Family-run Jamison's makes soul food from scratch in Auburn Gresham

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There are several restaurants on Chicago's South and Southwest Sides serving soul food, but one family-run business is going the extra mile.

They're making everything in-house, often getting to work at 5 a.m. each day just to prep all of the dishes.

No doubt Jamison's is a family operation. You can feel it, just spending a few minutes back in the kitchen. And that tiny space is where everything is produced, throughout the day, as orders for smothered chicken, greens, candied sweets and lots of mac 'n cheese get made by using one family's recipes.

EXTRA COURSE: Steve takes a closer look at Jamison's cobblers
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ABC7's Hungry Hound tastes a pair of cobblers at Jamison's Soul Food in Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

Making soul food, from scratch, takes hands. Cutting, mixing and stirring occurs from sunrise to sundown at the tiny Jamison's Soul Food in Auburn Gresham, where Jamie Blunt pays daily homage to her family's roots.

"Everything comes from the farm to the table. Nothing frozen. We get a shipment twice a week," she said. "We got greens, we got green beans, we got yams, we got mashed potatoes, cabbage."

There are both turnip and mustard greens, stewed with smoked turkey rather than pork, and lots of smothered chicken, pork chops and short ribs. Catfish is dredged in cornflour, fried to a crisp, then served with a pair of sides.

"All the entrees come with two sides and a corn muffin. But if it's with gravy, you get rice up underneath," said Blunt.

Even spaghetti and meatloaf, lots of options to fill up and stay warm. That mac and cheese contains not one, but five different cheeses. To accomplish all of this in a kitchen the size of an SUV requires all hands on deck.

"We're here at 5:30 in the morning. We open at 11. I grew up in Chicago, but my parents are Southern. They are from Arkansas and Mississippi. This food is like from the South. This is 'back in the day' food," said Blunt.

Jamison's Soul Food
1800 W. 87th St.
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