SOURCE: Marriott

Northbrook Hotels

March 04, 2011 10:28 ET

Boutique Chicago North Shore Hotel Chef Hits Celebrity Status, Reinvigorates Menu for Spring

Talented Chef Keeps Rooks Corner Restaurant Dining Seasonally Fresh

NORTHBROOK, IL--(Marketwire - March 4, 2011) - A fresh new menu is making its debut just in time for spring at the Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel's Rooks Corner restaurant where locally grown produce and organic ingredients keep the menu seasonally fresh and exceptionally tasty. 

Executive Chef Chris Dugenske applies both his culinary and leadership talents to not only stay abreast of this Northbrook, IL restaurant's menu, but its community spirit and sense of local responsibility as well. Headlining the new menu with an inexpensive house made "Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper Potato Chips & Bacon Tomato Herb Dip," the restaurant donates $1 from every order to "Give Kids the World," thus helping to provide memorable cost-free fun experiences to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. This totally "shareable" appetizer is made from locally grown fresh herbs from the nearby Chicago Botanic Garden and leads a long list of other "shareables" such as Hummus Among-Us, Wings Have Flown the Coop, Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Smoked Chicken Quesadilla and Deep Fried Olives.

Chef Dugenske, who has tallied nearly 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, also serves as Director of Food and Beverage at the Renaissance Chicago hotel near Northwestern University. Chef Dugenske's experience shines in the restaurant's new menu which truly exemplifies a fresh experience in dining as it incorporates as many locally sourced and organic ingredients as available. From unique burgers that start with Black Angus beef, to tasty sandwiches crafted between slices of whole grain bread and always popular items such as toasted Panini, savory soups and flat bread pizza, this is one menu that truly offers something for everyone. Topping the extraordinary cuisine served in the modern American Bistro atmosphere of this Northbrook hotel restaurant, Chef Dugenske's choices for main entrées include items such as Shrimp & Pasta featuring hand cut pasta; Grilled Halibut with roasted seasonal vegetables; popular steak cuts, fried or roasted chicken, and a house made Meatloaf & Mash (mashed potatoes) which has become a fast favorite. Guests can satisfy their sweet tooth with offerings of chocolate cake, "cobbler of the day" with ice cream or a fresh fruit tart.

Designing a zesty and appealing menu for one of the finest restaurants in Northbrook is a routine challenge for Chef Dugenske, who began his career with Hyatt Hotels as a dishwasher/prep cook. Quickly moving up the hospitality career ladder, he accepted his first Executive Chef position at the age of 29 at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables and has worked in hotels from New Jersey to Texas and Colorado. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation and has been recognized with awards for both his culinary and ice carving skills. He also was a member of the culinary team that held the "Largest Edible Creation" title in the Guinness Book of World Records from 1989-1991. Chef Dugenske has also been featured on Chicago television special presentations featuring New Year's Eve party recipes and to offer tips on roasting.

About the Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel
The Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel, located in the impressive North Shore area, was recently awarded the AAA's prestigious 4-Diamond award for the eighth consecutive year, a direct reflection of its dedication to providing guests with impeccable accommodations and exceptional service. The hotel's location near many Fortune 500 companies, world-class shopping and popular Chicago attractions makes it an excellent choice whether traveling for business or leisure.