Meet MacGregor Mann
You can find the entire interview with Chef and Owner of Junto, MacGregor Mann here.
How did you know that you wanted to be a chef?
I have always liked to cook. My mom always included me when she would cook. So I guess I can say I started out my career as a sous chef for my mom. Even today, when I go to my parents’ house my mom is still always the one who cooks…it’s her kitchen.
Tell us about your educational background. How did it help you prepare for a path in the culinary field?
I attended Drexel for culinary school before beginning to work at Penne located at The Inn at Penn in 2000. After Penne in ’03, I moved to Washington Square. Next, I moved to Amada in ’05 to work with Jose Garces, and then in ’08 to Mercat in Chicago. I came back to Philadelphia to work at Amada from ’09-’12 and became the Head Chef during those years. In ’12 I left for Noma in Denmark for four months. Following my trip to Noma, I worked at Henry’s Fork Lodge in Idaho before returning home over the winter of ’13 where I began the process of creating Junto which opened in May of 2014.
Where did the idea of Junto stem from?
I already had such a connection with the culinary industry. I still wanted to be a part of the Philadelphia media market coverage but I also was familiar with the Brandywine Valley. Denmark gave me an appreciation for utilizing local foods and local traditions, so I came up with the idea of Junto.
If you had to cook a nice meal in 30 minutes, what would you cook?
For quick meals I always turn to the grill. You can cook a good, flavorful meal and not need a lot of time.
Who is a role model of yours in the restaurant industry?
I would definitely say Jose Garces, Roberta Adamo from Penne.
Where do you see yourself & your business in 5 years?
I see us continuously evolving; maybe turning the Session Room into a Whisky Bar. I would also like to eventually have some Latino menu items such as Tapas. I’d also like to see some local expansion, but we want to continue to always be super fresh, seasonal, and do some more catering.
What is your all-time favorite food?
Moms Split Pea Soup with Rivels
What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Fly Fishing. Whenever possible I go to Valley Forge or Ridley Creek. I learned to fish while living out in Idaho.
What show would we find on your DVR right now?
Ha-ha Oh! Definitely Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Always Sunny. I do like to watch Mind of a Chef on PBS when it’s on as well.
As we approach your 1 year anniversary, what is your greatest memory of your first year at Junto?
Seeing Junto come to life has been awesome. We are running, we are living and it’s crazy. We have had some really happy, really loyal customers, and the relationships we’ve made with them have been great.
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