Bastille Day recipes from Chef Greg Biggers, Cafe des Architectes

July 14, 2011 9:44:30 AM PDT
ABC7 celebrates Bastille Day with Greg Biggers, executive chef of the Cafe des Architectes at the Sofitel.

The French celebrate their Independence day much like we celebrate ours?.with lots of grilled food!

(RELEASE) Executive Chef Greg Biggers joined Sofitel Chicago Water Tower in January of 2011 to oversee all aspects of the hotel's dining operations, including its restaurant, Cafe des Architectes. The chic, Gold Coast restaurant is celebrated for its inventive menu, creating Contemporary French American cuisine with seasonal ingredients and current culinary trends.

Though the restaurant's menu is globally inspired, Biggers maintains purposeful relationships with both local and national farmers. He stays true to his mission to provide the best product possible, regularly purchasing items from Burton's Maplewood Farm, Henri's Farm, Swan Creek Farm, and the Evanston Market among others. Chef Biggers' acclaimed dishes, which change seasonally, include Diver Scallops with pistachio, duck confit crepinette and curry-cauliflower bisque; Celery Root Agnolotti with winter squash, black trumpets and mushroom-cocoa tea; and Pacific Black Bass with baby turnips, lardons, black trumpet mushrooms and truffle veloute. Biggers also prepares a Chef's Degustation Menu of seasonally inspired dishes with the option of five or seven courses.

A southerner at heart, Biggers hails from Alabama, where he grew up watching his mother prepare Chicken and Dumplins', a Saturday favorite. Biggers then went on to attend Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina. While in school, he worked at Blossom Café as a Pastry Cook, learning the art of baked breads and pastries. He then became the Private Dining Chef, and then Sous Chef, at McCrady's, an inventive, farm-driven restaurant and Charleston mainstay.

Biggers' early career successes led him to Chicago's 4-star restaurant, TRU. Under James Beard award-winning Chef Rick Tramonto, he held the role of Chef de Partie where he continued to develop his innovative approach to cooking. His next venture led him to Philadelphia to work at Morimoto as the Executive Sous Chef. Here, he developed his craftsmanship with pristine and exotic seafood, as well as managing a prominent, high-exposure kitchen in the heart of a busy urban locale.

Chef Biggers landed back in Chicago when called to rejoin Chef Tramonto as the Executive Chef of two new restaurant concepts, Tramonto's Steak & Seafood and RT Lounge. Here, he lent his creativity and employed his strong management background as he oversaw the development and operation of both 3-star restaurant endeavors. Before his arrival at Sofitel Luxury Hotels, Biggers joined Levy Restaurants' Fulton's on the River. Responsible for a high volume operation, Biggers lead his team in successfully upholding the standards of both high-quality cuisine and impeccable service at this modern seafood and steak

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