Chicago's allergenistas were treated to a remarkable feast on November 2nd. BOKA's red-hot chef--Giuseppe Tentori--was on top of his game, offering an ambitious, allergen-free creation that left the group's members dazzled and inspired.
How does he do it? Over the summer, I had the good fortune to work with Chef Tentori at the Museum of Science and Industry and later spent an evening in his kitchen--listening, watching and learning.
Chef Tentori's protocol to reduce the risk of cross-contamination goes above and beyond those of other restaurant kitchens I've observed. Indeed, his staff's attention to detail is what makes BOKA so exceptional.
When an allergen-free meal is ordered, a booming announcement is made to the kitchen to prepare for a customized dish. Almost immediately, one chef assumes full responsibility for that particular plate and oversees its evolution from start to finish.
The food. The menu was free of the "big eight" allergens, gluten, and 23 additional allergens:
· Crispy White Polenta with grilled eggplant petals, ceci, pickled celery and dehydrated picholine olives
· Fennel-dusted chicken thigh served with a quinoa cream and watermelon radish fennel salad with tomatillo sauce
· Angus tenderloin with braised short ribs, napa cabbage and bacon roll with smoked white runner beans.
I highly recommend this restaurant!