Sharing Middle Eastern fare

Chef brings some of his family favorites to restaurant, presentation


Tessa Morhardt / Clarion

Chef Zach Engel, left, visits with host Kyle Cherek during the Feb. 26 Chef Series presentation at Madison College’s Truax Campus.

Tessa Morhardt, Editor in Chief

Chef Zach Engel came to visit Madison College on Feb. 26 for the monthly Chef Series that is sponsored by Vollrath.

Engel has a restaurant in Chicago called Galit.

The name means “waves” in Hebrew and is also based off of his daughter’s nickname.

His menu was formed from the culinary experiences that he has had over the years, as well as the dishes that he and his general manager and business partner Andres Clavero enjoy in their homes.

“In a sense, we are Americanizing what Middle Eastern food is,” Engle said. “But people are wanting to eat it because if you can do a really good version of it, they are more willing to try it somewhere else as well.”

In his dishes they use many grains to make couscous and rice, but the difference is in how they prepare them.

With his rice, Engel uses Vollrath two-inch hotel pans to cook it because they are thicker and sturdier.

“We are building rice as a vessel to carry other flavors in the rest of the dish,” he explained.

When preparing any rice dish, Engel’s recommendation is that you have to be very precise with each step because even one small hole in either the saran wrap or the tin foil can ruin how the rice is cooked. If the rice is not cooked correctly the process has to be started all over.

You are able to find Galit at 2429 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614.