Dominic Zumpano of Lake Bluff is certainly making his mark on our communities. The James Beard-nominated chef teamed up with Cecilia Lanyon to bring an artful (and delicious) dining element to The Gallery in Lake Forest in 2017, and earlier this year he treated Lake Forest to another culinary gem with a creative re-imagining of the popular Left Bank hot dog stand on Bank Lane. So, what does he do when he’s not making culinary magic? We checked in with Zumpano to get a take on some of his most memorable lasts:
Last great vacation where the food continues to inspire?
It’s been a long time since I have been on a vacation but I don’t have to go far to be inspired by food—from George Trois/Restaurant Michael in Winnetka to the long-standing Froggy’s in Highwood to some of the best restaurants in the country that are in Chicago. Whenever I get the chance I like to do what I call the “food tour” and eat at as many restaurants as I can in one day.
Last experience or encounter that made you proud of what you’re doing?
I was shopping at the Amidei Market and overheard a couple talking about how great their experience was and how unique of a concept The Gallery is. The effort and passion that’s put forward by my partner Cecilia and my team to make sure our guests have a great time is something I am very proud of.
Last meaningful film you saw?
Surprisingly enough, the remake of the movie IT. I was 12 when the original came out and my mom is a big Stephen King fan and perhaps against better judgement let me watch the movie with her and my dad. I was terrified afterward but they told me the moral of the story was to not be afraid and to stand up to your fears. When the remake came out I immediately thought of them and how much strength and encouragement they have given me over the years.
Last unexpected moment in your daily routine that ended up inspiring a new project?
Recently Cecilia and I were having ice cream in a place that was open for 15 years. We had become friends with the owner and he unfortunately told us he was closing. Wanting to preserve the memories, we decided to hang on to the contents of the store. We’re keeping the new project “on ice” for now.
Last artful discovery you can’t stop thinking about?
The last 2 years we have done the emerging artist show at The Gallery. The Emerging Artist show is an annual tradition that is curated by the Deer Path Art League and features artwork from almost every school from Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. It’s amazing to see how talented and inspired the kids are.