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Cover Story

Best Chefs


Sean Farrell
Firebox in Hartford

Bristol native Sean Farrell presides over one of Connecticut’s most interesting kitchens. I love dining at Firebox because I never know what I’ll be eating. Oh, I know it will be farm fresh and locally sourced. I know there will be a purity to the food that few other restaurants achieve. But the combinations in which it comes are likely to be highly creative, sometimes even startling.

Calamari? Sure! But when is the last time you had it with pork belly lardons, orange segments, red watercress, pickled ramps, fennel and a harissa aïoli?

Although a local product, Farrell came by most of his experience outside Connecticut. He attended culinary school in New York and stayed on after to work at Wayne Nish’s March and then at Alain Ducasse’s Mix. He then cooked for the Plumpjack Group at Farrallon and Jack Falstaff in San Francisco, immersing himself in California cuisine and returning to Connecticut with a full understanding of the importance of locality and seasonality in sourcing.

Q&A with Sean Farrell

Guilty pleasure?
Carnitas burritos from El Sarape

Most overrated ingredient?
Truffles.

Welcome or discourage customer requests to change their dishes?
We accommodate most requests.

Favorite restaurant outside Connecticut?
Gramercy Tavern, NYC

What living celebrity you would most like to cook for?
Anthony Bourdain

Continue Reading: Billy Grant, Grant Restaurant Group