​This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy's; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

In a city that's filled with award-winning chefs, standing out can be challenging. The roster is populated with culinary artists, and one of the best is Bill Kim.

With a background that includes training in French cooking techniques and serving as Charlie Trotter's chef de cuisine, you might think Chef Kim's cooking would be difficult and his restaurants would be expensive. Instead, Chef Kim is known for making fine dining accessible and his popular restaurants, urbanbelly and bellyQ, showcase his unique take on Asian-fusion cuisine at an affordable price-point.

On Friday, Dec. 8 at 12pm, Chef Kim will be personally accessible with a cooking demo at Macy's on State Street in Chicago, IL (111 N State St, 7th Floor Culinary Studio). A select member of their Culinary Council, the popular chef will share stories as well as let you in on some culinary secrets and techniques. AND you get to eat and drink!

Here's a big bonus: if you purchase $30 or more in the Home department that day, you'll get a $10 Macy's gift card, a Bill Kim Belly sauce, and a chance to meet the Chef.

I'm particularly excited for this event not only because of the above, but also because I've tried my hand at one of his recipes, and it's now one of my favorites and will be added to my regular roster.

I love to cook - as in, my idea of a fun Sunday is spending the entire day making a complicated meal from scratch. Hosting Thanksgiving dinner, with its cornucopia of dishes and the hours spent preparing them, is one of my favorite things to do each year. But those Sundays come around infrequently, and Thanksgiving is just once a year. In the meantime, I still want to prepare something that's delicious, creative, and doesn't take an entire afternoon to put together.

Enter Chef Kim. I made his Spicy Thai Steak with basil and cilantro marinade, and it was easy and SO delicious. 

Sometimes you look at a recipe, and at the ingredients, and you know it's going to be good. That's how I've felt about every single recipe I've seen of Chef Kim's. I ended up trying this one because the steak didn't need to marinate for long and I already had all of the ingredients, except for fish sauce. (And now I have LOTS of fish sauce - another reason I'm excited for Friday's demo.)

The recipe's below. In the meantime, go ahead and RSVP for this free and tasty event! Details are at bit.ly/BillKim

Bill Kim's Spicy Thai Steak with Basil and Cilantro Marinade

  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 8 peeled garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds skirt steaks cut into 5-inch lengths or flank steaks left whole - I used thinly sliced boneless chuck and it was great!

1.  Finally dice the basil, cilantro, and garlic, and combine them with the sambal oelek and fish sauce. If you have a mini-food processor, you've got it easy. Just combine the first five ingredients in the bowl and pulse until they're finally chopped. 

2. Add the lemon and lime zests and the oil and mix until fairly smooth.

3. Rub the marinade on the meat. You can leave it out at room temperature for at least half an hour, or throw it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. (Bring it up to room temperature before cooking.)

4. If you have a grill, turn it up to medium-high heat. Cook the steaks on one side for about five or six minutes, and then turn them over and grill for another five or six. I used an indoor counter-top grill and, because the steak was so thin, put it on for about a minute before flipping. Once cooked, let the steaks sit for about five minutes and then slice across the grain.

I make some ginger-cilantro-lime brown rice to go with it. Delicious! It can also be served chilled, and since I made extra we're having that with some brie, a crusty baguette, and my sister-in-law's homemade huckleberry jam tonight. Yum!