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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

Celebrate National Pickle Month with a batch of refrigerator pickles Read more

Recipes

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Jaquinete Baldwin

No-sauce ribs, brisket, pulled pork star at Forest Park eatery Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Small batch bakery offers Community Supported Bread (CSB) subscriptions Read more

Blogs

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Jacquinete Baldwin

DJ Khaled's new restaurant, in Austin, is his first outside of Florida Read more

, News

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ALEXA ROGALS/Staff Photographer

Eastgate Café hosts former residents for their anniversary celebration Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

A recipe for a lesser-known regional snack food Read more

Recipes

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via Instagram

Check out twelve recent posts shared with Oak Park Eats on Instagram Read more

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Melissa Elsmo

Tortas, tacos,toastadas and burritos on Chicago Ave Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Long-awaited brewery restaurant opens at Austin and Lake Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Make the most of the 6/8 farmers market by picking up pickles from River Valley Ranch to use in this easy relish. Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Bacon makes a perfectly devilish garnish for these stuffed eggs Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Oak Park restaurant to celebrate first anniversary with eco-friendly improvements and free ice cream samples Read more

Blogs

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Via Animal Care League

A cocktail hour with a canine twist welcomes humans, too Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

A simple vegetable recipe to welcome spring Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Forest Park BBQ joint fires up an aquarium smoker daily Read more

Blogs

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via WJ archives

Former owner of the Onion Roll (1984-2014), died peacefully at home on May 3, 2019 with his wife Judy by his side. Read more

News

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Melissa Elsmo

One of my all-time favorite Mexican restaurants famously crams a twenty piece mariachi band in a room the size of a standard elementary school classroom. Read more

Recipes

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via QSD

Enjoy a julep in Riverside on May 4th Read more

Blogs

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Alexa Rogals

CACFP brings national conference-goers to visit the 105 year old preschool. Read more

Blogs

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Matt Kosterman

OPRF Food Pantry to host second annual Healthy Chef Challenge Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Celebrate National Pickle Month with a batch of refrigerator pickles Read more

Recipes

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Jacob DeHart

The Heritage in Forest Park is offering a cocktail to honor the day Read more

Blogs

20190709_171244_web.jpg

Jaquinete Baldwin

No-sauce ribs, brisket, pulled pork star at Forest Park eatery Read more

Blogs

Mystery-Drink.jpg

Jacquinete Baldwin

DJ Khaled's new restaurant, in Austin, is his first outside of Florida Read more

, News

Hindman.PNG

ALEXA ROGALS/Staff Photographer

Eastgate Café hosts former residents for their anniversary celebration Read more

Blogs

International program aims to reduce single-use plastics Read more

News

PICLES.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

A recipe for a lesser-known regional snack food Read more

Recipes

BeFunky-collage.jpg

via Instagram

Check out twelve recent posts shared with Oak Park Eats on Instagram Read more

tacobros.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

Tortas, tacos,toastadas and burritos on Chicago Ave Read more

Blogs

One Lake Brewery 1.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Long-awaited brewery restaurant opens at Austin and Lake Read more

Blogs

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Lourdes Nicholls

Patio dining and mojitos bring summer flair to Elmwood Park Read more

Elmwood Park

guys 027.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Make the most of the 6/8 farmers market by picking up pickles from River Valley Ranch to use in this easy relish. Read more

Recipes

eggs.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

Bacon makes a perfectly devilish garnish for these stuffed eggs Read more

Recipes

jimmy's creation.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

Oak Park restaurant to celebrate first anniversary with eco-friendly improvements and free ice cream samples Read more

Blogs

yappy.PNG

Via Animal Care League

A cocktail hour with a canine twist welcomes humans, too Read more

Blogs

asparagus,jpg.JPG

Melissa Elsmo

A simple vegetable recipe to welcome spring Read more

Recipes

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Jacquinete Baldwin

The Forest Park coffee shop suddenly closed this week Read more

News

brisket.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Forest Park BBQ joint fires up an aquarium smoker daily Read more

Blogs

ONION1 (2).jpg

via WJ archives

Former owner of the Onion Roll (1984-2014), died peacefully at home on May 3, 2019 with his wife Judy by his side. Read more

News

IMG_20190501_134405_779 (1).jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Elmwood Park mainstay serves up Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Hibachi fare Read more

Elmwood Park