Executive Chef Joshua Linton was featured in Chicago Social's 'The Restaurant Issue 2010.' They called it star search; meeting the next generation of killer kitchen talent. Read Linton's excerpt below:
THE CHEF: Joshua Linton, 29
THE ROLE: Executive chef, aja
The SHTICK: Shared-plates, regional Asian How's It going today? Crazy. I have 16 new dishes going on the menu tomorrow. Like what? There's a twice-cooked pork with Chinese black beans that I think will go over really well. And stir-fried lily bulbs and celery. Cool--I've never heard of eating lily bulbs. If you were to plant it, then the lilly flower would grow. It's actually very sweet and crunchy, like a fresh water chestnut but even sweeter. We cook them really hot and really fast in the wok so they retain their integrity. Where do you discover ingredients like that? In high school I lived in Finland for a year. In D.C. I worked for Jose Andres, which was the first exposure I had to eastern Mediterranean cooking. He also had a Mexican restaurant, so he was getting ingredients from Mexico that I had never seen. So I'm very influenced by ingredients from all over the world. I understand how flavors come together from multiple cultures. Which leads us to your spice line, which is very eclectic. Joshua Tree Spice Studio. I'll be adding six new spices in August. I'm doing a Korean barbecue rub with chiles and miso and sesame and garlic.
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aja is located inside the dana hotel and spa at 660 North State Street, 312.202.6050