Chef Cary Taylor Of The Southern Restaurant In Wicker Park

Meet The Southern's Cary Taylor--and cook like him, too

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Georgia-born Cary Taylor has spent years in Chicago kitchens, but you can still catch a hint of his Southern drawl.

And since Chaise Lounge morphed into The Southern earlier this month, he's finally cooking the food closest to his heart (and accent).

Taylor's menu pays homage to Southern classics like pulled hickory- and pecan-smoked pork with vinegary chow-chow and thin cornmeal johnnycakes. He makes fried chicken and biscuits on Sundays, and has plans for shad roe in the spring and Brunswick stew during corn season.

And of course, there's the requisite sweet tea. Sip on a glass (click here to download Taylor's recipe) while perusing his favorite sources for Southern inspiration:

Charleston Receipts, the oldest Junior League cookbook still in print, has a wealth of old-timey Southern recipes. The drinks (like Mrs. J. L. Walker's Scuppernong wine) are especially charming, and The Southern has adapted a few of the book's boozy punches for its bar.

Nathalie Dupree's New Southern Cooking has simple, country-style recipes that turn humble ingredients into interesting dishes (like whipped turnips).

A Gracious Plenty by John T. Edge of the Southern Foodways Alliance is a mix of history, anthropology and recipes. Edge seeks out the last bastions of the real South, and his book is a mix of regional classics and quirky local recipes, like kibbeh from a Lebanese shopkeeper in the Mississippi Delta.

The Southern, 1840 W. North Ave.; 773-342-1840 or