The Pitch’s Secret Menu: Shrimp de Jonghe at Jasper’s Restaurant

“The next time you’re dining at Jasper’s Restaurant, and if I’m not too busy, just ask me to prepare the dish,” he says. “And I can guarantee, you’re going to really enjoy a taste of Chicago history!”

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While you’re reading this, chef Jasper Mirabile is living his best life in Italy right now. The venerable culinary pro is on a sojourn to his homeland for a few weeks of R&R. 

Seconds before the mothership called him home, we hit up Mirabile to ask about any secret menu items he might have at his beloved Italian restaurant. Turns out he’s got a bevy of hush-hush dishes many customers probably don’t know about.

“Yes! Pasta alla carbonara, eggplant Norma, veal picatta ‘old school,’ and my father’s signature strawberry Chantilly,” he told us nonchalantly. “But the one secret dish I always get requests for that’s not on the menu at Jasper’s? It’s my Shrimp de Jonghe!”Screen Shot 2022 10 09 At 75948 Pm

Mirabile says the dish has a storied history and dates back well over a century. “Shrimp de Jonghe was first prepared in Chicago almost 130 years ago by the De Jonghe brothers, Henri and Pierre,” he says. “They were Belgian immigrants who owned De Jonghe’s Hotel and Restaurant in Chicago. The dish became popular at the hotel and other restaurants around the city, but the brothers would never give the recipe away.”

Chef Mirabile boasts his version is legit. “It’s about as accurate as you’re ever going to get,” he laughs. “Well-known French chef Gus Reidi taught me how to prepare the dish here in Kansas City. I’m very grateful to him.”

When asked for a description of said dish, Mirabile didn’t hold back. “Imagine a casserole of whole peeled shrimp blanketed in garlic, cream sherry, and breadcrumbs along with a few other ingredients that put this dish over the top,” he says. “It’s absolutely delicious and quite easy to prepare.”

If you’ve already drooled all over yourself, you’re not alone. But there’s one catch to ordering this decadent off-menu entrée, Mirabile has to whip it up himself.

“The next time you’re dining at Jasper’s Restaurant, and if I’m not too busy, just ask me to prepare the dish,” he says. “And I can guarantee, you’re going to really enjoy a taste of Chicago history!”

Heads-up, if you’re jonesin’ for his Shrimp de Jonghe, you best wait until he’s back in the country.

“There are plenty of other secret menu items you can try out in the meantime,” he says. “Mangia bene!”

Categories: Food & Drink