In Omnivorous, Mike Sula profiles Ezat Nada, the Egyptian-born proprietor and chef behind Prince Creperie Cafe, the latest occupant of the corner space hard by the Brown Line stop at Damen. On the sign in the window is the motto “All Because Two People Fell in Love.” Nada— who ran a creperie in Paris, where he met his wife, Carmine, a high school language teacher—moved here in June to join her.
Sula also reviews Gyu-Kaku, the Japanese barbecue (aka yakiniku) chain that’s encircled the globe with its brand of Korean barbecue lite, even going so far as to rename versions of kimchi—and charge for it.
In this week’s Key Ingredient chef challenge, Sepia chef Andrew Zimmerman makes the most of lamb fat—the bottommost in his kitchen’s hierarchy of animal fats—offering roasted lamb saddle with lamb sweetbread beignets and roasted lamb fat powder. Next up is Topolobampo chef de cuisine Brian Enyart, challenged with natto, the mucilaginous paste of fermented soybeans beloved by the Japanese. “I thought that with his background in Mexican cooking, working with Rick Bayless for as along as he has, this would be way out of his comfort zone,” Zimmerman said. (Enyart has since announced that he’ll be leaving Topolobampo in April.)
Morsels, our news feature, gives an update on the successful Kickstarter campaign run by Pipeworks Brewing Company, which exceeded its goal of $30,000 by more than $10,000, and reports on a new campaign, this one by Northwestern MFA candidate and chef Eric May, who wants to start E-Dogz, a food truck, or as he prefers to call it, a “mobile culinary community center.”
Sula’s One Bite is on sannakji, baby octopus tentacles served while still writhing, the most dramatic of Korea’s many aphrodisiacs, now available at the Korean superstore HMart in Niles.