Courtesy Carla Gini

Marion Street Cheese Market’s Executive Chef, Leonard Hollander, will be traveling to Europe for a 12 week excursion to explore the roots and inspirations of American cuisine. “Chef Leonard Connects is what we’ve named his journey” says Michelle Dirks, General Manager. The hungry traveler will be cooking in County Cork, Nottingham, the Loire Valley, and beyond.

Dirks continued, “While Chef Leonard will be abroad, he won’t be far.” During his travels Chef Leonard will be telecommuting to Oak Park. He will be working remotely with his stellar set of Sous Chefs, Corey Pastor and Nick Stewart. “You’re in good hands while I’m gone! In addition to debriefing my team, I’ll be blogging so the folks back home can connect with me as I connect with artisans, farmers, vintners, and chefs to explore the foundations of European influence on our American culinary tradition” says Chef Leonard. With his Bistro cuisine recently garnering a Michelin Bib Gourmand designation, Chef Leonard will be cooking in restaurants that have won multiple Michelin Stars. Chef Leonard is exhilarated to learn from the best of the best, plus, he notes, “in a foreign tongue.”

Dirks added, “We are excited about Chef Leonard’s ‘study abroad’ because his research will ultimately benefit the customer experience at Marion Street Cheese Market. Chef Leonard’s stops will include many of the cheesemakers, vintners, and charcuterie houses that Marion Street Cheese Market sources from. We are enthusiastic about the personal connections he will make, along with the relationships he will solidify with like-minded artisans throughout his journey.”

Follow Chef Leonard Connects on Twitter @liv2cook and on his blog at In addition to being an award-winning culinarian, Chef Leonard is duly a talented writer. His culinary notebook is sure to be a tasty read!

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