It all began when John Manion moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, when he was 8 years old. With his family he spent the following 5 years soaking in the culture and, most importantly, the food of a place very far from home. Recalling the beach-side joints of Brazil, Manion, a 20-year veteran of the local restaurant scene, opened the West Loop’s La Sirena Clandestina in 2012. In 2016, he continued his culinary journey with El Che Steakhouse & Bar, a love letter to his travels in Argentina interpreted through the Buenos Aires tradition of live-flame cooking.
Manion’s passion for South American flavors animates the spirited dishes and sultry ambiance of both of his restaurants. El Che Steakhouse & Bar has earned a coveted three-star rating from the Chicago Tribune. In 2017, Manion was nominated for “Chef of the Year” at the Jean Banchet Awards and was recognized as a “Master of the Flame” by Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettel in the “Critic’s Choice Dining Awards.”
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award