Steve Coppolillo
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Growing up in large Italian family meals were always a very important event. Some of his earliest cooking memories are of watching his mother and grandmother prepare homemade pasta’s and cooking breaded veal cutlets. His family showed him how food made with love and attention can bring people together. It was these influences that lead him to Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana to major in Restaurant and Hotel Management. He graduated in 1990 and decided to head south to warmer climates.

His first job was as Chef de Cuisine at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida. The Ocean Reef Club is an exclusive and private club and resort which caters to the wealthy and elite. It was here that he cooked for President George Bush and President Clinton. He worked at all of the 10 different restaurants and clubs at Ocean Reef. Here he gained extensive experience. He worked in and ran all locations from fine dining steakhouse concepts to beach grill and tavern fare.  When hurricane Andrew struck the resort in 1992 he decided it was time to move a little north.

He took a job as Executive Chef at Rio Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Rio is located just off the famous Las Vegas strip and was the first all suite resort in the Las Vegas area. It was named after the city of Rio de Janeiro and is influenced by Brazilian culture . The Rio hotel has 2,522 suites range in size from 600 to 13,000 sq ft. and has a complex wine cellar that has more than 50,000 bottles. It was here that he honed his skills in international cooking. He worked as the Executive Chef in both top rated restaurants in the Rio Casino which are Indian and Mexican cuisine. After 2 years he decided it was time to move to a more family oriented town and back up a little north he went.

He was recruited by Z Teja’s Southwestern Grill in Phoenix, Arizona. At the time he started with them as Executive Chef they only had 3 locations. He applied his extensive knowledge of food and large scale service to this kitchen and eventually was promoted to a Corporate Kitchen Trainer. While he was working with them they also decided to branch out and open up an Asian concept of restaurants. In 1996 P.F. Chang’s opened it first location to great success. He worked as a Corporate Kitchen Trainer and Executive Chef for both concepts. Currently they both have over 14 locations world wide. In 1998 he knew it was time to move back closer to his family which had influenced him at an early age. It was back north again for the last time.

He took a job as Executive Chef for Cheesecake Factory in 1999. He started his company training at the Caesar Palace location in Las Vegas, Nevada and eventually worked his way to the location at the John Hancock Building in Chicago, Illinois. Here he was able to refine his pastry and baking skills in the Cheesecake Factory world renowned pasty and dessert selections. He also was able to work again in a large volume restaurant with a corporate structure.

In 2003 he was approached by the owner and president of Rosebud Restaurants Alex Dana and offered an Executive Chef position at Carmine’s Restaurant in Chicago, IL. He wanted to be part of the Rosebud team and he wanted to experience the family atmosphere we create in each one of our locations. He has worked as the Executive Chef at Carmines and Rosebud on Rush form 2003 to 2006. He came to the Steakhouse in 2007 and has called this location his home for the past 4 years. He enjoys serving some of Chicago’s elite here at the Steakhouse everyday and enjoys the culinary freedom he is allowed with Rosebud Restaurants. His experience from large to small scale kitchens and also with varying types of cuisine allows him to create everything from lobster nachos to veal Osso Bucco and serve anywhere from 100 to 3650 guest on a daily basis. Rosebud not only brought him north to be closer to his family but now he considers them family as well.

Millennium Park   |   Sept 27 - 29, 2019