10 Questions with Jeremy Kiens
Chef de Cuisine, Tallulah
539 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625
Chef Tony Graves has created a seasonal menu, well versed contemporary and world cuisine, that is complimented by Tallulah’s elegant and modern interior. Simple, stylish, and full of dynamic flavors, Tallulah is an excellent dining adventure. Chef Jeremy Kiens rocks the kitchen. I highly recommend popping in and getting your eat on.
Thanks for agreeing to be a part of the Lush Wine & Spirits blog. Please answer the following questions in whatever way you see fit. We want your voice, personality, and opinions to come through!
1) What is the best thing you’ve drank in the last week? What about in the last year?
the best thing i drank this past week is the prisoner which i’m enjoying right now as i type this, this last year would have to be the bottle of dom ruinart champagne i bought for my wife to celebrate valentine’s day.
2) What do you think is the most underrated grape varietal or region? Overrated?
underrated grape would be pinot gris and especially those in the alsace, overrated white burgundy from where else but burgundy. (I’m not into chardonnay period, but i prefer new world than those found from burgundy, i think it’s the style)
3) Who are your favorite food and wine writers?
favorite food writer is the late james beard, as he got me really curious about food and made me delve deeper into the kingdom of cookbooks…which are threatening to take over a room in our house in the not too distant future.
4) What are your three favorite food cities?
my favorite food cities are new orleans (acme oyster house you have to go and get a po boy from these guys and a couple dozen of those gulf oysters shucked for you right at the bar); seattle (pike place market has some of the finest seafood as well as produce I’ve seen anywhere and then head to salumi and load up on mortadella and any other sausage that mario batali’s father has made recently) and, last but not least; here in chicago, quite a diverse place has something for everyone you just can’t go wrong.
5) Top three restaurants you revisit all the time in Chicago?
my favorite three restaurants that i revisit, besides the one i work in, would be hot doug’s…an institution in my opinion for anyone who loves encased meats and its byob! go for the thuringer and whatever game special he is doing and if you happen to go on a friday duck fat fries all the way. Thai Classic… my wife loves pad thai and they’ve got to have the best…and i got to have the chopped beef noodles extra spicy; ask for chilita she’s a riot act keeps us coming back. last would be asian avenue although honestly we have only been there once and hooked on to-go ever since the sumo roll is absolute heaven and a must have.
6) What is your most memorable dining or drinking experience?
my most memorable dining experience was actually a service at pacific’s edge in Carmel california for the masters of food and wine six or seven yaers ago where i got to meet and work with jacques pepin and traci des jardienes to name a few, at the end of the night i found myself eating a foie gras and alba truffle sandwich that to this day is probable the most expensive piece of food i’ve ever gorged on.
7) Between wine, beer, and spirits – when do you reach for each? If you HAD to do without one, which would it be?
out of the three i could live without spirits very easily, i can’t live without wine, i have a crux, i guess you would call it. beer is for the end of service at the restaurant nothing beats a cold beer going down the hatch after cooking for a hundred people.
8) What is the best thing about your job?
the best thing about my job is that i feel very passionate about what i do, i love to be creative and to see people smile when they are finished dining at tallulah, it makes every moment worth it.
9) If you had to describe yourself as a certain wine, what would it be? (i.e. Australian Shiraz – spicy, bold, and seductive. German Riesling – sometimes sweet (but hard to predict if it will be), elegant, and requiring of patience.)
if i were a wine i would be Zinfandel- all american, juicy and jammy full of flavor just like me
10) You’re on death row (sorry). What’s your final meal?
putting me on death row are you well i’d have to say my meal would be prepared by grandmother making her turkey ravioli’s(leftovers from thanksgiving, you can only get them once a year) my mom’s homemade sourdough bread to sop up the sauce and my other grandmothers apple sour cream pie. i would have wine all the way lucien albrecht cuvee cevill pinot gris, the prisoner its good and very smooth(lush better not run out) and inniskillin cabernet franc ice wine to finish me off.