Vacuum-Packer.com at NRA 2014 – Chicago, IL

It’s that time of year again, Chicago-bound for NRA 2014. nra2014

Being one of the best foodservice industry trade shows in the USA, the NRA show is where American and international manufacturer’s show off their equipment. They show their tried-and-true and what’s new for all to view.

There are business seminars scheduled throughout the days of the show, as well as demonstrations with celebrity chefs presenting market trends for restaurants and bars.

I look forward to attending the show and visiting the Windy City…Chicago is my kind of town: big, foodie friendly, mid-west enough where the people are welcoming, and gritty enough to be interesting.

Being it is a foodservice industry trade show, in Chicago, eating plays a big a roll. I am still working out dinner plans for the duration, but know for sure that I will be dining at least once at the Purple Pig (one of my favorites).

One restaurant I’ve been dying to try is Girl and The Goat; the last three times I’ve been to Chicago I haven’t had the opportunity, hopefully fourth time’s a charm.

Kabocha Japanese Brasserie with Chef Shin Thompson (a happy vacuum-packer.com customer and proud owner of a Jumbo 42 II) would have been a great option, but unfortunately they have closed their doors. (I can’t wait to enjoy his next project.)

Since I will be traveling with a colleague from Peru, we may just end up at world-renown Peruvian chef, Gastón Acurio’s restaurant, Tanta, and this would be just fine by me.

I hope to return home having enjoyed a successful show, well fed, and with good stories and pictures to share…and perhaps some not to share 😉

See you in Chicago!

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Chicago Town – 2013 NRA

This Is My Kind Of Town, Chicago Is…follow up

Well, as expected I had a wonderful time in Chicago. The days were full of “work,” and evenings full of fun.

I was very fortunate to have been visited by my good friends from Henkelman, to spend time with all my colleagues from around the Americas, and to do it all in Chicago at the 2013 NRA Show.
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If you read the post prior to my leaving for the show, I was attempting to get reservations at the acclaimed new restaurant by Chef Shin Thompson, Kabocha | Japanese Brasserie. Well, the gods sprinkled their seasoning dust on me, because I was able to squeeze a small group in for dinner on Saturday night.

The restaurant is very pleasing and comfortable. Very sophisticated décor, the wait staff knowledgeable, accommodating and not too hipster. The young lady that helped us explained the menu, which worked out to be just how we wanted to order – start with several items to the center for us all to enjoy, then have our own main plate. It was a kind of pseudo-tapas menus with individual larger entrees.

Any way, however you decide to order, if you ever have the pleasure of dining there, it will work out just fine – the food was fabulous.

We started off with the Scallop and Crab Motoyaki with torched Ponzu Aioli. This was the best item we tried, exceptional. We were so excited we missed taking a good picture of it, which I regret.

This was the picture we decided to take in our state of salivation…

The Scallop Dish Shown Here...

The Scallop Dish Shown Here…

After scarfing the scallops down as quickly as we could without looking too uncouth, we moved to the other items…

Duck Confit Potstickers - Shaved Fennel / Duck Prosciutto / Sour Orange Glaze

Duck Confit Potstickers – Shaved Fennel / Duck Prosciutto / Sour Orange Glaze

The other really interesting dish from the Raw portion was the Tuna & Hamachi Mosaic

Kabocha Mosaic

Next up were the entrees, unfortunately. The menu is full of things we wanted to try, but alas, we only had four mouths to feed.

Kabocha Sous Vide Steak w Death Mustard 1
Meike and I decided on the Japanese BBQ Steak with green garlic, mushrooms, pommes frites and “Death Mustard.” The steak is cooked sous vide, and to perfection. The Japanese BBQ was so good I couldn’t help swiping my finger across the bowl for one last taste at the end of the meal.

My colleague and friend, Luis Fernando, had the Center Cut Pork Chop with spring pea raviolo, shaved asparagus and natural reduction.

Kabocha Pork Chop
Whole fried fish
Finally, Marrit decided to have the Whole Fried Fish with red rice ale tempura and fermented black bean chili sauce. I think her eyes were eyes were bigger than her hunger at that point…she wasn’t able to finish it all.

As you may have guessed, we did not have the endurance to include dessert (my wife, the pastry chef nearly slapped me with her spatula for this), but I would have loved to try the Sweet Soy Truffles or the Frozen Lychee Souffle. There is always a next time…right?

There is not much more to say other than dinner was a lot of fun. We enjoyed the company and the meal more than expected, which is saying a lot.

Logo - Vacuum-Packer.com - Low Res
Oh yeah, don’t forget to visit us at: www.vacuum-packer.com

This Is My Kind Of Town, Chicago Is…

I am really excited to be going to the NRA Show in Chicago this weekend. This is the second year in a row I will be attending, and I am sure it will be just as fun as last year.

The delicious food from the multitude of great restaurants the town has to offer has my stomach already growling. However, I have a specific spot which I am trying to get reservations at, the new restaurant by Michelin-starred Chef Shin Thompson, Kabocha | Japanese Brasserie.

I understand he recently closed his restaurant, Bonsoiree, to open this new concept. I am very interested in his work, because, well, it looks so yummy, but also because he has purchased several Henkelman Vacuum Packers.

At the first restaurant, Bonsoiree, he purchased a Jumbo Plus, our smallest unit with a really strong pump.

For the new place, Kabocha, he decided he needed a larger vacuum packer, and decided on the Jumbo 42, he fitted the unit with two seal bars, front and back.

I feel the repeat business he has given us is a flattering testament to the quality of the machines we provide. I really hope I will be able to take our friends from Henkelman to dine at his attractive restaurant.

I will report back about the trip and our time at NRA 2013.

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…Chicago is
One town that won’t let you down
It’s my kind of town…

As sung by Frank Sinatra