The three Michelin stars he was awarded for Grace restaurant have been tattooed on his hand. Chef Curtis Duffy is ready to make them current again with his new project Ever, a restaurant that manages such a seasonal menu that the year is divided into “52 micro-seasons.”
It is an obsession. This is how Curtis Duffy, a chef with three Michelin stars under his belt, describes his new project, Ever. Born in Ohio and raised in Colorado, he skyrocketed professionally in Chicago. Duffy soon recognized his calling and, by 2003, he earned the title of "Best Innovative Pastry Chef" from the prestigious magazine, Food & Wine.The dizzying rise to three stars soon followed, which he maintained for four years in a row from 2015 to 2018 with his previous restaurant, Grace. Such recognition catapulted him among the country's leading chefs and made him an absolute celebrity in the city. Now, after his recent sabbatical, a new challenge and ”obsession” has emerged and, at last, it has a name: Ever, his brand new restaurant, launched with his partner Michael Muser (who, among other things, is the author of the photos showcased on these pages). Not even the Covid-19 lockdown curtailed Chef Duffy's desire to give the city new sensory experiences starting from the food and the new impressive location at 1340 W. Fulton Street.
Chef Duffy, we tried to summarize your career, but what would you say were your three real key moments?
Achieving and maintaining three Michelin stars for four straight years; opening Ever and Grace; and moving to Chicago to work for Chef Charlie Trotter.
This shows we were right on target. On the other hand, being recognized by the Red Guide is so important that he has three stars tattooed on his hand. What would you like to get tattooed for your new project, Ever?
The three stars on my hand are a daily reminder of what I am trying to achieve and the high standards I'm trying to reach with everything I do, including at my newrestaurant Ever.
Ever is not only an experience for the palate. The sensory impact also originates from the design choices.
Ever's interior design is modern and timeless; it ia meant to evoke a warm feeling. Guests are seated at tables that we selected preciselyfor their inky black color. It focuses the diner's attention on each dish as it is placed in front of them. We've thought of everything about the diner's experience.
The biggest surprise may be that there is no clear view into Ever's kitchen from the dining room, which is very different from the view inside Grace.