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Sisig from Isla Pilipina. Photo: Sandy Noto for WTTW

A Filipino Restaurant Born Out of a Love for Mom's Cooking

Daniel Hautzinger

"I never really loved high school lunches or any of that, anything outside of what my mom prepared in the kitchen," says Ray Espiritu, the owner of Isla Pilipina in Lincoln Square. When he didn't know what to do after graduating, he decided to take over a restaurant.
Clockwise from left: base camp potato, momo, thenthuk, kwati, and karela from Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen. Photo: Sandy Noto for WTTW

A Chicago Restaurant Where Indian and Chinese Influences Meet

Daniel Hautzinger

Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen serves many hard-to-find Nepali specialties, which combine Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese culinary influences, unlike many other Nepali restaurants in Chicago, which offer mostly North Indian dishes.
Andrea Andrade preparing a pabellón (shredded beef, black beans, fried plantains, cheese) arepa at Sweet Pepper Venezuelan Food Bar. Photo: Sandy Noto for WTTW

A New Life in Chicago Serving an Old Food That Represents Their Home

Daniel Hautzinger

Andrea Andrade and Jose Navea didn't plan to stay in Chicago when they came to visit. Now they operate their own restaurant serving arepas, a nostalgic staple food of their home country of Venezuela. "You can't say Venezuela and not say arepas," Navea says. 
Chef Erick Williams. Photo: Gary Adcock/Studio37

How Chef Erick Williams Shows Kindness Is a Virtue at His Restaurant

Daniel Hautzinger

"For me, sustainability is developing and training the largest sum of African American and brown young men and women that I can possibly find," says chef Erick Williams, who has recently garnered national acclaim for his new Hyde Park restaurant, Virtue.
A laser pie from Brown Sugar Bakery in Chicago's Chatham/Grand Crossing

Representing Her Community Through Baking: Stephanie Hart's Southern Desserts at Brown Sugar Bakery

Daniel Hautzinger

Stephanie Hart, a semifinalist for the national James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker, conjures up childhood memories with her luscious cakes at Brown Sugar Bakery – and she's trying to use her success as a prominent African American bakery to revitalize neighborhoods.
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