Susan Goss, Chef and co-owner of two of Chicago’s award-winning and favorite restaurants: Zinfandel and West Town Tavern, has recently relocated to New Orleans to launch a consultancy business.


With 30 years as a successful restaurant operator and chef, and also as a committed volunteer in her community, Susan brings a broad scope of experience to her work helping others grow, maintain or start their own food businesses.


She has exemplary skill in developing concepts, menus and recipes and in building the teams necessary to turn plans into successful operations. Examples of her culinary talent can be viewed in her cookbook West Town Tavern: Contemporary Comfort Food (2010).


As a community leader Susan originated the Annual Girl Food Dinner to benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository. This event quickly became one of the hottest tickets in town and the best place to while away a Sunday afternoon over terrific food and wine pairings while fighting hunger in the Chicago community.


An avid gardener as well as passionate cook, she is an advocate for local food production, sustainability and sensible usage of our natural resources.

As a creative chef Susan has contributed her expertise to food industry organizations such as the Idaho Potato Commission, National Pork Board, Cutco Cutlery, Northarvest Bean Growers, Wisconsin Milk Marketing and Electrolux.  As a result of her long time volunteerism and career as a chef, Susan is an accomplished collaborator, consensus builder and sought- after speaker. Fluent in Spanish she translates recipes and builds bridges in multilingual kitchens.  She frequently participates in cooking and product demonstrations.


As a consultant Susan is delighted to bring her portfolio of experience to New Orleans where she is interested in opportunities in the culinary education field, local garden programs, cookbook writing, recipe testing and helping to develop new restaurant concepts.




13 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Susan
    I think I met you and Drew with my business associate Howard Scharffin at your Indianapois rstaurant in the early ’90s. Did you have a special restaurant that featured only appetizers. I currently organize sales meeting dinners for Home Products International, a Sam Zell company, located by Midway Airport. We almost came to your first restaurant Zinfendels. Please let me know if you are the same Susan & Drew Goss

    Pete Caris
    office 773-890-8941

    • Same folks! We opened Something Different: Carry Out Cuisine in 1983, Something Different in 1987 and Snax (Not a Sports Bar) in 1989. Hope to see you at the Tavern sometime soon!

  2. Hi Susie,

    I saw your (or perhaps their?–I think the grad year was wrong)
    post in the PT Phoenix today, and chuckled at how funny life can be.
    My husband Giancarlo and I are in the same business: we own Acquerello Restaurant in San Francisco…and I should say our son Gianpaolo too, who is a certified sommelier and Wine Director at Acquerello. http://www.acquerello.com

    Congratulations on your success! I remember slumber parties at your house in 5th or 6th grade…how are your folks? and your sister Cindy? Happy Thanksgiving–I hope you get a busman’s holiday and don’t have to cook too much!

    Kind regards to you and Drew,

    • Wow! Small world! How long have you been n SF? One of my favorite food cities altho haven’t been in several years! We just celebrated (?) our 27th year in the restaurant industry-life is good. Mom passed away in 1997, Dad still lives in Carmel and is doing great. Cynthia has 4 beautiful adult children, 2 granddaughters and lives in the middle of nowhere in Boulder Utah. She and her husband forage for and wild-craft essential oils. Tragically, Rob died in 2004. I keep in sporadic touch with Anne Cunningham through Facebook and catch up with Elsa and Veronica occasionally. Drew and I are healthy and happy-we are in Indpls a lot now as we are moving Drew’s Mom to Marquette Manor assisted Living. Let me know if you are ever in Chicago-thanks for reaching out! cheers!

        • Saw an article about you and Apple Press at The Toggery-talked with Lynn who said she knows you well. We have been in Indpls every week for about 2 months helping drew’s mom move into assisted living. Looked for you at the Broadripple Farmer’s Market. Figured I might run into you! I miss Jack’s Pizza! No, I miss the times that surrounded eating Jack’s pizza!

  3. Though our son grew up in Indpls., he is an 11-yr. resident of Chicago, having moved there after 5 yrs. in Sarasota. Today, he told us that he’d celebrated his recent b’day at West Town Tavern, a restaurant he’d been anxious to try and enjoyed so very much and that he was looking forward to sharing the experience w/us on our next visit. So I go to my trusty computer & check out WTT and your names pop up – w/wonderful memories of Something Different. Having missed Zinfandel, we look forward to reacquainting ourselves w/your lovely food.

  4. I love your restaurant, but where did you hear that Basque farmers settled in Owensboro KY? I grew up there, and my family has been there for seven generations, and I have also done a lot of research into local history, and this is the first time I have heard that there were Basque settlers there. Of course, barbecued smoked mutton is THE food down there. Thank you

    • Hi Greg, good point. How did I hear of it? From another chef I greatly respect who has done extensive research in American foodways. I took his word for it. I have always wondered, however, how the Basque got from the Western plains to Kentucky. I did some quick searching today and found: nothing-so I may stand corrected. I did find an oral historian from KY and emailed him to see if he has any info. I will report back if and when I hear from him. Thanks for the kind words about the Tavern and for pushing me to fact-check!

  5. Hi Chef Susan,

    I just ordered your ‘West Town Tavern / Contemporary Comfort Food’ Cookbook for my wife. I thought you might be interested to know that this building is the childhood home of my wife’s mother. I know my wife will be thrilled to receive this book and see that your restaurant is in the building her Mom grew up in.


    • What great news! I just sent the book out today! We have been trying to research the building and am glad to know a little more now! If you have any more info (retail on bottom, years your Mother-in-law lived here) I would love to know. You can contact me through http://www.westtowntavern.com

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