The Jacksonville chef opens a brand new restaurant in historic Springfield

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – It’s been a tough year for restaurant owners. A famous Jacksonville chef wanted to move out of the state in early 2020 to open a new business, but when the pandemic hit them he had to look around his neighborhood and see what he could do there.

This resulted in Chef Kenneth Gilbert opening a place in historic Springfield, one of Jacksonville’s oldest neighborhoods, in November.

It’s just his neighborhood.

Gilbert is best known as a former Oprah private chef as well as a local restaurant owner. His new location is Silkie’s Chicken and Champagne at 1602 Walnut Street.

The winning combination is thanks to his wife. Sparkling wine will not be served while they wait for their liquor license, but you will come for the fried chicken … and stay for the specials.

“We’re trying to get it to where you don’t get just one basic item,” Gilbert said of some things I can totally relate to. “

He drops biscuits in four ways: buttermilk, jalapeno cheddar, truffle-smoked gouda and chives, and plantain-ginger and turmeric biscuits.

Imma just leave this here ????

Jacksonville’s new restaurant, Kenneth Gilbert, offers classics like fried chicken, cookies and chicken noodle soup, BUT with a twist! Check out Silkie’s Chicken & Champagne in historic Springfield. pic.twitter.com/cXFKws9Sat

– Leah Shields (@LeahShieldsNews) December 25, 2020

Each biscuit is paired with an original butter and jam flavor that ranges from guava to bacon jam and everything in between.

He’s also trying the classic comfort food Mac n ‘Cheese. He uses shredded Monterey Jack and Gouda cheese, melts it in a hot pan, then adds his truffle and gouda cheese sauce. Once he’s added the macaroni, he flares the top to brown it.

Gilbert serves specials every day that will take you around the globe.

“So it has a nice ginger accent for the chicken,” is how he describes the Thai chicken noodle soup.

It starts with the broth, then you add the chicken, green beans, broccoli, and rice noodles. It is its special spice oil that gives the soup a kick and keeps you warm this winter.

It all comes down to one thing.

“What are some of the comfort foods I can provide for the community that they can all relate to?” Gilbert said.

Silkie’s Chicken and Champagne has been open since November 3rd. You can see the full menu Here.

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