Greetings dear readers! We have a very special post indeed for you today. Recently, Bunny, who was preparing for a journey to visit the Yoshinogari excavation site in Japan, had just enough time to stop over in Chicago for a little sit down chat with world famous chef and Chicago treasure, Takashi Yagihashi.
Bunny met with Chef Takashi on a lovely Saturday afternoon before he did a cooking demo at Macy's on State Street as part of their Pacific Asian Heritage Month celebrations. Firstly, Bunny gushed over the brunch she and Brandy once shared at Chef Takashi's flagship restaurant in Bucktown. Interestingly, the Chef told Bunny that his signature Sunday Noodle Lunch was first conceived by one of his servers. "We noticed diner service on Sundays was slowing down a bit," Takashi explained, "So to make up for it, we decided to start doing a sort of brunch. But there are also a lot of other really good restaurants in the Bucktown area doing really good brunches, and I didn't want to do it unless I had something different to offer. One of my servers suggested we do the big bowls of ramen and the noodles, because I loved them so much. So we started doing that and it turned out really good. I think people like it." The chef flashed Bunny a smile that made her dainty heart flutter a bit.
Next, Bunny asked Chef Takashi what he liked to eat for breakfast. He described an occasion when he and his family were staying in a very nice hotel in Japan and had ordered a room service breakfast. The family were presented with a tray laden down with bowls: bowls with rice, bowls with smoked salmon, bowls of pickled vegetables and dried seaweed, pickled prawns, miso soup, and many other condiments. Chef Takashi described his children's reaction to this bounty as being one of surprise. "They didn't know where to start," he laughed.
Chef Takashi also gave Bunny the inside scoop on his newest venture, Slurping Turtle, a sort of Japanese styled gastro-pub/tapas bar, designed to sucker in hungry Downtown workers who want a little something before they go home for dinner. He mentioned a bevy of small plates like sashimi, dumplings, and other cold appetizers, along with delectable sounding desserts like macaroons and cream puffs with Japanese flavors like green tea, red bean, and raspberry wasabi.
After their little chat, Bunny had the privilege to sit in on a cooking demo that Chef Takashi did for an eager crowd at Macy's. As a member of Macy's Culinary Council, along with other famed chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, Cat Cora, and Chicago's own Rick Bayless among others, Chef Takashi has contributed not only to the brilliant Seven on State food court, but also to a holiday themed cook book sold exclusively at Macy's. The dishes he prepared that day included a Grilled Salmon and Cold Noodle Salad, Japanese style Fried Chicken with Spicy Asian Slaw, and a ramen dish with Seafood and Crispy Noodles (some of these recipes can be found in Chef Takashi's own cookbook, Noodles). She promised us that every one of these dishes was simply marvelous.
And so, Bunny set off on yet another one of her adventures into a far away land, but this time with a very helpful culinary heads up from the wonderful, humble, funny, and quite handsome Chef Takashi.
Where to enjoy Chef Takashi's Food:
Seven on State- Macy's on State Street
Slurping Turtle- the Loop
*The writers of this blog have been compensated by Everywhere Society for the information contained in this post, but the opinions stated were not influenced.