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updated: 2/3/2014 11:12 AM

Oak Brook chef aims to bring the farm to your table

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  • Carol Buckantz

    Carol Buckantz

  • Cameron Monti

    Cameron Monti

  • Sean O'Scannlain

    Sean O'Scannlain

  • Harsha Shukla, left, and Pradeep Shukla.

    Harsha Shukla, left, and Pradeep Shukla.

  • Alicia Saso

    Alicia Saso

  • Beverly Grant

    Beverly Grant

  • Tammy Laas

    Tammy Laas

  • Keith G. Dafcik

    Keith G. Dafcik

  • Anthony V. Cincinelli

    Anthony V. Cincinelli

  • James N. Robinson Jr.

    James N. Robinson Jr.


Carol Buckantz loved science and children and at tone time aspired to become a pediatrician.

But an interest in her grandfather's restaurant while growing up in Cleveland and later taking some cooking classes altered her career plans. She decided to become a chef.

The Schaumburg resident, 42, recently became the executive chef at Oak Brook Hills Resort and aims to create new farm-to-table events and other dinner experiences that will keep diners coming back for more than just a Sunday brunch.

"I want to change the way of thinking on how we eat and to use local farmers more," Buckantz said. "I want to work more out of the box and create more excitement on the table."

A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Buckantz said she was told at the beginning that it could be a tough profession.

"They said you had to work hard and be very dedicated and creative and need to work long hours. I understood that and had no problem with it," she said.

In the last 20 years, she has worked for a variety of companies, including the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale and even her own Moveable Gourmet business.

Now at Oak Brook, she aims to create chef table events, featuring farmers who can talk about pork or beef or chicken, or even their crops.

"People today like to buy and eat local," she said. "There aren't a lot doing farm-to-table events and I think we can even integrate it into banquets," she said.

She is also working to include a weekly farmers market on the resort's campus and offer culinary classes.

In addition, she's hoping to partner with local breweries to offer craft beer dinners or local spirits.

"It would be great to put tables outside in the garden and do dinners there, too," she said.

Another book for attorney

Carpentersville resident Cameron Monti, a partner at Lavelle Law Ltd. in Palatine, has released a new book, called "Illinois' Firearm Concealed Carry Law FAQ Handbook." He wrote a book earlier this year on the Illinois medical marijuana law. Both are available on He appeared twice on WGN-TV news to discuss the medical marijuana book.

Bensenville CEO leads national group

Sean O'Scannlain, president and CEO of Fortune Fish & Gourmet in Bensenville, is the new chairman of the National Fisheries Institute, the seafood industry's trade association. A 22-year veteran of the seafood industry, O'Scannlain has been a member since 2002 and has served in various executive positions. As the group's chairman, O'Scannlain will focus on seafood nutrition education, promoting domestic aquaculture opportunities, reducing seafood fraud, marketplace labeling and working closely with legislators and regulators on strategic seafood issues.


Daniel Allen Heuertz is the new regional developer to help build up to 17 Dogtopia locations. Dogtopia is a national dog day care and spa. Heuertz is an owner/operator in Chicago and plans to open the first flagship Dogtopia this summer in Schaumburg or Barrington. ... Pradeep Shukla, who along with his wife, Harsha, broker/owners of American Star Realty in Des Plaines, said it is now RE/MAX Renaissance.

Diana Martinez has been named director of the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. Since last September, Martinez has served as the center's interim director following the departure of former Director Stephen Cummins, who left last July to take a position at California State University. ... Alicia Saso has returned to the design team at Drury Design Kitchen and Bath Studio in Glen Ellyn. She began her design career working with Gail Drury, a certified master kitchen and bath designer and president of Drury Design. In September, one of Saso's designs was featured in West suburban Living's kitchen design issue.

Beverly Grant, formerly of P&G and IRI Worldwide, is the new chief retail officer at Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide in Northbrook. ... Tammy Laas has joined pediatrics at Dreyer Medical Clinic's Fox Valley Villages location. ... Keith G. Dafcik of Algonquin, a longtime member of Rosemont-based McShane Construction Co., has been appointed to senior vice president of distribution, food and beverage. Other promotions at McShane include Anthony V. Cincinelli of Chicago from project executive to director of business development; and James N. Robinson Jr. of Wheaton, from project management to project executive.

Joli Robinson, owner of Choice Hearing Solutions in Huntley, has been named among the Best of 2013 Hearing Healthcare Professionals, published in the December 2013 issue of The Hearing Review. ... Katie Dolan Dix of Capannari Ice Cream in Mount Prospect will be the returning instructor to kickoff the The Young Entrepreneurs Academy's YEA! class of 2014 held at Prospect High School, and Tom Zander of Picket Fence Realty will join the team later in the year as instructor for the second half of the class. YEA! is an after school enrichment program that guides middle school and high school students in launching their own real businesses.

Justin Eggar of Eggar Insurance Agency in Geneva has been designated Allstate Premier Agency for 2013. ... Lawyer Doug Warlick of Geneva was awarded the Crystal Pin Service Award by the Lions Club International for his "World of Service." ... Carol Murin at Solutions for Long Term Care Inc. has a new website developed with the help of Jason Rader of The Marketing Group in Geneva. Check it out at ... Museum Director Brian Grams said the Volo Auto Museum has been named No. 1 in the family trip/excursion category of Suburban Family Magazine's 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. ... Sarah Orleans of Portland, Ore., will become the new president & CEO of the DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville, replacing the retiring President Susan E. Broad.

Mike Merry and Lisa Krick are now part of the new industrial team that will focus on the South Cook County industrial market for Cawley Chicago Commercial Real Estate in Downers Grove. ... Western Springs resident Peter Layton, CEO of The Tallgrass Group, has been elected as the new president of the Chicago Wilderness Trust Board, a regional alliance of more than 300 organizations working to protect land, water and wildlife.

•There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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