|McCabe-Johnston and her husband and co-owner Jasha Johnston at their late-night eatery Nightingale|
It's relatively rare -- maybe even a blue moon-level occasion -- for a chef, particularly one at a new restaurant, to be able to go out on the town and have someone else cook for them. So when local chefs do get a chance to get away from their own kitchens, where do they choose to eat? This Chef's Day Off series reveals some of the lusted-after dishes and top restaurant picks of the talented people who shape our local food scene.
This week's featured food professional is Carrie McCabe-Johnston, chef and co-owner of new Whittier late-night (and usual dinner hours too) hot spot Nightingale. Before deciding to take the plunge and open her own place, McCabe-Johnston spent some time under the tutelage of local chef (and 2010 James Beard award-winner for Best Chef Midwest) Alex Roberts. After completing her culinary training at Art Institutes and an internship at Restaurant Alma, McCabe-Johnston was hired on as the head baker at Brasa and that influence is apparent on Nightingale's menu in everything from the braised pork shoulder on grits to stunning desserts. Having been in the industry in one way or another since she was a teenager, McCabe-Johnston says she has always appreciated places that are open late. Some of those spots made her list, and her son Levi managed to sneak his favorite pick in there as well.