The hot seat
The city's best chefs dish on must-haves of the moment.
Ingredient I have had a thing for dorade for some time now. I love its rich, deep, fresh ocean flavor. I could eat it every day. I offer it at The Gage with oxtails, pesto and toast.
Kitchen gadget My gadget isn’t new and can’t be found in a laboratory—it’s a sausage stuffer. I love making sausage. I’m in the process of making elk and basil sausage for the restaurant right now.
Restaurant Coco Pazzo (300 W Hubbard St, 312-836-0900). Tony Priolo treats his cuisine with supreme respect and it shows. His gnocchi has to be the best in the city, possibly in the country. They’re so light, you’d think he made them from butterfly wings. He does another dish I always have when we eat there: wood-fired mushrooms with treviso and housemade pancetta…awesome.
Inspirational place My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Italy, traveling from Tufillo in Abruzzo (where her family is from) down Amalfi, through Naples to Lucrino. The cavatelli in Tufillo was amazing (they have an annual Sacred Feast of the Cavatelli). Late, late one evening we happened into a screened-in dining room steps from the Gulf of Pozzuoli and were served the risotto of a lifetime.
Music to cook to Anything from Queens of the Stone Age, Nebula, FuManchu or Kyuss always puts me in the right mood for the kitchen. As of late, Tool’s 10,000 Days is also in rotation.
24 S Michigan Ave between Monroe and Madison Sts (312-372-4243).