I interview a lot of chefs, and there is always a common thread: They don’t have time to dine out. This is especially true for Jimmy Gibson, chef at FB’s in downtown Cincinnati (126 W. Sixth St.). While most chefs toil in a well-equipped, professional-grade kitchen, Gibson is making Whole-Hog Waffles and chicken wings using a two-burner electric hotplate, a Panini press and a smoker. Seriously. No Wolf stove or even a deep fryer. But he’s not complaining; he likes the challenge.
CityBeat: What’s the last great meal you ate and where did you eat it?
Jimmy Gibson: When I am off work, so are the rest of the chefs, so I don’t eat out much. But, aside from Kevin Chang’s (chef at the Celestial in Mt. Adams) mom’s fresh, homemade pork and scallion dumplings, I have to say Lucy Blue’s Pizza downtown. I stop by there a couple times a week, late night, and get a fully loaded pizza. It’s good, it’s fast and they’re open late.
CB: You don’t get out much, so what informs your menu?
JG: Twenty-five years of cooking, for one. The other is just thinking about what Cincinnatians are willing to eat, what they want to eat in a funky, laid-back environment and, of course, intuition.