The new year is just about upon us. And with another month, comes another local discount partner for Slow Food Chicago members. By becoming a Slow Food member, you are not only showing your support of a good, clean and fair food system - but you are also opening yourself up to being connected with a growing community of those who share your interest in food, the environment and local purveyors who also support this grassroots movement. One of the most tangible ways this sense of connection comes to light, is with the Slow Food Chicago chapter's Year of Slow Food. Recently launched on our website, Year of Slow Food rewards you with a year-round schedule of member discounts available for each of the upcoming 12 months in 2016.
This January, as we enter a new year, members will receive a discount off their total bill at West Town's very own farm to table restaurant, Homestead on the Roof. We had the pleasure of speaking with the restaurant's executive chef, Chris Davies. Read on to learn more about the operation of this rooftop garden restaurant - and to learn what Chef Davies thinks might be kale's successor for trendiest food item of the new year.
What was the idea behind Homestead on the Roof? How did you start?
The idea behind Homestead on the Roof was to bring a unique farm to table experience to the heart of Chicago. The concept is based around our 1,000 square foot garden on the roof and our close relationships with local farmers and artisans.
I started as a Chef de Cuisine in May of 2014. Upon our chefs departure, I slid into his position.
What would you be doing right now on a typical workday?
It could really be anything from prepping for dinner service, menu planning, communicating with various farmers or it could be various office work.
What's the best part about your job? The hardest part?
The best part about my job is definitely teaching and training the staff, watching them grow and surpassing even their own expectations.
The hardest part of the job is the multitasking aspect of the job.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for Chicago's food systems to overcome?
I feel the biggest obstacle still relies in educating and empowering the citizens who might not have the resources to always obtain healthy and nutrient rich food.
How does Homestead on the Roof's work relate to the Slow Food objectives (good, clean, fair food)?
I have always been a big believer in purchasing locally and supporting local charitable endeavors and farms.
What do you think is in store for 2016's trendiest food item - kale's successor?
Seaweed or sunchokes.
Why Chicago? If not Chicago, where?
I moved here with my wife in 2009 (she is from the south suburbs). If I wasn't in Chicago, I would probably be living in a smaller city such as Portland (where I am from) or Louisville.
Second favorite Chicago food related social media account to follow? (Can't be first, because of course, SFC is your first favorite.)