I had to go on a very quick trip to Chicago this weekend for work—gone Friday, back Saturday night—and walking around my old haunts made me remember how much I love the Windy City. New York may have all the glitz and glamour of a big town, (along with some serious culinary greats), but Chicago is a beautiful place that stands out on its on. I was in town to interview the fabulously interesting Martin Kastner, the creative genius behind Crucial Detail and many of the artful, thought-provoking service ware, design elements, and boundary-pushing elements of Alinea and Next. It may have been in-and-out trip, but it was so cool to see Krastner’s studio and work in action.
Although I barely had a chance to unpack my bags before I was heading back to the airport, I did get to run along the lakefront (one of my favorite areas in Chicago), catch dinner and drinks at Balsan in the newly minted Waldorf Astoria, and hang out with the fun, and very proud, crew of Balena for staff meal. It’s always great to be back in Chicago, even if it’s only a short but sweet trip, and it was particularly nice this time around. Be on the look out for my Martin Krastner profile and Balena staff meal feature in the coming weeks on StarChefs.com.