Five On Friday

Wednesday, we introduced you to OCSA’s Restaurant of the Month program for May. We’re thrilled to have five restaurants participating in the month of May for our fifth anniversary. Today, we’re sharing a little bit about the wonderful chefs and owners behind these restaurants.

 Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen & Cyrano’s On the River
On this special day, we celebrate dear family friends Chef Didier Durand and his wife Jamie Pellar-Durand representing Chicago Orginals “Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen” and “Cyrano’s Cafe on the River Walk.

A little history, co-founder Vallie Szymanski has known Didier and Jamie for many years. In fact Jamie’s mother, Collette and Vallie’s mother Hettye taught school together in Deerfield, IL a couple of decades ago! A very close family friendship ensued and lives on today. Please take a moment to read the article that highlights Chef Didier’s culinary talents and Jamie’s expertise as Wine Cellar Master & Sommelier.


Nando Milano Trattoria
Introducing Chef Alessio Vullo and share just the Family Owned Nando Milano Trattoria….including its namesake: Nando, a very dignified Italian Dachshund!!

“Established in 1938 Bar Esperia was the first family restaurant founded by Dario’s grandfather in Sicily. Expansion of their business began across Italy to Bologna and Verona with generations and members of the the family bringing their love and passion to their cuisine, and even successful bakeries and specialty food shops have been part of the family legacy.

With decades in the family restaurant business, Dario Vullo has brought his family’s legacy to the United States to share the great traditions of food in Italy to Chicago with the help of his fiancé and co-owner, Amy Yetasook. Amy is a newly proclaimed Chicagoan and med student studying to become a surgeon.

Executive chef and brother Alessio Vullo, and restaurant namesake Nando (a dignified Italian dachshund) complete the restaurant family. Chef Alessio holds the Vullo family secrets, instructing the team every morning in making fresh pasta, breads, and desserts to the highest Italian standards.

We hope you will stop in and experience our cozy Italian world.

Love, Dario and Amy (owners)”

Nando Milano Trattoria Photo

Chef de cuisine and owner Mark Grosz worked under the tutelage of renowned chef Jean Banchet of the world famous Le Francais in Wheeling, Illinois. He further refined his skills in France and Hong Kong, and has served as head chef and culinary impresario at a variety of restaurants and private clubs in Illinois and Michigan until 1989 when he opened the doors at Oceanique. Mark continues to offer discriminating diners some of the most creative and exquisite dishes prepared in the French tradition, with an American twist.

Oceanique Chef

Kiki’s Bistro
Today we congratulate Chicago Originals Member Georges “Kiki” Cuisance, a long time Chicago restauranteur, 50 years in 2015! Bravo, many have enjoyed your fine cuisine over the years!  In fact, the former Mayor Richard M. Daley proclaimed Georges “Kiki” Cuisance Day on Bastille Day, July 14, 2010, in recognition of his many accomplishments and for creating and sustaining an authentic French Bistro of the  highest quality with outstanding service in a comfortable setting.

Kiki's Bistro

That was only four! Here’s a piece of news we’d like to share.

Researchers at University College London say they’ve developed a new screening method that can detect ovarian cancer in twice as many women as traditional strategies.
Read the full article here. This is a great piece.

Get the full details on the Restaurant of the Month Program on the OCSA Website.

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