Episode 064: John Manion

John Manion’s star is a rising in Chicago. Despite the fact that he’s been a Chicago-area chef for nearly two decades, the last few years have put him on the culinary map. When Manion was just eight years old, his family was transplanted to sprawling São Paulo, Brazil, introducing him to a whole new world of food at a young age, inspiring his culinary trajectory.

His first restaurant, La Sirena Clandestina, is Brazilian-inspired—what Manion envisioned as a sort of mysterious, hidden spot you might stumble upon in coastal Brazil. Translated as “The Hidden Mermaid,” La Sirena Clandestina serves simple, beachy Brazilian classics like Pao de Queijo, Moqueca, and Caipirinhas.

Now, Manion has opened a second South America-inspired restaurant, El Che Bar, a nod to his travels throughout Argentina.