Food for Thought

Meet Limelight Catering’s Executive Chef Tony Quartaro, the toque bringing inventive flavor combinations to some of Chicago's hottest events.

By Lisa Shames

Photos by Erika Dufour

January 30, 2019 10:00 AM

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Leave it to Limelight Catering’s Executive Chef Tony Quartaro to bring inventive flavor combinations to your next event—one bite at a time. Tuna poke push pop, chicken-skin-wrapped sweetbreads, housemade mini English muffins with smoked sablefish, Hokkaido scallop carpaccio, parsnip ice cream with puffed amaranth and caramelized white chocolate… This isn’t your average event fare. And that’s because Tony Quartaro—with some 13 years of restaurant experience, including time at The Bristol, Balena and Formento’s—isn’t a typical catering chef.

Since starting a few months back as executive chef of Limelight Catering, a division of The Revel Group, Quartaro has already turned out private dinners for 10 people and massive events for 1,000. Then there was the recent omakase dinner for 85 people, which included the dishes mentioned above along with five more flavor-pushing courses and an unforgettable, cereal-inspired dessert table. 

“For me, one of the biggest selling points when I came on board is that the single goal at these events is to surpass clients’ expectations and to make sure the guest experience is out of this world,” says Quartaro. “With my culinary experience combined with the team’s operational background, together we can explore the less obvious routes when it comes to creating food that’s outside the box.”