After receiving his classical training at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, Chef Pete Trusiak relocated to Madison, Wisconsin, and began working with James Beard Foundation's 2001 Best Chef of the Midwest, Odessa Piper at L'etoile. It was in Madison that Chef Pete developed an avid interest in following our foods from field and pasture to plate.
Madison is home to the granddaddy of Midwest farmers markets, and every Saturday from April to October, hundreds of farmers converge on the Capitol Square and sell everything from fresh honey and cheeses to the best produce you'll find in the Midwest and naturally raised beef, pork, trout, and poultry. While foraging for ingredients for the dinners at L'etoile, Chef Pete met many upstanding members of Wisconsin agricultural families. From these meetings, he cultivated close relationships with a handful of farmers who allowed him to donate his time helping with some of their farming duties.
Chef Pete has assisted at a free-range chicken farm, picked spinach and tomatoes at an organic farm, helped move cattle at a free-range cattle farm, and enjoyed other agricultural adventures. These opportunities to work closely with farmers have strengthened his bonds with the origins of the ingredients that he uses in his cooking.
In addition to working at L'etoile, Chef Pete has been a professional chef and consultant for various organizations. They include: The Compound in Santa Fe's trendy Canyon Road neighborhood, The Viking Cooking School in Glenview Illinois, Epicurean Cutting Surfaces, Royal Prestige Cookware, Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Botanical Garden, Sur La Table, Heartland Meats, River Valley Mushrooms, Insignia Kitchen & Bath, Walter Payton Cancer Fund, Bear Necessities, Health and Wellness Society, Downers Grove Infant Welfare Society, and Children's Memorial Hospital. He cohosted and coordinated the 2010 Great Chef of Grey Poupon Mustard Competition and was the featured chef at Midwest's BBQ Festival in 2010 at Galleria Marchetti.
Chef Pete has highlighted his cooking prowess through various media outlets. He has appeared in television segments on Chicago ABC affiliate Channel 7, Chicago Fox affiliate Channel 32, HGTV's Design Challenge
, and as host of a cooking show called Cooking with Pete
, carried by the local cable network in Naperville, Illinois. He also starred in a 32-episode cooking DVD for Video Chef, on which he created, taught, and presented simple cooking techniques to home cooks. He has been featured in print in Gourmet
magazine, Chicago Home
magazine, the Suburban Daily Herald
, and the Chicago Tribune
Chef Pete and his wife recently launched a rapidly growing catering company called Forage & Feast, based in Wheaton, Illinois, and are looking to expand the business into a retail gourmet market for shoppers to buy locally grown and produced foods. Through the Forage & Feast Catering Company, Chef Pete has been working closely as corporate chef for the renowned MHP and Phoenix grill companies. Affiliations and memberships include Slow Food International and the Society of Wine Educators. Back to Ambassadors