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Emilio's Tapas - Chef Crispin

Because of its upscale and classic style, Emilio’s Tapas Sol y Nieve in Streeterville is a perfect place to enjoy good food and good company. This high-profile tapas restaurant lies steps away from Navy Pier and offers beautiful outdoor seating on one of the best patios in the city, along with a hand-crafted bar and elegant dining rooms. It’s a wonderful place to see and be seen while you share the delicate, simply-prepared hot and cold Spanish small plates that inspired media outlets to dub owner/chef Emilio Gervilla “the Tapas King.” Sol y Nieve serves up relaxing lunch breaks, after-work specialty cocktails, or leisurely and luxurious dinners. It also gives guests a dreamy Spanish experience right in the heart of Chicago.

Sol y Nieve is located at 215 E. Ohio St. just east of the Magnificent Mile — close to tourist attractions, Chicago landmarks, and nighttime hotspots. Under the care of Chef Crispin and the watchful eye of Emilio Gervilla himself, Sol y Nieve continues to win awards and recognition from Zagat’s, Chicago Magazine, Food Industry news, and other media outlets. Sol y Nieve regularly holds events such as flamenco demonstrations, wine dinners, tastings, and live Spanish music. It also offers ever-changing daily specials, and can provide private dining or event planning for corporate outings as well as social gatherings.

Visit Emilio’s Tapas online at www.emiliostapas.com or call 312.467.7177 for additional information.

Meet Chef Crispin

Chef Crispin, the head chef at Sol y Nieve, is a skilled artist with deep Spanish roots whose culinary philosophy matured under the tutelage of Chef Emilio Gervilla.He has thrived at Emilio’s Tapas restaurants for more than 25 years.

Crispin is a native of central Mexico, where he grew up in fertile farm country and learned about the joy of food from his mother. He credits her with inspiring his interest in the culinary arts, as their meals always included fruit, vegetables, and meat exclusively from the farm. “She was a fantastic cook. We grew up eating homemade, flavorful, and healthy meals every day. My mom prepared all the meals with farm-fresh ingredients,” he says.

Family has always been an important element of Crispin’s life, leading him to his lifelong occupation. Three of his four grandparents were of Spanish descent, but his maternal grandfather passed away when Crispin was just six years old. This left him with a yearning to connect with his remaining relatives and his background by learning about Spain and its cuisine. “Food was a huge part of our culture, and our family,” he says. “I guess you could say I was a foodie from a very young age.”

As a young man, Crispin immigrated to the United States. He was living in Chicago when an opening at a new Spanish restaurant came to his notice, and he rushed to apply for his dream job. The chef that hired him was Emilio himself. The two have been working in harmony together ever since that fateful day.

Emilio’s influence on Chef Crispin’s life has been profound. Crispin has always admired Emilio’s skills as a chef, but believes that Emilio offered him something even more as a mentor; an unwavering belief that Crispin could become an exceptional professional chef. Today, he still considers himself a student of the “Tapas King,” and their collaboration at Sol y Nieve continues to yield innovative, flavorful, and award-winning results.

AWARDS

CRITICS CHOICE, TOP 25 RESTAURANTS OF CHICAGO
CHICAGO MAGAZINE
Five years straight

SILVER PLATTER AWARD FOOD INDUSTRY NEWS
IN RECOGNITION OF BEING SELECTED BY CHICAGOLAND RESTAURANTEURS
AS A FAVORITE PLACE TO DINE
Five years straight

ONE OF AMERICAS TOP RESTAURANTS -- Rated Excellent
ZAGAT'S
Six years straight

ONE OF CHICAGO'S TEN BEST NEW RESTAURANTS
CHICAGO MAGAZINE
Year opened

EL COTO DE RIOJA PAELLA PARADE WINNER OF THE TOP HONOR
"CROWD'S CHOICE PAELLA PARADE PLEASER"
Two years straight

REVIEWS

"If there's such a thing as Chicago's Tapas King, the crown belongs to Emilio Gervilla"
--Anne Spiselman, Crains Chicago Business

"Emilio Gervilla does not just sell Spanish tapas food as a trendy profit maker.
He sells it as part of a healthy way of life." 
--Dimitra DeFotis, Daily Herald

"This restaurant offers an unforgettable culinary vacation to a delightful part of the world that
Chicago area diners are not often able to visit without a passport."
 --Ann Ambrosia, Pioneer Press