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Melissa Elsmo

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Melissa Elsmo makes you believe you can enjoy every meal just as she does: fully and enthusiastically. A trained chef and ardent foodie, Mel’s passion for a good meal peppers her life. 

She is a regular food columnist/food photographer for The Wednesday Journal (serving Oak Park, Riverside-Brookfield, River Forest, Forest Park, and the west-side of Chicago) and serves as chef/recipe developer/food writer on the inaugural team of print and video journalists in the process of building Oak Park Eats, a comprehensive dining vertical serving the aforementioned communities.  

As part of Chicago’s supper club scene, she creates intimate, 12-course dining experiences featuring her own recipes and artful approach to plating. Guests currently wait patiently for a seat around her table, but savvy food lovers can locate her at pop-up events around the city. 

Additionally, Mel is an 18-year Oak Park resident and a passionate volunteer. She frequently uses her kitchen talents to assist local philanthropic organizations (including The Day Nursery, The Oak Park Regional Housing Center and The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust)  with their fundraising efforts. 

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Melissa Elsmo

This hot dish is the ideal way to use up an array of Thanksgiving leftovers more

Recipes

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Little Bitty Productions

Elementary school supporters "Beye-In" to enjoy a memorable vegetarian meal more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Fun, learning, and cheese crackers are on the menu for pint-sized chefs more

Blogs

carved.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Instructions to create a delicious turkey platter to share with your loved ones. more

Blogs

spirit (1).jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Welcome the holiday season with a cocktail made from fresh cranberry sauce, orange and rosemary more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

A quartet of stuffing recipes create options for your holiday table more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Bring flavor to your table on November 3rd with nine sandwich options more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Skip the dinner and move straight to the sandwich with this recipe more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Make this meatless French-Vietnamese inspired sandwich a part of your rotation more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Use farm fresh eggs and high quality sausage in this non-traditional brunch item. more

Recipes

Celebrate National Candy Day on November 4th with a visit to Dulcelandia! more

Videos

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Melissa Elsmo

A dumpling recipe designed to bring an eerie elegance to your Halloween table more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Celebrate National Greasy Food Day with these nine indulgent local treats! more

Blogs

Stone Soup two shot.jpg

via OPFM

Insider tips for navigating the final farmers market of the season on 10/27 more

Blogs

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via Trattoria 225

Save the date for Halloween themed family fun in Harrison Street Arts District more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Who says a little lobotomy can’t make for a delectable Halloween dish? more

Blogs

smitsfarm.jpg

via OPFM

Insider tips for navigating the 10/20 market more

Blogs

Dabbling on the dark side of holidays isn’t something that should be solely reserved for candy craving children. more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Scratch Kitchen and Lounge chef- owner, Patrick O'Brien, returns to the kitchen at his trio of restaurants. more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

This unique chili features both pumpkin and chocolate making it the perfect Halloween supper offering. more

Recipes

DSC_0169.JPG

Melissa Elsmo

This hot dish is the ideal way to use up an array of Thanksgiving leftovers more

Recipes

edits-5.jpg

Little Bitty Productions

Elementary school supporters "Beye-In" to enjoy a memorable vegetarian meal more

Blogs

thumbnail (8).jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Fun, learning, and cheese crackers are on the menu for pint-sized chefs more

Blogs

carved.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Instructions to create a delicious turkey platter to share with your loved ones. more

Blogs

spirit (1).jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Welcome the holiday season with a cocktail made from fresh cranberry sauce, orange and rosemary more

Blogs

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via Best Truckin BBQ

Pulled pork, brisket and chicken will roll into town later this month more

Blogs

BeFunky-collage (5).jpg

Melissa Elsmo

A quartet of stuffing recipes create options for your holiday table more

Recipes

BeFunky-collage (4) (1).jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Bring flavor to your table on November 3rd with nine sandwich options more

Blogs

meatloaf.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

Skip the dinner and move straight to the sandwich with this recipe more

Recipes

cauliflower.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

Make this meatless French-Vietnamese inspired sandwich a part of your rotation more

Recipes

egg2.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

Use farm fresh eggs and high quality sausage in this non-traditional brunch item. more

Recipes

brisket-being-sliced-city-barbeque-city-bbq-best-barbecue-best-catering (1).jpg

via City Barbeque

Visit the Berwyn joint for your chance to win free BBQ for a year more

Blogs

Celebrate National Candy Day on November 4th with a visit to Dulcelandia! more

Videos

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Melissa Elsmo

Quincy Street Distillery is hosting an adults only Halloween costume contest this week. more

Blogs

halloween 0291rs.JPG

Melissa Elsmo

A dumpling recipe designed to bring an eerie elegance to your Halloween table more

Recipes

BeFunky-collage (3).jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Celebrate National Greasy Food Day with these nine indulgent local treats! more

Blogs

Stone Soup two shot.jpg

via OPFM

Insider tips for navigating the final farmers market of the season on 10/27 more

Blogs

T225pumpkin carving.jpg

via Trattoria 225

Save the date for Halloween themed family fun in Harrison Street Arts District more

Blogs

DSC_0108.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Who says a little lobotomy can’t make for a delectable Halloween dish? more

Blogs

smitsfarm.jpg

via OPFM

Insider tips for navigating the 10/20 market more

Blogs