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Dianna Reeves

There’s a sort of familial magic in cooking; warmth translating from person to plate. The heart of a city girl cook is worthy.

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How long have you been cooking?

Ever since I was waist high to my parents I have been shadowing them and cooking. In my teenage years I started volunteering in my local church's kitchen on the west side of Chicago. The lessons learned were through story telling and intensely watching the kitchen cooks. I absorbed everything like a sponge. Every Sunday I would show up early in the morning ready to work, moving up in the line and taking on more responsibilities.

What is your signature dish?

My signature dish is definitely one for the carb books. Everything great about brunch flavors is incorporated in my Brunch Mac. This mac & cheese has crab, shrimp, Applewood smoked sausage, jalapeño, crispy Italian bread crumbs and 6 different cheeses.

What will you do with the $50,000?

As a small business owner, most of the reward will go directly towards my business and education as a cook; developing a broader menu, establishing more experience and theory, and customizing my existing customer service and brand. I also would like to invest in a community project cook book to highlight some urban Chicago chefs/home cooks through storytelling.