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  • Next - The Hunt

    Post #1 - November 4th, 2012, 11:50 am
    Post #1 - November 4th, 2012, 11:50 am Post #1 - November 4th, 2012, 11:50 am
    According to Timeout Chicago's Frank Sennett, the next menu at Next will be The Hunt, a Midwestern themed menu...
  • Post #2 - November 5th, 2012, 3:50 pm
    Post #2 - November 5th, 2012, 3:50 pm Post #2 - November 5th, 2012, 3:50 pm
    And according to Grub Street the menu after that may be vegetarian (I have heard rumblings it may even be vegan):

    http://chicago.grubstreet.com/2012/11/n ... arian.html

    Grub Street also has an article about The Hunt menu:

    http://chicago.grubstreet.com/2012/11/n ... -menu.html
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #3 - November 5th, 2012, 4:09 pm
    Post #3 - November 5th, 2012, 4:09 pm Post #3 - November 5th, 2012, 4:09 pm
    Gonzo70 wrote:Grub Street also has an article about The Hunt menu:

    http://chicago.grubstreet.com/2012/11/n ... -menu.html

    Sounds like the origins are from Achatz' and Beran's rural Michigander (Michuganeh?) upbringings.

    Love the quote at the end.
    Grant Achatz wrote:I have no idea how people cooked without the Internet
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #4 - November 5th, 2012, 5:31 pm
    Post #4 - November 5th, 2012, 5:31 pm Post #4 - November 5th, 2012, 5:31 pm
    Ugh! Then why not call it The Forage?

    Guess I don't feel so bad I won't be able to afford another Next visit in the next few months...
  • Post #5 - November 6th, 2012, 12:23 pm
    Post #5 - November 6th, 2012, 12:23 pm Post #5 - November 6th, 2012, 12:23 pm
    Gonzo70 wrote:And according to Grub Street the menu after that may be vegetarian (I have heard rumblings it may even be vegan):

    http://chicago.grubstreet.com/2012/11/n ... arian.html

    Grub Street also has an article about The Hunt menu:

    http://chicago.grubstreet.com/2012/11/n ... -menu.html



    The article implied that it is the menu after Next: THe Hunt that will possibly be vegetarian.
  • Post #6 - November 6th, 2012, 12:42 pm
    Post #6 - November 6th, 2012, 12:42 pm Post #6 - November 6th, 2012, 12:42 pm
    Yes, that is what I said.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #7 - November 6th, 2012, 1:21 pm
    Post #7 - November 6th, 2012, 1:21 pm Post #7 - November 6th, 2012, 1:21 pm
    Gonzo70 wrote:Yes, that is what I said.


    Opps I meant to respond to blipsman's "Ugh! Then why not call it The Forage?".

    Either way, I think vegan and vegetarian food can be done really well and I'm excited to see what they come up with. I'm thinking along the lines of Green Zebra or NYC's Pure Food & Wine. Or when Charlie Trotter did the lovely raw vegan stuff for his book Raw. I'm curious though what season this will end up being, because it's a little less appealing when it's cold outside.
  • Post #8 - November 6th, 2012, 1:45 pm
    Post #8 - November 6th, 2012, 1:45 pm Post #8 - November 6th, 2012, 1:45 pm
    mgmcewen wrote:I'm curious though what season this will end up being, because it's a little less appealing when it's cold outside.


    If it is indeed the one to follow the next one (the next next Next) then it will kick off around April and run through summer.
  • Post #9 - November 6th, 2012, 2:15 pm
    Post #9 - November 6th, 2012, 2:15 pm Post #9 - November 6th, 2012, 2:15 pm
    blipsman wrote:Ugh! Then why not call it The Forage?

    Guess I don't feel so bad I won't be able to afford another Next visit in the next few months...


    I've always thought The Game Is Afoot would be a perfect name for this type of experience.
  • Post #10 - November 6th, 2012, 2:59 pm
    Post #10 - November 6th, 2012, 2:59 pm Post #10 - November 6th, 2012, 2:59 pm
    This and reading the new (and excellent) Faviken cookbook have reminded me of the situation with wild game in the US. In Sweden, once you have one of the highly regulated tags, you can do whatever you want with the meat, including having it processed to be served in a restaurant and selling it to one. In the US this is not allowed technically, though I've seen it from time to time. All wild game sold in restaurants is either farmed or imported (I believe one company was importing wild game from Scotland, which has similar regulations as Sweden, and getting it USDA inspected). Having butchered both wild and farmed deer, the latter is just not the same though it depends on the quality of the farm of course, but the former is generally a lot more complex. The difference is much more pronounced in poultry. It's a shame we can't do what Faviken does, where chef Magnus serves game he has hunted. A tag is a tag in my opinion, but a lot people seem to feel it might lead to pouching. I wonder if there is a way around this somehow, like if you sold tickets to an event and happened to serve wild game? But I think the health department would not allow "meat from unapproved sources" in an inspected kitchen.
  • Post #11 - November 6th, 2012, 3:25 pm
    Post #11 - November 6th, 2012, 3:25 pm Post #11 - November 6th, 2012, 3:25 pm
    mgmcewen wrote:I wonder if there is a way around this somehow, like if you sold tickets to an event and happened to serve wild game? But I think the health department would not allow "meat from unapproved sources" in an inspected kitchen.


    Perhaps how chef's in CA get away with the foie gras ban by offering it as a "complimentary" course.
  • Post #12 - November 29th, 2012, 3:18 pm
    Post #12 - November 29th, 2012, 3:18 pm Post #12 - November 29th, 2012, 3:18 pm
    Next announces 2013 menus: "The Hunt," raw vegan and Bocuse d'Or competition
  • Post #13 - December 2nd, 2012, 3:44 pm
    Post #13 - December 2nd, 2012, 3:44 pm Post #13 - December 2nd, 2012, 3:44 pm
    After our very enjoyable Kyoto meal a few nights ago, we were invited to the kitchen for a preview of one of the dessert courses that's currently planned for the upcoming Hunt menu, which is a riff on an iconic Canadian treat . . .

    Image
    Chef Dave Beran pours the hot caramel over the "snow"


    Image
    Once it hits the cold surface, it begins to solidify


    Image
    Using sticks, we were instructed to roll up the strips while they were still warm and pliable


    Image
    Once rolled, it was cool enough to eat. A delicious caramel, made before our eyes

    While we were in the kitchen chef Achatz joined us in the caramal-eating. We started chatting about the Hunt and he invited us to go upstairs to their office to check out some of the serviceware that has been planned for the new menu . . .

    Image
    Everything from candelabras to antique butter churns to handmade plates from local artists -- and even small serving plates made from cross-sections of deer antlers
    It looks like it's going to be a very fun menu and the enthusiasm of chef Beran, chef Achatz and the rest of the crew is completely infectious.


    Image
    Chef Dave Beran, my son and Chef Grant Achatz

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #14 - December 2nd, 2012, 3:56 pm
    Post #14 - December 2nd, 2012, 3:56 pm Post #14 - December 2nd, 2012, 3:56 pm
    Very cool; definitely piqued my interest for the Hunt menu!
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #15 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:52 pm
    Post #15 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:52 pm Post #15 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:52 pm
    Oh cool! Does anyone else remember this from the Little House books? It was called "snow candy."

    Also funny Vegan 'Yelper' Unleashes Fury On Next Restaurant's 2013 Season Of Menus
  • Post #16 - December 18th, 2012, 1:06 pm
    Post #16 - December 18th, 2012, 1:06 pm Post #16 - December 18th, 2012, 1:06 pm
    FYI many season ticket holders are reporting the renewal email is going to the spam folder in gmail
    Here's the email that's going out to Season Subscribers today. We have more days in each menu this year than last (by 6) and thus more season tix available. If you did not subscribe in 2012 you will have a chance to do so in 2013 for certain. More on that after the renewal process:

    Our 2013 Season

    Thank you for being a 2012 Season Subscriber!

    It’s been a thrill for us to present ElBulli, Sicily, and Kyoto Kaiseki this year and the risks, hard work, and rewards of delicious food and shared experiences can been directly attributed to our relationship that is unique in the restaurant world. We thank you for your enthusiastic patronage!

    For 2013 you will have the option to renew your subscription before the public. This email will explain how that will work, but first – what are we serving in 2013?

    Our first menu -- THE HUNT – will begin January 9th and run through April 28th. Wild game will be featured, but so too other foraged and forgotten foods and techniques. It will prove a robust and adventurous meal for the peak of the Chicago winter.

    Next up? VEGAN ! From May 8th to August 24th. Creativity often comes from imposing limits upon oneself and finding novel solutions within a framework of constraint. As Spring turns to Summer Next will feature a creative and ambitious menu without meat. Now, we at Next are the farthest thing from strict vegetarians but we are incredibly excited to be producing a menu of truly 4-star vegan cuisine. We look forward to welcoming a whole new set of customers to Next – and to surprising our omnivorous regulars!

    And finally, our grand menu of the year – Bocuse D’or – Concours Mondial de la Cuisine. With chef Achatz serving as one of the coaches to the US team it seemed fitting to bring the Olympics of the Culinary World to Next. This is the real Top Chef challenge: contestents have 5 hours and 35 minutes to prepare elaborate presentations. While we will not be under these time constraints (and limits on the number of chefs!) we will create presentations representative of the contest – elaborate meat and fish platters – while expanding on the menu to create a complete – and interactive – experience. Our Bocuse D’or will run from August 31st to December 31st.
    As with our ElBulli menu there will be an upcharge for the Bocuse D’or menu as we will serve far fewer patrons every evening. As before, we will be auctioning off one table of two each night with 100% of the proceeds donated to the US Bocuse D’or USA Foundation. Our goal is to raise awareness of the competition within the US and to support the US team with the ultimate goal of a US victory.

    Season Ticket Subscription

    In the next few days you will receive an email and we will post on our Facebook page and Twitter account the date that season tickets will go on sale.

    YOU MUST LOG IN WITH THE E-MAIL ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR 2012 SEASON TICKETS.

    Access for that day will be restricted solely to 2012 season ticket holders.
    You may renew for any size party and any day of the week.
    We recognize that those people who have a prime time seat or kitchen table may prefer that we renew exactly the same subscription as 2012, but we also received a great many requests for upgrades. Ultimately, we feel that it is best to allow our subscribers some flexibility and this seems the fairest way to accomplish that.

    SUBSCRIPTION PRICING FOR 2013

    For The Hunt and Vegan:
    Wednesday -- $ 90
    Thursday -- $ 95
    Friday -- $ 105
    Saturday -- $ 115
    Sunday -- $ 95
    Kitchen Table -- $ 165
    Beverage Pairings:
    Non Alcoholic: $ 58 Standard: $ 78 Reserve: $ 108
    Our Kitchen Table Pairings: Non Alcoholic: $ 68 KT Reserve: $125

    For Bocuse D’or
    Each night, every table: $ 195
    Beverage Pairings:
    Non Alcoholic: $ 68 Standard: $ 78 Reserve: $125

    After You Log In:

    Once you log in with your Season Subscriber Email Address you will:

    choose the day of the week for your subscription
    choose the party size – 2, 4, or 6. Please remember that our only 6-top is our Kitchen Table.
    choose your beverage pairings.
    You will then be given a choice of days for each menu… once you select three dates you can checkout.

    We’ve streamlined the process significantly and because there are more tables available this year than last (by a few) every subscriber will be guaranteed the ability to renew. Our renewal process will last two days at which time we will open any remaining tables to the public.
    Thank you

    Entering our third year we could not be more excited by the opportunity you have given us to create unique dining experiences. We strive to exceed your expectations and genuinely appreciate the amazing community of food lovers that has formed around Next. THANK YOU!

    Grant Achatz / Nick Kokonas / David Beran
  • Post #17 - January 10th, 2013, 1:59 pm
    Post #17 - January 10th, 2013, 1:59 pm Post #17 - January 10th, 2013, 1:59 pm
    I happened to catch tickets when they went on sale on Tuesday and ended up with seats for opening night of The Hunt last night. My pictures didn't come out as well as I'd have liked, but I'll post some below in no particular order a bunch of courses are missing).

    Overall, the food and experience were excellent. It was a very fun dining experience, with plenty of "playing" with food, and I think that made it a better meal than the Thai menu which is the only other one I've had. The timing and service as great, but still being fine-tuned. There were some long waits between courses and there were a couple times where they brought out the plates/cutlery for one course and then took them back away because they'd messed up the order.

    Image
    Introductory card

    Image
    The first dish, out of this world mushroom consomme served with maitake mushrooms.

    Image
    Charcu-tree (sorry, I ate a couple of them before I remembered to take the picture). The ones I can remember are elk jerky, boar sausage, and blood sausage.

    Image
    Purple sweet potato, cooked campfire-style. The wood chips still had embers and the smell was amazing! Served with the butter in the next picture and dirty salt.

    Image
    Butter served with the potato and the next course

    Image
    Hot rock for cooking our own thinly sliced buffalo meat

    Image
    Leek and sauce served with the buffalo

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    Squab, prepared using the antique duck press from the Paris 1906 menu. Also served with the carcass and a bowl of oatmeal with the juices from the press.

    Image
    Sturgeon, sunchoke, and caviar sauce. An excellent dish!

    Image
    Venison and brisket stew served with crunchy bread. Perhaps my favorite dish!

    Image
    3 month root cellar aged carrot with crispy carrot greens and carrot puree/sauce. Another phenomenal dish.

    Image
    A sweet and salty custard served in a bone.

    Image
    Image
    Barley porridge served with assorted toppings. Amazing.

    Image
    Image
    The bourbon maple snow dessert previewed on their Facebook page. This was the final dish.
  • Post #18 - January 10th, 2013, 3:18 pm
    Post #18 - January 10th, 2013, 3:18 pm Post #18 - January 10th, 2013, 3:18 pm
    Was this at the KT or the regular table? How many courses would you say you are missing.

    Ive got a rez in about two weeks, I am already very excited.
  • Post #19 - January 10th, 2013, 3:29 pm
    Post #19 - January 10th, 2013, 3:29 pm Post #19 - January 10th, 2013, 3:29 pm
    This was at a regular 4-top table. Let me try to list all the courses more-or-less in order (at most I think this is missing one course). I have the menu we were given at the end at home, so I can update it later:

    • Mushroom consomme with maitake mushrooms (only consomme is pictured)
    • Cold and hot steamed lake trout with walleye rilette, pickled kolrahbi, and pumpernickel toast (not pictured)
    • Charcu-tree
    • Root cellar aged carrot
    • Scrambled duck egg with puffed duck tongue and rainbow sorrel (not pictured)
    • Vegetable-based charcuterie with veal kidney mustard served on birch bark (not pictured)
    • Sturgeon with Jerusalem artichoke and caviar
    • Woodcock including offal and turnip with a huckleberry vinaigrette salad (not pictured)
    • Squab made with antique duck press
    • Buffalo strips cooked on hot rock with leek
    • Purple sweet potato
    • Venison and brisket stew
    • The custard thing served in a bone
    • Barley porridge
    • Bourbon maple dessert served on a stick

    It was a long meal too. We had a 5:45 seating and left at around 9:20.
  • Post #20 - January 10th, 2013, 3:36 pm
    Post #20 - January 10th, 2013, 3:36 pm Post #20 - January 10th, 2013, 3:36 pm
    Thanks for the pictures and information about the menu! My tickets are not until April, so I have to live vicariously for now.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #21 - January 10th, 2013, 4:02 pm
    Post #21 - January 10th, 2013, 4:02 pm Post #21 - January 10th, 2013, 4:02 pm
    Oh man.

    I cant wait.

    I have been on Next hiatus (gotta be careful with my dining dollars) since Childhood.

    I think I picked a good one to come back for.
  • Post #22 - January 10th, 2013, 4:27 pm
    Post #22 - January 10th, 2013, 4:27 pm Post #22 - January 10th, 2013, 4:27 pm
    Some of those pictures look kind of ... gross? Like pools or piles of blood and raw meat. :wink: Even the hot rock I first assumed was some kind of heart.

    Some distant echoes of what Elizabeth is up to, no? And others, of course.
  • Post #23 - January 10th, 2013, 5:25 pm
    Post #23 - January 10th, 2013, 5:25 pm Post #23 - January 10th, 2013, 5:25 pm
    Yeah, I'd agree with that. The squab in particular has the juice/blood oatmeal on the side and is served with a foot and the head (which you are supposed to suck the brains out of). That tasted mostly like breadcrumbs to me. And since you mentioned heart, that reminds me: one of the "Charcu-tree" small bites I couldn't remember before was venison heart tartare :D That was the fourth one right before the blood sausage.
  • Post #24 - January 10th, 2013, 11:00 pm
    Post #24 - January 10th, 2013, 11:00 pm Post #24 - January 10th, 2013, 11:00 pm
    Thanks for posting. Looks like this is two menus in a row that require an adventurous palate or willingness to try. Interesting that it will be followed by Vegan, in the totally opposite direction--I love how they toy with us like that! Because it is a relatively heavy, meaty meal, I wonder if the length is intentional or due to the newness of it. I will be sure to pace myself, and hope to go slowly--for Paris, I filled up and only ate about two bites each of the duck and potatoes.
  • Post #25 - January 11th, 2013, 10:25 am
    Post #25 - January 11th, 2013, 10:25 am Post #25 - January 11th, 2013, 10:25 am
    They are looking to get the timing down to a little over 3 hours. Our friends and family dinner ran a little over 5 hours. This menu is the first time I have been become fatigued from the amount of food...it is a lot! The squab from the press is just amazing.
  • Post #26 - January 11th, 2013, 3:12 pm
    Post #26 - January 11th, 2013, 3:12 pm Post #26 - January 11th, 2013, 3:12 pm
    Just a note on timing: Last night, we were seated at 9:00pm. I think we got out around 1:15am. One of the servers mentioned their goal is to cut it down to around three hours as it was when I was in for Kaiseki last month.
  • Post #27 - January 11th, 2013, 3:32 pm
    Post #27 - January 11th, 2013, 3:32 pm Post #27 - January 11th, 2013, 3:32 pm
    Nice post with pictures and descriptions of the dishes for those looking for spoilers (can't help myself from looking).

    http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2013/01/ ... show.html#
  • Post #28 - January 12th, 2013, 12:44 pm
    Post #28 - January 12th, 2013, 12:44 pm Post #28 - January 12th, 2013, 12:44 pm
    Vitesse98 wrote:Some of those pictures look kind of ... gross? Like pools or piles of blood and raw meat. :wink: Even the hot rock I first assumed was some kind of heart.

    Some distant echoes of what Elizabeth is up to, no? And others, of course.



    I'm kind of with you. I really think my wife is going to hate this. But it's Next and I've enjoyed all my meals there. My tickets are in March so I'm really looking forward to impressions. I might end up selling these.
    Last edited by PopcornMegaphone on January 17th, 2013, 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #29 - January 17th, 2013, 12:39 pm
    Post #29 - January 17th, 2013, 12:39 pm Post #29 - January 17th, 2013, 12:39 pm
    Hopped Up wrote:Nice post with pictures and descriptions of the dishes for those looking for spoilers (can't help myself from looking).

    http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2013/01/ ... show.html#


    I was kind of looking forward to the stew mentioned by Tambreet, but they didn't have it. We had

    - The simple perfectly cooked maittake mushroom in a glass box of rosemary. This was pretty nice. I had the non-alcoholic pairing (and tasted from my companion's alcoholic pairings- the one here is a really nice unfiltered biodynamic primitive wine), which was excellent- a smoked spruce, grapefruit, and pepperberry juice that smelled a bit like roe. I was hopeful at this point.
    - The "Catch of the Great Lakes" an OK- smoked trout (not better than Calumet's for certain), some pickled kohlrabi, crispy pumpernickel, and a milky trout dip that was really very delicious.
    - Charcu-Tree. I guess it's telling I don't remember what was on this? I remember a lot of these bites had nice umami flavors. I remember only specifically the very good blood sausage, elk jerky, and a nice venison tartare.
    - Cellar aged carrots and onions. I don't know what this had to do with hunting or foraging. Reminded me a bit of when I studied archaeology in Sweden and there were digs of vast peasant root cellars pre-potato era where people had to store their entire turnip supply for the winter. Their lives must have sucked because they also we forbidden by penalty of death to kill game. At least this concentrates the sugars in the roots. The dish was nice, not otherwise unmemorable. I guess my thoughts of Sweden had also drifted to the New Nordic restaurants I have eaten at, I which I have had almost exactly the same thing, but done with five hundred times the attention to sourcing and detail. It is hard not to think of them on this menu, which shifts erratically from pseudo-New Nordic to a kind of Rococo gentry still life. I was served a somewhat over-sweet non-alcoholic cider. I was becoming disillusioned.
    - Then came a course that I hope they just messed up a bit- the excellent crunchy duck tongue, with an absolutely inedible oversalted scrambled duck egg wrapped in dismal cabbage.
    - At least the next course, the sturgeon, was pretty damn delicious, perfectly cooked with a decadent caviar and beurre blanc sauce. The non-alcoholic pairing here was a wonderful tart quince, bay, and satsuma drink.
    - The Woodcock Jolie was good but largely unmemorable. The paired bear root, urfa, and prickly pear drink stole the show with its crisp sweet-sour flavor.
    - I was not pleased with the squab dish. As Tambreet said before, the head just tastes like breadcrumbs. My breast was cold. The rest tasted like fried and a brown sauce I wouldn't imagine out of place in a British hunting lodge for all the wrong reasons.
    - Fallen leaves and kidney was an un-interesting attempt at Faviken in my opinion. The combination of uric acid and fried earthy things was frankly a bit unflattering.
    - The Bison and "Bearnaise" sauce also reminded me a bit of archaeology class, but I think ancient hunter-gatherers probably cooked bison a little better. The rock was not hot enough to get a decent sear. The "Bearnaise", really some aliums in an anemic oily pool, didn't make it any better.
    - Marrow Brulee did not taste much like marrow at all because it was too sweet.
    - A cloying Maris Otter barley pablum. Wait? What does this have to do with the wild or hunting or foraging again? Oh look, here are some toppings that are full of even more sugar in case you want experiment with the saturation point of sugar.
    - The menu lists the last course I had as "tire d'erable." It took me some time to remember, but it's just maple syrup poured on fake snow that you pick up with a stick in case the last course hasn't already tipped you into a diabetic coma.

    As you can see, I became increasingly demoralized and disillusioned as the menu wore on, on a menu I was really looking forward to having written about and studied hunting and foraging for quite some time. Of course this might be a disadvantage- I liked Kyoto a lot but people I knew who had been to Kyoto were less crazy about it. But I also don't think it's a great concept for this restaurant considering that the people who do this type of food well have long-term strong relationships with their producers. Also, maybe they need some time to iron out the kinks, but it's not like I'll have a chance to re-try it.

    This was my forth Next Menu and certainly my least favorite. I think they probably do more concrete concepts a lot better. I'm a little worried about the vegan menu- I think the Bocuse d'or will be the best because that is exactly the kind of thing they do well.
  • Post #30 - January 25th, 2013, 2:33 pm
    Post #30 - January 25th, 2013, 2:33 pm Post #30 - January 25th, 2013, 2:33 pm
    mgmcewen wrote:I liked Kyoto a lot but people I knew who had been to Kyoto were less crazy about it.


    i lived in kyoto for 3 months, and thought Next Kyoto menu was freakin' magic. most of the next menus i've been to i think have been awesome, and a great experience. but the kyoto menu was the first one where i thought, i could eat this meal again and again.

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