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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

Be among the savvy folks who know how to get their hands on local BBQ known as Darr-B-Q Read more

Blogs

Onion Roll.PNG

via Louisa Chu/Chicago Tribune

No-frills corned beef on rye named among the best according to the Chicago Tribune Read more

Blogs

Four ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in our community Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

“But it is dark in there,” muttered my grandma skeptically as my mom opened the door to Durty Nelly’s pub in Bunratty, Ireland. Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

avor a picked shrimp and fried oyster po' boy as a Big Easy inspired treat Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Personal chef serves up a solution for the "what's for dinner" woes Read more

Blogs

We've got a quartet of local margaritas to celebrate the day! Read more

Blogs

Cooking breakfast for a crowd is a snap when you serve this communal Tunisian dish Read more

Recipes

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Multiple

Bring a little local flair to Valentine's Day Read more

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Melissa Elsmo

Learn more about Amanda Daly's road to opening her boutique bagel shop Read more

Blogs

Catering business, Lexington Betty Smoke House, is hosting a pop up event to curb you BBQ cravings Read more

Blogs

The corner of Chicago and Lombard will soon be home to an east coast bagel shop Read more

News

Gather to make a batch of Jiaozi to welcome the Year of the Pig Read more

Recipes

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via Maya del Sol

If you don't love the burger, just pay for the fries! Read more

Blogs

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via Tom Kunkel/UPG

Learn more about this shape-shifting event space designed to support local food artisans Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Food of love takes center stage on February 14th Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

A Valentine's Day ode to over-cooked chicken Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Learn the secret to an artisan's soupy success Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Rest assured this Super Bowl themed dish will score a touchdown with your game-day guests! Read more

Recipes

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Reserve a table for you and your love in Forest Park Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Be among the savvy folks who know how to get their hands on local BBQ known as Darr-B-Q Read more

Blogs

The Irish Shop is set to judge the best of home baked soda and brown bread Read more

Blogs

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Tina Harle

Mark your calendars! Oak Park's tiny ice cream shop is poised to open for the season. Read more

Blogs

Onion Roll.PNG

via Louisa Chu/Chicago Tribune

No-frills corned beef on rye named among the best according to the Chicago Tribune Read more

Blogs

Four ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in our community Read more

Blogs

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via MORA

Harrison Street restaurant offers dining deal for Oak Park residents Read more

Blogs

shepardspie 011_web.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

“But it is dark in there,” muttered my grandma skeptically as my mom opened the door to Durty Nelly’s pub in Bunratty, Ireland. Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Elmwood Park mainstay has been serving up fresh pizza for 56 years Read more

Elmwood Park

Enjoy memorable meals for a worthy cause all month long Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

avor a picked shrimp and fried oyster po' boy as a Big Easy inspired treat Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Personal chef serves up a solution for the "what's for dinner" woes Read more

Blogs

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Nick Kindelsperger/Chicago Tribune

Oak Park butcher shop snags a spot on list of 25 best Chicago burgers Read more

Blogs

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via VOP and Chicago Mag

Chicago Magazine recognizes Johnnie's Beef among the best in the 'burbs Read more

Blogs

We've got a quartet of local margaritas to celebrate the day! Read more

Blogs

Cooking breakfast for a crowd is a snap when you serve this communal Tunisian dish Read more

Recipes

BeFunky-collage (13).jpg

Multiple

Bring a little local flair to Valentine's Day Read more

20190211_104328-web.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Learn more about Amanda Daly's road to opening her boutique bagel shop Read more

Blogs

Catering business, Lexington Betty Smoke House, is hosting a pop up event to curb you BBQ cravings Read more

Blogs

The corner of Chicago and Lombard will soon be home to an east coast bagel shop Read more

News

Gather to make a batch of Jiaozi to welcome the Year of the Pig Read more

Recipes