The Chicago Tribune has a very compelling long profile of Chicago chef Curtis Duffy, who recently opened his restaurant, Grace. Duffy worked previously at Charlie Trotter's and Alinea and also earned two Michelin stars as the chef at Avenues.
He also had a childhood marked by loneliness, turmoil, and murder; quite a hefty bit to overcome. The article moves quickly and tells an interesting story with the perfect blend of honesty, sympathy, thoughtful analysis, and, of course, exquisite food. My palate and relationship with food has been strange the past couple of years, but reading about how Curtis prepping the menu for his restaurant's opening made me recall, with fondness and gratitude, some of the finer meals I've had.
Curtis’ cooking was the sort of intricately plated food to be consumed in six bites or fewer — just enough before the palate, mentally, becomes numb to the same flavor. “You want diners to say, ‘I wish I had one more piece of Wagyu beef, one more piece of salmon,” Curtis said. “You want them to not have just enough of a dish; you want them to crave for one more bite.”