Chef Lenny Russo’s Pioneering Culinary Odyssey


Check out this article about Chef Lenny Russo a Minnesota kitchen pioneer I wrote for Sotheby’s Artful Living.

The Essentials: Spacca Napoli


Jonathan Goldsmith’s pizza makes grown men cry. A few years ago, the owner of Spacca Napoli in Ravenswood got his mozzarella provider to sit down and try one of his Neapolitan pies. Of the experience, the provider wrote: “When I bit into it, it put tears into my eyes and I couldn’t help it. For the first time, food meant something much more to me than just curbing my appetite. In a fraction of a second, the best memories of my Neapolitan life went through my mind.”

You Can Judge a Chef by a Banana


It’s a swelter of a Friday in July, the kind of evening where the heavy air wrings moisture from human pores like water from a dish towel. Inside the cool Alinea dining room, a table of diners scrapes the remnants of tender nuggets of Dungeness crab wrapped in a blanket of sweet pea puree from their plates.

Goodbye Hot Doug!


Friday, Oct. 3: That’ll be the day the lines died. After 13 years serving more than 200 different sausages, including oddities like yak and rattlesnake, Doug Sohn will close Avondale’s internationally famous encased meats emporium, his namesake Hot Doug’s(3324 N. California Ave. 773-279-9550). Residents of the 2800 block of Roscoe Street, which runs alongside the restaurant, likely will breathe a sigh of relief that sausage-seekers will no longer camp out on the sidewalks in front of their houses. Though Sohn himself said he doesn’t know what his next adventure will be, we imagine he’ll catch a couple extra winks this Saturday morning after closing. One thing we know is true is that encased meats enthusiasts everywhere will mourn the passing of a Chicago institution. While we can’t convince Sohn to stave off retirement, we can celebrate the good times. We caught up with Sohn a few days ago to discuss the impressive numbers the business has racked up over the years