Photographer Stephen Hamilton
Ina Pinkney—the beloved restaurateur known affectionately as the “Breakfast Queen”—has been feeding Chicago for more than 30 years. When she closed her namesake restaurant’s doors in 2013, it headlined news across the Midwest. Now, the favorite dishes that thousands came to love at Ina’s are showcased in the first paperback edition of her newly retitled book, Ina’s Kitchen: Taste Memories and Recipes from the Breakfast Queen. Ina first self-published this book in hardcover in 2014, and it has already sold thousands of copies with minimal bookstore distribution.
Ina’s Kitchen is part cookbook part memoir, collecting 39 of Ina’s favorite recipes with stories from her life. From milestone moments and warm memories to the “truth” about owning a restaurant, readers will gain a deeper understanding of one of Chicago’s best-known culinary icons.
Ina views her life as a recipe, and the book’s chapters reflect that notion. From “Ingredients” and “Preparation” to “Clean Up,” readers will come to understand what inspired and drove Ina’s love of food—and her culinary success. Recipes include everything from Ina’s signature Blobbs and Heavenly Hots to Foolproof Pancakes and Baked French Toast. In addition to breakfast favorites, Ina has also included savory dishes and dessert recipes.
Ina’s Kitchen is a love letter to the diners Ina has fed over the years. In it, she shares her wisdom with the same generosity—both of food and of spirit—that kept people coming back to her restaurant for decades.