Donnie Madia: The Art of Collaboration

“No one person is bigger than the whole.”  Those were the wise words once whispered into Donnie Madia’s ears by one of his business partners, and this saying has become a key element to his long-standing success in Chicago’s culinary scene.  He typifies the art of collaboration. With twelve restaurants in the One Off Hospitality family, Donnie Madia credits the success and the many James Beard awards to his fellow partners and the teams in place at those restaurants. Chef Paul Kahan won Outstanding Chef in 2013, and Donnie won Outstanding Restaurateur in 2015, and this is just a sampling of the many awards. Blackbird has been  celebrating its 20th anniversary with “Blackbird at 20″Dinner Series and will be cooking at the James Beard House on October 11th.  

A special photo with Donnie Madia and Chef Jaime Laurita in the Viking and La Cornue Showroom in the Merchandise Mart

Donnie Madia recently joined my co-host Chef Jaime Laurita and me in the award winning Viking and La Cornue Showroom in the Merchandise Mart for a Kitchen Chat.  Donnie shares some great insight into how the location for Big Star was chosen and how it was named. In addition, Donnie shares his heart for charity and how appreciative he is that Chicago is so supportive of funding research for pediatric cancer through  Alex’s Lemonade Stand

Donnie has some great tips for Food and Fashion:

  1. For the home chef: Take a look at adding a little more plant based diet in your meals;
  2. For the professional chef and restaurateur:  Be pragmatic about the opportunity and single-minded in the opportunity.  Don’t try to do three things at once;
  3. For fashion: Go into the clothing stores and actually touch the fabrics.  Also speak with the the sales associates and create with the sales persons at your favorite clothing stores.

Savor the day!

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