Garces alum MacGregor Mann opening Junto in Brandywine Valley

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MacGregor Mann with his black Lab, Luna, outside Junto, his Chadds Ford BYOB.

MacGregor Mann spent years in Jose Garces' inner circle, including a turn as chef de cuisine at Amada. He was one of Garces' sous chefs during his initial Iron Chef run and on his first appearances on the show.

Then Mann left to do his own thing - first a three-month stage at Noma, the two-Michelin-starr gastronomic destination in Denmark (generally regarded as the finest restaurant in the world), then a season as chef at Henry's Fork Lodge, the rustically chichi fisherman's paradise in Idaho.

Look out, ol' Mac is back.

Mann, a York County native, has set up Junto, an American farmhouse-style BYOB in the Old Ridge Village Shoppes (100 Ridge Rd., Chadds Ford, 484-574-8041). The reservation book is open now for Saturday, May 3 and for brunch on Sunday, May 4.

Dinner will be served Tuesday to Saturday; brunch is on 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekends.

Junto, taken from the name of a social club founded by Ben Franklin, is uncompromisingly local, and by that, Mann is sourcing ingredients from Pennsylvania, including the Amish produce auction down the road; seafood will come from a wider area: the Atlantic Ocean between the Hudson and Chesapeake Bays.

Here's the dinner menu. Figure on $45-ish a head for dinner. The brunch list has all sorts of Keystone State whimsy, including grilled stickies billed as "We are."

Mann is employing all sorts of local techniques, including fermentation (pickles, for one thing), and is grilling on a Big Green Egg out back.

The posher, more intimate front room seats 42. A smaller, more casual back dining room, nearly ready, will have its own menu and be available for private dining.

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