In Key Ingredient Pops for Champagne chef Luke Creagan takes on bamboo worms, which he ordered from a Pennsylvania bait shop—they came in cans labeled “Not for human consumption.” Fried, they’re a common street food in Thailand, and Creagan too decided to go that route, frying them with french fries and cheese curds to make poutine. He’s not putting the dish on the menu, but he says that “If someone comes in and asks, I’ve got cans of them, and if you’re crazy, I’ll fry some up for you.” Next up is Dirk Flanigan of Henri and the Gage, working with sugarcane.
Mike Sula reviews Masa Azul, the upscale new southwestern restaurant in Logan Square. There are highlights on the menu like shrimp and chorizo in puff pastry drizzled with lime beurre blanc, and the corn bread is outstanding, but overall he finds that the food takes a backseat to the impressive collection of tequilas and mezcals—more than 80 of them—engagingly evangelized by partner Jason Lerner.
In our biweekly Cocktail Challenge Sterling Field, a mixologist at Sable Kitchen & Bar, made a cane syrup with his ingredient, nutritional yeast, and used it in the Hippie in Gucci Sweatpants, a cocktail with mezcal, organic lemon juice, and Michigan-made J.K’s Scrumpy Farmhouse Organic hard cider. Next up is Clint Rogers, also of Henri, challenged with fenugreek.