Anne Ford profiles Ehsan Ganji, an Iranian immigrant who found his calling as an artisanal bread baker, putting in stints at big-name bread places such as New York's Sullivan Street Bakery, whose owner, Jim Lahey, is best known for the no-knead bread popularized by New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman. The original recipe calls for a fermentation time of 12 to 18 hours, making it far too time-consuming for most commercial bakeries (though Sullivan Street produces it). But Ganji—now at Flourish Bakery Cafe in Edgewater—has added it to his roster of kneaded breads, which include French baguettes, sourdough, rye, multigrain, bacon-cheddar, and jalapeño-cheddar. You can even get it delivered.
In What's New Mike Sula reviews La Taberna Tapas on Halsted, where chefs Gustavo Castañeda and Enrique Cortez are nailing Spanish classics such as paella as well as tweaking tradition in dishes like a tortilla espagñola dressed with chipotle aioli. They’re also doing something special in serving a couple sidras—Spanish hard ciders—among the sparklers.
This week's Key Ingredient chef challenge features Jared Van Camp of Old Town Social, who used red bean paste—commonly found in Asian buns and desserts—to cure bacon, which he then served with soft-boiled eggs, shiitakes, and kimchi puree. Next up is Cary Taylor of the Southern (and the new Southern Mac & Cheese Truck), who'll be cooking with fish eyeballs.
Morsels reports on the opening of Ing, Moto chef-inventor Homaro Cantu's new restaurant in the former Otom space on Fulton Market. Executive chef Thomas Bowman’s contemporary Asian menu is divided into categories like Heating, Melting, and Boiling and features noodles hand-pulled at a designated station and ten nanobrews dreamed up by the staff, currently including a porter brewed with doughnuts and coffee and a pretzel-and-mustard-infused beer.
In the listings are 14 more new restaurants, among them River North's Public House, Streeterville's DiSotto Enoteca, and Lakeview's Abiquiu Cafe, which specializes in New Mexican-style dishes smothered with house-made red or green chile sauces.