Jake Bickelhaupt Makes Gorgeous, Complex Dishes in a 200-Square-Foot Space
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Jake Bickelhaupt; 42 Grams, Chicago
Inch for Inch, there might not be a harder-working kitchen than Jake Bickelhaupt’s at his tiny restaurant, 42 Grams. In the 200-square-foot space, Bickelhaupt, a Charlie Trotter alum, and two sous-chefs create gorgeous, complicated and delicious dishes with multiple interwoven components. His 13-or-so-course tasting menu includes recipes like Lapsang souchong–brined salmon with mushroom dashi and spent-grain toast. His congee dessert is even more involved. It has six distinctive elements, including congee produced from rice and made-in-house koji (a fermented grain) that’s cooked in bamboo juice so it turns a pretty green; crumbs from a dehydrated and crushed cake that Bickelhaupt bakes with the strained liquid from the congee; and Chinese ya pears compressed with house-made pear vinegar then dehydrated overnight. Bickelhaupt has a minimalist title for this labor-intensive recipe: Sweet Congee. “I don’t like to name my dishes,” he says.
Recipes from Jake Bickelhaupt:
Miso Caramel Sauce