Chef Jay Bogsinke of St. Francis on Growing Up in Chicago and The Best Thing He Ever Ate
This week we're chatting with chef Jay Bogsinke of St. Francis, who's taking some of pressure off chef/owner Aaron Chamberlin at the restaurant as he deals with his second spot, the Phoenix Public Market Cafe. On Monday, we found out what brought Bogsinke to this farm-to-table haven. If you missed that part of the interview you can read it here. Today, we get some insight into his upbringing on the south side of Chicago and find out what he's excited about for the upcoming season.
Lauren Saria Chef Jay Bogsinke of St. Francis
For chef Jay Bogsinke, it wasn't always about fancy foods. In fact, he very fondly recalls the simple roots and family cooking that inspired his love for all things edible.
Lauren Saria The pulley system in the ceiling isn't just for show. It supports the upper level of the restaurant.
"I didn't have anything but my mom's basted eggs for the first 20 years of my life," he says. "I didn't know there was another way to do it."
He cherishes the memories of having 30 to 40 people at his grandmother's house for the holidays and recalls seeing the house covered with freshly baked cookies cooling on paper bags.
"Everyone would leave with a tub," he says. "Food was everything."
And once he became a teenager (or was deemed old enough to work), Bogsinke says, he and his cousins became "free labor" at their uncles' and fathers' pizzerias. It was while tossing dough that Bogsinke says he realized he had a knack for the culinary arts. The revelation motivated him to "branch out," and he eventually fell in love with French cuisine.