Eileen Gregg-Garcia – Owner/Lead Chef
Eileen, a Chicago native, left the city right after college to help open the Four Seasons Hotel New York, which, at the time, was the Flagship Hotel for that group. After her stint in NYC, she moved home to open Tuscany on Clark Street. That’s where she met Chepe. She fell in love with his food and then him— in that order. She is referred to as the mayor of Buona Terra for the way she seems to know everyone and kisses every baby (when it is safe to do so!).
Since 2017, Eileen has split her time between Buona Terra and Hearth & Crust. Eileen and Chepe opened Hearth & Crust in the Irving Park neighborhood in July of 2017.
Jose “Chepe” Garcia – Owner/Lead Chef
Chepe grew up on his parent’s dairy farm in Mexico. They grew most of the food for their family and raised cattle right there on his parent’s ranch. In addition to the dairy farm, his family ran a small butcher shop in town. He has literally been in the food business since birth.
After leaving home and moving to Chicago, he soon was working in some of the city’s finest restaurants, both in the kitchen and front of the house. He has worked with world-class chefs, honing his skills over the 30-plus years he has been in the business.
By day, you will find him running around town, shopping for his market items. After all of his menu items are prepared, he enjoys a relaxing lunch with his family and prepares for the dinner rush. You may find him keeping a close eye on the kitchen from his post as the bartender. Many guests eat at the bar just to hear his stories, hang out with him and have a laugh. He regularly travels to Italy to attend the once-a-year wine expo, Vin Italy, where visits wineries and always returns with fresh menu ideas.