Eight people who will be running Chicago’s top kitchens of the future
1952 N. Damen Ave.; 773-227-2995
Just 30, Izard knows seafood like an old salt, hooking a Hawaiian hebi (shortbill spearfish) to sauté and serve atop lump crab with Vidalia onion purée and grilled peaches.
1520 N. Damen Ave.; 773-252-1500
Former rock guitarist now hitting all the right chords with addictive Spanish nibbles like crispy fried chickpeas, pimientos fritos, and bite-size patatas bravas.
1132 W. Grand Ave.; 312-421-5547
The guy’s only 32 and his West Town restaurant only a year old, but his Maytag blue cheesecake with a crisp pecan crust, Miner’s lettuce, and apricot ice is an instant classic.
71 W. Monroe St.; 312-332-4040
Reynaud, a former exec chef at Biaggi’s, is mak-ing the most of his time in the big leagues with stylish, robust Italian-like risotto with crab and orecchiette with pork sausage and rapini.
65 E. Adams St.; 312-786-9911
Payne’s got the training (Le Cordon Bleu), the résumé (Taillevent, Four Seasons), and creations that sing-like seared diver scallop risotto on a round of nori with slivers of shaved reggiano.
1312 S. Wabash Ave.; 312-939-3870
His artichoke tart with caramelized fennel and green olive emulsion proves Ramos has bloomed with wholehearted Italian after knocking around at Printer’s Row and Pili.Pili.
10352 S. Western Ave.; 773-445-5632
The Beverly neighborhood finally gets the chef it deserves, and Everest veteran Browning packs them in for roasted corn and crayfish chowder and a double pork chop in oyster mushroom sauce with Parmesan grits.
868 N. Franklin St.; 312-482-9179
Neumann’s American dessert flavors pick up right where her mentor Mindy Segal’s left off: the “What’s Up Peanut Butter Cup?” is a peanut butter mousse with crispy milk chocolate, a peanut caramel tart, and peanut brittle.
photograph by Andreas Larsson