In 1998, Aldo Zaninottoâ€™s dream first came true with the opening of a restaurant he could call his own â€“ Savarin, in Chicagoâ€™s River North neighborhood â€“ in collaboration with well-known Chef John Hogan, previously Chef at Kikiâ€™s Bistro.
Aldo was born and raised in Europe (Belgium and Italy) from first generation Italian parents who were key to the introduction of traditional Italian gastronomy in Belgium. Essentially born in a restaurant, Aldo felt his parentsâ€™ passion through their business, and his destiny was clear.
Graduating with honors from one of the top restaurant schools in Europe, CERIA, gave Aldo an opportunity to work with some of the best 1 and 2 star restaurants in Brussels, involved in all aspects of the business while learning from the best, front and back of the house.
In 1988, Aldo landed in New York City where he worked exclusively with some of the top fine dining restaurants in the city, such as San Domenico and Le Perigord. Next he made his way to Los Angeles, where over 4 years he worked at the very best of Los Angeles: Lâ€™Orangerie; La Toque; Fleur de Vin; Celestino; Patina.
Invited in 1994 to Chicago by The Carlucci Group to run their flagship restaurant, Carlucciâ€™s, as manager, Aldo was soon promoted to General Manager. In 1996, he became the General Manager for what would become Ditkaâ€™s.
In 2013 Aldo Zaninotto met Cameron Grant. The dream is again coming true.
Cameron Grant has striven for the last 15 years to excel in creating food and managing kitchens, starting with his University cafeteria. Within 5 years he became an executive chef of Laudisio, a family-run Italian restaurant in Boulder, Colorado, after accepting the good fortune of opening their brand new $3 million Italian flagship restaurant. The Laudisio family provided the opportunity for Cameron to do a three month stage at Michelin-starred restaurant La Ciau Del Tornavento in the Barbaresco zone of Piemonte, Italy. Here, he gained essential respect for the Italian food culture and fell in love with the unique way of life. Building a restaurant around incredible fresh ingredients and wine was a revelation.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Cameron developed a love of food from his mother. The family had an extensive fruit and vegetable garden and he remembers being sent to his room without dinner only to sneak out to the vegetable garden and satisfy his appetite with fresh peas, strawberries, and raspberries. His mother ran a successful catering business out of the home for local executives. Cameron learned to appreciate local Scottish produce, seafood, game, venison, lamb, and beef, and his passion for food has come from this history of home-cooked meals.
Five years after his stage at La Ciau Del Tornavento, Cameron moved back to Treiso, Italy to open his own restaurant, moving with his wife and golden Labrador to follow the dream. As an enthusiastic Scottish-American chef, he sparked the interest of many by opening a fine dining Osteria in the heart of Piemontese wine country. Surrounded by Michelin-starred chefs, he fought to give the locals and tourists something they had never seen while incorporating the life-changing local ingredients into his innovative and culturally diverse menu. Ultimately selling his share of the restaurant to his partner, Cameron moved back to the United States to be closer to his family while seeking a new challenge and adventure.
Cameron, in 2012, was recruited by the Intercontinental Hotel in Rosemont to open their signature Mediterranean restaurant, Fresco 21. The hotel provided room service for 550 rooms, while servicing breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night food. Fresco 21 celebrates the ingredients from France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and the other 21 countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Cameron, after 2 years of running the operation in Rosemont, found an opportunity to open a restaurant with new-found friend Aldo Zanninoto.
Cameron is extremely excited to be in Logan Square, where he can bring all of his passion and excitement to this amazing neighborhood.