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Ricker Does Chicago

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Pok Pok's Andy Ricker usually heads to Thailand for inspiration. But during a recent visit to Chicago, he stopped into Grant Achatz's currently Thai-influenced Next with a reporter from Time Out Chicago in tow, and the pair "overanalyzed everything that went into our mouths for more than two hours." Among Ricker's takeaways: Grilled banana pairs well with garlic, Next makes a killer pork broth for tom yum, and nam prik chili paste tastes better with white anchovies. "'I love this,' Ricker said, 'I'm calling JB [his sous chef] to tell him about it.'" [TOC]

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