chefwatch

Jordan Frosolone Tends Hearth Every Night

Jordan Frosolone: Marco Canora's alter ego (for now).Photo: Melissa Hom

Each week, we'll be highlighting one of the great but obscure young chefs who are actually running one of the city's major restaurants. .

Name: Jordan Frosolone

Age: 31

Restaurant: Hearth

Background: Forsolone, a native Chicagoan, put in time at Coco Pazzo, Blackbird, and Nomi, before hitting Italy for a year of heavy duty in Florence and Umbria. He then started in as a line cook for the famously demanding Marco Canora, at Hearth. When Canora went uptown to open Insieme, Forsolone was promoted to chef de cuisine and given the keys to Hearth.

Self-described Style: “I’m definitely in love with the greenmarket. Focused and balanced Italian and southern French.”

Why He’s a Comer: Hearth is the fine-dining restaurant in a neighborhood with a lot of money and an itch to try new places. Without its chef present, it had to produce food every bit as good as or better than what it produced when Canora was present — in an open kitchen with a chef’s counter feet away. Fifty to sixty percent of the Hearth menu was created by him, a fact that pleases executive chef Canora: “He’s completely taken ownership at Hearth and treats it as his own. I have all the confidence in the world in him. I wish he could stay here forever, but I know he’ll go off to do his own thing eventually.”

Judge Him By: Roasted sturgeon with braised cabbage and pork sausage. It just went on the menu and is exactly the kind of courageously unadorned, grown-up dish Canora specializes in — not at all the kind of thing you expect from a young chef, even one who spends fourteen to sixteen hours a day in the kitchen, “and more during greenmarket season.”

Guesstimated Time of Arrival
: Frosolone modestly says, “I’m about five years away,” but we're guessing two on the outside, with one a possibility if the Italian frenzy continues unabated.

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