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In the Kitchen with Cory Morris from Ronero

Get some Latin flair going on your weekend menu

Whether you are looking for a relaxing, upscale meal or a kick-butt rum cocktail, Ronero {738 West Randolph Street, Chicago; 312.600.6105} in the West Loop has you covered. Led by Executive Chef and Partner CoryMorris, the culinary team serves up regional dishes from Latin America that will keep your taste buds happy. Despite being fairly new to the Chicago food scene, Ronero is already racking up accolades. Before you make your reservation this weekend, learn a little more about the chef behind the delicious food.

DiningOut: Who were some of your earliest culinary influences?

Cory Morris: Jose Garces (Ecuadorian American chef, restaurant owner, and Iron Chef), Shane Symes, and Michael Fiorello (previously of Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago).

Photo via Chef Cory Morris

What led you to your current position at Ronero?

I have been focusing my culinary approach with Latin American flavors and cooking styles for the last nine years in Chicago. I was approached by my now business partner, Nils Westland to join the project in 2015.

What do you want people to experience when they dine at Ronero?

Authentic flavors and dishes that they might not have ever heard of before. We have researched dishes from areas like Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, etc. and I want to introduce people to some of my favorite foods from these areas.

We are offering multiple experiences under one roof. You can have an amazing dining experience in Ronero and then without leaving you can visit Escobar upstairs and listen to live music, dance, and check out our tableside beverage cart.

Photo via Ronero

What are your favorite items on the menu right now?

The Ropa Vieja, Pescado Frito, and Coxinha de Galinha.

And what drinks would you pair them with?

Any of our amazing rums.

How do you update ingredients or menu items for the season?

We are able for focus on different regions based on the time of the year. In the winter months, I featured more dishes from Argentina because it tends to be a more meat-focused cuisine. In the spring and summer, we are going go feature lighter fare like Peru and Costa Rica.

Photo via Ronero

Do you work with local farmers or vendors for the restaurant?

My favorite farmer in the area is Trent Sparrow from Catalpa Farms. He provides us with our goat and heritage Berkshire pigs. Recently we started working with Closed Loop Farms for our micro greens and petite lettuces.

How would you describe the Chicago food scene overall?

A never ending list of amazing restaurants!

Where do you like to eat when you’re not eating at Ronero?

Sumi Robata, Cho Sun Ok, or Avec.

Photo via Ronero

What are some of your other favorite spots in the city?

Brooklyn Boulders Climbing Gym. I also like to spend time at the Chicago Lake Shore, and in Pilsen, Chinatown, and Andersonville. I like to experience neighborhoods through their diverse cuisines.

By Kaleigh Glaza, Online Editor