Many Chicagoans know Glenn Fahlstrom from his seafood restaurants. He currently runs Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market in Lakeview and founded Glenn’s Diner in Ravenswood prior to his 2013 departure. Before the culinary life, the chef earned a degree in acting and directing from DePaul University’s Goodman School of Drama. He’s putting his education to use through June 9 as a consultant in the Shattered Globe Theatre’s production of How To Use a Knife. The play features a chef battling alcoholism who finds himself working at a New York restaurant owned by one of his mentees.
Fahlstrom was brought in to ensure authenticity, he taught them how a real kitchen staff moves. He also showed them how to correctly clean a flattop. The play’s set includes an actual kitchen with real appliances. Fahlstrom invited members of the cast to his restaurant located across the street from the theatre and held a kitchen class. Of course, Fahlstrom showed actors how to properly hold a knife. He only went over basic knife skills using a 10-inch French knife. They didn’t get to learn how to filet or descale a fish; that would take too much time.
“We only dealt with situations in the show,” chef said.
While they only chopped carrots and onions during the play, that doesn’t mean Fahlstrom didn’t teach the cast about knife safety. He said it’s been at least 20 years since he had a serious knife accident. He remembers slicing his index finger with a prime rib knife.
Fahlstrom heaped praised upont the Shattered Globe, a Chicago fixture for 27 years. Though he won’t appear in the play, he’s ready if director Sandy Shinner needs him.
“I would love to, but I’m a little too old for the part,” Fahlstrom said.
How to Hold a Knife runs through June 9. Get tickets at the link.