Best Soul Man

Tom Paige

No, he's not a musician. But self-taught chef and caterer Tom Paige turns out some truly jazzy southern and soul-food dishes at Gookie's (his childhood nickname). Lovingly prepared and regally presented comfort foods, centered upon seafood, chicken, and beef, are served in a setting so hip and stylish, it rivals Chicago joints. And it's a family affair -- many of the recipes were created by Paige and his sister, Jackie Paige Jackson, who's also the restaurant's general manager. From porridge-thick soup that would make any grandma jealous to rightously seasoned specials that fairly dance in the narrow space between upscale and down home, Gookie's offerings are music to the mouth.
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