Episode 5: Curtis Duffy: One of the Best Chefs “Ever”

Before Curtis Duffy was a world-renowned, Michelin-starred chef and restaurant owner, he was a troubled youth, left alone as a teenager after experiencing unimaginable tragedies. That is, until he took a mandatory middle school home economics class, introducing Curtis to the kitchen, his gift and his purpose.

Join Roberta as she sits down with Curtis from his new Chicago-based restaurant Ever to talk about those early years and his rise to the top, indomitable work ethic and passion for motorcycles, tattoos and martial arts.

Special Event: On Nov 2, 2022 at 7:00pm (EST), the Ridgewood Library will show the 2016 documentary “For Grace,” which chronicles the creation of Curtis’s former restaurant and tells the riveting story of how the chef’s turbulent past shaped the person he is today. A live Q&A with directors Mark Helenowsk and Kevin Pang will follow the screening. This event is offered at the Ridgewood Library and via Zoom. Please visit ridgewoodlibrary.org for details and the Zoom link.

For the curious, here are just a few of Curtis’ accolades: Ever was awarded two Michelin stars in the 2022 Guide, Grace (his previous restaurant) earned three Michelin stars, four years in a row (2015-2018), two Michelin stars at Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel Chicago, Forbes Travel Guide’s Five-Star rating, AAA’s Five-Diamond rating, and the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef, Great Lakes Award in 2016.

Episode Credits:
  • A Bend in the Road from the Ridgewood Public Library was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 
  • A Bend in the Road is written, hosted and produced by Roberta Panjwani and created by Roberta Panjwani and Diane Sims
  • Our Assistant Producer is me, Elias Rosner 
  • Our Technical Directors and Audio Engineers are Charles Gallo and Elias Rosner
  • Our Editor is Elias Rosner 
  • Original Music is written and performed by Diane Sims
  • Our Digital Media producer is Elias Rosner and Sabrina Garcia 
  • Logo and Website created by Parker Gaidimas
  • Cover Photo of Curtis Duffy by Michael Muser
  • We would like to thank Curtis Duffy for spending time with us today and Melissa Harris for helping us to put this interview together.
Skip to content