Chef Devon Quinn Speaks to Lisa Shames and Chicago Tribune On Upcycling Ingredients

April 17, 2024 | eden

Chef Devon Quinn, The Paramount Group’s Chief Culinary Officer, co-owner, and Executive Chef at Eden, contributed to a recent Chicago Tribune article titled “Earth Day is only once a year; these Chicago chefs upcycle ingredients every day,” by journalist Lisa Shames. Chef Devon, alongside other Chicago chefs, shared his approach to utilizing ingredients to their fullest and effective and sustainable ways to store them.

At Eden, a lot of its produce comes from its large greenhouse nearby. There, chef Devon Quinn grows 46 types of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. Inevitably, there are leftovers.


“Freezing, fermenting, salting and dehydrating are our main ways of preserving here,” he said. “These are simple processes that people have been doing for thousands of years.”


A recent surplus of garlic chives was turned into kimchi. Blueberries bought in bulk from a favorite local farmer were lacto-fermented and turned into a blueberry jus for a steak dish that also included house-pickled daikon.


When trimming meat, the leftover fat is clarified and used to cook something else. Leftover braised meat juices are turned into a sauce.


Bought items also have a second life at Eden, said Quinn. Pickle brine becomes part of Eden’s fried chicken brine and oil from jarred artichokes is used to confit vegetables.


“I am always challenging our staff to be thinking with foresight before they begin a project,” said Quinn. “Sometimes these things fail, but we have compost bins for that.”



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