Lots of great pieces in the Chicago Reader's recently released yearly food issue—a guide to subscription farms for those who want to eat local, where to shop for ethnic groceries to diversify your larder, and the requisite Top 50 Restaurants as chosen by their readers—but the best by far is Nicholas Day's cover story on chef Michael Altenburg, whose soon-to-open pizzeria Crust will be Chicago's first ever certified organic restaurant and only the fourth in all of the US.
Why so few? "Before a restaurant can flash the USDA organic seal, an inspector has to check the provenance of every ingredient in every recipe, which means chefs can’t be nearly as flexible. "Let’s say you’re Bill the Tomato Grower and today you just did a bumper crop,” Altenberg says. "For me to create a special pizza, I have to go through the whole process of resubmitting a recipe." That could take up to a week. "It’s not going to prevent me from being seasonal. What I’m going to have to do is think ahead."
All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.