Here at Sprig we’re excited to announce the continuation of our popular guest chef dinner series. This Thursday, July 9 from 5pm - 10pm, only in Chicago, we’ll be featuring the dinner menu of Chef Kyle Connaughton. Kyle is a close friend of mine and a Sprig advisor. He is also the former head R&D chef at the Three-Michelin star Fat Duck in London and plans to open Single Thread Farms Restaurant & Inn to open in the autumn of 2015.
Kyle’s menu of hand-prepared bento boxes that fuse flavors from his adopted homeland of Hokkaido, Japan with the local bounty of Chicago was incredible — and really pushed us to think beyond the bounds of our regular food service.
So, we did what anyone else in our position would do when presented with a creative and complicated menu that needs to be cooked and served at scale to thousands of people: we decided to take it even further.
To respect Kyle’s creative vision, To respect Kyle’s creative vision, we sourced biodegradable bento boxes from Japan, scoured the country to find unique ingredients like tatsoi and organic GMO-free yuba, and ordered in cherry blossom wood for smoking wild-caught salmon. We are so excited to share this menu with you.
One of the reasons we love our guest chef series so much — other than working with some of the best culinary minds in the world — is that we have opportunities like this that push us outside our comfort zone. This menu will showcase a deeper understanding of who Chef Kyle is and also his passion into why he wants to see everyone enjoy Sprig daily.
We asked Chef Kyle what inspired him to make these dishes for you and he said:
Hokkaido, the northern region of Japan, is famous for their hearty miso dishes such as miso ramen. For the chicken before we grill it over the coals we marinate it in white miso and ginger.
The smoked salmon is a Hokkaido specialty that comes from the indigenous people from the Island, the Ainu. We smoke ours in traditional Japanese earthenware called donabe.
I love the flavor and texture of fresh yuba, which is the delicious skin that forms at the top of the soy milk when making tofu. Here we create a brow rice roll using the yuba as the wrapper and fill the rice with a kind of Japanese style pesto.
Per Sprig Guest Chef tradition, a portion of the proceeds from the menu will be donated to the charity of Chef Kyle’s choice. Kyle Connaughton's non-profit is Chicago based Pilot Light which partners chefs with educators to empower children to make healthier food choices. He is excited to support his culinary colleagues like Matthias Merges and Paul Kahan who are doing amazing work to improve the quality of children's lives through positive food choices.