Best Chef's Blog

Critics' Picks

Paul Fehribach

of Big Jones
5347 N. Clark
773-275-5725

bigjoneschicago.com/bigjonesblog

Laurent Gras’ elegant blog for L2O or the saucy Pickled Tongue by Lockwood chef Phillip Foss are perhaps better known, but I find Paul Fehribach’s instructive, conversational outlet more transporting and—especially in the throes of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe—more inspiring in its ongoing interest in sustainable seafood sourcing.

Lots of chefs, of course, swear by the local-and-sustainable credo these days, but Fehribach, an Indiana native with southern roots, is also dedicated to preserving regional and heritage foods. This particular passion results in dishes like a starter recently served as the first course of a Slow Food dinner at the restaurant: Sea Island red-pea cappuccino with puffed Carolina gold rice, bacon froth, and pickled ramps, according to Fehribach a modernized version of the Gullah dish reezy peezy.

On the blog he regularly dissects recipes, providing an “anatomy” of a dish—farro piccolo, for example, with absinthe-soaked raisins, smoked mushrooms, salsify, and white and green asparagus. And while I can’t say I’ve yet made my own andouille, that doesn’t detract from my interest in the chef’s reminiscences of his childhood experiences of hominy or his travelogue of a predisaster trip to New Orleans and Acadiana.