Tony & Cathy Mantuano
Chef at Spiaggia & Food Writer/Wine Consultant
While working in the dining room of an esteemed Milwaukee restaurant during college, Cathy Mantuano met a young chef, Tony, with a remarkably similar passion for all things Italian. The couple joined forces and decided to take the best of their respected strengths to Chicago.
Chef Tony Mantuano
Now regarded internationally as an influential culinary force, Chef Tony Mantuano is the chef/partner at Spiaggia, the only four-star Italian restaurant in Chicago.
Awarded the 2005 James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef: Midwest,” Mantuano worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy, including the three-star Dal Pescatore, before opening Spiaggia in 1984 to critical acclaim, and has since gone on to win The Chicago Tribune’s highest culinary prize, “The Good Eating Award” and named a Food & Wine “Best New Chef” in 1986.
Chef Tony’s other ventures include Mangia Trattoria in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin and as the chef/partner of Terzo Piano at new Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago, which was nominated for Wallpaper* magazines design awards 2010 as a best new restaurant.
Click here for a kitchen tour with Chef Tony on Bravo's Top Chef Masters.
Influenced by her Italian heritage; the flavors of grandma’s cooking, the fascination of grandpa’s homemade wine, and the big family celebrations including both, Cathy Mantuano knew from an early age she was destined to make a career in food and wine.
Before opening Chicago-based Spiaggia, Cathy Mantuano worked in the dining rooms of several Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy including the three-star Dal Pescatore in Mantova and Da Romano on the Tuscan coast in Viareggio.
Since opening and operating a number of successful restaurants, Mantuano went on to write and manage restaurant wine lists; presenting classes on wine, and wine and food pairing.
In 2004, Mantuano coauthored “The Spiaggia Cookbook – Eleganza Italiana in Cucina” (Chronicle Books) with Tony Mantuano. The cookbook was named by FOOD & WINE magazine as one of the top 25 cookbooks of 2004 and was also nominated for a James Beard award. The Mantuano’s share their experiences and recipes from their favorite wine bars in Italy and southern Europe in their latest cookbook, “Wine Bar Food” (Clarkson Potter).
Mantuano can also be found teaching in cooking classes and demonstrations about wine and food pairing from DeGustibus at Macy’s in New York’s Herald Square to San Francisco’s popular Ferry Market. She is also a contributor to local Chicago television and radio.
Tony and Cathy are currently developing "Authentic Foods of Calabria and Sicily," and escorted program planned for October 2013.