We were at a dinner marking the 5th anniversary of The Gage, the Loop’s groundbreaking farm-to-Michigan Avenue restaurant. Chef Dirk Flanigan, who heads both The Gage and its neighbor Henri, was showing us pictures on his phone of some of the things he’d been up to lately, like cooking for NATO or brewing beer with Jared Rouben of Goose Island… when an idea hit us. We spend all this energy taking you inside the kitchens, lives, and thought processes of our best chefs— but they’ve been documenting their own lives and work all along. And so was born our new feature, Chef Snaps, selected by Chef Dirk Flanigan from the 3000 pictures on his phone. They may not always be our-man-Huge-quality photos (though it’s surprising how good they often are), but you gotta say this: They’re from the one photographer who’s always on hand when the chef’s at work. So check out the introductory edition of Chef Snaps below, go inside the life of one of our highest-profile chefs— and if you’re a chef snapping pics along the way and would like to be considered for a future installment, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.