Alex Kinderman Winter 2019 Blog

by Alex Kinderman, March 27, 2019

This past quarter has been quite the food journey. As my Culinary Associates at Kendall comes nearing completion I am staging in as many restaurants in Chicago as I can. I have been pushing myself to feel out the restaurant scene here through endless stages and amazing meals. In the past week alone I have staged at Big Star, Nico Osteria, Kitsune, and Blackbird and more to come. Through staging I have learned so much about new cuisines, the Chicago food scene, and ultimately my food goals.

In the past I have felt strongly about only working in restaurants that focus on Mexican cuisine, however, through these experiences I have realized that I might like to jump in unknown waters and invest myself amongst other cuisines. I really felt this in my Kitsune stage where I dove into the world of Japanese cuisine. Other than Americanized sushi, I have never truly had an authentic Japanese dining experience and Kitsune blew me away. I was exposed to ingredients like koji, fermented barley, yuba, uni ice cream, and so many other new ingredients and recipes. What intrigued me most from the menu was a fermented barley ice cream. It turns out when you ferment barley it develops the flavors into that of chocolate and coffee. The ice cream contains not a hint of chocolate or coffee, but it tastes exactly like that! This showed me that fermentation imparts not only new textures but new flavors as well. From a broader perspective this also opened up my eyes to the fact that I still have so much to learn and explore.

Regardless of where I end up for internship, I still know in my heart the end goal is devoted to Mexican Cuisine. Despite this, I can use these diverse cuisines and food experiences to build up my knowledge and apply them to Mexican recipes and techniques I wish to explore.

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