LTH Home

Stone Flower - Tasting Menu in Bucktown

Stone Flower - Tasting Menu in Bucktown
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 2
  • Stone Flower - Tasting Menu in Bucktown

    Post #1 - November 25th, 2019, 5:36 pm
    Post #1 - November 25th, 2019, 5:36 pm Post #1 - November 25th, 2019, 5:36 pm
    This is the new tasting menu restaurant from Jake Bickelhaupt, formerly of the now-closed 42 Grams, which was extensively discussed in that restaurant's topic here. I'm creating this topic to discuss his new restaurant in Bucktown, where GAF and I dined on Saturday evening.

    All seating is at a counter facing the food preparation area. Before the meal, we were seated at The Parlor, a bar-restaurant serving unusual wines and cocktails and small plates, and which shares the building with Stone Flower. The Parlor's sommelier, Josh, introduced each of the alcoholic pairings during dinner.

    My descriptions of the dishes are brief, as they are solely from memory; no menus were distributed. They said they would e-mail me a copy of our menu; if and when they do, I will update the descriptions here. Also, I apologize for the quality of the photos, which tended to have insufficient lighting (when I didn't use flash) or too much (when I did). So without further ado...

    Restaurant exterior
    Image
    Restaurant interior, with Chef Bickelhaupt
    Image
    Skate wing cheeks
    Image
    Salmon
    Image
    Sturgeon
    Image
    Alaskan king crab
    Image
    Tuna
    Image
    Wagyu beef
    Image
    Cheese course
    Image
    Foie gras
    Image
    Juice encapsulated in white chocolate
    Image
    Carrot cake with ube ice cream
    Image
    Dessert featuring a plant-based ice cream said to taste like butterscotch
    Image
    Canele topped with coffee-flavored panna cotta
    Image
    We both felt that this was a worthwhile dinner, featuring dishes that were all creative as well as tasted good (albeit not swoon-inducing).

    Stone Flower
    1952 N. Damen Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773.831.3535
  • Post #2 - November 25th, 2019, 6:30 pm
    Post #2 - November 25th, 2019, 6:30 pm Post #2 - November 25th, 2019, 6:30 pm
    Some quick notes on our most enjoyable dinner at Stone Flower. Whatever the reputation of Chef Jake Bickelhaupt might be (in his angry, aggressive, alcohol-fueled past) on Saturday he was mellow, calm, and seemingly happy. We all struggle to be better people. This assessment is based on three happy hours spent with him and his charmingly chipper sommelier Josh. (Whatever one might think of the cost of the meal - $335 inclusive, pricey for Chi-town), the wine pairings seemed generous and interesting (although we did not order the pairing).

    There is no doubt that Chef Jake can cook, and none of the dishes were failures. My favorite was the sturgeon - by a good measure - however, I haven't been dreaming of any of the dishes, the way I have dreamed of some of those of Chefs Achatz, Cantu, Shields, Sandoval, or Regan. These dishes were highly proficient, smart, but not "operatic." Having said this, and as the photos indicate, the meal was not vegetable-forward, and perhaps could have benefited from more produce. Stone Flower is not a farm-to-table or locavore restaurant and one that does not owe much to molecular traditions. I was also rather surprised that the food - particularly the fish - was not cooked to a point of firmness. They were rather pudding like. Let me emphasize that they were not poorly prepared, but the texture (particularly for the skate) could have been more firm for my preferences. Or at least the texture could have varied more than it did.

    Still, I felt that it is unfortunate that Stone Flower has received so little culinary attention. It is a serious restaurant, certainly among the ten best currently operating in Chicago, which I suspect it would be widely considered if the chef were anonymous.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #3 - November 25th, 2019, 10:52 pm
    Post #3 - November 25th, 2019, 10:52 pm Post #3 - November 25th, 2019, 10:52 pm
    GAF wrote:Some quick notes on our most enjoyable dinner at Stone Flower. Whatever the reputation of Chef Jake Bickelhaupt might be (in his angry, aggressive, alcohol-fueled past) on Saturday he was mellow, calm, and seemingly happy. We all struggle to be better people.

    Eater wrote:On June 4, 2017, according to the Cook County state attorney’s complaint, Bickelhaupt struck Welsh in the head with a bottle, causing lacerations that required two staples. The complaint states that when Bickelhaupt attacked Welsh, he grabbed Welsh ”by her hair” and then threw her to the ground and struck her in the head “with a bottle causing injury.”

    That's great that he was "mellow, calm, and seemingly happy, " but it wasn't his customers he beat over the head with a wine bottle at 42 Grams so I'm not sure why his treatment now of people who overlook his known history and support him at the tune of $335/pop is remotely relevant.

    We all pick and choose who we want to support with our dollars and there is certainly an argument to be made that consumers shouldn't hold Bickelhaupt's past against him in perpetuity. But at least own that you've made a decision to support him in spite of his undisputed past without minimizing what he did as mere "reputation."

    On the "we all struggle to be better people" note, it's worth mentioning that he has filed a lawsuit against his victim/ex-wife for disparaging him in violation of their settlement agreement, making the absurd claim that her comments have cost him $250,000 in sales.
  • Post #4 - November 25th, 2019, 11:01 pm
    Post #4 - November 25th, 2019, 11:01 pm Post #4 - November 25th, 2019, 11:01 pm
    I'm glad you had a good meal, and I think people can make their own choices about where to dine and who to give money to, but I think saying he has a "reputation" and that it's "unfortunate" he isn't getting more attention is aggressively dismissive of the very serious incident that you cannot deny--people were there--and the allegations made that we have no reason not to believe. I would happily never eat at any of my favorite restaurants if the chefs or owners were incredibly credibly accused of the things this man was.
  • Post #5 - November 25th, 2019, 11:44 pm
    Post #5 - November 25th, 2019, 11:44 pm Post #5 - November 25th, 2019, 11:44 pm
    Yeah, I can't foresee ever dining here but I wouldn't begrudge anyone else for doing so. We each have our own processes and priorities when it comes to decisions like this.

    GAF wrote:Whatever the reputation of Chef Jake Bickelhaupt might be . . .

    Bickelhaupt's issues do run a bit deeper than reputation, though. He pleaded guilty after which he underwent court-ordered mandatory drug and alcohol testing, completed a court-ordered domestic violence program and had a restraining order placed on him that prohibited him from contacting his ex-wife for a period of time.

    For some people, his having served that sentence is probably enough to wipe the slate clean. Obviously, for others, it's not.

    Given the damning public information available, the anti-disparagement suit does seem a bit of a stretch.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #6 - November 26th, 2019, 9:33 am
    Post #6 - November 26th, 2019, 9:33 am Post #6 - November 26th, 2019, 9:33 am
    There is a movement - that I support - called "Ban the Box." This suggests that on hiring applications, employers should not ask about a potential employee's criminal justice past once they have been adjudicated and served that penalty. There should not be a subsequent public stoning after our judicial system operated according to our rules and after the punishment, people should be permitted to move on. While this case is not identical as people can spend their own (not inconsiderable) dollars where they wish, it has some of the same features. Chef Jake engaged in behavior that was horrid and he was sanctioned for it. Now the question is whether our legal system is sufficient. Yes, there are some instances in which those credibly accused are treated too lightly, but it is a system that we have established.

    I leave the question of the defamation suit to the courts where it properly belongs as I do not know the details of the agreement or the specific actions of the parties.

    I agree that no one should go to a restaurant where they do not believe that they will enjoy the evening.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #7 - November 26th, 2019, 9:44 am
    Post #7 - November 26th, 2019, 9:44 am Post #7 - November 26th, 2019, 9:44 am
    Yep, guy has every right to open this restaurant and no one has kept him from doing so.

    I hope he and this restaurant fails miserably
  • Post #8 - November 26th, 2019, 12:45 pm
    Post #8 - November 26th, 2019, 12:45 pm Post #8 - November 26th, 2019, 12:45 pm
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:
    GAF wrote:Some quick notes on our most enjoyable dinner at Stone Flower. Whatever the reputation of Chef Jake Bickelhaupt might be (in his angry, aggressive, alcohol-fueled past) on Saturday he was mellow, calm, and seemingly happy. We all struggle to be better people.

    Eater wrote:On June 4, 2017, according to the Cook County state attorney’s complaint, Bickelhaupt struck Welsh in the head with a bottle, causing lacerations that required two staples. The complaint states that when Bickelhaupt attacked Welsh, he grabbed Welsh ”by her hair” and then threw her to the ground and struck her in the head “with a bottle causing injury.”

    That's great that he was "mellow, calm, and seemingly happy, " but it wasn't his customers he beat over the head with a wine bottle at 42 Grams so I'm not sure why his treatment now of people who overlook his known history and support him at the tune of $335/pop is remotely relevant.

    We all pick and choose who we want to support with our dollars and there is certainly an argument to be made that consumers shouldn't hold Bickelhaupt's past against him in perpetuity. But at least own that you've made a decision to support him in spite of his undisputed past without minimizing what he did as mere "reputation."

    On the "we all struggle to be better people" note, it's worth mentioning that he has filed a lawsuit against his victim/ex-wife for disparaging him in violation of their settlement agreement, making the absurd claim that her comments have cost him $250,000 in sales.


    Harassment is especially overlooked in the restaurant industry, where widespread substance use as well as the specific power dynamics in place make systemic abuse an almost universal problem, although it's rarely addressed in food media. Victims have very few resources at their disposal to seek justice or even relief for the many subtle and overt forms of abuse.

    Chefs and restaurant owners are the public face of this industry. Their actions, and our acceptance of those actions, have the power to reinforce standards of treatment that the unseen and unheard workers behind the scenes are then subject to.

    The bad behavior in this industry rarely ever makes it into the media. When an instance of violence as brutal and clear cut as what Mr. Bickelhaupt pleaded guilty to occurs, the least we can do is not dismiss it as a mere issue of reputation. As a public figure he had an opportunity to honestly address his behavior and make amends, but instead chose to sue the victim. I think continuing to support him in the absence of an honest amends sends the message that as long as he can cook good he doesn't need to change, and this industry doesn't need to change either.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #9 - November 26th, 2019, 12:57 pm
    Post #9 - November 26th, 2019, 12:57 pm Post #9 - November 26th, 2019, 12:57 pm
    Since the word "reputation" seems to come up often in this thread, I simply referred by reputation to the public persona of an individual (in the case Chef Jake). I do not know him personally (except from our brief interactions at 42 Grams and at Stone Flower). What I know is from the second-hand media accounts, which are themselves second-hand accounts of police, witness, and legal claims. This does NOT claim that they are false, only that they constitute his reputation as a public person.

    With regard to the issue of defamation, that relates to a legal agreement between the parties. The court will determine whether the parties have lived up to their agreement. I cannot take sides.

    However, I do worry about the so-called "cancel culture" in which people are pushed out of the public sphere and find their careers destroyed beyond what our legal system requires. I am comforted that all posters on LTH are saints. May they always be so.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #10 - November 26th, 2019, 1:10 pm
    Post #10 - November 26th, 2019, 1:10 pm Post #10 - November 26th, 2019, 1:10 pm
    There's a middle ground between giving abhorrent and antisocial behavior a complete pass (which has been the norm for much of history, especially in restaurants) and 'canceling' someone's career (which in actuality is only happening in the most extreme cases of long term abusive behavior. Louis CK is back). And that is called holding someone accountable for their actions. It's not unreasonable to ask a public figure to make honest amends, through both words and actions, if they want continued support from the public who gave them their career in the first place. Attempting to silence a victim by suing them doesn't cut it.
    Last edited by bnowell724 on November 26th, 2019, 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #11 - November 26th, 2019, 1:19 pm
    Post #11 - November 26th, 2019, 1:19 pm Post #11 - November 26th, 2019, 1:19 pm
    But on the other hand GAF, I see your point that the abuser in this instance was brought to justice through the court system. It's reasonable for a potential customer to decide that's enough to put the whole situation behind them and continue to support this person's future endeavors if they want.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #12 - November 26th, 2019, 1:26 pm
    Post #12 - November 26th, 2019, 1:26 pm Post #12 - November 26th, 2019, 1:26 pm
    GAF wrote:However, I do worry about the so-called "cancel culture" in which people are pushed out of the public sphere and find their careers destroyed beyond what our legal system requires.
    I'm right with you on this front. What he did was despicable and he should have been subjected to nothing less than a full application of the criminal code for his offense. Beyond that, it's up to each consumer to weigh that known conduct against all other factors, in determining whether to be a customer at his restaurant.

    I don't know where a continued prohibition on going to his restaurant gets anyone though. By being so outspoken against his very existence it can play to his advantage in that people will rally to his side because they feel he's being unfairly over-punished. It's not like you're canceling Chef Jake in isolation, there are other employees who will suffer if this business goes under. Speak out all you'd like, but have an idea what exactly the people you're going after are supposed to do.
    Last edited by bweiny on November 26th, 2019, 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #13 - November 26th, 2019, 1:52 pm
    Post #13 - November 26th, 2019, 1:52 pm Post #13 - November 26th, 2019, 1:52 pm
    GAF wrote:What I know is from the second-hand media accounts, which are themselves second-hand accounts

    When a victim says, “He dragged me out the back door of the restaurant by my hair, threw me to the ground not once but twice, and after the second time hit me on the back of the head [with a 750ml wine bottle] as I was in a fetal/defensive position on the ground," that is not a "second hand" comment, that's a first hand report.
  • Post #14 - November 26th, 2019, 1:55 pm
    Post #14 - November 26th, 2019, 1:55 pm Post #14 - November 26th, 2019, 1:55 pm
    bweiny wrote:Speak out all you'd like, but have an idea what exactly the people you're going after are supposed to do.


    I'd like to say he needs to make a public statement fully owning up to it, and be vulnerable about it. It's difficult to pass judgement in situations like this because none of us would enjoy having our mistakes play out in such a public forum. On the other hand, this was a case of serious violence in a workplace setting and it was part of an ongoing pattern of abuse, according to the victim. Dismantling the destructive silence from participants, peripheral players, and onlookers around these issues is what MeToo is about. I don't know what the best resolution is.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #15 - November 26th, 2019, 2:16 pm
    Post #15 - November 26th, 2019, 2:16 pm Post #15 - November 26th, 2019, 2:16 pm
    bweiny wrote:
    GAF wrote:However, I do worry about the so-called "cancel culture" in which people are pushed out of the public sphere and find their careers destroyed beyond what our legal system requires.
    I'm right with you on this front. What he did was despicable and he should have been subjected to nothing less than a full application of the criminal code for his offense. Beyond that, it's up to each consumer to weigh that known conduct against all other factors, in determining whether to be a customer at his restaurant.

    I don't know where a continued prohibition on going to his restaurant gets anyone though. By being so outspoken against his very existence it can play to his advantage in that people will rally to his side because they feel he's being unfairly over-punished. It's not like you're canceling Chef Jake in isolation, there are other employees who will suffer if this business goes under. Speak out all you'd like, but have an idea what exactly the people you're going after are supposed to do.

    I think for some people there's no concerted effort at prohibition. It's simply an emotional response along the lines of "I just can't bring myself to do that."

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #16 - November 26th, 2019, 4:06 pm
    Post #16 - November 26th, 2019, 4:06 pm Post #16 - November 26th, 2019, 4:06 pm
    GAF wrote:With regard to the issue of defamation, that relates to a legal agreement between the parties. The court will determine whether the parties have lived up to their agreement. I cannot take sides.

    Let's assume that she did violate a non-disparagement agreement. That he has a viable claim doesn't mean he has to file a lawsuit. His aggressiveness doesn't reflect well on any claims of contriteness. It's not like she's been over the top about attacking him. Additionally, the dollar amount is insane. This is a 12-seat restaurant that's only open a few days a week. How could she possibly have cost him $250,000?
    bweiny wrote:I don't know where a continued prohibition on going to his restaurant gets anyone though. By being so outspoken against his very existence it can play to his advantage in that people will rally to his side because they feel he's being unfairly over-punished. It's not like you're canceling Chef Jake in isolation, there are other employees who will suffer if this business goes under. Speak out all you'd like, but have an idea what exactly the people you're going after are supposed to do.
    If we didn't live in a world where chefs have become public figures (especially one who willingly stars in a documentary about himself and his restaurant), I'd agree with you. If he were to take a job where he wasn't the face of the operation, I don't think you'd see nearly as much opposition to people going to eat his food. Bickelhaupt the person is indistinguishable from Stone Flower. As far as the other employees suffering, we're talking about a few people at most in an industry with really high turnover. I don't think it's a significant concern in light of the bigger picture.
  • Post #17 - November 26th, 2019, 5:26 pm
    Post #17 - November 26th, 2019, 5:26 pm Post #17 - November 26th, 2019, 5:26 pm
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Let's assume that she did violate a non-disparagement agreement. That he has a viable claim doesn't mean he has to file a lawsuit. His aggressiveness doesn't reflect well on any claims of contriteness.
    Seeing as it's the slowest most expensive form of dispute resolution, I'd be skeptical about the idea that he rushed into litigation without an attempt to settle it preemptively (through counsel). It can be true that someone "has to" file a lawsuit as their sole means of seeking redress for economic harm.
  • Post #18 - November 26th, 2019, 6:06 pm
    Post #18 - November 26th, 2019, 6:06 pm Post #18 - November 26th, 2019, 6:06 pm
    bweiny wrote:
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Let's assume that she did violate a non-disparagement agreement. That he has a viable claim doesn't mean he has to file a lawsuit. His aggressiveness doesn't reflect well on any claims of contriteness.
    Seeing as it's the slowest most expensive form of dispute resolution, I'd be skeptical about the idea that he rushed into litigation without an attempt to settle it preemptively (through counsel). It can be true that someone "has to" file a lawsuit as their sole means of seeking redress for economic harm.


    Below is some context for the disparagement Bikelhaupt is suing over. His ex-wife has appeared measured in her comments and has shown genuine concern for not only his ability to get better, but also the well-being of his future employees.

    blockclubchicago.org wrote: Alexa Welsh, his ex-wife and co-owner of their former Michelin-starred restaurant, 42 Grams, said she doesn’t want to ruin his new business — but stressed her ex has a lot of work to do if he wants to earn the trust of the community and his employees.

    “Opening a new restaurant isn’t a walk in the park,” Welsh said. “There is a lot of stress and worry involved. He’s got something to prove again and I’ve never seen him without a chip on his shoulder. All the triggers are there, waiting to be tripped.”


    There is a larger conversation happening around the ethical validity of non-disclosure agreements in workplace harassment settlements, and their role in keeping victims silent while protecting abusers.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #19 - November 26th, 2019, 7:39 pm
    Post #19 - November 26th, 2019, 7:39 pm Post #19 - November 26th, 2019, 7:39 pm
    bweiny wrote:
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Let's assume that she did violate a non-disparagement agreement. That he has a viable claim doesn't mean he has to file a lawsuit. His aggressiveness doesn't reflect well on any claims of contriteness.
    Seeing as it's the slowest most expensive form of dispute resolution, I'd be skeptical about the idea that he rushed into litigation without an attempt to settle it preemptively (through counsel). It can be true that someone "has to" file a lawsuit as their sole means of seeking redress for economic harm.

    I have no idea if he rushed or not or what kind of demands he made before filing his suit. But, as I said, he didn't have pursue the matter at all (and actually didn't have to insist on the clause in the first place) and could let his victim have her say. Toss in the seemingly absurd claim of a quarter million bucks in damages and that counts as aggressive in my book.

    It'll be interesting to see how he tries to tie his inability to get people to drop $300 apiece on a counter service restaurant to her post-non-disparagement-agreement comments. I'd imagine her lawyer will be able to find a host of people who swore off eating at or doing business with Stone Flower from the get-go. I wonder if his lawyer is working on a contingency. Won't be hard to make this expensive for her very quickly.
  • Post #20 - November 27th, 2019, 8:21 am
    Post #20 - November 27th, 2019, 8:21 am Post #20 - November 27th, 2019, 8:21 am
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:I have no idea if he rushed or not or what kind of demands he made before filing his suit. But, as I said, he didn't have pursue the matter at all (and actually didn't have to insist on the clause in the first place) and could let his victim have her say. Toss in the seemingly absurd claim of a quarter million bucks in damages and that counts as aggressive in my book.
    She didn't agree to the non-disparagement clause for nothing. There was consideration in exchange for it. What's the point of the contract if the parties aren't bound to it? Expecting someone to walk away from a breach in which they suffer damages is unreasonable and unrealistic. According to the complaint (supported in the exhibits, which weren't posted), Ms. Welsh was asking for $108k to essentially make her whole and stop talking. If she had a valid claim to that, she'd be the one suing, not him.
  • Post #21 - November 27th, 2019, 8:33 am
    Post #21 - November 27th, 2019, 8:33 am Post #21 - November 27th, 2019, 8:33 am
    So I guess the opening sentence of Phil Vettel's review of Yugen in March has been overturned, when he claimed,

    Phil Vettel wrote:I can’t think of any restaurant that opened with the pre-installed bad will that accompanied the debut of Yugen, which opened just ahead of Thanksgiving last year.
  • Post #22 - November 27th, 2019, 9:14 am
    Post #22 - November 27th, 2019, 9:14 am Post #22 - November 27th, 2019, 9:14 am
    Isn't this a food discussion board. Clearly there are strong opinions here, and few will be influenced by the other side. Its a personal decision. Lets get back to food and save the arguing for political discussions tomorrow, with your uncle while you wrestle for the last drumstick
    "Living well is the best revenge"
  • Post #23 - November 27th, 2019, 9:51 am
    Post #23 - November 27th, 2019, 9:51 am Post #23 - November 27th, 2019, 9:51 am
    bweiny wrote:
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:I have no idea if he rushed or not or what kind of demands he made before filing his suit. But, as I said, he didn't have pursue the matter at all (and actually didn't have to insist on the clause in the first place) and could let his victim have her say. Toss in the seemingly absurd claim of a quarter million bucks in damages and that counts as aggressive in my book.
    She didn't agree to the non-disparagement clause for nothing. There was consideration in exchange for it. What's the point of the contract if the parties aren't bound to it? Expecting someone to walk away from a breach in which they suffer damages is unreasonable and unrealistic. According to the complaint (supported in the exhibits, which weren't posted), Ms. Welsh was asking for $108k to essentially make her whole and stop talking. If she had a valid claim to that, she'd be the one suing, not him.


    Ms. Welsh's livelihood was taken away at the same time she was brutally attacked at work by her husband. Workplace harassment victims are often forced into NDA's as part of the settlement, because the very act of pursuing any kind of justice leaves them exposed and compromised in their ability to find work and make money. Their need for a quick financial resolution is used as leverage against them.

    They are then framed as opportunists for even seeking a settlement at all, and this is unfair.

    There is currently a movement of former workplace abuse victims who are suing to have their NDA's thrown out. It's important for victims to own their stories and speak their truth, it's their right regardless of whatever agreement they signed.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #24 - November 27th, 2019, 11:35 am
    Post #24 - November 27th, 2019, 11:35 am Post #24 - November 27th, 2019, 11:35 am
    Pursuit wrote:Isn't this a food discussion board. Clearly there are strong opinions here, and few will be influenced by the other side. Its a personal decision. Lets get back to food and save the arguing for political discussions tomorrow, with your uncle while you wrestle for the last drumstick


    Happy Thanksgiving! The following is a personal rather than moderatorial reflection: I myself find the discussion quality of these issues (Bickelhaupt and also Gaijin, lately, and for that matter Chick-fil-A) high and civil here with few exceptions, with citations, persuasive writing, and informed personal perspectives from multiple starting places. I find myself quoting things I've read on LTH about these issues in broader discussions - recently to great utility about appropriation and pronunciation in vocal music.

    I do find the process of preparing oneself for - making choices about - dining part of the value and reward of the experience, and that dining can be fundamentally ideologically reinforcing or shattering like the best art. The fact this thread started with firsthand experiences with the food (and alluding to the potential controversy) has, at least for me, made the rest of the discussion reasonable and valuable in EOIC (this forum), but, dear posters, I'd generally read and value your thoughts wherever.
  • Post #25 - November 27th, 2019, 11:56 am
    Post #25 - November 27th, 2019, 11:56 am Post #25 - November 27th, 2019, 11:56 am
    Pursuit wrote:Isn't this a food discussion board. Clearly there are strong opinions here, and few will be influenced by the other side. Its a personal decision. Lets get back to food and save the arguing for political discussions tomorrow, with your uncle while you wrestle for the last drumstick


    There is no such thing as "just the food." There are political and personal implications in all of it. In this case, the chef has already tried using Stone Flower as a way to whitewash his reputation with a fundraiser (during which he used the name of a domestic violence support organization without any notice to the organization) and to center the narrative on his personal redemption while still suing his former victim for an egregious amount.

    I don't think talking about whether the chicken liver toast or whatever tasted good is really the top concern when it comes to this place.
  • Post #26 - November 27th, 2019, 12:34 pm
    Post #26 - November 27th, 2019, 12:34 pm Post #26 - November 27th, 2019, 12:34 pm
    imagine willingly giving this dude money puke.gif
  • Post #27 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:25 am
    Post #27 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:25 am Post #27 - December 2nd, 2019, 9:25 am
    Pursuit wrote:Isn't this a food discussion board. Clearly there are strong opinions here, and few will be influenced by the other side. Its a personal decision. Lets get back to food and save the arguing for political discussions tomorrow, with your uncle while you wrestle for the last drumstick


    Well I guess as long as the trains run on time . . .
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #28 - April 5th, 2020, 3:06 pm
    Post #28 - April 5th, 2020, 3:06 pm Post #28 - April 5th, 2020, 3:06 pm
    Hi,

    My name is Jacob Bickelhaupt and I am the chef/owner of Stone Flower and the ex chef/owner of 42 Grams. I came across this conversation and wanted to comment. However difficult it is to hear my name being compared to Hitler and murderers, I understand where everyone is coming from.

    I have been silent for a long time now. I have been trying to keep my head down and work, mentor young chefs, and just heal myself. I too have been hurt. This is by no means an excuse. I am just asking you to see that I too am a person trying to heal. I lost absolutely everything on June 6, 2017 besides by life. (Which I almost did.) However, I am glad to say that I am very happily married to the most amazing woman and I am so grateful to be 595 days sober as of today. On another note, I want to say that I am beyond grateful for those who gave me a chance, just a chance, to be a good member of this community and share what I can for the better.

    As far as an apology, I have made amends and apologized to the one person that I had to on April 4th, 2019. I called them after asking them permission to do so the day before. I did not make this public because it didn't need to be publicized. However, I think it is time to show the public a few facts and not conjecture.

    Moreover, the lawsuit. I can not speak too much about it, as it is still in litigation. But, I am not trying to silence anyone. They can speak as they want to about what happened on June 6, 2017 or whatever factually. However, it is false that I physically abused anyone and that the restaurant closed due to this event (one act of violence doesn't constitute as abuse- I am not making excuses, however this is not a repeated behavior before or after). All I want to do is to be able to live my life without death threats to me and/or my staff. Without someone hacking all of my accounts and posting fake reviews and impersonating me on fake social accounts. A lawsuit was the last case scenario.

    I never touched any single person in my life except on June 6, 2017. Which was terrible on my part and I could not forgive myself for what I have done. I still believe I have not. It makes me sick. I am shaking and weak as I write this. It is not me. I won't discuss too much about my up bringing, alcoholism, emotional health and the toll my past marriage has put on my mental health because it really doesn't matter. What I can say is that I have made changes in my life to make sure I am healthy, happy and not put myself in a position to harm myself or others again.

    There is so much to say about the good and bad of 42 Grams. I love my little restaurant that came out of no where to earn 2 Michelin stars. What no one knows is that on June 6th, 2017, I told my business partner that I quit because I did not feel safe anymore there. So, I quit and left before service. There are reasons why, but it doesn't matter anymore. The fact is that I left and quit my 2 Michelin star restaurant right as the documentary was coming out. I was at the top of the world. So, why would I quit? I then left to go drink my problems away, as any alcoholic would do, while tweeting that the restaurant is closed indefinitely and thanking everyone. One thing to note, I was not drinking yet that day (around 4:30ish pm). I was, at this time, trying to quit drinking on my own, which is called "white knuckling" or "dry drunk". Long story short, I was receiving texts from the guests for that night on my phone while I was at the bar showing me my business partner cooking my food and saying how amazing she is. They also told me it wasn't too late to come back. So I did...And, I did hurt someone that night physically. I always owned that and made IGTV stories apologizing to the public and a youtube video that Chicago Tribune posted about. I am still owning it. It is a terrible ugly thing to do. And, I hate myself for what I did. I also know that things could have been worse. That's why I turned myself in and pleaded guilty to a battery charge, not a domestic battery charge. I did everything the court asked me to do and more. The judge even told me "I wish more people took this as serious as you do." The psychologist at the treatment center for anger management and interpersonal relationship classes, a leading expert and author about misogyny, said that, "I deal with killers, psychopaths, and narcissists, you are not one of them and you are a good person that did a bad thing one time." I took that class once a week for 26 weeks (Never missed a class). I took it very seriously and I learned a lot. I wanted to be a better man. A better person. I really wish young boys took this class in high school, to tell you the truth.


    I am just going to post some documents regarding most of the topics discussed and just let you decide for yourself where things lie.

    - Did I make an apology or an amends to my business partner/ex? Look at the dates of the email and the amends letter.

    - Did I donate the charity money I raised? If I did, did I donate it before or after Ashok from Eater Chicago led the public to believe that I was lying or stealing?

    - If we were separated from 2015 (and lived in separate homes), how could I be physically abusing anyone. Would someone scared of me go to the Noma pop up in Tulum, Mexico in May of 2017?

    - Why would I quit 42 Grams?

    - Is One Flow Foundation registered with the IRS?

    - What is the date from the Eater article that claims I didn't send Between Friends money? What is the actual date on the check and the confirmation from Between Friends?


    -
    A few clarifying facts and documents:
    amends pg1.png exhibit 1
    amends pg 2.png exhibit 2
    amends pg 3.png exhibit 3
    Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 12.48.42 PM.png exhibit 4
    Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 12.48.58 PM.png exhibit 5
    divorce screenshot.png exhibit 6
    Between Friends Donation Confirmation.png exhibit 7
    ater Charity pg 1.png exhibit 8
    Eater Charity pg 3.png exhibit 9
    IMG_EF257936B8C6-1.jpeg exhibit 10
    Jacob Bickelhaupt
    Chef/Owner of Stone Flower
    1952 N Damen Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773-820-7122
    http://stoneflower.restaurant
    http://twitter.com/jakebickelhaupt
  • Post #29 - April 5th, 2020, 4:26 pm
    Post #29 - April 5th, 2020, 4:26 pm Post #29 - April 5th, 2020, 4:26 pm
    I met Chef Jacob Bickelhaupt shortly after 42g closed. We worked together doing a collaboration pop-up dinner and as a result of that weekend he asked me to work with him on his pop up restaurant called Konro. I had the pleasure of working with Chef for just over 15 months where we held several dozen dinners and served hundreds of satisfied guests. During this time I got to know him very very well and I now consider him one of my best friends.

    Here is the absolute reality people. This is a circumstance of a good person making a very bad mistake and doing one very bad thing. In the nearly 3 years since the incident, I have shared many many great experiences with Jacob including Christmas Eve, Mother’s Day, and the Fourth of July all with my family. He has spent time with my children, my late mother, and my entire family, and I truly consider him a brother.

    I am on the Board of Directors of his charity, One Flow Foundation and I served each and every guest at the charity dinner. I provided all of my personal information to help get the 501(c)(3) paperwork finalized and I saw with my own eyes the check that was mailed to Between Friends that Ashok from Eater wrongly and irresponsibly reported didn’t happen.

    Everyone in this world makes mistakes. Some mistakes, like in Jacob’s case, are bigger than others. But the fact remains people… This was an incident, not a behavior. This fact is undisputed. It’s a shame that this situation has been irresponsibly sensationalized through the media and social media by people who are self-righteous, and unknowing of the real facts.

    I’m not here to judge people for their ignorance… But I am here to defend my friend.

    Jacob Bickelhaupt is a good man, fact! In the last 500+ days he has become a great man. If anyone spent the time to talk to him, get to know him even a little bit, people would realize this.

    I’m not asking you to support him. But what I am asking is that people should spend their time on more important things rather than trying to besmirch and bad mouth a person they have never met or gotten to know and without having all of the facts of a situation over the last few years.

    Chef Jacob Bickelhaupt is an amazing chef, a great artist, and a great person. Give him a chance, or at the very least just let him be.

    Thank you for your consideration.
  • Post #30 - April 5th, 2020, 4:57 pm
    Post #30 - April 5th, 2020, 4:57 pm Post #30 - April 5th, 2020, 4:57 pm
    I support your right to make amends and to forgiveness and compassion, and to move on.

    I think the following statement from your post is odd and I disagree that violence against another person requires more than one occurrence to qualify as 'abuse'.

    However, it is false that I physically abused anyone and that the restaurant closed due to this event (one act of violence doesn't constitute as abuse...
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more