Chefs aren't the only talents finding inspiration in the Midwest. Here, artisans to watch from a fourth-generation carpenter to a custom furniture designer who prizes salvaged materials.
Matt Voight, a fourth-generation carpenter in Traverse City, crafts rustic-meets-modern furniture. He makes this Carlson credenza with a combination of woods, including pine and reclaimed Douglas fir. $2,500; milledco.com
Minnesota: The Foundry
This year-old Minneapolis housewares shop carries designs from local artisans, like handmade ceramics by Ginny Sims, beeswax candles and carved wooden utensils. From $1.50; thefoundryhomegoods.com
Milwaukee brothers Vincent and Paul Georgeson design timeless pieces with clean lines, like the Sixagon stool ($350), made from recycled steel, and the walnut-and-steel Grain table ($1,775). misewell.com
Ohio: A Piece of Cleveland
Chris Kious salvages wood to make gorgeous wall panels and custom furniture. He used oak and pine from the 1920s to build the wall and ceiling at Pura Vida restaurant in downtown Cleveland. apieceofcleveland.com
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These Midwestern chefs are taking the homey foods of their childhood and modernizing them with spices and progressive techniques.
Butcher & the Boar (Minneapolis)
The Inspiration: Living in St. Paul, a city with a big German population, chef Jack Riebel ate lots of pan-fried pork chops with applesauce.
The Update: Riebel replaces chops with pork sausage and makes a sweet-tart sauce with hard cider, cider vinegar and pureed apples.
Rye (Leawood, KS)
The Inspiration: "Growing up in Kansas City in the 1970s, fried chicken was everywhere," says chef Colby Garrelts. "And then it just disappeared."
The Update: His fried chicken takes three days, starting with brining and ending with a baking powder-spiked batter for an extra-crispy crust.
The Inspiration: Chef Daniel Wright loves hot dogs with sauerkraut: "This area is known for sausages and hot dogs. We have access to incredible meat."
The Update: Wright puts a Korean spin on his beef hot dog, topping it with homemade kimchi, braised short rib and pickled cucumbers.
Related: 100 Restaurants Worth a Pilgrimage: North America
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