Local Restaurant Earns High Honors
By Wendy Kummerer
TL’s Four Seasons Japanese and Chinese restaurant served up a culinary adventure last week for some of the finest chefs in the Chicago area.
The Club Chefs Association of American SHOULD BE AMERICA? honored the Bartlett eatery that opened just eight short months ago, as the chosen spot for the group’s monthly dine out experience.
“Not even in Chinatown can you get some of these dishs. There is no other restaurant in the Midwest that is this great and that includes service, quality and presentation.” Said Don Smith, Club President and chief at St. Charles Country Club.
Once a month the members of the Chicago chapter of the association treat themselves to the culinary mastery of one of their peers. They seek the most sought after area chefs that offer a delectable dining experience and enjoy someone else cooking for a change.
“I love Asian food so much. Since I’ve been president, we’ve gone to sample a few. We recently visited Heat in Chicago, and 10 West in Naperville.” said Smith. “The dine out is about camaraderie and gives us a chance to exchange info, trade secrets, and enjoy a night off with a great meal with our wives and friends.”
Twenty exclusive members of the club were treated to a 16-course OTHER PLACES IT SAYS 17 feast prepared by Chinese Master Chef Bo who once cooked for Chinese royalty, and Japanese Chef Nashimoto. The evening gave the duo a chance to show off their talents and culinary expertise for their peers.
As diners arrived they looked on in awe at the intricate details of the centerpiece, an eagle and phoenix carved from gourds representing strength and good fortune. What followed was an assortment of textures and flavors expertly prepared that took eating to a whole new level. From their signature entrée of beef tenderloin and snow mountain shrimp to the eel rolled in sesame seeds and fried frog legs, the party was impressive as each dish out did the one before. They were also treated to Tiger shark fin, seven-flavored chicken, dragon hair beef and a “Happy Family” stew that includes squid, sea cucumber, abalone, ham and bamboo shoots that were slow cooked over 14 hours. All delectable to look at and savor to eat.
For restaurant owner Shawn Li it was a great treat to let others experience what he already knew; he offers exceptional food that you cannot get anywhere else.
“When I heard the group chose my restaurant I was happy and excited. I have always been very confident and know I have great chefs. We just need a chance to show off. For the regular customers there isn’t enough time. But, for this meal we prepared for a week,” said Li.
The chefs Club was treated to items not regularly on the daily menu. However, other customers have the opportunity to choose from many dishes that combine the authentic flavors and favorites from the Chinese and Japanese kitchens, allowing diners to mix and match textures, flavors and delicacies of the orient.
Chinese Chef Bo is one of the most talented chefs in China, receiving superior ratings in Szechwan cooking for 16 years running, awarded top honors at nationwide cooking tournaments and has appeared on China’s nation wide cooking shows. Chef Nashimoto brings over 28 years of experience that began at his family-owned restaurant in Tokyo, regarded as one of the finest in the city. The Japanese cuisine features entrees tempuras, teriyakis and a sushi bar.
TL’s Four Seasons restaurant is located along the Metra railroad line in downtown Bartlett.