Most chefs can credit their success to one or two specific influences in the kitchen, but Micah Frank refuses to do so; as he puts it, “The great thing is that learning to cook is life-long, so I can’t say any one person taught me.” Born and raised in rural Indiana, Micah learned the importance of using the resources available to him as ingredients and of using leftovers to serve as part of a completely new and unexpected dish. Micah does credit another chef on this list, Fergus Henderson, as being an important influence in his cooking style. Micah learned from Fergus “the value of restraint in cooking, and of keeping things simple and not masking flavors with extra ingredients.”
Micah has received quite a few accolades during his career, including a nomination for the James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: Indianapolis” in 2015, a spot on Food & Wine magazine’s “People’s Best New Chef,” a profile in the Indianapolis Business Journal’s 2014 “Forty Under 40” list, and a slew of other television and print accolades. And although Micah might not want to give just one person credit for his success, it’s clear that the training he has received has made him one of the best chefs in the country, no matter where it came from.
Specialties & Resources
Micah has professed a love for basic ingredients like salt and vinegar, which are instrumental to nearly any dish but can also be used to bring out unexpected flavors in common ingredients. Micah’s solo endeavor is Indianapolis’ black market, known for its “well-provisioned farmhouse” vibe and constantly-evolving menu.
Offerings at black market include pickles & peanut butter, welsh rarebit with aged cheddar & ale and country toast; beef tongue cocktail with horseradish cream, pickled beets, fried potatoes & capers; roasted marrow bones with pickled blueberry-parsley salad and grilled bread; brussels sprouts with apple, sweet potato, creamy shallot dressing, pecans & aged gouda; marinated beets, goat cheese & walnuts with mixed greens, herbs, and focaccia; broccoli fritters with cauliflower cream and gremolata; rabbit & dumplings with house bacon and mustard veloute; beef & kraut pierogi with pickled turnips and horseradish cream; mushroom ragu and sweet potato grits with grilled rapini, goat cheese & herbs; slow-roasted red trout with tomato-fennel broth, fingerling potatoes & lemon aioli; smoked duck leg with house sage, greens and late summer cassoulet; grilled steak with bone-marrow bordelaise, fries & herb salad; and lamb neck pappardelle with chard, root vegetables, olives, mint & parmesan.