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Chris Newsome

Chef Chris Newsome
Photo courtesy of Ollie Irene

Restaurant: Ollie Irene (Read a review)

Location: Mountain Brook, AL

Why He's Amazing: Because he's given his hometown its first gastropub, named in honor of his home-cooking sharecropper grandmother—and it's awesome.

Culinary School: Coursework at Johnson & Wales University (Charleston, SC)

Background: Bottega Café, Highlands Bar & Grill, Hot and Hot Fish Club (Birmingham, AL); Pizzeria Delfina, Spruce (San Francisco); FIG (Charleston, SC)

Quintessential Dish: Cornmeal-dusted catfish with sweet potatoes, lemon butter and cumin-scented ham

The Name: Ollie Irene, Newsome's paternal grandmother, was an Alabama farmer's wife known for her homegrown food, good cooking and generous hospitality. Newsome says the food he ate in her kitchen as a child (handmade dumplings, sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt) made a huge impression on him.

The Town: Warren Manning, a colleague of Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect behind New York's Central Park, designed Mountain Brook.

On His Incredible Chicken Liver Pâté: "I won't share my recipe, but the secret to the texture is the addition of blanched pork fat emulsified with chicken liver. I learned how to make this by watching a chef I once worked with. It takes a whole day to make and the final step includes poaching it in a water bath. It's all about the technique."

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