One wintery week, my husband and I decided to create surprise dates for each other. For mine, I wanted to bring him to one of the underground dinners I had been reading about. I did a little research and found thurk dining, although there wasn't very much written about it. We were skeptical at first, as we drove far south and west into the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, with no clue as to what we were about to experience. Much to our delight, that evening turned out to be one of the best meals we've had this year. Justin Behlke is a star in the making. When he cooked for us, he had just returned from an internship at one of the top restaurants in the world, Noma, in Copenhagen. Justin is so thoughtful about every single ingredient. He passionately explains where the ingredients come from as he brings out plate after plate of delicacies, all from a 50 mile radius of Chicago. He is nothing short of amazing.

Justin's Creative Process :

My creative process is inspired by the products that I work with. When I create a dish it is my main goal to focus on one product, usually a vegetable, and pair it with a few other things that support it not only in flavor but also in context. Every product has a story and usually it grows along side many other products that go well together. I try and bring these products together into a dish and then make sure that I always have a story about the people or places that I gathered the products from. It is about bring my experiences with the products to the table and letting the diner think about the context of the dish, and of course it is always important that it tastes good!

I do not know this person personally but I have eaten at his restaurant in Copenhagen. I would love to know the creative process of Chef Christian Puglisi of the one-michelin starred restaurant Relae. My very simple meal at his restaurant is still the best meal that I have had. The dishes that he created were very simple but had so much flavor and context. It was truly beautiful. 

You can read more about thurk dining here