The hot seat
Chefs Rob and Allison Levitt of Mado
Ingredient Pork. I [Rob] am constantly learning about butchering and how to use the whole animal. Every week we get a whole pig in, and we’ve made everything from testa to trotters to my latest obsession, porchetta. We remove the loin and belly from the pig in one piece, spread a puree of fennel, garlic and rosemary all over the belly, then wrap the belly around the loin, tie it up and roast it on the rotisserie.
Kitchen gadget We’ve been having a lot of fun with our pizzelle press making classic anise pizzelle to serve with our rhubarb dessert.
Restaurant Sundays we close at 9pm, so just after the last entrée goes out, we break our necks to clean the kitchen so we can get to Kuma’s Corner (2900 W Belmont Ave, 773-604-8769) for their burgers. [Rob gets the Kuma burger with egg; Allison gets the Kaijo with blue cheese, bacon and fried onions.] We actually go so much we call the manager from the car to let him know we’re on our way to make sure the kitchen isn’t closed when we get there.
Inspiration We spend a lot of evenings at bookstores, flipping through books to find ideas or techniques, then talk about how we can incorporate them into what we do. Sometimes the most unlikely source not only leads to a new idea but really stimulating conversation.
Music to cook to There’s nothing more calming on a busy night than Neko Case. Her band New Pornographers is one of our favorites, too.
1647 N Milwaukee Ave between Concord Pl and Caton St (773-342-2340)