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Restaurant News: Brochu Takes Over at Graham Elliot, Publican Quality Meats Opening Soon

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jan 19, 2012 5:00PM


- The big food news from yesterday: Andrew Brochu, formerly of Kith and Kin and EL Ideas, has taken over the helm at Graham Elliot. Brochu is one of Chicago's favorite cooks and many of us were sorely disappointed when Kith and Kin closed and he lost his spot at the helm of a restaurant. Alinea alum Brochu will help lead Graham Elliot on their journey towards "culinary enlightenment" (ah, overblown PR) while their most recent chef, Brian Runge, will be leaving to spend more time with his about-to-be-newborn son before heading off to another project. Brochu has spent the months since Kith and Kin closed helping out Phillip Foss at EL Ideas, and their combined efforts have received raves. Foss tweeted yesterday that he "Wish[es] him nothing but success & am very grateful for our collaboration!" Former Graham Elliot executive chef Merlin Verrier will be moving up to corporate chef in the GE operation, overseeing the upcoming expansion of Grahamwich and the opening of G.E.B. It's going to be a big year for Graham Elliot - stay tuned.

- We reported more than a year ago that The Publican was planning to open a butcher shop. We've heard bits and pieces since then from Owner Paul Kahan and others - that the shop would help free up space in the kitchen at Publican, allowing them to do more things, that it would let customers buy their favorite publican dishes retail - but now it's actually coming true. Publican Quality Meats will be opening in February. Hopefully. The shop will serve lunch from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and will be stocked with local meats and selections from Kahan's best chefs, including olive oil from Koren Grieveson of avec, and chutney from Brian Huston of The Publican. There will also be a bakery, serving a full range of pastries, and a market selling eggs, milk and fancy foods. The architecture sounds impressive - patrons will be able to see "4,000 pounds of meat curing in the glass-doored walk-in on their way to the restroom." No official date has been announced.