A chefs' family tree revisited | Food & Drink Feature | Chicago Reader

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A chefs' family tree revisited

Culinary talent that branched out from Alinea, Blackbird, the Violet Hour, Tru, and more

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Hamstrung food-truck reform (a proposed ordinance to allow cooking a la minute remains stuck in committee) hasn't stopped former and current restaurant chefs from rolling out their own mobile operations.

Matt Maroni—Gaztro-Wagon
While still peddling his naanwiches, Maroni, formerly of the Mid-America Club, has now opened a fine-dining restaurant, Lincoln Park's MorSo.

Phillip Foss—Meatyballs Mobile
Fired from Lockwood, Foss started up this food truck; at his southwest-side space El he and Andrew Brochu are offering prix fixe fine dining.

Cary Taylorthe Southern Mac Truck
Taylor, chef at the Southern, spun off this food truck earlier this year and has now branched into a Loop storefront, the Southern Mac and Cheese Store.

Troy Marcus JohnsonChicago All Fired Up
Johnson, formerly of the soul food restaurant Miss Minnie's, found a loophole that allows him to serve his made-onboard barbecue and wings.

Vince DiBattista—Hummingbird Kitchen
The Evanston City Council passed an ordinance allowing cooking onboard, so last year Union Pizzeria and Campagnola chef DiBattista and his partners took off.

Aaron Crumbaugh—Wagyu Wagon
The Peninsula vet has a cook-ready food truck offering Wagyu beef burgers, banh mi, tacos, hot dogs, and chili at fairs and festivals.

Paul Kahan, Justin Large—Big Star Food Truck
Kahan has vowed to go rogue on his forthcoming taco truck, which is equipped with a kitchen.

Download the complete chef's tree here (PDF).

Editor's Note: This story has been amended to reflect that our chefs' family tree incorrectly identified David Ford as the executive chef at the Violet Hour. He's moved on to Telegraph Wine Bar, replaced by Benjamin Caulfield, a veteran of Big Star. Also, Cary Taylor of the Southern and Jared Van Camp of Old Town Social were inadvertently omitted from the Blackbird hub; Van Camp also worked at Tru.

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