Trevor Teich has gone from cooking in some of Chicago's best kitchens to hosting micro-focused pop-up events showcasing his refined style and personal take on modern French cooking. Teich, a Chicago-area native and veteran of L2O (he interned under opening chef Laurent Gras), NoMI Kitchen and Acadia, bounced the Claudia (named after his mother) dinners from place to place (one was held at Ampersand, the pop-up area inside Element Collective's Kinmont) before settling on its current home at Kitchen Chicago, a shared-use space on the near West side.
Teich describes Claudia, a monthly, 9-10 course BYOB dinner (keep in mind the $15 corkage fee), as a "small, intimate experience." May's event will be held there this coming Sunday (the 5:30 seating is sold out, but tickets remain for the 9:00 p.m.) and the evening of June 21 is already on sale. Claudia seats up to 16 guests (two communal tables of eight) for $135 per person (tip not included).
An interesting note is Teich's pastry collaborator, James Beard award-winner Michael Laiskonis (L2O, NYC's Le Bernardin). He reached out to Laiskonis via social media, sending him a promo video and past menus, receiving acceptance to his offer to collaborate via phone and e-mail. Teich hopes to be able to fly him out once "we get rolling."
Could Teich turn Claudia into a full-fledged fine restaurant like other pop-ups have, such as Michelin-starred 42 Grams and Elizabeth? Moving to a brick-and-mortar location is on Teich's mind, but not a big focus right now. "The idea is to get a following and get people interested, because I think it's important to get feedback before you go all of the way in." But he imagines that a space would "be small, probably 30 seats tops, maybe not event that."