Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune
In a city that's dominated by great food and beverages, sometimes it's hard to choose your next date-night destination.But if you’re looking for food from someone who’s making a splash in the kitchen and on the screen, Chicago’s home to a number of celebrity chefs.
Izard is best known for being the first woman to win Bravo’s “Top Chef” competition. She opened Girl & the Goat in West Loop in 2010, two years after being named the Season 4 winner. Girl & the Goat—which is easily one of Chicago’s best known restaurants—was nominated “Best New Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation in 2011, and in 2013, Izard won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Great Lakes.”
Neighborhood: Little Italy
Restaurant(s): Executive chef/owner of Girl & the Goat, Little Goat Diner and Duck Duck Goat
As seen on: “Top Chef," "Iron Chef Gauntlet"
Must try item: Wood oven roasted pig face ($19), with a sunny side egg, tamarind, cilantro, red wine-maple and potato stix at Girl & the Goat.
When you hear “Frontera,” it’s likely an image of Rick Bayless comes to mind. With a focus on serving up authentic Mexican cuisine, Bayless opened two wildly popular, award-winning restaurants in Chicago within just a few years of each other—Frontera Grill in 1987 and four-star Toplobampo in 1989. He was crowned winner in the first season of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” in 2009, hosts the PBS series “Mexico: One Plate at a Time,” has published eight cookbooks and has received multiple James Beard Award nominations during his powerhouse culinary career thus far.
Restaurant(s): Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, XOCO, Lena Brava, Cruz Blanca and Fonda Frontera
As seen on: “Top Chef Masters,” “Mexico: One Plate at a Time” series on PBS
Must try item: Shrimp with macha mojo ($28), wood-grilled fresh Gulf shrimp, salsa macha and mojo de ajo, lobster stock, red-chile rice and sunflower shoots at Frontera Grill