It’s been said that “cellar door” is the most beautiful phrase in the English language.
When combined, these two relatively simple words create a smooth elision of vowel sounds bridging from one to the other while moving downwards, therefore making it an effortless task. What about “provisions”, though? It doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely and by definition, it’s merely supplying food or drink for a large group of people. Nothing fancy about that, huh? It’s when all three are strung together that the real magic happens.
Cellar Door Provisions is a quaint, locally sourced, farm-to-table restaurant found within the heart of Logan Square. Bowl after bowl, plate after plate, all you’ll see is art. From the many vibrant pops of color to the intricate folds in a single pastry, each dish is crafted to perfection. What you don’t see is the passion that goes into them. Owner and talented cook, Tony Bezsylko, was kind enough to let me into his kitchen so I could get a front row view.
While his movement of hand was a sight to behold, it’s what I heard coming out of his mouth that impressed me most. “I want our guests to know where their food came from”, quotes Bezsylko. “The spirit at Cellar Door Provisions is as collaborative as it can be, as is the food, coming almost entirely from farmers whom we know personally”, he goes on to say.
So, when you’re seconds away from inhaling those delicately stacked sweet potatoes topped with hazelnuts and pears, take one more second to acknowledge the time that went into it. I’m not just talking about the coordinating of what goes when and where, but rather, the effort.
Every Wednesday and Saturday morning, a chef becomes a shepard and goes to market to collect, say, peppers – peppers that will inevitably become spices in your salad, seasoning on your soup, or a meal entirely all its own. It could even be flour – flour that will mix with water to become the toasted bread under your sautéed vegetables or the fluffy, buttery croissant that’s dipped into your cup of coffee. These are individuals who create some of the most beautiful meals, but what’s even more beautiful is the way in which they do so.
All this being said, perhaps we should reconsider how lovely the word “provisions” truly is.