A chefs' family tree revisited | Food & Drink Feature | Chicago Reader

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A chefs' family tree revisited

Culinary talent that branched out from Alinea, Blackbird, the Violet Hour, Tru, and more

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Craft cocktails, 2007-

When Blackbird partners Donnie Madia and Terry Alexander opened the Violet Hour with consulting mixologists Toby Maloney and Jason Cott, they ushered in the craft cocktail renaissance in Chicago. Other great barkeeps followed, but the hushed, reverent gloom of TVH was one of the first places where the city was able to drink as well as it ate. An intense training program and an environment that nurtured creativity spawned a vibrant mixology diaspora that has since spread to New York, New Orleans, Louisville, Nashville, and Milwaukee—but more importantly, a number of local oases where they know how to make a cocktail.

Mike Ryan—Sable Kitchen & Bar
The restaurant in River North's Hotel Palomar is as renowned for its seasonal craft cocktails as for Heather Terhune's menu.

Brad BoltBar DeVille
Bolt is behind the expertly crafted cocktails at this Ukrainian Village corner bar from Matt Eisler (Empire Liquors, Angels & Kings).

Stephen Cole—the Barrelhouse Flat
The Violet Hour vet plans to open his own bar in Lincoln Park this fall.

Kyle Davidson—the Publican
Beer cocktails, anyone?

Frog Greishaw—Big Star
Best Michelada in town.

Download the complete chef's tree here.

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