Jared Wentworth just might be the hardest working chef in Chicago, and I have been waiting a long time to have him on The Dinner Party. His Michelin-starred gastropub, Longman & Eagle - the only gastropub to don the honor - often has three hour waits, even on weekdays. To make matters more tricky, Longman & Eagle is based around food paired with whiskey and Wentworth likes to practice what he preaches. Although he was probably joking, he recently told me while we were on the set of Windy City Live that he has been working 18 hours days opening his newest restaurant, Dusek's, and drinking with his team the following four. I sort of believe him.
Dusek's, a restaurant built around the pairings of food with beer, is located in Pilsen. Less than a month old, it has also been known to have waits of several hours. A glutton for punishment, Wentworth now has plans to open a third restaurant in Hyde Park in the not too distant future.
I asked Jared where he gets his stamina. He explained that his time on The Cooking Channel, working incredible hours, doing the same thing for the camera over and over again, take after monotonous take, made him appreciate the excitement and bustle of the kitchen, even on long, grueling days.
Hard work (and a flair for drinking!) isn't Jared's only philosophy. He is very much a chef for the people and believes in keeping haute cuisine afforadable. Many restaurants tout using the best ingredients, Wenthworth's high end meals at Longman & Eagle of things like Lamb Tartare, 15 Minute Quail Egg, Pickled Sea Beans, White Asparagus, Celeraic Remoulade, Micro Celery, Boquerone Olive Oil, and Mustard Foam ($18) would cost double anywhere else. The same goes for the whiskey. The following is taken directly from the Longman & Eagle website: "A philosophy of ours - 'whiskey for your mouth, not for our shelves' - encourages broad tasting options for our favorite spirit, whiskey. We have 148 whiskeys currently available with 38 different ones on offer daily for only $3.00 a shot, obscure and popular labels alike. Try them all!" At $3 a shot, I just might.
Chef Wentworth will be the featured chef on The Dinner Party on October 21st and in true Wentworth fashion he will be making generous portions of his incredible high-end dishes for the entire audience. He will be making Confit Octopus, Shaved Fennel, Back Olive, Grapefruit, and Hydrocress with Chick Pea Vinaigrette Salad for the appetizer and Pork Tenderloin, Pumpkin-Sage Risotto and Compressed Pear Relish in a Chanterelle Pan Sauce for the entree.
It is not just the general public who will delight in Wentworth's dishes. The guests for the October 21st Dinner Party are BEARS General Manager Phil Emery, Singing Diva Lynne Jordan, Louder than a Bomb Co-Founder Kevin Coval and there will be a pre-Dinner Party reception with BEARS tight end Martellus Bennett.
Watch Chef Wentworth below working his magic with Octopus Confit.