Food & Drink

Donuts, Twinkies, and less-sugary shockers

It turns out that Chicago's top culinarians had a lot more to surprise them this year than all the weight they've helped you gain

Charlie McKenna, Chef/Owner, Lillie's Q "Regular Chicagoans really embracing authentic flavors at Asian restaurants -- not the American-ized crap a lot of places dish out. Andy’s Thai Kitchen, Tony Hu’s spots -- they’re doing it right. And people are responding.

Michael Kornick, Chef/Owner, MK "The donut craze, the increase in steakhouse traffic, and Koren Grieveson's departure from Avec.

Mike and Pat Sheerin, Chef/Owners, Trenchermen "The biggest surprise for 2012 was actually getting Trenchermen open. Along with the amount of young chefs opening places this year.

Tony Mantuano, Chef/Owner, Spiaggia "That there were only 18 Michelin stars in Chicago for 2012.

Audarshia Townsend, 312 Dining Diva "When everyone found out on New Year's Day that Charlie Trotter's was closing. What a bummer, but hooray for his next chapter.

Rick Ortiz, Chef/Owner, Antique Taco "I didn't know Antique Taco received a Bib Gourmand until Bang Bang Pie Shop dropped off some pies to congratulate us.

Stephen Cole, Mixologist/Owner, The Barrelhouse Flat "Charles Joly now being at The Aviary. It's more of an excitement thing.

Kevin Hickey, Executive Chef, Allium "The horrifying possibility of a world without Twinkies."