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Chicago Gourmet - bio: Roger Waysok
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Roger Waysok

South Water Kitchen

South Water Kitchen is a culinary love letter to Chicago, the home Executive Chef Roger Waysok loves and has always lived in. Drawing inspiration from the diversity of Chicago’s culinary heritages and quickly changing seasons, Chef Waysok captures the spirit of the city with bold, calendar-driven Midwest fare at South Water Kitchen. 

Waysok recalls the variety of tastes and aromas that flavored his childhood; from these unique memories, Waysok composes dishes that reflect the city’s immigrant past, such as house made sausages and brick oven options like smoked pork pizza. Waysok often changes his menus, allowing him to explore a wider array of Midwestern ingredients and product. Look no further than the accompaniments to popular dishes for seasonal inspirations, such as his minted pea puree with Grilled Rack of Lamb, corn soufflé with the Roasted All Natural Chicken and sweet corn succotash with Grilled Salmon.
In recalling his past chef experience, Waysok is the first to point out that he has never strayed beyond city limits. Waysok arrived at South Water Kitchen after executive sous chef posts at beloved Loop mainstay Atwood Café beginning in 2008, and most recently from Sable Kitchen & Bar, which he helped to open alongside veteran Chicago executive chef Heather Terhune in the spring of 2010. Prior to his work with these Kimpton restaurants, Waysok worked at Ruffled Feathers in 2008 and began his career with Roy’s Hawaiian Cuisine in January 2005.  
With a background in both food and business, Waysok earned his Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts as well as his Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Administration from Illinois’ College of Dupage. 
When not in the kitchen, Chef Waysok enjoys tuning out on guitar with his wife Tara and their three year old son, Marshall, who is aptly named after their favorite amplifier brand. Of Marshall, Waysok admits, “He has to be my most difficult, but also my most rewarding, critic.  Like the city I live in, I hope to make him proud.”

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