category Kitchen

Wine Down Wednesday with Chef Brian

Q: What’s your earliest food memory?

CB: Grandma’s German chocolate cake. What kid doesn’t love chocolate.

Q: Who has influenced your cooking the most?

CB: Michael Simon because we’re both from the midwest and have similar culinary interests.

Q: What’s your favorite go-to ingredient?

CB: Beer! I enjoy cooking with all types of beer. The usually go-to style will be stouts because of their versatility.

Q: What are some of your signature dishes?

CB: Chardonnay lemon chicken or beer chili. 

Q: What did you choose to make for Wine Down Wednesday?

CB: Pulled pork sliders with a Waterloo slaw.

Q: What was the inspiration for the dish?

CB: We don’t serve pork entrees often so… here you go!

Q: If you could cook a meal for anyone, who would it be?

CB: My mom. I would make her a six cheese, Bolognese, spinach lasagna.

Q: Dumbest thing you’ve ever done with food or in a kitchen?

CB: Not asking enough questions.

Q: Is there an ingredient you use a lot that would surprise people?

CB: I put beer in a lot of stuff. I think most people are surprised by beer ice cream.

Q: What would we find in your kitchen at home?

CB: Fresh herbs, local produce and left overs.

Q: Most memorable meal?

CB: Ravioli from Teodori’s in Melrose Park, Illnois.

Q: What food is your guilty pleasure?

CB: Thai food man. Tom Yum Soup just has a great balance of flavor and heat.

Q: What’s your last meal on earth, if you had the chance to choose?

CB: Steak and potatoes.

**Join Chef Brian and his culinary pulled pork creation on August 22nd for Wine Down Wednesday!

Wine Down Wednesday with Chef Damian Lawrence

Q: What’s your earliest food memory?

CD: My mom cooking for me. Her pasta dishes were amazing.

Q: Who has influenced your cooking the most?

CD: My brother, only other person who cooks in my family. He’s an executive chef at Bone Fish Grill in Charleston, South Carolina.

Q: What’s your favorite go-to ingredient?

CD: Honey! I enjoy adding sweetness to everything.

Q: What are some of your signature dishes?

CD: Anything seafood related since I’m from the coast. My go to dishes are usually crab cakes, scallops and fresh fish.

Q: What did you choose to make for Wine Down Wednesday?

CD: Cucumber Crab Salad.

Q: What was the inspiration for the dish?

CD: I wanted to make something light and filling. I also enjoy playing with seafood when I get the chance.

Q: If you could cook a meal for anyone, who would it be?

CD: I’d choose Jim James, the musician, because I’ve always been a fan of his work. I think it would be great for him to get a feel for what I do.

Q: Dumbest thing you’ve ever done with food or in a kitchen?

CD: OVER SALT ANYTHING. Theres no coming back from that…

Q: Is there an ingredient you use a lot that would surprise people?

CD: Red meat. Since I’m a pescetarian and don’t eat any red meat doesn’t mean I can’t cook up a mean steak.

Q: What would we find in your kitchen at home?

CD: Nothing. That’s what other restaurants are for. Don’t really cook at home. I may do a cookout every now and then. But in reality I guess a bunch of to go boxes is about it.

Q: Most memorable meal?

CD: A place back home called Rockefeller’s, they make the best She Crab Soup.

Q: What food is your guilty pleasure?

CD: Sweets! Cookies, cake or anything sweet.

Q: What’s your last meal on earth, if you had the chance to choose?

CD: Dungeness Crab. A boat load of it.

The Impossible Burger Lands at Black Star

For those of us who have been friends and fans of Black Star’s vegetarian options, you’re probably more than aware that we have gone through many iterations of the good ol’ veggie burger. On the menu, off the menu, beets and black beans, we always seemed to come annoyingly close to a delicious, hearty product. And while we haven’t had an actual vegetarian burger on the menu in quite some time, we consistently offer a handful of items that can be made vegan or vegetarian, while the Avocado Club remains one of the best vegetarian sandwiches in town (and know that your opinion is wrong if you disagree). Then, one by one, our epicurious group of Team Leaders started to learn about the Impossible Burger. Whether we had scrolled over a suggested Instagram post (#blessed), or stumbled across a Vice video because we still haven’t had the wherewithal to completely break up with the media conglomerate, we knew that the Impossible Burger was something that could satisfy returning vegetarians, as well as potentially attract a new fan base. read more

Brunch at Black Star!!!

Over the past few years, it seems like the idea of weekend brunch has taken on an entirely new meaning in the culinary world and in the life of its consumers. What was once viewed as an extra opportunity to quietly sip morning cocktails without being judged (at least that’s how I felt about it) has slowly morphed into a glittering party of its own, filled with bright lights, flights of bacon, and the occasional DJ.

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Upcoming Menu Changes

Your Kitchen Team will be putting out our SXSW menu this week. We are working on a new format this year that will highlight more seasonal items, but still keeps our favorite items around. Over the past year, we’ve established a few new relationships with local purveyors, ranchers, and farmers that we want to showcase. 

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I’m Your Man, Leonard: Finding One’s Self and The Black Star Menu

When I agreed to write a piece about our Fall menu, I originally intended it be an overview about new items, but things have changed. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything for the newsletter, so I wanted to do something a more than just a little listicle or something about menu items. I wanted to tell you a story about a trip I took to research pub-food; to find myself. 

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Finding Closure: Where Your Favorite Departed Menu Items are Now!

Menus change. At Black Star Co-op they change with the season. Some dishes last; perennial darlings that are always available to their doting fans. Some dishes do not last, living behind both the menu and a troop of hungry, adoring groupies. We know how hard it can be to part with something loved (really, we know, we got your emails, all of them), so this is an attempt to provide some closure. Here’s what your favorite dishes have been doing since their departure: read more