Damarr Brown's Guide to Chicago

The 2022 F&W Best New Chef’s best bites in the Windy City include comforting salmon croquettes and a classic sweet potato pie. 

Damarr Brown
Photo: Aubrie Pick; Ken Ilio / Getty Images

Learn more about 2022 Food & Wine Best New Chef Damarr Brown.

Taste of Home

"I love Peach's Restaurant. It's on the South Side of Chicago close to home, and they serve consistently delicious breakfast. I always get the salmon croquettes, which make me think of my grandmother."

Food for Thought

"On a night off, I go hit up Esmé. Chef Jenner Tomaska's food is not only intellectual and delicious, it's also really fun. The guy is making fresh hot Cheetos!"

Secret Garden

"Piccolo Sogno is the best place to drink in the early evening. Their patio is beautiful and secluded."

Go-To Takeout

"If I want to pick up food to eat at home, I go to Mustard Seed Kitchen. They only do to-go food so they're really good at it."

Pie Day

"Our pastry chef at Virtue, Becky Pendola, makes the most delicious desserts, and her technique is always spot on. Becky's sweet potato pie during the holiday season is my absolute favorite! She's one of those people who can compose a dessert that you'd find in a Michelin-starred kitchen and turn right back around and simply put a piece of cake on the plate that's the best you've ever had."

Coffee Talk

"I love Carver 47. They have great coffee, smoothies, juices, and sandwiches, and they sell flowers, interesting books, and so on. The place is really low-key, and the staff seems legitimately happy to be there."

On the Rocks

"My favorite cocktail is a classic negroni on the rocks, and no one makes a better one than our bartender at Virtue, Kristina Martinez. Kris has a serious passion for classic cocktails."

Signature Sammie

"Chicago's signature dish is an Italian beef, and I get them at Al's #1 Italian Beef."

Peak Produce

"Hyde Park Produce Market has a great produce selection, and they even deliver, which is great when I forget to order something at the restaurant."

Seeking Beauty

"I think [artist] Theaster Gates is doing a phenomenal job building the community. He identified a need for people to see beauty daily in their communities. He's facilitating some of that beauty through spaces like the Stoney Island Arts Bank and the Currency Exchange Café."

All-Around Faves

"I love Joe Flamm's restaurant, Rose Mary. They have a huge bar for walk-ins and it's always a great time. I also love Demera restaurant. They serve delicious Ethiopian food, and the staff is amazing and seems genuinely happy to be there."

Meet all of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs 2022: Warda Bouguettaya | Damarr Brown | Ana Castro | Calvin Eng | Tim Flores and Genie Kwon | Melissa Miranda | Justin Pichetrungsi | Emily Riddell | Rob Rubba | Caroline Schiff

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