Get shit done.

We haven’t really had time to post this week, which made me think — why? Just because we hosted a totally kick-ass pop-up that everyone seemed to love, should not mean it’s time to “take a break.”

Directly after the dinner and clean-up, Vitolo left for Cleveland, Cadengo went back to his 14-hour shifts at Longman & Eagle, and McMullen returned to his sausage-making duties at the glorious Franks & Dawgs (who, by the way, lent us some life-saving bowls last Friday). And as for me? I took a much-needed day off to go hang out with the gorillas at the Lincoln Park Zoo, followed by a stage at El Ideas for the past two days.

While the gorillas helped clear my mind, El helped open it to a few new realizations.

First, it became clearer than ever that CRUX truly is a collaboration between everyone involved. Every dish is mulled over by each chef. The concept may be mine, but the technique may be McMullen, the plating may be Cadengo, and the flavor profile may be Vitolo.

This is in comparsion to El Ideas, who really seems to have a separation among chefs Foss and Brochu. At El Ideas, that model works, and it works well because diners that eat there are looking for a unique experience from two separate chefs. For CRUX, it would be our downfall. We are represented as one.

The second thing I realized is, “go-time” isn’t just one day. It’s not the hour leading up to service. It’s not the time between courses. For CRUX, it’s all day, everyday. And I don’t think we’d have it any other way.

And finally, here are some pictures in case you missed the dinner. Oh yeah, and another one is coming very, very, soon.
“Number 1 rule in creating art: Do not ever feel comfortable.” -Nicolas Winding Refn
Green tea, fisherman’s friend, tobacco, hay

Chicken skin, watermelon, tarragon, cornbread, "creamed" corn sorbet

Salt and Vinegar chip-fried clam belly, CO2 grape, celery branch, pickled carrot, champagne leather, celeriac

Bone marrow "scallop, caviar, gribiche, grass jam, sourdough

cahete de puerco, salsa de tlaquepaque, sopa de lima, elotes puree, enselada de papa, chorizo

Candied crab, birthday cake, burnt orange glass, fennel puree, old bay frosting

Breakfast for dessert: Buttermilk panna cotta, blueberry-bacon jam, darjeeling milk shake, pancake

Lavender, chocolate, tootsie roll, cherry, salep dondurma

We would also like to thank our donors for their contributions.

Thank you



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5 responses to “Get shit done.

  1. I see a nice dollop of Gale Gand in both of those desserts: the buttermilk panna cotta in the first, and the Tootsie roll in the second.; She’s a tiny lady who casts a BIG shadow in Chicago in the Chicago pastry world.

  2. Funny you should say that, I totally ripped the osmanthus sorbet course, that is not pictured, from her. I just added oyster leaf to it. However, saying buttermilk panna cotta and tootsie rolls are a knock off of Gand is a stretch. Its fucking buttermilk panna cotta and tootsie roll. Its elementary.

  3. It was an awesome dinner. Congrats.

  4. Loved this dinner. I appreciated the thoughtfulness and structure of the courses. The first course really stimulated the palate with the tobacco and camphor(?); someone at the counter said it was similar to how your mouth feels after a good cigar. The tarragon in the chicken skin and watermelon dish seemed to link all the different flavors and textures. I was trying each item separately, but it wasn’t until I combined everything into one bite, with that strong herb on top that I got it; it was like a key turned in my mind and the experience carried through the rest of the meal. I was very glad to see you at my first EL experience too. I appreciated the re-appearance of the corn silk in the corn dish there.
    P.S. can you bottle that blueberry-bacon jam?

  5. dear jeff bar,
    i plan on canning up another batch of the blueberry bacon jam in the near future. it will be sold on my etsy, which i will make brandon spam on here! 🙂

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