TONY AND CATHY'S COLLECTIVE BIOGRAPHY
Tony Mantuano, Chef/Author
Four-star chef Tony Mantuano is known not only in Chicago, but also internationally as an influential culinary force. The James Beard Foundation named Mantuano Best Chef Midwest in 2005 and under his guidance Spiaggia received the James Beard Foundation nomination for Outstanding Restaurant in America in 2006 and 2007.
Before opening Chicago-based Spiaggia, Mantuano worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy including the three-star Dal Pescatore in Lombardia and Da Romano on the Tuscan coast in Viareggio.
As executive chef, Mantuano opened Spiaggia to critical acclaim in 1984. Since then, he has owned and operated a number of other successful restaurants including MangiaTrattoria in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In 2004, Mantuano co-authored with Cathy Mantuano The Spiaggia Cookbook – Eleganza Italian in Cucina (Chronicle Books). 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. Due in April 2008, The Mantuanos share their experiences and recipes from their favorite wine bars in Italy and southern Europe in their next cookbook, Wine Bar Food (Clarkson Potter).
Mantuano has been seen on national TV networks such as: PBS, CNN, FOX and The Food Network. He is also a frequent contributor to local Chicago television and radio. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune have featured him over the years.
Mantuano can also be found coast to coast leading cooking classes and demonstrations from DeGustibus at Macy’s in New York’s Herald Square to San Francisco’s popular Ferry Market. Mantuano and the Spiaggia team have frequently cooked at the James Beard House. In addition, Mantuano serves on the Freschetta Culinary Council with four other leading U.S. chefs.
Under Chef Mantuano’s leadership Spiaggia continues to mark the culinary map. Rated by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago magazine, Spiaggia is the only four-star Italian restaurant in Chicago. Mantuano has also received the Chicago Tribune’s highest culinary prize, The Good Eating Award. Mantuano has become known for utilizing rare, authentic Italian products of the highest quality. Mantuano recently unveiled a temperature-and humidity-controlled cheese cave at Spiaggia featuring Italy’s best, from seven-year-old Reggiano Parmigiano to a line of fresh and aged Italian botanical cheeses that are wrapped in diverse leaves and flora. Spiaggia bottles its own organic Tuscan olive oil, conducts yearly cooking classes and leads culinary tours of their favorite Mediterranean destinations. Spiaggia is currently working on acquiring its very own Italian fishing boat that will regularly ship freshly caught Mediterranean fish directly to Chicago.
Cathy Mantuano, Wine Expert/Author
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.
While working in the dining room of an esteemed Milwaukee restaurant during college, Mantuano met a young chef 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.
Before opening Chicago-based Spiaggia, 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.
A seasoned professional in the restaurant and wine business, Mantuano consults on restaurants wine lists nationwide.
Up next for Mantuano includes writing the wine list for the Italian/Mediterranean restaurant at the new Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago in May 2009.