New Takes on Midwestern Comfort Food

At Senate in Cincinnati, chef Daniel Wright tops hot dogs with béchamel or kimchi and more. Photo © Anthony Tahlier Photography
By Christine Quinlan Posted October 03, 2013

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.

Senate (Cincinnati)
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
Minneapolis Travel Guide
Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.

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