Jan 26, 2024 - Food and Drink

Lula Cafe chef Jason Hammel's Best Day Ever in Chicago

Jason Hammel sitting in front of a bar.

Jason Hammel. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Jason Hammel came to Chicago in the '90s to pursue a career in creative writing but instead blossomed into one of the city's most celebrated chefs.

What's happening: The James Beard-nominated chef behind Logan Square's Lula Cafe finally marries those two talents in his new cookbook, full of moving stories, thrilling recipes and handsome design.

We recently caught up with Hammel and asked him what would make his best day ever in Chicago.

Thick piece of quiche.
Floriole quiche. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Breakfast: A slice of quiche and a sticky bun from Floriole.

📖 Morning activity: "When I have a day off, I like to sit in the sunroom in the back of the house and read. That is a gift to myself."

Lunch: Le Bouchon. "My wife and I used to go here before we had kids and recently treated ourselves to lunch of Alsatian tarte, Lyonnaise salad and moules frites."

🛶 Afternoon activity: Taking an Electric Boat off of Rockwell or a kayak off of the pier near Whole Foods.

Dinner: Perilla. "We get the chef's tasting menu, including galbi short ribs, heritage pork belly, shishito peppers with anchovies and almonds, honey butter potatoes with sesame and green bean salad."

ğŸŽµ Evening activity: "See my daughter perform at Visceral Dance center on Rockwell or go to Judson & Moore to see my wife, Lea, who is a musician in traditional countryish bands the Paulina Hollers and Girls of the Golden West."

Plus: "If it's really aspirational, I'd go up to Glencoe to visit the new Honey Butter Fried Chicken and take my kids to a Bulls game, because I am a big fan but I can never figure out the right day we can all go."


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