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February 5, 2010

When he is not writing wills or creating corporations, Di Monte and Lizak attorney, Jeff McDonald can often be found in the kitchen. For the past four years, Jeff has been taking culinary and baking classes at Harper College and at the Culinary Institute of America, Napa Valley campus.

Most recently, Jeff accompanied Certified Master Chef of Pastry and Sugar Artistry, Alain Roby, the senior corporate pastry chef for Hyatt Hotels, and Hagop Hagopian, Executive Chef of the Hyatt Regency Woodfield, on a trip to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World. While there, Jeff assisted in the preparation of desserts for 800 guests at the Fall Harvest Dinner and prepared desserts in the Disney pastry kitchen for a seminar and book signing event highlighting Roby’s new cookbook, American Classics: Casual and Elegant Desserts and promoting the Saving Tiny Hearts Society, a Deerfield, Illinois-based charity.

Locally, Jeff assisted Chef Hagopian with the spring annual dinner for Les Amis d’Escoffier Society of Chicago held at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield. The black-tie event featuring an eight course gourmet meal was served to a group of 99 top chefs and cooking professionals.

Not satisfied with just cooking, Jeff has learned to make his own beer, cheese, bacon, sausage and bread. Jeff has been featured in the Daily Herald and just won the grand prize in an Edible Book Contest with his rendition of the Monster Book of Monsters from the Harry Potter series.

Although he often is asked when he will open his own restaurant, he has no plans to do so. We’re glad, because the occasional desserts he brings to the office are wonderful.