August is National Peach Month and chefs around Chicago are using the bounty of summer stone fruit in a creative fashion, from cocktails to pizza.
Pastry Chef Leigh Omilinsky finds inspiration in Calabria for her pesche con crema dessert at Nico Osteria. “They are the most adorable little things, but traditionally they are just filled with vanilla pastry cream,” she explains. In her version, the pile of tiny peaches have a hazelnut “pit” and are accompanied by earthy, salty olive oil gelato. 1015 N Rush St, 312-994-7100
French toast has rarely been as elegant as at Beacon Tavern, where this decadent brunch dish (photo at top) is topped with mascarpone, fresh sliced peaches, crunchy roasted hazelnuts and basil. 405 N Wabash Ave, 312-955-4226
At Daisies, a new pasta and veggie-focused Logan Square restaurant, Chef Joe Frillman creates a savory play on peaches and cream with chilled grilled peaches and burrata topped with spring onion vinaigrette. 2523 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-661-1671
“Nothing goes better with peaches than pork,” says Chef Jeff Gong of Balena. His new seasonal hearth-fired pizza is topped with garlic cream greens, Klug Farm peaches and nectarines, roasted onions, thin slices of lardo, and nocino vinegar. 1633 N Halsted St, 312-867-3888
Peaches take center stage in the Smokin' Southern Belle cocktail at Smoke Daddy. Old Forester bourbon is paired with housemade smoked peach syrup, lemon and mint, then garnished with a juicy grilled peach. 1804 W Division St, 773-772-6656
Cohasset Punch first became popular in post-Prohibition Chicago and River Roast revives the tradition with aged Guyana rum from, sweet vermouth, fresh lemon juice and crème de peche, a French liqueur from the Loire Valley. It's all served over shaved ice with a roasted peach garnish. 315 N LaSalle, 312-822-0100