Gail Huesmann

Chef Gail Huesmann

gail-huesmann-largeGail began working in the restaurant industry during her college years in Wisconsin in the mid-80s. While pursuing her undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, she worked in a local neighborhood ice cream shop & deli along with other restaurants and eateries. She stepped out of the culinary world for a while and was a teacher for several years before moving to the Chicago area. There, she enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu’s Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago and earned degrees in both Culinary Arts and Patisserie & Baking. She apprenticed and staged at notable spots like Tru and MK. She then became a chef instructor at Le Cordon Bleu and then later at Robert Morris University.

Gail left her teaching career behind to open Assaggia Cafe and Trattoria outside of Chicago. Her second restaurant venture was Back in the Day Cafe in Brookfield. Gail has always focused her cooking philosophy on American regional cuisine. She was also tapped to develop the sports nutrition culinary program for the American Sports University in San Bernadino, California.

Before coming on board as executive chef at Old Towne Pub & Eatery in Geneva, Gail worked in the kitchen at a local country club. It was at the country club that Gail was introduced to The Perfect Purée. She uses the products in many of her dishes, from ice cream to sauces to cocktails. She created an apricot chicken dish with The Perfect Purée Apricot as well as a pomegranate reduction sauce made with The Perfect Purée Pomegranate Concentrate that she serves over pork chops. Her ancho cherry glaze with The Perfect Purée Cherry Puree serves as a gravy for her meatloaf. Gail’s famous chicken wings at Old Towne are served with sauces like jalapeño-peach and mango-habañero, both using The Perfect Purée.

Gail has also introduced the Old Towne bar team to the The Perfect Purée line of blends. She helped the bartenders develop a gin mojito called “Moody Mojito” using The Perfect Purée Spearmint & Lime. She says using an artisan gin in this cocktail, as opposed to the standard rum, is key to keeping the intense aromatics of the spirit balanced. Gail says she uses the line of purees, specialties and blends because they taste like the real fruit, but better! She uses the ginger in some of her Asian-inspired dishes and says it adds more pop and flavor than real ginger and just enough sweetness. She likes the naturalness and concentration of flavor in the purees. Each flavor, from savory to sweet, is made with care and the right balance of tastes. Plus, it’s much easier and less labor intensive than making in-house.


Moody Mojito
Jalapeño-Peach Wing Sauce