Foodography: Stephanie Izard, Alex Seidel and Lon Symensma hosted one of the best dinners of the year last night at ChoLon
Last night, while tottering drunkards, some strapped with clinking beer can necklaces, stumbled by the floor-to-ceiling windows of ChoLon, Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard, who resides in Chicago, Fruition exec chef-owner Alex Seidel and Lon Symensma, the owner-chef of ChoLon, were in Symensma's kitchen, safely secure from the ensuing debauchery outside.
Lori Midson Lon Symensma, Stephanie Izard and Alex Seidel
Inside, the three chefs were holding their own mini beer festival, turning out course after course of some of the best food I've had this year, all paired with craft beers, one of which was a honey porter that Izard, along with Goose Island Goose brewmaster Jared Rouben, created specifically for last night's feast, which also benefited from the mixology talents of Brian Melton, who started the bash off with a duo of lovely beer cocktails.
Izard, who was here as part of a book tour -- she just released her Girl in the Kitchen cookbook, a compilation of recipes from her Chicago restaurant -- proved why she won Top Chef -- and Symensma and Seidel proved that, given the opportunity, they'd be formidable competitors.
Herewith, the foodography from the dinner.
My favorite dish of the night -- and one of my favorite dishes this year -- was Symensma's stunning "garden" salad, a forest of watermelon radishes, multi-hued melon balls and sugar snap peas arranged on a plate paved with an apricot dressing jolted with hot Chinese mustard powder.