JANUARY 2017 – At Cindy’s, the Chicago Athletic Association hotel’s spacious beautiful rooftop escape with some of the most gorgeous views of Millennium Park, Lake Michigan, Maggie Daley Park and the Museum Campus, you may be drawn in by the vista, but you definitely stay for the food and drinks.
The Cindy’s kitchen team, headed by executive chef Christian Ragano and chef de cuisine Keith Potter, gets to create seasonally changing menus that highlight ingredients they find through a variety of local farmers and purveyors. We’re profiling the ingredients chefs are excited to share with you this winter, like fresh blue ginger.
Chef Keith is a big fan of Kilgus Dairy, which has used pasture-raised Jersey cows to produce its incredibly rich and flavorful, non-homogenized milk and cream since the 1950s at its Fairbury, Ill., farm. Cindy’s also buys eggs, goat and pork from the Kilgus family, but this month, it’s all about the milk. Why? According to Kilgus, milk coming from pasture-raised cows offers more flavors as well as healthy benefits like vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene. But let’s get real: Chef Keith uses it for all the rich flavor!
“We use the Kilgus cream in our chowder sauce for the lunch whitefish and the dinner walleye pike set,” he said. “It’s reduced by half and then cooked out with wine, potato, onion, leek, bacon and clams. The end result is silky smooth and tastes like the best New England Clam Chowder ever. We also use their cream and milk in our grits, which makes them much more rich and delicious. Also of note, for our coffee service the addition of Kilgus Dairy has changed the game.”
Pop up to Cindy’s to try these ingredients and keep checking back here to see what the kitchen staff is excited to work with each month.