A Celebration of Great Food by Daniel Sirko
November 13, 2015
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Meet Marché General Manager, Daniel Sirko

Daniel Sirko

Daniel, a longtime Chicago area resident, has more than two decades of specialty food and restaurant management experience. Most recently he was general manager of Kaufman’s Delicatessen and Bakery in Skokie. Earlier he was a founding owner of Chicago restaurant, Birchwood Kitchen and Second Street Market in Highland Park. He also helped launch Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine, and Fox & Obel Food Market, both in Chicago.

Daniel holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Michigan State University. He is a member of the American Cheese Society, a not-for-profit that promotes cheese appreciation and home and farm cheese making, and has served as a judge at the organization’s annual competition.

Here’s a bit of Q&A with Daniel:

You are hosting a fall dinner party – what’s on the menu? I’ve been into Yotam Ottolenghi’s amazing cookbooks lately so something inspired by him. For starters, herbed fish cakes with zaatar yogurt and a butternut squash hummus with pomegranate molasses. Entrées – roasted eggplants with ground lamb and pine nuts and an amazing roast chicken with fennel and oranges. On the side, a wilted spinach salad with Medjool dates and almonds. That’s an explosion of flavors. And there’s usually a cheese course with seasonal fruits – apples and pears right now. And then just a bite of dark chocolate something. Wanna come?

Where is your favorite casual spot to dine?  Café Pasqual’s in Santa Fe. I ate there 5 times in 4 days.

Favorite dining city and why: I can’t seem to make my way through Chicago – so many great options.

Favorite cheese to:

  • Enjoy with an earthy Cabernet – A well-aged bandaged Cheddar
  • Make the best mac n’ cheese – Probably Gruyere, with a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano on top
  • Surprise your guests – Rogue River Blue – it’s an epiphany
  • Pair with an Amber Ale – Ossau Iraty – A fantastic Basque sheep milk cheese

Advice for a cheese “novice” who walks into Marché: Don’t be afraid to be inquisitive – we love talking about cheese.

Tell us about your most memorable meal: Oh, a seven course dinner in Rome with this eccentric truffle hunter. As each course was served he would circle the table shaving fresh white truffles on all the plates. It was magically surreal.

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