Executive Chef, Stephanie Izard
If you want to try our goat meat prepared by an award winning chef, check out one of Chef Stephanie Izard’s three goat-centric restaurants in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood: Girl & The Goat, Little Goat, and Duck Duck Goat.
“But...why would I want to try goat?”, you might be asking yourself. Goat is a bit late to arrive on the food scene in the US, but it is the most popular meat worldwide. It’s a lean meat that requires slow-cooking or creative preparation to really bring out its delicious, unique flavor. If goat meat isn’t prepared well, or if it’s the wrong goat breed, or if its diet isn’t carefully controlled, it can be “gamey”. This is why some cultures cover up this flavor with curries or other spice-heavy sauces.
But Chef Izard wanted to find local goat meat that was really good on its own and use it in many of the ways she would pork. She was inspired by her last name (“Izard” is another name for chamois -- a type of goat antelope found in the mountains of Europe) and ready to take on a new challenge after closing her first restaurant and winning Bravo’s Top Chef competition. So she and her business partners started trying goat from local farms and found that Kilgus Farmstead goat meat stood out above the rest. Chef Izard says that Kilgus Farmstead goat meat tastes “very clean and pure” and “does not have any of the gaminess that some goat has”. These attributes have made it possible to use Kilgus goat meat in a variety of creative ways, now in three different Chicago restaurants.
Girl & The Goat was the first of the trio to open and serves a “family style menu of tasty, bold flavored foods with global influence”. Goat dishes on the menu range from goat liver mousse to goat ribs to goat empanadas. Chef Izard says that if you’re feeling hesitant, then the empanadas are a little more “beginner friendly”. She also says that "for folks who really want to taste the goat", she recommends whole necks and shanks or even mid-rare roasted loins. You can even call ahead and have whole goat legs prepared in advance for you -- these are cured, smoked, braised and then finished in the woodfire oven (a multi-day process!). Chef Izard says that these are “just awesome to see go out into the dining room!”.
Little Goat, Izard's second goat-themed restaurant, is a diner and bakery across the street that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here you can order a Kilgus Goat Burger with your choice of toppings, ranging from the traditional (American cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and onion) to the more unusual (Bahn mi style, including pickled veggie slaw, orange mayo, mint, and cilantro). You can also order Sloppy Goat (described as sloppy joe gone goat) with rosemary slaw, Goat Chili, or Goat Chili Cheese Fries. Little Goat also features their own freshly baked bread and pastries, a full coffee bar, and a creative, local twist on many breakfast, lunch, and dinner favorites.
Duck Duck Goat is Izard’s newest restaurant in town, serving what she calls “reasonably authentic” Chinese food. It’s only a few blocks away from the other restaurants with decor that makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into Chinatown. There are many Chinese dishes with an Izard twist on this menu, but if it’s goat you seek then you’ll want to try the Goat and Duck Skin Springroll, Goat Belly Lo Mein, or Sichuan Eggplant & Goat Sausage.
No matter which restaurant or dish you choose, we don’t think you can really go wrong. Given all the time, research, energy, skill, and labor that Chef Izard and her team have invested into adding goat to their local menus, not to mention all the accolades they’ve received, they clearly know how to prepare some of the tastiest goat meat around.
And as Chef Izard attests, Kilgus Farmstead goat meat is an important part of what makes these dishes taste so delicious. Our Boer goats are a heritage breed, selected for great meat quality for over a century, and they are fed a rich, controlled diet of our own homegrown non-GMO corn and grains.
The pairing of our goats with Chef Stephanie Izard’s talent has led to great things. We hope you’ll give it a try the next time you’re in the West Loop neighborhood!