Compliments of the Chef with Sarah Grueneberg

Compliments of the Chef with Sarah Grueneberg

This week, Chefs Feed met up with renowned chef Grueneberg at her restaurant, Spiaggia, in Near North Side.

December 6, 2013
CF: I'm best known for my _______ cooking but I can make one hell of a _______. 
SG: Italian-style; Vietnamese spring roll 

CF: Three words your sous chef would use to describe you. 
SG: Strict, loving, and creative. 

CF: What are you most excited about right now in your restaurant? 
SG: I'm most excited about our pasta tasting menu here at Spiaggia. It's a rotating six-course menu that focuses on pasta, and at $95 per person, it's one of our most accessible menus to date. So far we've offered a menu on filled pastas and then on reimagined Italian-American classics, which was Spiaggia's take on dishes like fettuccine Alfredo and pasta primavera. Right now we're focusing on coastal seafood pastas, which highlight seafood from around Italy's coastlines. Our last menu will run from October to December and it will feature edible earth components. We'll showcase pastas with Mieli Thun mono floral honeys and their corresponding edible flowers, grains, nuts, and more. 

CF: Which chef would you drop everything to stage with? 
SG: Chef Koji Sawada at his restaurant with just six seats, Sushi Sawada, in Tokyo. The meal I had there was out of control. 

CF: Insider tip from the kitchen for diners. 
SG: Let loose. Try not to order the same thing every time. 

CF: Message to professional food critics. 
SG: I enjoy funny, witty reviews, but sometimes I come across reviews that just aren't that nice. Try not to be vindictive or nasty and just stick to stating the facts and your opinion. I also think it's important to realize and take into account that there are two types of restaurants: the one for the weekday and the one for the weekend, both of which are very different. Make sure you're not just judging on one alone. 

CF: One piece of advice for aspiring young chefs. 
SG: Don't be cocky. Be genuine and care about what you are doing; chef will recognize that. 

CF: Is there anything you don't like? 
SG: There really isn't that much I don't like except for cod sperm. 

CF: Thick or thin patty? 
SG: Everyone likes a medium-rare burger, but I don't. I prefer it medium because I like it to have bite and not be so soft. No matter which temperature you choose, you've got to go with either two thin patties or one thick. 

CF: What's for family meal tonight? 
SG: Braised pork and avocado tortas.