"I want to be a living work of art"
The MARCHESA design muses are two of the early 20th century’s most luminous bons vivantes. The Marchesa Luisa Casati, who was one of the most effervescent jet setters to grace the world stage. Equivalently, Marguerite “Peggy” Guggenheim, the American art collector, bohemian and fabulously eccentric socialite whose namesake museum on Venice’s Grand Canal showcases one of Europe’s premier collections of modern art.
Kathryn Alvera and Jason Clark operated 4 restaurants together, including Prosecco, Domaine, and Narcisse. They designed Marchesa as a home, and feel the guests are friends of the family. The goal of the entire team is simple -- offer delicious food and wine served by a hospitable staff in a dramatic setting. Guests are whisked along on a culinary journey every night to keep the dining experience fun!
Chef Didier Durand has been cooking for over 30 years. He began his culinary trade at the Cooking School in Bergerac, France. Chef Didier sharpened his skills in many countries: The Caribbean, Switzerland, Luxembourg, he worked at several French Restaurants including the famous Michel Guerard, creator of the “Spa Cuisine,” a 3 stars Michelin Guide.
He came to the U.S. in 1986 to take a Sous-Chef position, under Chef Roland Liccioni to work at Carlos in Highland Park, from there he took several Executive Chef Position including La Boheme, Gordon, and Le Perroquet before opening his own restaurants as an Executive Chef and Owner: Cyrano’s Bistrot & Wine Bar or 20 years and Cyrano’s Cafe On The Chicago Riverwalk for 14 years. As an Executive Chef, he oversaw the whole operation, daily, from hiring, creating the menus, cooking on the line conversing with the guests. Chef Durand’s style is focused on light, healthy, innovative and well seasoned international cuisine.
The Marchesa experience is in the capable hands of seasoned professionals from all countries and walks of life. Four team members have been recognized with equity stakes in the operation due to their dedication and skill creating an amazing experience for guests.
Restaurant manager Francisco Montiel brings a wealth of hospitality and technical experience to the team, along with the ability to sing arias for that special birthday celebration. Engineer Jorge Dorantes oversees the physical plant and directs the support staff to ensure that guests have a wonderful time. Champagne Cave Director of Festivities Nikki Friar orchestrates the fun and mayhem in the subterranean lair where bubbles & bites from around the world reign supreme. French service guru, Philippe Carrie, brings wit and elan to the dining room experience, artfully curating each diners' visit with the best food and wine pairings from Chef Didier.