Sweet Potatoes chef to headline Soul Food Week Dinner in Chicago

Sweet Potatoes chef to headline Soul Food Week Dinner in Chicago
January 14
00:00 2016
Chronicle file photo
Restaurateurs Stephanie Tyson and Vivian Joiner will be guests at the Soul Food Week Dinner in Chicago on Jan. 20.

Special to the Chronicle

Stephanie Tyson, chef and co-owner of Sweet Potatoes in Winston-Salem’s Arts District, will headline the Soul Food Week Dinner at Chicago’s award-winning Big Jones Restaurant on Jan. 20.

Chef Paul Fehribach of Big Jones will be offering diners “a soul food family dinner” prepared from recipes in Tyson’s two books, “Sweet Potatoes, Well, Shut My Mouth” and “Soul Food Odyssey.”

Tyson and Sweet Potatoes co-owner and front-of-the-house manager Vivian Joiner will be guests of honor and make comments and answer questions from diners about cooking with soul and their successful restaurant venture in Winston-Salem where they were pioneers in the city’s fledgling Arts District.

“Chicago is a big leap for us, and we are excited to be able to share our recipes and talk about cooking with soul with folks who are not quite as familiar with southern, down-home cooking as our diners here,” Tyson said.

“We are delighted and honored to be invited,” said Joiner.  “Big Jones was named Best New Restaurant in Chicago in 2009 and our friend Chef Paul was nominated for the Beard Foundation Best Chef in the Great Lakes title three years running – 2013, 2014, 2015.”

Fehribach visited Winston-Salem about a year ago where he prepared a luncheon based on recipes from his Big Jones Cookbook.

The menu at the Jan. 20 dinner at Big Jones, located at 5347 North Clark Street in the Andersonville neighborhood, will include colloloo, catfish NOLA, red rice, crackling cornbread, braised short ribs with mushrooms, smothered cabbage and collard greens, fried green tomatoes and fried okra, and Bernetha Weldon’s red velvet pound cake.

Appetizers will include butterbean hummus on sweet potato biscuit chips, Carolina crab dip with benne crackers, and salmon croquettes with remoulade.

Tyson and Joiner describe their award-winning brand of cooking as “unique, southern-inspired uptown, down- home cooking.”  It continues to draw accolades and invitations for the two to make special appearances and participate in book signings throughout the Southeast.

Fehribach knows something about soul, also.  He has studied southern cooking, researched old recipes and consistently offers diners at Big Jones southern-inspired dishes.

“When we met, I immediately felt a culinary kinship,” Tyson said. Tyson, whose own fried chicken has drawn accolades, pointed out that Bon Appetit magazine declared Fehribach’s fried chicken “Best Fried Chicken North of the Mason Dixon Line.”

“That’s saying something,” she said.


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