Chatting with the Chefs: Thomas Lents + Chris Tong


Thomas Lents was appointed executive chef of Sixteen in January 2012, after working in some of the world’s most celebrated fine-dining establishments. In his position at the acclaimed restaurant, Chef Lents presents a personal interpretation of modern, French-inspired American cuisine that marries the details and qualities of traditional fine dining with modern style and culinary perspective. Chef Lents began his career as executive sous chef of Chicago’s four-star restaurant Everest. After a five-year tenure, he chose to broaden his culinary perspective by moving to Dublin, Ireland, where he worked as a sous chef in charge of the wild game and seafood departments at the Michelin two star-rated Thornton Restaurant inside the Fitzwilliam Hotel. During his time abroad, Chef Lents took advantage of his proximity to England and staged in several acclaimed kitchens, including the Michelin three star-rated Waterside Inn in Bray and Le Manoir Aux Quatres Saisons in Great Milton. Discover Chef Lents' internationally-acclaimed talents at his Chef Demonstration at Green City Market Lincoln Park on Wednesday, August 3 at 10:30am. 
What is your favorite Green City Market product?
It really all changes with the season. I love the quality of the farm eggs I can get year round, but I have to say its all about the tomatoes and stone fruits for me at the moment.
What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago (other than shop at Green City Market, of course)?
Too be perfectly honest anything I have time to do with my wife Rebecca. We are both chefs so we dont get to spend as much time together as we would like to get out and have dinner in one of the great restaurants in this town and enjoy a little time together.
What is in your fridge right now? 
Shockingly little. I lived in Europe for several years and really picked up the shopping for the day idea. I only eat at home on my days off and I usually do the shopping for those meals that day.
What is one tip you have for home cooks shopping at Green City Market?
Talk to the farmers. Ask them questions, find out what they are the most proud of and what is at the peak of season. They are all great, hard working individuals and really know whats best at the moment.
5. What is the one food you couldn't live without? 
There are probably a lot more than one, but I'll say butter. After years working for French chefs I would not know what to do without it!
German-born and trained, Chef Christopher Tong has been creating distinctive Continental and French cuisine
in the United States for more than 25 years. After he was recruited to join the culinary staff of Ciel Blue, a famous
award-winning restaurant in Chicago, he continued his career at prestigious establishments around the country. Ten years ago, he launched My Private Chef, taking that same exquisite cuisine into the world of private dining.Christopher was named one of the top 100 Chefs in Chicago and received the 2000 Gold Medal Award by the American Tasting Institute. He teaches his skills to students at the Culinary Internship Program at St. Augustine College. Come meet Chef Christopher at his cooking demonstration Saturday, August 6 at 10:30am at Green City Market Lincoln Park
What is your favorite Green City Market product?
I love all the vendors, and they have such a great variety of fresh produce, it’s impossible to pick just one.  People love the market because they can discover products as they purchase what they need. 

What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago (other than shop at Green City Market, of course)?
I like to participate in outdoor activities, riding my bike on the lakefront and visiting the neighborhood festivals. 

What is in your fridge right now?
Fresh fruit such as blueberries, vegetables, black truffles, Irish butter, Coffee from Costa Rica, Venison, Yogurt.

What is one tip you have for home cooks shopping at Green City Market?
Talk to the Farmers and ask them about their products. Try some new items at the market.

What is the one food you couldn't live without?
Butter and freshly baked Breads.

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