount of chefs today who have worked for him and/or inspired by him. (even though not all in the best methods)

2. Grant Achatz - Took the mantle from Trotter and elevated the fine dining experience even further

3. Rick Bayless - Told Chicago and the world for that matter how awesome Mexican food can be and is. Also a launched is own food empire.

4. Paul Kahan - The West Loop restaurant row would not be would it is today without him. Blackbird was also the restaurant we went to after I proposed to my wife.

Honorable mentions

A. Curtis Duffy - Two different multiple Michelin starred restaurants

B. Jackie Shen - A sentimental pick, When I first moved to Chicago, Red Light was a block from apartment, and instantly became my favorite place to eat. I would kill for one more bowl of her Fisherman's stew.

C. Tony Mantuano - Similar to Bayless and how he made Italian dining upscale.

Love this idea and can't wait to see the results.

Brian Hunter

@U2hunter on the platform formally called Twitter

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Virant, Kahan, McClain, Bayless

HM: Kornick, Crofton, Joho

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Charlie Trotter, Grant Achatz, Al Ferreri, Rudy Malnati Sr

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Trotter/Achatz are first-round locks. Beyond that, I'd say Kahan and Banchet. The history lover in me has to include Louis Szathmary and Don Roth in there too, but I think Doug Sohn deserves some love as well.

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Grant Achatz, Charlie Trotter, Curtis Duffy, Stephanie Izard

Honorable Mentions:

Paul Kahan

Genie Kwon

Noah Sandoval

Rick Bayless

Sarah Grueneberg

John Shields

John Manion

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Jean Joho. (Old school guard)

Charlie Trotter. (Changed the game)

Grant Achatz. (Grand re-inventor/New School)

John Shields. (Carrying the Flame)

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Charlie Trotter, Rick Bayless, Ina Pinkney, and Phil Vettel. I realize the latter is not a professional chef (and, naturally, his face would have to be blurred out on the mountainside). But in my pantheon of Chicago food influence, he ranks up there.

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Achatz, Kahan, Bayless, Hammel

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This is a fun exercise. Here's mine. Mostly done tongue in cheek. But I don't want my list too influenced by who had the best PR teams over the past 15 yrs.

Pick 1 fine dining chef. Don't care if it's Banchet, Trotter, Achatz, etc but shouldn't be more than 1. I feel very strongly about that.

Jason Hammel. So many chefs from Lula have gone onto open restaurants that I love in Chicago. It's the exact opposite of the Belichick coaching tree

Bob Chinn. I thought this was the fanciest restaurant of all time when we moved to the burbs in the mid 90s. While it's probably not true, I give him credit for spawning giant dining rooms! :)

Whoever invented the Italian beef. Is it the Al's beef family? Forget it, just put an Italian beef up there! More deserving than the goat lady.

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