1. Richie Farina / Moto

    05:37

    from Chat Chow TV / Added

    Chef Richie Farina knows a thing or two about carving out a name for himself. The Top Chef contestant (and three-time collegiate ice-carving title-holder) is leading Chicago in the art of molecular gastronomy at Moto Restaurant. Putting his own spin on the Moto menu, Farina reconstructs palates with innovative plates like his “Study of Venison,” a seasonal platter of venison inventions (watch the video above to see just how many ways there are to eat deer.) Lending Moto even more street cred is its vertical garden in the downstairs kitchen. “It’s kind of cool to be able to go kind of farm to table in about 5 minutes,” boasts Farina. “When things are fired, we go in there, pick the few micros we need, set it on the plate and send it upstairs. The flavor profile is incredible. I thought that a micro greens was a micro green, but I didn’t know until we grew our own how good they could actually taste.” Moto’s mission of culinary curiosity extends to the sweet tooth. Chat Chow TV sat down with Farina and got schooled in Baking 101—the do-it-yourself dessert dish of cookie dough that you eat right out of the bowl. “It adds to the whole idea behind it,” says Farina of the at-table baking-and-eating experience. “We’re really trying to go towards a way of making every course, everything with the course, have a reason.”

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