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Final NRA show attendance up 6 percent; and a few chef tidbits from the show

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With McCormick Place reform legislation firmly in place, it's doubly encouraging to note that attendance at the National Restaurant Association show, which ended Tuesday, registered a 6 percent increase over 2009. (Last year, you may remember, was dismal -- down 24 percent from the previous year.)

And a few final, random thoughts from the show:

* Spike Mendelsohn, he of "Top Chef" fame, is working on bringing the Good Stuff Eatery, his "chef-y" Washington D.C. burger joint, to Chicago.

Mendelsohn and his sister Micheline (together, they wrote the Good Stuff Cookbook) met with a real estate company while in Chicago about their franchise plan, Micheline said. "The thought would be to expand the concept in big cities, rather than have 10 in D.C.," she said. Makes sense -- a certain high-profile lawyer from Chicago but now living in D.C. loves the place.

* Bumped into Primehouse chef Rick Gresh on the show floor; he offered these words about the street food thing trying to gain a foothold in Chicago.

"I think we have a lot of silly laws on the book. If it does happen, it'll change the way people eat here, in a positive way. Who knows -- maybe we'll have a steak truck."

And speaking of steak, Gresh is working with Goose Island brewmaster Jared Rouben to create what he's calling the "ultimate steak beer" that will mimic the flavors of Pinot Noir. Much like what Rouben has done with Vie chef Paul Virant and a handful of other Chicago chefs.

Brewing for the USB will begin in July for a fall release, Gresh said. There will be a spring release as well.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.



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This page contains a single entry by Janet Rausa Fuller published on May 28, 2010 2:25 PM.

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