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Yes, Chef

(page 3 of 4)



IN CHATS WITH, the quartet of chefs featured on these pages, each cited some combination of the others as inspirations. Only one name arose to become a common thread for all.

DARIO SCHICKE, his colleagues agree, was a catalyst in re-plotting Omaha’s culinary map.

In five short years, his quaint spot in Dundee has attained near legendary status among foodies and the people who cook for them. More than just the home of a good plate and nice brew, the story of DARIO’S BRASSERIE is one that speaks to the rewards of risk-taking.

Schicke risked it all to flee his homeland at the onset of the BOSNIAN WAR. And he risked it all again in launching a space that initially relied on one simple idea. Places that feature a flags-of-all-nations array of beers are common, but Schicke raised eyebrows when applying for a loan in outlining his plan to specifically showcase the beers of Belgium.

“Bankers here apparently don’t understand the idea of a restaurant that doesn’t serve prime rib and artichoke dip,” the 2010 JAMES BEARD AWARD semifinalist explained, “so I risked everything by mortgaging my home and leveraging everything else as collateral.”

Dario’s gambit paid off.

The little haunt that wouldn’t serve domestic beers has since grown to be one of the most talked-about eateries of recent memory. His beers were more than just a teaser; they were a launching point for introducing palates to a special brand of French-inspired cooking that is as casual as it is creative.

All this talk about risk does not suggest that Schicke presents an overly serious persona.

“We work hard, yes, but we also have fun here,” said the charmingly gregarious man who has been to known regale diners with what might be described as “colorful” language. “That’s what’s great about America. You can say just about anything and as long as it comes with an exotic foreign accent people will eat it up!”



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