The Southern's Executive Chef Cary Taylor takes his signature comfort food to the streets

July 23, 2012

Vikram Murthi

Chef Cary Taylor has dedicated his life to bringing Southern food and culture to the Midwest with great succeess that only seems to grow by the day. Taylor got his chops working with such famed chefs as Graham Elliot and Paul Kahan before becoming the executive chef of The Southern, a unique Bucktown hotspot, by the time he was 30. Specializing in high-quality "laid-back" food from his Georgian background, Taylor infuses his roots into everything he makes, including his Southern Mac 'N Cheese food truck, which was hailed as the best new food truck by both Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Reader.

The Chicago City Council recently approved a new food truck ordinance which allows on-board cooking; but food truck advocates are disappointed by the seemingly sluggish appearance of real progress. The new ordinance requires food trucks to have expensive GPS devices to enforce a 200-foot buffer rule between trucks and restaurants, with $2,000 violation fines. Food truck advocates say these regulations will prevent them from getting a real foot-hold in the city, while the mayor's office says the ordinance is a "fair, practical and workable compromise."

Chef Cary Taylor talks with Afternoon Shift host Steve Edwards about the new ordinance, his background and his signature style.