Internationally renowned, Chicago Cubs baseball legend Joe Maddon, who famously led the team to victory in the legendary 2016 World Series Championship, expands his culinary repertoire by opening his second restaurant, Maddon’s Post, an Italian restaurant near Wrigley Field.
Growing up in a tight-knit family in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Maddon learned at an early age how to create traditional Polish dishes from his mom and aunts before being introduced to the world of wine by his wife, Jaye. A deep love for The Windy City led Maddon to partner with Multi-James Beard award winning Chef-Partner Tony Mantuano to bring family-centric, Polish-meets-Italian fare and an expansive list of accessible wines to Chicago’s North Side.
Internationally regarded as an influential culinary force, multi-James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano has been on the ground floor of defining authentic Italian cuisine in the United States for over three decades. In addition to his role as chef-partner at one of the country’s leading restaurants, Michelin- starred Spiaggia, and its more casual sister restaurant, Café Spiaggia, Mantuano is also the chef-partner for River Roast, situated on the Chicago River; Terzo Piano, a Mediterranean restaurant in The Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago; Terralina Crafted Italian, a waterfront, Disney Springs restaurant located in Orlando, Florida; and Maddon’s Post, a brand new Wrigleyville restaurant, in partnership with Joe Maddon offering Italian and Polish inspired cuisine.
Recognized with the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef, Midwest, Mantuano has been named a part of the American Chef Corps and a 2012 State Chef by the U.S. Department of State through its Culinary Diplomatic Partnership Program. He has also dedicated his career at Spiaggia to mentoring and growing a class of powerhouse culinary talents, considered today to be amongst the most revered chefs in Italian cuisine, like James Beard Award winner (Best Chef, Great Lakes) Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde, James Beard Award winner (Best Chef, New York City) and a Food & Wine Best New Chef (2010) Missy Robbins of Lilia/Misi, and Top Chef Season 15 winner, Joe Flamm. Mantuano has also been featured in national publications like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit and Wine Spectator, along with broadcast appearances on “Top Chef,” “Top Chef Masters,” “Nightline,” “The Today Show,” “The Early Show” and “Martha.” Other projects include co-authoring two cookbooks with wine expert and wife, Cathy Mantuano, The Spiaggia Cookbook, and Wine Bar Food, which serves as the inspiration for WINE BAR FOOD outposts at the US Open Tennis Championships in New York.
Aaron Thebault discovered his passion for traditional home cooking techniques through his close-knit family ties to the American South, via Louisiana. After studying culinary arts at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago, Thebault worked his way through some of the most respected restaurant groups in Chicago like BOKA Group and DMK Restaurants. Following a brief venture to the Caribbean, where he worked for nearly a year at The Cellar restaurant in St. Thomas, USVI, Thebault returned to Chicago to become part of James Beard Award-winning Chef Stephanie Izard’s opening team for her smash-hit, West Loop restaurant, Girl & the Goat. Learning under the tutelage of Chef Izard for over eight years, Thebault honed his craft in adapting global ingredients into innovative small plates, which eventually earned him the title of chef de cuisine in 2013. He was also recognized by Zagat in their highly coveted “30 Under 30” list in the same year.
In 2019, Thebault joined world-renowned, multi-James Beard Award-winning Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano and Chicago Cubs baseball legend Joe Maddon to open Maddon’s Post, the highly anticipated, home-grown Italian and Polish inspired restaurant in the heart of Chicago’s iconic Wrigleyville neighborhood. As executive chef of Maddon’s Post, Thebault pulls from his rustic home-style roots to create thoughtful dishes by way of hand-made pierogi and pasta, which serve as a tribute to the first-generation Italian and Polish American heritages of Mantuano and Maddon. A Cubs fan through and through, when Thebault isn’t in the kitchen, you can find him catching a game at Wrigley Field or dining out on the town with his wife, Nicki.
Tara Zavagnin realized her passion for hospitality in 2013 when she took her first restaurant job as a hostess at Chicago’s Little Goat Diner by James Beard Award-winning chef Stephanie Izard. Over the course of five years, Zavagnin immersed herself in all aspects of operations, taking various leadership roles at Izard’s restaurants, starting as general manager at Little Goat Diner and growing into a multi-unit Operations Manager role for Little Goat Diner, Duck Duck Goat and Goat Group Catering. In 2018, Zavagnin also served as Vice President of Operations for Coffee & Tea Bar Holdings, a startup focusing on beverage and hospitality concepts across the country.
Now as the director of operations at Maddon’s Post, a spin on Wrigleyville Italian restaurants led by legendary Chicago Cubs baseball legend Joe Maddon and multi-James Beard Award winner Tony Mantuano, Zavagnin weaves her family-centric philosophy into the front and back of house and works to make sure every guest feels at home. When she’s not at Maddon’s Post, Zavagnin can be found working out at the gym or outside with her rescue American Bulldog, Enzo.
Recently recognized with a 2019 James Beard nomination for “Outstanding Wine Program” at Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Spiaggia, Rachael Lowe is earning wide-spread acclaim for her work as Beverage Director and Sommelier for several of the nation’s top restaurants. In her role, Lowe oversees the wine programs at Spiaggia and sister concept, Cafe Spiaggia in Chicago, along with several other Levy Restaurants concepts, including Terralina and Paddlefish in Disney Springs, Florida and most recently, Maddon’s Post, one of the best new Polish restaurants in Chicago by Chef-Partner Tony Mantuano and Chicago Cubs baseball legend Joe Maddon, opened steps away from Chicago’s legendary Wrigley Field.
An Advanced Sommelier and Rudd Scholar by the Court of Master Sommeliers, Lowe has experience working in celebrated dining establishments including Thomas Keller’s Napa Valley icons, The French Laundry and Bouchon, as well as Michelin-starred Chicago institutions, Brindille and Naha, both by James Beard Award-winning chef Carrie Nahabedian. Lowe has also made headlines as a Food & Wine “Sommelier of the Year,” StarChefs “Rising Star Sommelier” and Jean Banchet winner for “Top Sommelier” in Chicago.
Lowe takes an unpretentious yet tailored approach to each glass, whether it’s revitalizing Spiaggia’s renowned wine library with small production, indigenous varietals from Italy’s lesser known regions or selecting approachable yet intriguing wines at Maddon’s Post that pair with both pasta and pierogi.