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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

Six-ingredient recipes to fill your holiday table Read more

Recipes

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via Pig and Fire

Pig & Fire to host Kamayan Fest at Lantern Haus Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

These nachos are a meal unto themselves Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Hyper local samosas made a Disney dream come true Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Bring a fright fest to your dinner plate this Halloween Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Turn your home kitchen into a libation laboratory on Hallween Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Bring the flavors of Naples to life with this quick cooking pasta recipe Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Escape to Italy on North Avenue in Elmwood Park Read more

Elmwood Park

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Melissa Elsmo

Make the most of the last grocery store asparagus of the season with this easy toast Read more

Recipes

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Lourdes Nicholls

Spilt Milk is offering pies for your holiday table Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

UPG hosts another artisan market Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Get your hands on a local sandwich that brings together UPG, Knockout Catering and Lyman Ave Bread Read more

Blogs

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Tina Harle

Feel the latte love at a new Oak Park coffee and tea shop Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Whip up a spicy soup to welcome fall Read more

Recipes

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Nick Kindelsperger/Chicago Tribune

Three burger joints in our Oak Park Eats community earned spots on a list of the 20 best suburban burgers Read more

Blogs

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Alex Rogals/Staff Photographer

Generations of Golden Steer customers gathered to honor the milestone anniversary Read more

Blogs

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via The Happy Apple

Eat pie to help the Bahamas, order dinner to help Housing Forward, and celebrate Oktoberfest in Riverside Read more

Blogs

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via Seph's Sweets

Seph's Sweets in Elmwood Park delivers desserts and more Read more

Elmwood Park

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via Dina Ross

Mother-daughter duo takes home top honors at the Oak Park Farmers Market Read more

News

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Melissa Elsmo

This quick appetizer makes the most of mushroom season Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Six-ingredient recipes to fill your holiday table Read more

Recipes

Image (3).jpeg

via Pig and Fire

Pig & Fire to host Kamayan Fest at Lantern Haus Read more

Blogs

Alice in the Dining Room.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

Hyper local samosas made a Disney dream come true Read more

Blogs

BeFunky-collage (2).jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Bring a fright fest to your dinner plate this Halloween Read more

Recipes

madscience.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Turn your home kitchen into a libation laboratory on Hallween Read more

Recipes

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Melissa Elsmo

Bring some Hitchcock inspired drama to your Halloween dinner plate Read more

Recipes

putta.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

Bring the flavors of Naples to life with this quick cooking pasta recipe Read more

Recipes

Spinach and Ricotta Pizza.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Escape to Italy on North Avenue in Elmwood Park Read more

Elmwood Park

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Melissa Elsmo

Make the most of the last grocery store asparagus of the season with this easy toast Read more

Recipes

20191002_164121.jpg

Melissa Elsmo

Get your hands on a local sandwich that brings together UPG, Knockout Catering and Lyman Ave Bread Read more

Blogs

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Tina Harle

Feel the latte love at a new Oak Park coffee and tea shop Read more

Blogs

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Tina Harle

Tina Harle of coffeeshopoakpark shares her first impression of new coffee shop Read more

Blogs

hssoup.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

Whip up a spicy soup to welcome fall Read more

Recipes

antics1.PNG

Nick Kindelsperger/Chicago Tribune

Three burger joints in our Oak Park Eats community earned spots on a list of the 20 best suburban burgers Read more

Blogs

steerq.PNG

Alex Rogals/Staff Photographer

Generations of Golden Steer customers gathered to honor the milestone anniversary Read more

Blogs

bellawins.PNG

via Dina Ross

Mother-daughter duo takes home top honors at the Oak Park Farmers Market Read more

News

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Melissa Elsmo

This quick appetizer makes the most of mushroom season Read more

Recipes

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Stock

Honor National Cheese Pizza Day with a local slice Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Lorena Baylon is the first female cook at the 13 year old Forest Park BBQ joint Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Roosevelt Road shop serves up Thai rolled ice cream Read more

Blogs