Behind-the-Scenes at Chicago's Boleo

Earlier this month, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants published their fourth annual Culinary & Cocktails Trend Forecast, highlighting up-and-coming cuisines, techniques and flavors to get excited about in the upcoming year. Last week we went behind-the-scenes at Boleo, the stunning South American-inspired rooftop oasis at the Kimpton Gray Hotel, to learn more about these trends.

Boleo's Executive Chef Cory Morris kicked things off by introducing us to a cuisine called Chifa, a flavorful fusion of Cantonese and Peruvian food. This bold cuisine is right at home on Boleo's Peruvian street food-inspired menu. Back in the kitchen, Chef brought this global cuisine to life as he walked us through the preparation for the restaurant's Tuna Tiraditos. After expertly breaking down a fat hunk of yellowfin tuna, Chef blended a bright sauce from fresh pineapples and aji amarillo peppers. Those immaculate pieces of tuna and their spicy, sweet and acidic counterpart were then paired with puffed shrimp crisps for added crunch. After savoring the gorgeously plated and punchy ensemble, I say "bring on the Chifa in 2018!"


We then made our way from the kitchen to the back of the bar to learn from Boleo's expert Head Bartender Jess Lambert. Jess introduced us to an intriguing trend anchored in the growing emphasis on sustainability in cocktail design involving the repurposing of kitchen scraps. As we watched on in utter fascination, Jess transformed the kitchen's stale bread into drinkable french toast in the form of a decadent homemade Café Orgeat. The up-cycled syrup then became the base for the next trend Jess introduced - the Japanese Whisky Cocktail. In her original recipe for a cocktail called “Breakfast at Katsura," Suntory Whisky Toki, Rhine Hall La Normande, lemon juice, egg white, sparkling water and the impressive Café Orgeat were transformed into a light, effervescent cocktail that may have single handedly turned me into a whisky drinker.


Don't take my word for it, discover more of Kimpton's Culinary & Cocktail trends in their full report below and do yourself a favor and head to Boleo stat for Chifa and cocktails - you'll be thanking me for the recommendation!


122 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL //

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