John Manion pays tribute to Brazilian cuisine at his new restaurant, Brasero

The Chicago chef blends taste memories from his childhood in Sao Paulo with Midwestern ingredients and live-fire cooking for a unique culinary experience.

John Manion introduced Chicago diners to Brazilian ingredients and flavors when he opened La Sirena Clandestina back in 2012. It’s a cuisine that’s near and dear to his heart and palate, as the chef spent part of his childhood living in Sao Paolo.

Manion went on to open El Che Steakhouse & Bar, where the menu covers more of South America with a focus on meats cooked over live fire. But when La Sirena Clandestina closed in 2019, he always had the vision to open a more expansive Brazilian restaurant in Chicago.

Chef-owner Manion

John Manion

That vision became a reality in February with the launch of Brasero, a tribute to Brazilian flavors and cooking. The menu features woodfire-grilled seafood and meats and a slow-cooked over charcoal marinated chicken. Manion also offers his take on feijoada, personalizing Brazil’s national dish with elements like a smoked and braised beef shank, fermented collard green kimchi and orange mostarda.

Listen as the chef-owner talks about how he revolutionized live-fire cooking at El Che, gives the lowdown on Brasero’s unique wine program and menu, and shares how he blends a bit of the Midwest into all his restaurants.

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