Chef Jessie Gilroy wasn't planning on opening a restaurant, at least not anytime soon. Fresh off her boss Kevin Nashan's James Beard win for Best Chef: Midwest, Gilroy was content and as busy as ever as his sous chef at Sidney Street Cafe. Then she got word from her father that her name had been floated to open a restaurant in New Town St. Charles, and things took on a life of their own.
"I was basically handed this building," Gilroy says of the lovely space that sits in the heart of New Town's business district. "Some friends of my dad had bought it and wanted to put a restaurant in it. My name came up. I kept thinking that it was going to fall through every step of the way, but it ended up happening."The building's owners knew that they wanted a restaurant, but what it would look like was entirely up to Gilroy. She decided on an eclectic comfort food concept, Pangea World Fusion (3245 Rue Royale, St. Charles; 636-757-3579), which she describes as a "casual fine-dining restaurant focused on using fresh ingredients and international flavors."
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