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The Kitchen Will Take Farm-to-Table to the Next Level

Johnny Anderes, late of Telegraph, details the community effort at the new River North spot, opening mid-October.

Sticky toffee pudding at the Kitchen   Photo: Davis Tilly

Although we pop that little address parenthetical right after the name of the restaurant, the Kitchen (316 N. Clark St.), opening mid-October, is really one tendril in the Kitchen Community, a Colorado-based not-for-profit that runs community gardens at more than 100 Chicago Public Schools.

“The point is to get kids to understand where food comes from and what the potential of good food is,” says Johnny Anderes, the former Telegraph chef who will head the Kitchen’s kitchen. “It’s all about community.”

The food from the CPS gardens goes to the schools, but the Kitchen will redeploy the same community concept to build relationships with suppliers. “Not the easy farm-to-table,” Anderes says. He means that the closeness of the relationship trumps the closeness of the farm. For example, “When I’m in upstate New York, [with my wife’s family], there is a small farm that has a trout hatchery. I’ve expressed interest in working with them. They are small and the trout is amazing. Is it local? No. But the trout is amazing, and it’s a relationship.”

Anderes says he’s batting around the idea of a dish of braised goat from the downstate Kilgus Farms, with a barley pasta made from barley from Hazzard Free Farm, west of Rockford, and maybe some watercress and a little lemon.

The restaurant—which is for-profit—will serve lunch and dinner when it opens this fall. Still plenty of time in the mornings to help the kids pick the pumpkins.

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