Monday, May 20, 2019 –
6:30 PM Welcome Reception
7:15 PM Dinner
Pacific Standard Time
141 West Erie Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Tel: (312) 736-1778
Chef Erling Wu-Bower
PST: A Taste of California in the Midwest
“Each and every plate should have a cross-cultural conversation to it,” explained Executive Chef Earling Wu-Bower, of the cuisine at his popular Chicago eatery, Pacific Standard Time (PST). “The idea of West Coast cuisine, to us, is that there are not really any boundaries to it. There are Asian influences, Mediterranean influences; there are South American influences.”
Partner Joshua Tilden added his own thoughts on the inspiration for the California-themed venue to members and guests of the Chicago Chaîne, who gathered at PST for a convivial event in May. “From the beginning, we wanted to open a restaurant that embodied our favorite dining experience: an environment where we were having people into our homes. It’s lively and boisterous. It’s a dinner party.”
Since its opening in 2018, the restaurant has been a rousing success. The décor is light and open with a casual atmosphere that affirms the confidence and experience of the PST team. The food is equally as inviting, yet casual. Chef de Cuisine Ben Truesdell noted, “We focus on the ingredients that come in and try to manipulate them as little as we can, because we will never be as good as the ingredients.” He was referring specifically to the Harry’s Berries strawberries of course two but could just as easily have referenced any other item on the night’s five-course menu.
Another ingredient that received special attention was chocolate. Pastry Chef Natalie Saben explained, “You need a really rich chocolate dessert on most dessert menus. The Budino is my dessert for chocolate lovers.” The intense chocolate flavor was balanced by crème fraiche ice cream and toasted black sesame seeds and was served over miso caramel sauce for a truly decadent finish to the meal.
The beverage pairings for the evening also reflected a thoughtful attention to detail. The wines pulled from the Chicago Chaîne’s cellar all came from the Pacific Coast. However, two interesting beer choices—from Delaware and Belgium—found their way onto the menu as the perfect pairings were sought for each course. A single-malt whiskey from Oregon rounded out the beverages, capping off this delightful, West Coast dinner party.