With the imminent launch of her prepared foods and condiment line, plans to start on her third cookbook, and a new restaurant announcement coming soon, Stephanie Izard is not about to take a summer break. But along with the rest of us, she’s soaking up these fleeting mild days. “[My husband] Gary and I have people over for grill-outs all the time,” says Izard, the toque behind Chicago eateries Girl & the Goat, Little Goat and Duck Duck Goat.
A James Beard Award winner and the first female Iron Chef, Izard’s recently released cookbook, Gather & Graze, has an entire chapter devoted to cooking over live flame and includes fan favorites such as banh mi burgers and Kalbi beef ribs. “It is really my favorite part of the book,” admits the chef, who is partial to late-season sweet corn on the cob.
In addition to her three restaurants, Izard is also training for a sprint triathlon and has a two-year-old son to chase after, but Chicago’s most industrious chef is relishing the city’s summer vibes. “The restaurants are so much more lively with the patios open and all the folks out enjoying the West Loop,” she says. “Chicago really comes to life in the summer.”
Main photo credit: Lucy Hewett