2011 Chicago Rising Star Chef Dirk Flanigan of Henri and The Gage – Chicago, IL
Not so sure it’s the best, but the staff enjoys when I make Yet Ca Mein with Hard Boiled Eggs, Roasted Pork Belly, Scallions, and Togarashi. They also like when I make Fish Curry.
The Gage had just opened and we were corralling a turkey dinner with peas, skin-on mashed potatoes, and fresh rolls with butter. Everything is going as planned and everyone has a different task, so the job will be completed and the 30 FOH [front of the house] and 20 BOH [back of the house] can eat. I asked one of the new cooks to get some chicken stock onto the sliced, freshly roasted turkey, cover it with foil, and put it into the oven for a few minutes for heating. Food comes up and everyone is like, “Man, the turkey is sweet.” Everyone seems very happy, but then I keep hearing sweet so much that I’m like what the hell is going on. I taste the turkey, and man was it sweet! I ask the cook, “Hey man, please show me the chicken stock you used for the turkey.” We walk into the walk-in, and the ladle is still in it. I say, ”Oh you left your ladle in it. Well you should have read the blue tape that SAYS SIMPLE SYRUP!” So yes the turkey was sweet! And for the rest of the cook’s short tenure at The Gage, he was referred no longer by his name but by “Simple Syrup.” You could imagine: ”Hey Simple Syrup, fire two risotto, four scotch eggs. Simple Syrup, how long on two F and C? Add a poutine to that pick up.”