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A Conversation with Chef MacGregor Mann

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​MacGregor Mann, chef-owner of Junto in Chadds Ford, isn’t far from his roots in York, Pa., where he learned to cook from his mother, Judy. From his home kitchen, Mann, 34, jumped to Jose Garces’ Amada in Philadelphia, Noma (rated one of the world’s top restaurants) in Denmark and others in between before coming full circle. He opened his BYOB restaurant, which he describes as a “modern farmhouse,” in 2014. I caught up with the busy chef recently. 
 

DT: Where did you go to school?

MM: I went to Drexel for business. After a year, I switched to its culinary school. I left school to open Amada with Garces. I might teach a class [at Drexel] in exchange for the 15 credits I need to graduate.
 

DT: Why did you decide to become a stagiaire (an unpaid apprentice) at Noma?

MM: I wanted to see new stuff. I was there for four months. I worked a lot of hours—from 6:30 [a.m.] when they opened until I was dismissed between 10 and 10:30 [p.m.] It was also very refreshing. I worked with kids from all over the world. I discovered historically regional cuisines.
 

DT: How would you describe Junto?

MM: It’s American. People look bored when I say that, but we are a melting pot. I apply it to the stuff that grows here. I cook with the seasons.
 

DT: What’s next?

MM: We’ve expanded into catering. I’m always looking for the next project. Stay tuned. I love what I do. But I have a couple of dreams.
 

Photograph by Kirk Smith

 

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