Executive Chef/Owner Randy Zweiban, who first brought Nuevo Latino cooking to Chicago with Nacional 27, has crafted a dynamic menu that is grounded in American cuisine and influenced by Central and South American and Spanish dishes.
Born in Queens, New York, Zweiban learned the restaurant world from a customer’s perspective. Working as a diamond-setter, pursuing a dream of being a drummer in a rock band, Zweiban explored New York’s tremendous restaurant scene with the passion and curiosity of a true gourmand. As he tasted through the cuisines of the world, available as only in Manhattan, he soon realized his passion was in the culinary field.
Zweiban enrolled in Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School (now called The Institute of Culinary Education) in the mid-1980s. After graduating, he opened a boutique catering business in Manhattan, creating food for exclusive gallery openings, private parties and other prominent events.
In 1989, Zweiban headed south to Miami, where he could open a catering company with a similar clientele in a warmer climate. He then went to work with celebrated chef Norman Van Aken, first at a mano and then at Norman’s, where he was Chef de Cuisine and partner. Over the seven and a half-year period that the two collaborated, Zweiban immersed himself in the vibrant culture and cooking of Miami’s Latino community, while continuing to work with Van Aken’s New World Cuisine. He also, during this period, took a one-year hiatus from Miami to work as Executive Chef at The Gate, a popular Los Angeles supper club.
In the summer of 1998, Richard Melman and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. (LEYE) brought Zweiban to Chicago to unveil the city’s first Nuevo Latino concept. At the helm of Nacional 27, Zweiban received numerous accolades, including being named ” One of the Best New Restaurants” by Chicago magazine which Chicago magazine also recognized Province for.
Province was given a three out of four star review by the Chicago Tribune. Zweiban has been featured in Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Newsweek, Food Arts, USA Today, Metropolitan Home and Esquire, among other publications.
General Manager Steve Rennau came aboard the Province team in October of 2011. A Chicago native, Steve has experience at several of Chicago’s venerable restaurants. He started in the restaurant business at sixteen, working the waffle station for Sunday brunch at Winberies Restaurant in his home town of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb. His first foray into upscale dining came at Catch 35 in Chicago’s Loop where he started as a server and worked his way up to Assistant General Manager. After five years at Catch 35, Steve joined Levy Restaurants as the General Manager of Bistro 110, and stayed there until it’s closing in 2011.
In addition to his role as General Manager, Steve ran the beverage program at Bistro 110 where he developed his deep love of French wine, a passion that he brings with him to Province. Working alongside Bistro 110 chef Dominique Tougne, Steve began to learn the fundamentals of pairing regional wines with regional cuisine.
Steve lives in Chicago’s Ukraine Village with wife Erin and their family.