Chef Profile: Luis Allyon
Chef at Suzette's Creperie in Wheaton
Years as a chef and in your current position? I've been a chef for 22 years. I have been Chef at Suzette’s Crêperie for over two years now. I was Chef at Cab’s Wine Bar Bistro in Glen Ellyn for 17 years. My wife Lisa and became owners in 2004. Prior to that I was the Chef at Bistro Banlieue, which was located in Lombard.
Other details about your culinary background. I trained in Paris at La Varenne Ecôle de Cuisine and before that at Dumas Pére Ecôle de Cuisine, which was located in Glenview.
Mentor or person you learned most about cooking from? Chef Peter McGinley when I was working as Saucier at Hotel Nikko Chicago in the Les Celebrites Restaurant. He was extremelycreative and encouraged me to trust my instincts. I also learned a lot from Chef Francois Sanchez. He was a very positive influence.
Favorite dish to make and why? I can’t say that I have one favorite dish. I love food. Sauces are my specialty. Sauces can really bring a dish to life by giving it that wow factor.
Favorite ingredients to work with? Lamb, seafood, beef or game. I have a pheasant apple sausage that I make that is pretty awesome.
Most unusual ingredients you have used in a dish? There are many different things that I’ve worked with, which would include: Musk Ox, turtle, alligator, sea urchin, quail, pheasant, guinea hen, kangaroo, pheasant, frog legs, eel and ostrich, to name a few.
Guilty pleasure or junk food you really enjoy? Burgers and pizza.
Favorite west suburban restaurant? While there are many great restaurants out here, two restaurants come to mind right off the bat: I love Montri Tai restaurant in Warrenville and Gaetano's Restaurant in Batavia.
Hobbies, when not cooking? I love to run and play guitar (not at the same time).
Favorite restaurant you’ve ever eaten in? Back in the early 2000s I had an incredible dining experience at a restaurant called Tribute, which was located in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Chef Takashi Yagihashi put out some incredible food there that I will remember always.
How often do you cook at home and what do you like to make there? I cook at home probably five days a week. What are some of my favorite things to cook at home? Again, I can’t name just one. I enjoy making soups and other one-pot dishes, doctoring frozen pizza (guilty pleasure) with additional spices and toppings, grilling, and using my smoker (curing and smoking salmon, smoked chicken and beef).
If not a chef, what career would you have likely pursued? I would be a starving artist.