CHICAGO, IL – Coming off the success of the dim sum pop up at Intro last month, Chef Stephen Gillanders, Chef CJ Jacobson and Chef Aaron Martinez are returning to the kitchen to collaborate on the next iteration of the restaurant- a modern dim sum concept – launching Thursday, January 26, just in time for the Chinese New Year.
The three former Intro visiting chefs are combining the entrepreneurial skills that they learned at Intro with inspiration from their travels – in particular Chef Gillanders’ journey through nine Asian countries to launch this concept. An a la carte menu or multi-course, family-style menu for the table are available and will feature dim sum, vegetables, noodles and fried rice and family-style feasts. Sunday dim sum brunch and a dim sum cooking class will follow.
“For this new concept, we wanted to create a menu of things that we love to eat,” says Intro’s Executive Chef, Stephen Gillanders. “I have eaten so many amazing foods during my experience traveling in Asia and with this menu, I picked some of my favorites from certain categories: noodles, seafood, meat, vegetables, dumplings, and more.”
The menu will be a collaboration between the three chefs, reflective of all their cooking styles.
“There is a very natural harmony to the way the three of us cook. We all enjoy being around each other and being in the same kitchen provides us the ability to bounce ideas off of one another. Having that dynamic results in a better product because after all, two heads are better than one and we have three.” – says Gillanders.
The modern dim sum menu will include dishes like: Turnip Cake with crispy mushrooms, Lamb Bao with shitake soy, Scallop and Shrimp Wontons, Curry Noodles with lemongrass and ginger, Dragon Beef (Steak) Fried Rice, Roasted Pekin Duck with soy-honey glaze for two, Caramel-lacquered short rib and Tamarind Black Cod. For dessert, an Egg Tart Brûlée, Mandarin Meringues, and more.
To drink, guests can expect cocktails utilizing Asian ingredients and spirits including: Peking Bicyle with Tsingtao Lager, Grapefruit and Yuzu, Inspector Wang with CH Chicago Gin, Vintage Emperor’s Keemun Tea, Kefir Lime and Demerara Syrup and Chinese Tea Cart Service.
A version of this menu will also be available, seven-days-a-week, for restaurant week (Jan. 27- Feb. 9; closed Sunday, Feb. 5). Intro’s restaurant week menu can be seen, here.
Kicking off just in time to celebrate the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, Chef Gillanders, Chef Jacobson and Chef Martinez will be ringing in the New Year by serving up the “Seven Lucky Things” to eat for a traditional: Long Noodles (Curry Noodles with lemongrass and ginger), Lucky Fruit (Mandarin Meringue), Whole Fish (Whole Steamed Fish with Cantonese Vinaigrette), Sticky Rice, Spring Roll, Dumplings and Greens. Additionally, any guest that evening born in the year of the Rooster (1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017) will receive a free dessert.
Reservations are now available and can be made by calling the restaurant at 773-868-0002, visiting Introchicago.com and OpenTable. For more information or behind-the-scenes action from the Intro kitchen, follow along on Instagram and Facebook. Intro is located at 2300 N. Lincoln Park West.
About the Chefs
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Chef Stephen Gillanders worked under Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Prime at Bellagio, Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria, oversaw all nine Jean-George Management’s New York City restaurants, as well as helping to open countless international projects. He is currently the Executive Chef/ Partner at Intro.
Orange County-born, Chef CJ Jacobson worked under Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton at Campanile and as a private chef for VIPs such as Arianna Huffington and Guess clothing’s Marciano family. As well as becoming the executive chef at The Yard and Girasol, he has starred in two seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef, and most recently, winning Top Chef Duels in 2014. He is currently the Executive Chef/Partner at Ema and was the first chef-in-residence at Intro when the concept opened in February 2015.
Orange County, CA. native Chef Aaron Martinez previously worked under Chef Kobe Desramaults at In de Wul, Chef Micahel Tusk at Quince, and Chef/Owner James Syhabout at Commis. Chef Martinez was the third chef-in-residence at Intro in the summer of 2015.
Intro is an innovative rotating chef concept with an entrepreneurial spirit from restaurateur Richard Melman, Founder of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. The restaurant introduces up-and-coming culinary talent from around the country to Chicago. Throughout their time helming the kitchen at Intro, the chef-in-residence has creative license to make Intro their own, from the conception of the menu to the music, vibe and style of service.