Beet it! Patrick Quakenbush, Executive Chef at Zed 451, gives beets the boot when he makes his cranberry borscht. He crafts traditional borscht, a hearty Eastern European-inspired soup, giving it Midwest big-city flair with carrots and cranberries. The cranberries bring a tart taste to the soup; carrots add a little sweetness. “A soup with just cranberries would taste really bitter,” Quakenbush explains. “The carrots add a unique sweetness.” He mixes the ingredients together with cream using an immersion blender. He developed the recipe, which was especially pleasing to his general manager, a native of Ukraine, by “playing around” in the kitchen at Zed 451 in River North one day. “I grew up in West Germany. I got a real glimpse of different cultures,” Quakenbush says.
739 North Clark
Best of Chicago 2011