Amilinda is turning heads nationally with its Spanish and Portuguese inspired fare.
Amilinda is turning heads nationally with its Spanish and Portuguese inspired fare.

Amilinda listed among Thrillist's "Best New Restaurants in America"

There's more buzz for Milwaukee in a recent listicle published by Thrillist earlier today.

The list lays out the "Best Restaurants in America," a compilation created by senior cities director Liz Childers and executive editor Kevin Alexander. And Milwaukee's own Amilinda – a venue you picked among your favorite new restaurants – is among the hot spots listed.

Childers gives the restaurant props for its Catalan ambience as well as its menu, of which she says, "Just as natural a fit is (Chef Gregory) Leon’s Spanish and Portuguese menu, a small lineup with stars like the Spicy Chicken Naufragado, a grilled Portuguese chicken served over mashed parsnips, that all manage to be even more comforting than Wisconsin staples. And if you know how I feel about cheese curds, then that means quite a bit."

Amilinda is listed among some other Midwestern greats, including The Blanchard in Chicago and Spoon & Stable in Minneapolis, a restaurant run by Gavin Kaysen of "The Next Iron Chef."

 

Chef Justin Aprahamian and his staff are some of the restaurants donating food to men at the Guest House of Milwaukee.
Chef Justin Aprahamian and his staff are some of the restaurants donating food to men at the Guest House of Milwaukee. (Photo: Joe Laedtke)

Chefs' generosity goes national in AP story on Guest House

A feel-good story by Carrie Antlfinger of the Associated Press is making the rounds nationally this week. And the focus is on Chef Justin Aprahamian and Sanford Restaurant.

The article – which recounts the story of Sanford employees’ service feeding 86 men staying at Milwaukee's largest publicly funded homeless shelter, the Guest House – is both a touching reminder that humanity prevails during the holiday season, as well as a statement on the generosity and love that Milwaukee chefs put into their work.

The Guest House meal program, which is reliant upon the generosity of volunteers, currently employs the talents of Sanford, as well as the Bartolotta Restaurants and Black Shoe Hospitality, as well as a host of other faith-based volunteers and institutions. 

"At Sanford, the staff cooks for the shelter once a month," the article states. "Aprahamian, who won the James Beard Award in 2014 for the best chef in the Midwest, said they usually make food that travels easily, like stir-fry dishes, curries and pastas."

On this particular occasion, cassoulet was on the menu.

A video posted on Yahoo relays the complete story, including the origins of the restaurant arrangement, which was coordinated by Guest House volunteer, Dale Rhyan.

When I asked Aprahamian how it felt to see the news spreading so far and fast about their work, he had this to say:

"I think it's very encouraging. It's nice to see a positive story get picked up, compared to what else is out there. Also nice to see Dale [Rhyan] get the attention he deserves for putting the whole idea together and in motion. He's really doing a great thing."

And if that doesn't make you feel good, then I'm afraid your heart is made of stone.

In the spirit of this story – and the upcoming holiday season – I just want to raise my hat to all the Milwaukee chefs doing good in our city. Thank you for your passion, your spirit and your sense of community.

For more information on the Guest House of Milwaukee, vi…

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