We all love Jeffery Hobbs, especially Nancy, who reviewed Sissy’s back in July and wrote inspiring lines like “The ham salad and pimento cheese plate swept me back to my childhood faster than my therapist could ever hope to. After one bite, I was 5 years old” after eating his Southern cooking.
This just means that September is a bittersweet month for Sissy’s. Jeffery Hobbs is leaving to pursue his own project (aka opening his own restaurant), and sous chef Chris Ostlund is taking the helm as execuchef. According to Hobbs, Ostlund was groomed from the very beginning for this position, and Hobbs and Lisa Garza still remain great friends despite the split. Hobbs is still helping out with the new lunch service that’s starting on Tuesday, September 18. Hobbs, Garza, and Ostlund all worked on the menu together.
I tried to get Hobbs to spill the beans about his mysterious “project,” but the guy is superstitious to the max and won’t let out a single peep. “I really can’t say; I can’t talk about anything,” he says to me… at least five times. “There are a couple of things that need to be nailed down. Even when you feel like it’s a for sure thing, there are things that come up.”
But here is what I do know after much cajoling: Hobbs is looking at two different spaces and still deciding. The food at his restaurant is “basically a confluence of everything that [he’s] ever done before.” It’s going to be simple and American. (“Not exactly Southern,” he says.) When I asked if he was going to name his restaurant “Jeffery’s,” Hobbs laughed and said no. He’s still deciding on the name, but it’s probably going to have an abbreviation.
SideDishers, do you have any good guesses??