Montana Long Table: Artisanal Picnic
Chefs Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Chef Christine Cikowski
At Chicago’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Chef Christine Cikowski serves a menu mindful of just how comforting food can be, especially when made with high-quality ingredients from local farmers and enhanced ever so subtly with a chef’s own touches. Opening the restaurant in Fall 2013 served as the culmination of several elements, including putting her and Co-Chef/Managing Partner Josh Kulp’s ideas into a brick-and-mortar location and continuing the community they built with a highly successful underground Chicago supper club.
Kulp and Cikowski serve homey comfort food made right—from the slightly spicy creamed corn to the signature condiment of whipped butter with Wisconsin honey. The restaurant’s delectable fried chicken is locally sourced, cage-free and self-brined and seasoned and also fried in non-GMO, trans-fat-free oil.
Cikowski worked in restaurants as a teen. But she didn’t follow her passion for cooking until she was 27, enrolling in Kendall College of Culinary Arts in Chicago. Cikowski worked at the respected Blackbird in Chicago after graduating, and her experience at the award-wining restaurant grafted onto her personal chef philosophies.
When she’s not greeting customers at Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Cikowski can be found writing for her website, www.achefwhowrites.com, or planning her next getaway. “I travel as much as I can,” she says, “because it always gives me great perspective and a touchstone to nature and to life in the larger world.”
Chef Joshua Kulp
In Fall 2013, after eight years of running a highly successful underground Chicago supper club, Chef Josh Kulp and Co-Chef/Managing Partner Christine Cikowski launched their first brick-and-mortar concept, Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Kulp and Cikowski serve homey comfort food made right—from the slightly spicy creamed corn made in-house to the signature condiment of whipped butter with Wisconsin honey. “I describe it as the kind of food people really want to eat, but done well in a thoughtful way so everything is accessible,” Kulp explains. The restaurant’s delectable fried chicken is locally sourced, cage-free and self-brined and seasoned and also fried in non-GMO, trans-fat-free oil.
Before discovering his kitchen calling, Kulp studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a master’s degree. After graduating, he moved to teach fifth grade—and found himself spending all his spare time in the kitchen and dining out. Kulp moved back to Madison and cooked at Restaurant Magnus and then for the governor’s mansion. He moved to Chicago in 2004 to attend the Kendall College of Culinary Arts. In his spare time, Kulp loves to write and to watch the Chicago Cubs. “I love the Cubs almost as much as I love my grandmother,” he says. “My life goal is to sell fried chicken sandwiches at Wrigley.”
—Huffington Post, Best New Chicago Restaurants of 2013