Chef Jeff Ford on inspiration, cooking at home and where he eats when on the road

Aug 30, 2023 | Blog, News

By Brian Garrido

Chef Jeff Ford of Ford’s Black Angus will be cooking at our next Culinary Crossroads On the Road Dinner Oct. 25 at the Ohio Building in Terre Haute. The award-winning chef, along with his wife, Kelly, purchased the Black Angus, a well-known historic steakhouse, in 2007. Today, Kelly’s proficiency in restaurant management and marketing, along with Ford’s cooking prowess cements the couple as two of Wabash Valley’s leading restaurateurs with multiple honors from national food and wine magazines. Ford will be cooking alongside Terre Haute chefs George Azar of Saratoga Restaurant and Kris Kraut of Federal Coffee + Fine Foods at the Oct. 25 dinner. We caught up with Ford to find out a bit about his background, inspiration and what he most likes to eat.

What made you want to become a chef?

The simple answer for me wanting to become a chef is that I am a night person. I didn’t want to do eight-to-five work, put on a suit or even have to shave every day! Real shallow but, I only developed that thought after I was hooked on the kitchen.

What is your favorite type of food and why?

Why have to choose a favorite food, when every culture has amazing flavors? But BBQ or Chinese is my go-to.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I find my wife actually to be quite inspirational for me. Probably corny! Other than that, travel inspires me, my family is always a push for me and just the desire to do the best I can for the people that I am feeding.

What is your favorite thing to make for yourself and your family?

Well, last night with our daughter by our side. we fixed smoked ribs and baked potatoes. Other family favorites would be teriyaki steak and our version of rice pilaf. That brings back childhood memories for both myself as a kid and for our kids.

If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be and what would you eat?

At this point, my goal is to eat at all 13 of the Michelin three-starred restaurants in the U.S. Then I want to do a BBQ tour of the U.S. as well.

If you could choose a favorite place in Indiana to visit, where would that be and what would you eat?

I am a diner junkie. In Indiana, I like to hit the obscure places in the small towns if I am passing through.

For ticket and table sales info for the upcoming On the Road dinner in Terre Haute, please email