Beard Award-winning chef Bruce Sherman to leave North Pond after 20 years
Acclaimed chef and partner Bruce Sherman announced Thursday that he will leave the kitchen at his Lincoln Park restaurant North Pond after 20 years, representatives wrote in a news release. Initially a casual park cafe, the restaurant blossomed under Sherman’s guidance and went on to earn many local and national accolades from Michelin, the James Beard Foundation, and more. Sherman told Chicago magazine that he’s not sure what’s next for him, but he does know that the restaurant will be in good hands — longtime chef de cuisine Tim Vidrio will take over as culinary lead. Sherman will remain a partner in the business, which will close for a few days in the spring to install a “dramatic” skylight and update decor.
Chicago-area wine and spirits managing director charged with sexual assault
A suburban Barrington man and employee of a Niles-based wine and spirits distributor was charged with aggravated sexual assault Monday. Jason Griffin, Heritage Wine Cellars Ltd.’s managing director, spirits division, was ordered held on $30,000 bail for allegedly sexually assaulting a sleeping houseguest in April, the Daily Herald reported. “At Heritage, we place the utmost importance on mutual respect, workplace safety, professionalism and exceptional ethics. We take any allegation of this nature very seriously,” executive vice president Jim Oliver wrote in an email. “Consistent with our company policy of not discussing confidential personnel matters, we will not be commenting further on these allegations.”
Stephanie Izard’s Duck Duck Goat will stay closed through November
Top Chef champ Stephanie Izard’s lauded Chinese American restaurant Duck Duck Goat will remain closed until the end of November, according to a sign on the restaurant door, after a “contained fire” temporarily shuttered the restaurant early this month. Initially, ownership estimated that the restaurant would reopen in about a week. Fire damage can sometimes turn out to be more serious than anticipated, as was the case with fellow Boka Restaurant Group spot Balena in Lincoln Park — the group announced last month that the Italian restaurant will not reopen after extensive fire damage closed it in 2017.
Portillo’s employees rally for $15 minimum wage, affordable health insurance, and more
Portillo’s employees gathered yesterday at the mega-popular local chain’s River North restaurant to rally for a $15 minimum wage in all 43 Illinois locations, Crain’s reported. They also called for wage increases for employees who have spent years with the chain — Portillo’s workers tend to stay with the company longer than most fast food employees, according to Crain’s, and some who showed up yesterday have worked there for more than a decade. Rally participants tried to submit a petition, which also calls for five sick days per year, affordable health insurance, and increased vacation days, with more than 650 signatures to management, but were rebuffed and asked to leave. The Chicago dog and Italian beef behemoth wrote in a statement that the ralliers were not representative of its 6,000 employees.
Latinx-owned brewery to relaunch anti-Trump beer at a fundraiser tomorrow
South Side brewery 5 Rabbit Cerveceria will throw a “fiesta de protesta” tomorrow to celebrate its re-brewed, repackaged, and re-released “Chinga Tu Pelo,” a blonde ale previously brewed exclusively for the bar in Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower, representatives wrote in a news release. Ownership severed ties with Trump in the wake of the then-candidate’s racist comments directed at Latinos in the run-up to the 2016 election. Saturday’s event at 6398 W. 74th Street will highlight two immigrant rights organizations, PASO (Proyecto de Action de los Suburbios del Oeste) and Inlakesh Chicago, and a portion of “Chinga tu Pelo” beer sales will go to the groups.
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We are getting ready for the Chinga Tu Pelo fiesta de protesta this Saturday at 2pm. Beer will be on draft all day long. Wear your CTP tee and your 1st beer is on us! Out of the 300 cases we packaged we still have 50 available for purchase. We will leave 25 online and 25 cases will be available the day of. #chingatupelo
Seven lauded chefs to raise funds for mental health at a dinner next month
A gaggle of lauded chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants will gather next month at Loop fine dining restaurant Steadfast to serve a seven-course charity dinner where all proceeds will go to mental health support nonprofit NoStigmas. Steadfast chefs Jeremy Leven and Chris Teixeira will cook beside Ryan McCaskey of Acadia, Brian Fisher and Jared Bacheller of Entente, Jonathan Zaragoza of Birrieria Zaragoza, and Larry Feldmeier of the Albert on December 11. The $120 tickets, available online, include a cocktail hour with appetizers, the seven-course dinner, and drink pairings.
Time deems a Chicago-based vending company one of 2019’s best inventions
And finally, Time magazine named Chicago-based health food vending company Farmer’s Fridge one of the best inventions of 2019. “Gone are the chips and candies you might have bought in a hunger-fueled frenzy,” according to writer Mahita Gajanan. “Instead, the machines distribute salads, wraps, sandwiches and more — all made from scratch in a kitchen in Chicago and shipped or delivered to the machines daily...” Staff evaluated contenders, assembled through nominations and online applications, based on influence, ambition, originality, and effectiveness.