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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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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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Little Bitty Productions

A look inside a pop-up dinner at The Day Nursery Read more

Blogs

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Alexa Rogals

Local fundraiser blends wine, food and shopping Read more

Blogs

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via Pork and Mindy's

Food Network star to bring his innovative brand of BBQ to North Avenue Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Learn more about Oak Park resident, Mary Anne Mohanraj's, forthcoming cook book. Read more

Blogs

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Jacquinete Baldwin

Be the master roaster of your own cup of coffee! Read more

Videos

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Jacquinete Baldwin

Be the master roaster of your own cup of coffee in Forest Park Read more

Blogs

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via Amanda Daly

Kinslahger meets up with The Daly Bagel in a pretzel collaboration Read more

Blogs

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via Karl Bader

Karl's Craft Soup joins Saturday pop up event at Urban Pioneer Group Read more

Blogs

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Melissa Elsmo

Simplicity if on the menu at a proper spring dinner party Read more

Recipes

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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

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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

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

20190522_142840.jpg

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

097.JPG

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

Capture.jpg

via QSD

Enjoy a julep in Riverside on May 4th Read more

Blogs

DayNurseryGarden_050119_WJ_08.JPG

Alexa Rogals

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

Blogs

Gear up for berry season Read more

Recipes

20180407_Healthy_Chef_203.jpg

Matt Kosterman

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

Blogs

WineWalk_042518_FPR_01.JPG

Alexa Rogals

Local fundraiser blends wine, food and shopping Read more

Blogs

bao.PNG

via Pork and Mindy's

Food Network star to bring his innovative brand of BBQ to North Avenue Read more

Blogs

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via Donny G's

The man behind Donny G's Ristorante and Bar puts a vocal spin on local fare Read more

Elmwood Park

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Melissa Elsmo

Learn more about Oak Park resident, Mary Anne Mohanraj's, forthcoming cook book. Read more

Blogs

20190322_160558_web.jpg

Jacquinete Baldwin

Be the master roaster of your own cup of coffee! Read more

Videos

20190322_161132_web.jpg

Jacquinete Baldwin

Be the master roaster of your own cup of coffee in Forest Park Read more

Blogs

pretzel.jpg

via Amanda Daly

Kinslahger meets up with The Daly Bagel in a pretzel collaboration Read more

Blogs

AdobeStock_99663545_web.jpg

via Karl Bader

Karl's Craft Soup joins Saturday pop up event at Urban Pioneer Group Read more

Blogs

spring.PNG

Melissa Elsmo

Simplicity if on the menu at a proper spring dinner party Read more

Recipes