Dinner with Top Chef Stephanie Izard

seared foie gras served over smoked duck wontons
with a smoked duck broth

Stephanie making smoked duck wontons in Kristy’s kitchen.

seared foie gras served over smoked duck wontons 
with a smoked duck broth
smoked goat with potato gnocchi 
summer squash and salsa verde
seared miso marinated lamb 
with market potatoes and blackberry gastrique
grilled bison strip steak 
with smokey blue and sweet onion panzanella
frozen nougat with peach and tomato coulis

Kristy’s Summery Table

How This Amazing Evening Came About…

You may remember me writing about the over-the-top birthday present from my brother, Don, and sister-in-law, Kristy, last year, Guest-Chef-For-The-Day in Charlie Trotter’s kitchen? So this year, my generous little brother, always outdoing himself, bid on having Top Chef Stephanie Izard come to their home to cook dinner for six people for my birthday present. It would be the three of us plus three guests of my choice. The silent auction benefits my nephew’s school, North Park Elementary School. The gift also included a Top Chef chef’s coat and cookbook. How cool is that? Thank you, love you!

That morning Stephanie and her Sous Chef Dave shopped at the Farmers’ Market, then they spent the day smoking the duck and goat, and prepping the meal. They arrived at Don & Kristy’s home carrying a huge cooler filled with all the ingredients to make one extraordinary dinner!
smoked goat with potato gnocchi
summer squash and salsa verde

In Her Own Words
In Chicago, my restaurant Scylla and before that sous chef at La Tache, roundsman at Spring, line cook at Vong. In Phoenix, line cook at Christopher’s Fermier Brasserie and other restaurants. In 2008 I was the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef.
Born in Evanston, IL but grew up in Stamford, CT.
University of Michigan, with a degree in Sociology, then headed to Arizona, where I attended the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona.
Chicago Love
In a very spur of the moment decision, I decided to just pack up and move to Chicago nine years ago from Phoenix. It is such a great food town, with a wonderful community of chefs. I plan on staying here for a long time.
The Drunken Goat
It’s definitely going to be representative of my style. There will be a lot of seafood, definitely a lot of pork products and some fun flavor combinations going on. I will take comfort-style foods and just bring them that one step further. It’s going to be a lot of tasty food.

Stephanie’s food is amazing, unique, delicious. We were all so impressed with her fresh, interesting and bold combination of ingredients. The dishes were very creative, yet balanced and harmonious. Stephanie and Dave themselves made the evening even more memorable. They were gracious, easy-going, good-humored, unpretentious, and a lot of fun!

Global Wine Pairing
Ruinart Brut Rosé Champagne NV
Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Achleiten Smaragd 2006
Château de Ségriès Tavel Rosé  2008
Paul Hobbs Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2007
Weingut Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Spätlese 2007

Stephanie describes each dish after it is served.
seared miso marinated lamb 
with market potatoes and blackberry gastrique

Stephanie and Dave are such good-sports! Taking a break from cooking to play with Stone. If it were still light out, I bet they would have been shooting hoops in the alley too!
grilled bison strip steak 
with smokey blue and sweet onion panzanella

frozen nougat with peach and tomato coulis

Little Chef Jett

Stone, Stephanie, and Jett

My dear friend Peggy and I met in college. We are Alpha Phi sorority sisters. After graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in 1977 we moved to Aspen, Colorado to put our college degrees to good use, we were ski bums. There we worked in restaurants cooking, bartending, and waitressing. Life was great, a free ski pass included.
Since Peggy and her husband, John, live in Chicago, it was a special treat to invite them to the Top Chef dinner. It was also a pleasure to invite Kristy’s sister,Wendy, who was visiting from Arizona.

Stephanie Izard’s new Chicago restaurant, The Drunken Goat, will be opening in the West Loop in February. Her site “Stephanie Izard,”  is in the midst of being redone right now but there is some content available, including some awesome recipes. Definitely keep checking back.
To my Blogger Friends in the Chicago area:
How about we finally get together and plan a dinner at The Drunken Goat in early April? I will be in town for Passover. It would be so great to meet in person. Let’s go visit Stephanie! If you are interested, please leave a comment here, and we will make some plans come March, OK?
Dear Stephanie:
Thank you so much for the outstanding meal 
and best wishes for continued success! 
Don, Kristy, Peggy, John, Wendy, Stone, Jett and I 
are your biggest fans!
Lori Lynn

33 thoughts on “Dinner with Top Chef Stephanie Izard”

  1. What an awesome gift. Way to go Don! But of course, he knows, that no one would appreciate it as much as Lori Lynn.

  2. Lucky, lucky you – and your guests too. What a sweet, thoughtful gift for you. All the food looks fantastic. I always loved Stephanie's food when I watched Top Chef.

  3. Wow! That's so awesome. I am envious. A well-deserved gift. Those dusk wontons look so tempting right now!!

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Coming here is such an absolute pleasure, I find myself scrolling back and forth trying to take everything in. Your photos make me want to eat my computer.

    I don't think I'm brave enough to try one of your recipes in honor of Julia, but you never know!

    and Happy Birthday Lori Lynn! your brother is a sweetheart.

  5. Ciao Lori Lynn, you have a sweet brother.
    Stephanie food looks delicious and she's I think a good person. Lucky you! Buon compleanno!

  6. How fun, I will have to check out your post with Charlie, as we have met him so many times and only just ate at his place a few years ago…how lucky you are to have such great gifts, and her food looks gorgeous!

  7. Wow, that's the best birthday gift ever! The menu sounds fantastic and the food looks gorgeous! I will have to check out her new restaurant when I'm in Chicago next time.

  8. That is the BEST birthday gift ever. I have my husband read this post so he can get the hint.

    The food looks amazing – you lucky girl.

  9. Oh great gift. I think I'll forward this to my brother as a hint. Everything looks wonderful.

  10. Wonderful brother, fabulous birthday present to enjoy with the people you love, that's perfect!
    Such a pity, I am pretty far away from Chicago. I am sure the event will be successful. Happy birthday Lori Lynn! May you have many many more ….

  11. Lori Lynn, happy birthday! What a fantastic present. The whole evening looks wonderful, and of course the meal looks stellar (your photos are SO good). Thanks for sharing this with us!

  12. This is a really nice gift…what a feast…everything look so yummie! Love the pictures of the kids with the chef hat 🙂

  13. HOLY COW! This is incredible! What an experience. This has to be the best birthday present ever, right? The whold dinner looks amazing.

  14. What an amazing gift and delicious dinner. I wish I could have been there, but the second best thing are all the pictures illustrating your menu – a very elegant and undoubtedly tasty meal

  15. Can you please just rent out your brother? My birthday is in November.
    Awesome gift Lori Lynn, and the food looks fabulous. Keep me in mind for April, sounds like a great time, maybe we can get Courtney from Coco Cooks too!
    xox, Marie

  16. My very best birthday wishes,
    may the new year bring you joy and love and memorable meals with your loved ones!

    I visited Urbana Champaign a few years ago,
    my husband earned both his master's and PhD there.

  17. You seem like the nicest person and I am just so happy for you that you are enjoying such an amazing life!!!

    This is the COOLEST birthday celebration! I love reading about her food.

  18. Thanks everyone for your kind comments.

    My little brother has three sisters, but I'm sure he would welcome you as well. One. Big. Happy. Family.

  19. Thanks for the link to your post LL! This was before I started reading food blogs 😉 Happy Birthday to you! What an amazing gift – we’re all so jealous. Dining at Stephanie’s restaurant (renamed Girl and the Goat) was the highlight of my visit to Chicago – will definitely go back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.