Chef Michael Altenberg, founder of Campagnola in Evanston, Bistro Campane in Lincoln Square, and Crust in Wicker Park, passed away last Friday night. He was 48.
Altenberg was passionate about organic ingredients from sustainable local sources. He was one of Chicago's pioneers in the organic- farm-to-table movement. Crust, which closed recently, was the first certified-organic restaurant in Chicago.
Altenberg was also head chef at Avanzare, Cassis, Gordon and Montparnasse and he worked at Le Francais with Jean Banchet.
I was both his fan and his friend. He died much too soon and he will be missed. The Bistro will continue its operation.