About Wishbone






















Though raised in New Jersey, Chef Joel Nickson learned to love the south through visits to
his grandparent’s home in North Carolina. At age 15 he began working at
Pauline's Passion Pit, a Harlem soul food restaurant. A dozen years
later, having amassed a solid cooking background that included
Culinary school, stints in elegant San Francisco and New York City
restaurants, and terms as food and beverage manager at several large
resorts, he opened Wishbone in a storefront on Grand Avenue in July
of 1990. His "southern reconstruction cooking"--Dixie standards like
baked bone-in-ham, blackened catfish, and Carolina crab cakes,
prepared with a minimum of heavy oils, deep frying, or added sugar--
with its mix-and-match menu of side dishes such as sautéed spinach,
mashed sweet potatoes, and macaroni and cheese, caught on fast. Not long
after, a second Wishbone was opened in 1992 with 170 seats at 1001 W. Washington-- at a time when Chicago's West Loop seemed an uncharted territory. Wishbone was an early participant in the emergence of the neighborhood from a commercial area to one of the city's culinary hot spots. Now, over twenty years later the Wishbone is still going strong. Wishbone celebrated its 25th anniversary in July.
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