Pandel for the People

A Chicago chef’s take on a seasonal infused spread

Chef Chris Pandel at his restaurant in Chicago

Chef Chris Pandel is usually up for anything.

Ever since he opened his neighborhood eatery The Bristol in 2008, his name has been synonymous with fresh pasta, charcuterie and a locally sourced, snout-to-tail ethos. He’s no longer at The Bristol, but now that he has his hand in four restaurants, including the newest, Cira in The Hoxton Chicago, he’s dabbling in just about everything, from steak to seafood to hotel dining.

With that kind of schedule, Pandel, who recently turned 40, started taking better care of himself. That meant he stopped smoking weed.

“My lungs can’t handle it,” he says. “Two years ago, I started going to the gym for the first time in my life.”

But that didn’t mean he gave up cannabis. “I’m looking for relaxation and any kind of recovery from the work week,” he says. “But I also don’t need a super heady high. I’m more of a body buzz kind of guy. I like to be active, thoughtful, aware and spry.”

For that he turned to edibles, usually choosing gummies and chocolate, but when Kitchen Toke asked him to prepare a seasonal infused autumnal spread Pandel-style, he was all for it.

A couple of these recipes are for when you’re up for a challenge. All of them are for when you’re up for something astonishing.

By Mike Sula Photography by Frank Lawlor  

Some of Chris Pandel’s recipes:

Game Bird Terrine Mustard Apples

Game Bird Terrine & Mustard Apples Chicken thighs can stand in for the game birds. Ask your local butcher to grind it for you; caul fat can be found there too. 8 ounces squab, meat only 8 ounces quail, meat only 5 ounces chicken liver 5 ounces foie gras 18 ounces...

Pear and Celery Root Manti

Pear and Celery Root Manti 2 cups whole milk 1 small celery root, diced medium 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 fresh bay leaf Kosher salt, to taste 1 ripe Bosc pear, peeled and diced 2 tablespoons unsalted...

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup with Hazelnut Dukkah Aillade and Whipped Coconut ¼ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons butter 1 onion, sliced 3 cloves garlic, sliced 2 pounds sweet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces Kosher salt, as needed 1 tomato, peeled, diced and seeded ½ cup red...

Shaved Squash Salad With Yogurt Vinaigrette

Shaved Squash Salad with Yogurt Vinaigrette This is a riff on a northern Italian pasta dish that usually calls for black pepper. Pandel punches it up further with cumin, coriander and red chili. 2 ounces red verjus 1 tablespoon dried cranberries 6 cups butternut,...