What is Trogo?

Trogo Kitchen and Market is a culinary space providing curated food experiences for those hungry for something different. Tucked away in the Green Exchange Building, we offer an array of chef driven dining options, led by our stellar culinary team.

Rick Spiros (Chef in Residence)

Chef Rick Spiros is an acclaimed Chicago chef cooking professionally for over 25 years. Rick opened his celebrated restaurant The Bento Box in 2010 along with his catering company in the Bucktown neighborhood. He has garnered a local following as well as recognition from numerous publications such as Chicago Magazine, Time Out, Chicago Eater, and Where Chefs Eat. Rick has appeared on Chicago’s Best, Check Please, WGN Morning, and the Hungry Hound.

Chef Rick is most widely known for his bold and hearty interpretations of classic Asian dishes. In 2020 after closing his restaurant, he started bringing the Bento Box experience to his customers through private events and catering. Rick is currently the Chef in Residence at Trogo Kitchen and Market, affording him the ability to provide clients with culinary experiences in either a private dining room, on an outdoor urban farm with a wood fired grill, and through onsite or delivered catering offerings.

Jimmy Bannos (Consulting Chef)

Jimmy Bannos, a third-generation restaurateur, worked at his parents’ diner when he was growing up between the age of 9 and 20. After receiving his formal culinary education at Washburne Trade School, Bannos became infatuated with Crescent City cooking in the early 1980s and worked with famous New Orleans chefs, such as Paul Prudhomme at K-Paul’s, Frank Brigtsen and Emeril Lagasse.

Bannos’ bustling New Orleans-style Heaven on Seven restaurants were one of the most popular eateries in Chicago for over 35 years. Serving a highly personalized interpretation of New Orleans and Southern cooking, Bannos smartly reinvented his food and his restaurant over the years to keep his concept fresh and vibrant by marrying Latin, South American, Asian and Western European methods with New Orleans techniques and ingredients.

What separates Bannos from the rest is his ability to season aggressively without overpowering the palate. While he uses cayenne-spiked seasoning blends and red chili pepper sauces, he also incorporates milder, well-rounded seasoning agents. The result is a complex layering of flavors that is consistent with New Orleans cooking principles, while bringing the region’s food into the 21st century.

A collector of both modern and antique cookbooks, Bannos entered the publishing world himself with The Heaven on Seven Cookbook: Where It’s Mardi Gras All The Time! and Big Easy Cocktails, Jazzy Drinks and Savory Bites. They invite food lovers into his kitchen and share some of his favorite down-home recipes.

Jimmy makes regular appearances on television, highlighting some of his seasonal specialties, as well as demonstrating his versions of holiday classics and family favorites. He is a leading figure in the community, and has donated his time and efforts to such causes as Hurricane Katrina relief, Meals on Wheels and March of Dimes.

Since the pandemic, Chef Bannos has been offering highly popular gumbo drops, pop-up events, and restaurant consultation as he works to launch his latest restaurant concept focused on his heritage Greek cuisine.

Lolita Sereleas, The CFO (Chief Flavor Officer)

Lolita is a chef trained at the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts with a diploma in the Plant Based Program. Lolita's food philosphy is based predominantly on the Mediterranean approach to eating, and her contributions to Trogo's menu draw heavily from her Greek heritage as well as flavors inspired from her travels, customer requests and kitchen collaborations.

Lolita spends her time at Trogo making sure that plant based dishes shine as brightly as other offerings and is slowly making converts out of some staunch carnivores.

When not in the kitchen or proudly parenting her two boys, Lolita lends her time as the Founding Partner of FUND Consulting, where her work focuses on economic justice and healthy food financing.

Cian O'Mahony, The Man with the Plan

Cian is Trogo's founder and CEO (and pretty much every other position as well…) He has a background in environmentally friendly construction, and has even won awards for his work in LEED construction--impressive right?! But while pursuing his degree in Environmental Policy at Northeastern Illinois University he developed an interest in sustainable food systems, and applied his knowledge as an Executive Director at a nonprofit focusing on sustainability in the restaurant industry. As both construction and restaurant work halted during the early stages of the pandemic, Cian spent much time in his basement and as soon as his wife starting getting worried about him, he emerged with a new website, and plan informed by local farmers and merchants. And just like that Hortiport--an online farmers market--was born in August of 2020. With the success of the online market came a demand for prepared meals, and thus Hortiport evolved into Trogo Kitchen and Market.