You may not have seen her name among Chicago’s James Beard award nominees or caught in the buzz of another trendy eatery opening, but the ripples of Rita Dever’s culinary creations have made an impact far and wide. After cooking around the world, the Pacific Northwest native put down roots as Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ (LEYE) associate partner and corporate chef where she collaborates in the company’s test kitchen to innovate new dishes for all LEYE restaurants.
Lettuce Entertain You
February marked the 20th anniversary of the Grand Chef’s Gala, an annual black tie event that benefits the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This special “Platinum Affair” continued the tradition of the popular event, which, in addition to being a major fundraiser, is also regarded as one of the city’s best culinary gatherings. It draws upwards of 50 noted chefs and mixologists such as Blackbird’s Ryan Pfeiffer, RPM Steak’s Doug Psaltis and Monteverde’s Sarah Grueneberg, who provided signature plates and cocktails.
Located in the heart of Chicago’s River North neighborhood, il Porcellino is one of the latest ventures from the Lettuce Entertain You group, offering a cozy restaurant honing in on classic Italian-American comfort food. Seasonal menus feature homemade pastas that use locally sourced ingredients, plus a wide-ranging cocktail program. The Jimmy Two Times was inspired by the movie “Goodfellas” and boasts the flavors of rye whiskey, ginger and grapefruit.