Adam Seger

Adam Seger is the Charlie Trotter of cocktails. Actually, Trotter doesn’t serve spirits in his Lincoln Park restaurant, so it might be more appropriate to call Seger the Grant Achatz of spirits. The important thing is that Seger, also the general manager and sommelier at the Nuevo Latino restaurant Nacional 27 in Chicago, is blurring the distinction between the bar and the kitchen. He’s leading a wave of mixology that focuses on creating balanced cocktails from farm fresh locally sourced produce, with homemade liquors, aromatic infusions and spiced drink rims. As Seger puts it, “I think about food and how I can translate that to a liquid form.” A lot of this philosophy comes from Seger’s time working with Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand at Tru and Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. Seger was even hired as the pre-opening GM of Keller’s new york outpost Per Se. For this podcast, Adam and I met at Chicago’s Green City Market so I could see how he constructed his weekly market based cocktail list.   Advertisements


Still Smoking

This article first appeared in Newcity Chicago Chicken Boti at Khan BBQ Khan BBQ was a smoky dingy cabbie joint, with cracked ceramic tile, red plastic bench seating bolted to the floor ala Kentucky Fried Chicken circa 1985, and no air conditioning. On a swampy summer day, with the clay tandoor ovens at full charcoal flame, the solitary rickety general-issue floor fan blew more hot air than a Chicago alderman and offered little relief. A year ago, when I first entered the restaurant, an old man with a prodigious white beard took one look, calculated me as a Devon Street day-tripper, nodded towards Hema’s Kitchen across the street, and said “our food is very spicy.”

Sommelier Says: Beer Pairings

The complexity of beer is underrated. There are almost an infinite combination of malted barleys, herbal hops, and brewer’s yeasts that can be combined to yield uniquely crafted beers.

Browne’s Ale – The Craftsman of Libertyville

Libertyville is a beer-geek mecca. Aficionados from California, and occasionally Europe, belly up to Mickey Finn’s, a brewpub nestled between a collection of turn-of-the-century Georgian painted ladies with ornate hand-carved wooden crowned roofs. They come to this North Shore community, forty miles outside of Chicago, to taste the biscuity carmel-flavored Maibocks and the banana-perfumed Hefeweizen’s, the signature craft-brewed beers of Greg Browne.

Beyond the Gut Bomb (Loop Lunch Alternatives)

Spa Cafe’s Steak Quesanini This article first appeared in the Chicago Journal The modern workday is a Sisyphean collection of personal trials. It starts out with you walking bleary-eyed across the rust-colored iron trusses of the Chicago River bridges, or sweltering in overpacked el cars dodging errant briefcases. Then there’s the descent into the cubicle, the modern sensory deprivation chamber, a fabric box of Post-it Notes and push pins. This is where you spend your first work hour, checking whether the Cubs finally won a game, flipping through the digital New York Times, or reading the latest blog rant in a state of paranoia reserved for citizens of socialist dictatorial regimes. It’s only a matter of moments before your boss arrives with ridiculous demands.

The Mirth of Khan

Khan BBQ was a smoky dingy cabbie joint, with cracked ceramic tile, red plastic bench seating bolted to the floor ala Kentucky Fried Chicken circa 1985, and no air conditioning. 

A Market for All Seasons

Metro Population of Montreal – 3,635,700 Metro Population of Chicago – 9,391,515 Almost three times as many people are breathing in Chicagoland as are in metropolitan Montreal, and yet Montreal has almost four times as many major public markets? I arrive at this math by considering Chicago’s Green City Market as half a market, since it only operates during the summer, and part of the Fall at the Lincoln Park Zoo, while the Atwater and Jean Talon Markets in Montreal operate year round in permanent facilities.