Chicago Food Photography: The Peasantry elevates street classics

Chicago Food Photography: of corn pancakes

A corn pancake with fried chicken (above) at The Peasantry in Chicago, June 21, 2012.

Chicago Food Photography: I had no idea how much I enjoyed shooting food until I started shooting restaurant reviews for The Daily. It’s a nice challenge to shoot small items, combined with big backgrounds, to create drama and make the viewer long for an early dinner.

The Daily

CHICAGO – Restaurateur Alexander Brunacci is raising the bar on those paper-wrapped goodies you usually chow on the go. The Peasantry, his new restaurant in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, capitalizes on the street cart craze with a fine-dining touch. Brunacci’s passion seems a logical enough outcome of his previous life as a marketing VP in a suit.

“The first 10 years of my corporate life was spent traveling to and living in Third World countries, from Asia to Latin America to Eastern Europe,” the Australian-bred Brunacci told The Daily. “One of the things I prided myself on was finding the best street food without asking for help. I ate anything and everything, from soups to bibimbap to gyros.” Such indiscriminate gluttony once put him in a Taipei emergency room with a bacterial infection and an IV in his arm — “tepid soup” — but it was a minor glitch in his culinary adventures. “The doctors just rolled their eyes when I told them where I’d eaten. Didn’t stop me from eating street food!”

Brunacci, 44, who settled in the States in 1997, always wanted to open a restaurant. It wasn’t until a boozy 2008 dinner with his brother, Frank — who did stints as the head chef at Victor’s in the New Orleans Ritz Carlton and as executive chef at the Chicago Trump Tower’s Sixteen — that he knew it was time. He left marketing in 2009, recruited chef Joe Doren from the Trump Tower at his brother’s suggestion and opened the wiener outpost Franks ‘N’ Dawgs in February 2010. It was an immediate success with Doren’s homemade sausages and indulgent toppings, from truffle mac ’n’ cheese to cognac-glazed pork belly. Customers lined up after the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” and the Cooking Channel’s “United Tastes of America” aired segments about Franks, whose tagline is “Five Star Dining on a Bun.” … Read More

Chicago Chef Portrait
Chef Joe Doren and owner Alex Brunacci pose at their restaurant The Peasantry in Chicago, June 21, 2012.
Chicago Food Photography of chicken
A plate of duck wings at The Peasantry in Chicago, June 21, 2012.
Chicago Food Photography: of octopus
A baby octopus gyro at The Peasantry in Chicago, June 21, 2012.
Chicago foor photography of Chef Joe Doren
Chef Joe Doren prepares baby octapus at The Peasantry in Chicago, June 21, 2012.

Chicago food photography: restaurant photos

Chicago Food Photography of the pesantry

The Peasantry in Chicago, June 21, 2012.

The Peasantry in Chicago, June 21, 2012.

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