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Danny Ovanin, Glen Prairie Fine Food and Drink, Glen Ellyn, IL

Danny Ovanin, Glen Prairie Fine Food and Drink, Glen Ellyn, IL RR: Glen Prairie seems to be constantly trying to improve the general dining experience, while also maintaining a strong connection to the local American farmer. What makes this interplay between farmer and table such a successful match at Glen Prairie?

Chef: Farm to table is such a growing trend that is not going to go away anytime soon. Think about it! If you had a farm, would you ever have to worry about going to the grocery store for produce or eggs or even proteins for that matter? All you have to do is go to your crop and pick what you want. We support the local farmer! Thatís what Glen Prairie is all about, buy local, feed local and minimize the carbon footprint.

RR: You have recently release a gluten-free menu? Can you speak a little about this initiative and some of the reasons why you have decided to offer this option?

Chef: We have had numerous customers with Celiac and other type of allergies come dine with us. We have created this menu so that these customers can come and enjoy local fare and not get sick from eating something that they are allergic to. Even though we have created this menu, I still go talk to these customers individually as I have learned that most Celiac customers are allergic to other things such as dairy and soy. This menu might take a few extra minutes to prepare, but its well worth it for our customers.

Glen Prairie Restaurant RR: With Chicago's dramatic changes in seasons, how does your menu react to and reflect these seasonal differences?

Chef: Our menu is as seasonal as possible. We all know that living in a climate like Chicago is very difficult to get local produce during winter months. During the winter months we focus on root vegetables and winter vegetables like butternut squash and Brussel sprouts with exceptions to lettuces and tomatoes which we call "Today's Tomatoes" as it varies as to what tomatoes are available at that time of year. If I can get local Greenhouse produce then I do, but sometimes itís not available to get.

RR: Glen Prairie has recently released monthly specials such as a $20 prix fixe menu highlighting some great local and seasonal ingredients. Can you please speak about this program and what it brings to the diners of Glen Prairie?

Chef: This is very simple! In today's economic times, its harder for people to go out and eat great local fare and not burn a hole in their pockets. We have created a value minded three course meal that features entrees off our regular menu bundled with a salad and dessert for only $20. Customers can come eat great local fare for a great price!

RR: How does your Glen Ellyn location represent itself upon your diners? Does Glen Prairie primarily serve the greater Chicagoland suburbs or city residents as well?

Chef: For the most part our customers come from bordering towns and suburbs with the occasional visit from city folk. We have even had guest from bordering states to come sample our local fare!

RR: Finally, what makes farm to table dining such a tremendous experience for diners?

Chef: With the intent to promote and sustain the American family farmer, customers can be assured that we are not just a restaurant out to make profit but a restaurant that contributes to making a difference in the environment by using ALL biodegradable carry out boxes, utensils and recyclable materials and supporting local farms so that we can proudly supply the food on our tables. Our guests can dine with us knowing that they are supporting the local economy while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Glen Prairie Restaurant
1250 Roosevelt Road
Glen Ellyn, IL

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