Dean Eliacostas is the Executive Chef at Real Urban Barbecue, located in downtown Highland Park, Vernon Hills and Oak Brook. Chef Dean received his Associate in Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
With an already impressive 20-year career under his belt, Chef Dean has no plan of slowing down. Prior to joining the team at Real Urban Barbecue, Dean spent one and a half years at Marche as a line cook, one and a half years at Winnetka Grill as a lead line cook, seven years at Rivers Restaurant as Chef de Cuisine and Executive Chef, and most recently he spent 11 years as Executive Chef at Carmichael's Chicago Steakhouse.
Dean contributes his passion for cooking to his Greek heritage. He was born into a traditional Greek family and at a young age began attributing food with family, as home cooking with his parents and grandmother became a tradition every holiday. Chef Dean’s philosophy stems from this idea, as he realized food is what brings family together. He wants his guests to walk into a restaurant the same way they would walk into his home. Chef Dean believes food and service is deep-rooted and wants to ensure all guests leave feeling like family.
Besides cooking, Chef Dean is also passionate about giving back to his community, as he has previously worked with charities like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and March of Dimes in Chicago. When Chef Dean is not in the kitchen, you can find him cheering on his three children Sam, Grace and Josh on game days with his wife Jennifer, watching his favorite Chicago Cubs, Blackhawks, and Bears, and teaching culinary classes at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills.