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General Manager Andrew Macker and Executive Chef Brett Neubauer embark on another seasonal ingredient challenge: ramps. Their ‘Follow The Ingredient’ series offers a chance to look behind the scenes at Howells & Hood as they select fun and challenging ingredients to incorporate into a unique cocktail and entrée.

Learn how to infuse fernet with ramps, and watch Chef build upon that for his main food dish and use as much of the fresh produce as possible.

Follow The Ingredient: Ramps

It is spring in Chicago, and that means it is ramps season. Using the earthy, local ingredient to infuse a base spirit, Andrew goes on to develop a refreshing spring cocktail, and Chef Brett uses the leftover ‘mash’ to create a purée for a chicken dish. Ramps can be similar in flavor to green onions and garlic, and are similar in look to scallions. Ramps have a relatively short season, usually appearing around April/May each year.

Bonus fact: The city of Chicago gained its current name from a dense growth of ramps near Lake Michigan. The Chicago River was referred to by the plant’s indigenous name, “shikaakwa” (chicagou) in the language of local native tribes.

Follow The Ingredient intends to offer a behind the scenes look at how seasonal recipes are created, from the initial coming of season of the ingredient, to figuring how to use as much of a product with minimal waste, aiding in recipe creation by challenging the talents of chefs and mixologists, while reducing the waste of a restaurant or bar.

Episode 1 – ‘Follow The Ingredient: Blood Orange’

Episode 3 – ‘Follow The Ingredient: Corn’