Monday night, during the James Beard Foundation Awards, the audience viewed a four-minute, 40-second mockumentary featuring a veritable all-star cast of Chicago's culinary world. Titled "The Chef Whisperer," Second City comedian John Hartman takes us through his journey as Carl Stankowski, a Chicagoan with a special skill in squeezing the most talent out of chefs.
Stankowski is the magic man behind the success of several chefs. He pushed Art Smith toward upscale southern comfort food and told Stephanie Izard to use the entire pig. Grant Achatz also got the idea for Next from Stankowski, to "magically reopen it as something new every few months as if you planned it all along."
Don't miss Rick Bayless's colorful language as he touts his nomination for the "airport award for fine dining between gates H2 and H19." And there's also a plea to reopen a certain hot dog joint.
The film's produced by Illinois Restaurant Association, Choose Chicago, Potenza Productions, The Second City and Kevin Boehm of the Boka Restaurant Group.
Can you spot all the cameos? Let us know in the comments.
The Chef Whisperer from Chicago Gourmet on Vimeo.