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Y&H was talking to Ann Cashion, the Beard Award-winning chef at Johnny’s Half Shell, about her experiences with Maryland fried chicken. She has a funny, almost scarring story about a childhood encounter with the dish, circa 1969. I’ll save that story for a future Young & Hungry column, but her anecdote was so vivid in detail that I marveled at her ability to retell it, more than 40 years after the fact.

“I think that I’ve always had a…gastronomic mind,” says Cashion, a former doctoral student at Stanford in English literature. Food “was always something that was easy for me to understand…I really think about it like a language.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery