Juniper Berries

In the Fall as the juniper berries start turning from green to purple you'd better pick them before the birds swoop in and devour them all. We've used juniper berries before but not fresh berries, they've always been dried. It just so happens we have an abundance of them growing outside of the kitchen so I decided to roast them to make a juniper oil.

For more than 300 years, juniper berries have been a popular flavoring agent for gin. The word gin comes from the Dutch word for juniper, "geniver."

We think the flavor of juniper could make the perfect accompaniment to butternut squash pasta, acorn squash gnocchi or roasted beets.

One interesting observation; they need to be covered while roasting because some of the berries will explode, and I me really explode. If you look at the side of the sheet pan in this picture you'll see some juniper dust, that's from the berries bursting into total disintegration.

Grind the roasted berries into a dust, add to olive oil and steep on a low heat for 15 minutes. Strain through cheese cloth.

Comfort Food Personified

Meatloaf is the perfect metaphor for an uncomplicated, simpler life. It's such a humble dish, it should be on the White House menu. Everyone in Washington could use a little meatloaf. Sorry about the politics.....back to the meatloaf. This was version #9, we were aiming for a lighter, more flavorful meatloaf and #9 proved to be perfection in the field of meatloaf arts. Light & moist yet encapsulating the fat into the final product, which is a good thing because if you render out the fat you'll lose flavor and end up with a dense "Meatcake".

Meatloaf #9Mashed Yukon gold potatoes, red wine mushroom sauce, French green beans and baby carrots with maple butter, onion straws.


Chef Colby Garrelts, who was nominated in 2008 & 2007 for “Best Chef Midwest” by the James Beard Foundation and was named by Food & Wine Magazine as one of the Top 10 Best New Chefs in 2005, obtained his culinary education in kitchens across the country. A native of Kansas City, Garrelts cooked at two prestigious private clubs, the famed American Restaurant, and the legendary Stollen Grill while attending culinary school. Garrelts developed a taste for big city cuisine, small business acumen and the aspiration to see what culinary experiences he could acquire in larger cities. With all of this on his mind, Garrelts moved to Chicago in 1999, where he became the senior sous chef at the five-star, five-diamond restaurant TRU, under nationally acclaimed chefs Rick Tramanto and Gale Gand. At TRU, Garrelts honed his technical skills, developed his culinary style and met his future wife/partner Megan Schultz.

After graduating from the CIA in 2000, Megan Schultz moved back home where she worked with Pastry Chef Gale Gand, another recipient of the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Pastry Chef Award at TRU in Chicago. TRU raised Megan's level of professional standards and helped formulate her personal vision of fine pastries. Chef Gand gave her pastry staff the freedom to develop menu items and this let Schultz create pastries in her own style. While working at TRU, she met her future husband, Colby Garrelts.

Amuse Bouche of Salted Watermelon

Crispy Sweetbread Fritters
Thanes's potato's, frisée, dijon, speck, hot béarnaise

Wagyu Tartare
Giardiniera, black olive caramel, potato crisps

Fall Missouri Beets
Whipped maytag, arugula, walnuts, champagne vinaigrette

Torchon de Foie Gras
Apple butter, amarena cherries, peanut, brioche bread pudding

Pumpkin Gnocchi
Brown butter, summer squash, sage

Crab, garlic, chili, prosciutto

Diver Scallops
Summer corn, calamari, rapini, fava beans, soy jus

Roasted Halibut
Saffron braised cabbage, orzo, brussels sprouts, almond fennel milk

Seared Striploin
Warm tomato & asparagus, potato espuma, burgundy jus

Wild Coho Salmon
Braised bacon, warm fingerlings, green beans, mustard

Campo Lindo Hen
Swiss chard, la quericia prosciutto, hominy cake, succotash thyme jus

Roast Porkloin
Braised puy lentils, spiced plums, golden raisins, almonds

Pumpkin Custard
Warm ginger madeleines, bourbon gelee, mascarpone ice cream

Chocolate Praline Mousse
Toffee crusted feuille de brick, mini popcorn balls, cinnamon bubbles

Fried Vanilla Cheese Cake
Milk chocolate poached pears, lemon cream, bittersweet chocolate sauce

Assortment of Caramel and Gelée

Winter Menu Development Begins

Today on the 1st day of October we began winter development for January. Here's a glimpse of some warm, comforting ideas we have on our minds. I know I'll regret saying this, but I want it to snow so that I can hide away in a corner booth and immerse myself in the comfort of all that is right about winter food.

Pappardelle pasta, roasted chicken, oyster & shiitake mushrooms, arugula, roasted garlic chicken broth, fresh thyme, romano cheese, pine nuts

The skill of twirling pappardelle displayed here

Creamy polenta with mascarpone cheese. Can you imagine, a bowl of this on a cold winter bet you can, you'd sell your mother for this

Top secret, we'll let you know when we figure it out.