Now that restaurants are getting into the dress-up game for Halloween, Real Kitchen in Chicago decided it would go as one of the world's most lauded eateries -- and the results are truly terrifying.
Executive chef Nick Schmuck told HuffPost that Lula Cafe, which has been doing a Halloween "costume" for several years, was an inspiration, but noted, "I've actually been thinking about this for a couple years."
Luckily, Schmuck said Real Kitchen's jack-of-all trades Dustin Puehler is handy with a camera (he runs the production company Ready Freddy Films) and was able to recruit a few friends as actors.
The 32-year-old chef said he dreamed up the Alinea-esque menu by sitting down brainstorming "the most ridiculous thing I could." A former saucier at the famed Charlie Trotter's, Schmuck said the video was more about showing the extreme ends of the spectrum between his take-out cafe's offerings and Alinea's haute cuisine. The two restaurants are "complete opposites," he said.
"[Alinea goes] to a much, much further extreme," Schmuck said. "We're similar in some ways -- we both try to be rigorous with food -- but then you have takeout versus the four-hour sit-down meal, the price point..."
Despite the ribbing, Schmuck said the video is meant to be a send-up, not a slam.
"I wanted to show that when we try to do what they do, we mess it up every time," Schmuck said, adding "I don't want to offend, that certainly wasn't the point."
As far as Alinea's response?
"I got an email from [Alinea owner] Nick Kokonas shortly after the video went up," Schmuck said. "They said they really enjoyed it and thought it was really, really funny."
And while Real Kitchen isn't serving up any actual gourmet chicken explosion as detailed in their video, Schmuck said they are doling out free mini cupcakes to neighborhood children all day long.