Graham Elliot Bowles, a self-described "Navy brat," completed his formal training at Johnson & Wales University at the age of 18. He spent the better part of the following decade working with luminaries such as Dean Fearing (The Mansion on Turtle Creek), Charlie Trotter, and Rick Tramonto (Tru). In 2004, Bowles took over the kitchen at The Peninsula Chicago’s Avenues, where he earned four stars in Chicago magazine and was named one of Food & Wine‘s "Best New Chefs in America"—all before his 30th birthday. Bowles competed on "Iron Chef America" in 2007, and appeared on "The Today Show." He left Avenues in 2008 to open Graham Elliot in River North. His new "bistronomic" restaurant marries his whimsical creations with a relaxed, casual space dominated by waiters in Chuck Taylors and, often, music by Bowles himself.

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Graham Elliot Bowles’s Halibut BLT
Serves 2
Prep time: 45 to 60 minutes

2 6-ounce pieces fresh Atlantic halibut fillets
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt & pepper to taste

4 slices bacon, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
4 sprigs fresh thyme
    2 sprigs, chop the leaves; 2 sprigs, leave whole
Salt & pepper to taste

1 bunch frisée, torn into bite-size pieces
2 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

1. In a skillet over medium heat, render bacon until crispy. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until soft. Deglaze the pan with vinegar and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add chopped thyme leaves. Season to taste. Set aside to cool.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Season the halibut with salt and pepper and sear to golden brown (1½-2 minutes). Carefully flip the fish, adding butter and two whole thyme sprigs to the pan. Baste until cooked through (1½-2 minutes). Discard the thyme.

3. Toss the frisée and chopped tomatoes in a bowl with half the vinaigrette, season to taste with salt and pepper, place the fish on top. Spoon the rest of the vinaigrette over the top of the fish. Serve immediately.


Film: Uji Films