Raised in Houston, based in Chicago and thoroughly inspired by Italy, “Top Chef” finalist Sarah Grueneberg is about to open Monteverde, a modern Italian restaurant at 1020 W. Madison.


A 15-year industry veteran, Sarah’s career has been punctuated with experiences that sculpted her culinary approach; most recently, she served as executive chef of the acclaimed Italian restaurant Spiaggia under chef/partner Tony Mantuano.


She moved to Chicago from her native Houston in 2005 to accept a line cook position, and over a five-year period came to helm the Michelin-starred kitchen, earning accolades throughout her tenure. A defining period in her career, Sarah credits Spiaggia with nurturing her love of Italian cuisine and culture, and she tours and trains throughout Italy’s rich culinary regions as often as possible.


In 2011, Sarah’s talent gained international acclaim through Bravo’s reality show, “Top Chef: Texas,” where she finished as a finalist. She also appeared as an all-star aboard “Top Chef At Sea,” traveling through France and the Iberian Peninsula. After earning her Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Houston in 2001, Sarah’s first taste of kitchen life came when she served as a line cook at the iconic Brennan’s of Houston. She became the restaurant’s youngest-ever sous chef at age 22. Monteverde is Sarah’s first restaurant, which she co-owns with business partner Meg Sahs.

What’s in Sarah’s Cart

Kiki Luthringshausen

meet your host

Kiki Luthringshausen is a reformed interior designer of 15 years who fell into her dream job in 2010 as an Epicurean Entertainer. Prior to her big career change, Kiki was a lifestyle expert and writer for local publications and a contributor for live news segments for local affiliates ABC, NBC, WGN and CBS. She is now the official ambassador of Mariano’s and can be seen hosting culinary events around town. As a freelance food and lifestyle writer, she’s also the author behind the popular food blog Beauty and Her Feast. Entrenched in the food industry, Kiki frequents the city’s hottest restaurants while clinking glasses with the most sought after chefs. It’s why she’s the perfect host for Mariano’s Tastemaker series.

Copyright © 2015 Roundy's Supermarkets Inc