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John des Rosiers

John des Rosiers, 27
Executive chef, Bank Lane Bistro and South Gate Café

Residence: Lake Forest

As a five-year-old equipped with a spatula and some coasters, John des Rosiers used to practice making pancakes on his grandmother’s living-room floor. “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a chef,” he says.

During his senior year at Carmel High School in Mundelein, des Rosiers worked at Gabriel’s in Highwood during the week, often as late as 11 p.m. “Being in that kitchen meant more to me than high school,” he says. After attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York, des Rosiers landed a job with Charlie Trotter in Chicago where he spent several months before returning to Gabriel’s as a sous-chef.

Now, des Rosiers says, as executive chef at Bank Lane Bistro in Lake Forest, he’s working harder than he ever has, building the restaurant’s wine list and tweaking its menu. “I’m a perfectionist that way,” he says. “I’m always coming up with new ideas for food.”

And while he admits that his work schedule may seem less than desirable, he says he’ll make time for someone if she sparks his interest. “If you can engage me in conversation, you’re halfway there,” he says.

Email John at cm_jdrosiers@yahoo.com

Photography by McArthurphotography.com

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