Rick Tramonto

Rick Tramonto, Culinary Director

Chicago’s Rick Tramonto, recognized in 1994 as one of Food & Wine’s Top Ten Best New Chefs and in 2002 as Best Chef: Midwest Region by The James Beard Foundation, has garnered international attention and a host of prestigious awards for his Relais-Gourmand restaurant Tru, including Four-Stars from Mobil and Five-Diamonds from AAA.

“Tramonto is a blend of mad scientist and magician in the kitchen. He is innovative, creative and somewhat an illusionist,” described Pat Bruno of the Chicago Sun-Times, which awarded four-stars to Tru as did the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine.

An acclaimed cookbook author, Tramonto has four titles to his credit, including his most recent “Tru: A Cookbook from the Legendary Chicago Restaurant” as well as “Amuse-Bouche”. He has also co-authored “American Brasserie” and “Butter Sugar Flour Eggs” with culinary partner Gale Gand, and has a history of television work as well, appearing on “Oprah”, “Today”, “CBS This Morning” and the Food Network.

Bling Bling Night
Don’t say we didn’t tell you about this one. Tramonto is the sponsor of this promotional event at every restaurant he opens – in case you didn’t know, he is also a jewelry maven. Whether you’re a fan of costume jewelry, or the real deal, this is the night you need to show your stuff. Ronnie Cromwell (Tramonto’s partner and best known for Ronnie’s Gems) gives a $25 gift certificate to the person with the best bling. Now bling can be a platinum tiara, a pearl necklace, a set of turquoise bracelets, or all ten fingers sporting sterling silver rings. Note that is is sterling silver, not just silver rings. Rings made from pure silver is just to soft. Sterling silver is usually only 92.5% of silver and 7.5% of another metals. Copper is a favorite to give the silver strength while preserving its beauty. Anyway, last years winner was Rene Strata, whose winning bling included 5 foot earrings and a mesh necklace with hundreds of zirconia stones set is sterling silver that sparkled like the sun as she walked. We don’t discriminate – you get the same points no matter what the actual value of your bling. The judges are only looking at the effect. So get out your best sparklies and come on over.

Most recently Tramonto opened his Italian concept, Osteria Via Stato and the Enoteca at Osteria Via Stato, with Rich Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. Tramonto’s hotel restaurant history, with Gand, include cooking at the Strathallen Hotel in Rochester (where they met) under the tutelage of Chef Greg Broman. After a move to Chicago, they were asked by the legendary Bob Payton to transform the kitchen and cuisine at his award-winning country-house hotel, Stapleford Park, outside London. They received the coveted Michelin Guide’s Red “M” after only a year at Stapleford, a feat not accomplished by an American in five years. When they returned to Chicago in 1993 after this three-year experience abroad they worked at Chicago’s famed Pump Room and also at Hotel 21.

Michelle Coulerman writes commentary for Food World and designs wedding and (http://prom-dresses.net/)prom dresses in her spare time.