Hey guys it’s Brady. Just wanted to give you a little back story about how this brunch blog came about. So summer of 2015 (May-July) I was living in Chicago. My modeling agency, Wilhelmina Miami just opened a Chicago office and my all-star booker, Jillian Brade, was heading the expansion. Being from Minnesota, I had always wanted to live in Chicago (especially in the summer) so I followed Jillian out there. Now if you don’t know, Chicago is pretty well-known for its food culture with 34 food festivals from July-September. Although you get the sense that the Windy City is all about the BBQ with notorious events such as Ribfest, Wingfest and Sausagefest, you also have a ton of gourmet restaurants (24 Michelin star restaurants in 2015) boasting some of the countries best chefs. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I knew it was going to be a good summer.
It all started…
when my booker, Jillian, invited all the Wilhelmina models that were in town to brunch to just hang out, get to know each other, and as a way to say thank you for being in Chicago. She took us to Nellcôte, an amazing restaurant known for its fresh, local food located on restaurant row in the West Loop of Chicago. But Nellcôte wasn’t just some random restaurant. They used to have a deal with Ford models (where Jillian used to be a booker) where every Sunday their models could come in and get complimentary food. Now Nellcôte had this deal to increase traffic flow to their restaurant and add to their image of being a luxurious and elegant restaurant where good-looking people hung out. Unfortunately, there were some models that took advantage of this generous arrangement by trying to order food to go and by ordering way too much food and not leaving a tip. A few bad eggs ruined it for everyone else. So Nellcôte scrapped the deal. Debatable is whether or not they got rid of the deal on pure principal of not wanting to be taken advantage of by model snobs or because they were losing too much money. Either way the free brunch was gone. But I thought this deal was still in effect when I picked Nellcôte to be the first restaurant I ever reviewed. It wasn’t until I was about to order my food that the waiter told me the whole story. Bummer, no free food 😦 However, since the restaurant still matched my criteria for being a place I’d want to eat at (local, farm-to-table, food with integrity, seasonal menu, etc.) I ordered my food and the journey began.
Because it’s the only time in the morning you can put booze in your orange juice and not be labeled an alcoholic. No but seriously, brunch is the best meal of the week. A time to relax with friends and family and reminisce about the amazing week/weekend you just had (or to de-stress from the terrible week/weekend you just had). Either way, you are relaxing and enjoying the best food the culinary world has to offer. I’m getting excited about brunch just writing this. Do you love brunch? Simple test: Think of the 3 most annoying people who you would never want to have dinner with. If you would meet those same 3 people for brunch, welcome to my level. Or if this could be you, you are also a brunch lover.
“Hey Brady, we are celebrating Jim’s birthday Sunday”
“Jim from High School??? I can’t stand that guy!”
“Well, we are all meeting for brunch”
“You know it HAS been a while, I should come say hello.”
I am also a huge fan of structure and brunch provides that. It’s only available once a week which forces me to limit my indulgences to the weekends. And being the health conscious person that I am, this schedule would fit perfectly into my lifestyle.
I also love food and learning about it. The history of foods, where food comes from, the ingredients and where they get their names. It’s all very interesting to me. I also graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a Communications and Journalism degree so writing about it is natural to me.
Ever since I started modeling after college, I began learning about how important food quality is. I learned how unhealthy factory farmed meat and dairy is and how even fruits and vegetables can contain toxic chemicals. I learned the importance grass-fed meat and dairy, pasture raised chickens, wild caught seafood, organic fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. So naturally I wanted to seek out the restaurants that shared my food philosophy. If you are stickler for high quality food like me, you know it can be a challenge to find restaurants to eat at. Well, I’m glad you found me because I have done the hard digging for you. Every restaurant you find on my site has met the strict requirements of serving food with integrity. If you happen to live in the cities these restaurants reside, use my review and photos as a guide to help make your visit a more enjoyable experience. If you won’t be able eat at the restaurants highlighted, I invite you to enjoy the food porn and hopefully learn something new about food. Either way, I hope you leave this site with something useful to take with you along your food journey.
In Good Health,