Proprietor Gabriel Viti, of Miramar Bistro and Gabe's Backstage Lounge is credited with transforming the culture of Highwood, Illinois and catapulting its dining scene to that of a major city. Gabriel's remarkable career in the hospitality field began in high school when he worked for famed restaurateur Arnie Morton. Realizing his passion and talent, Gabriel graduated from the esteemed Culinary Institute of America in 1986 and spent six years training in Europe under some of the century's greatest culinary minds. After working at La Pyramide, Joel Robuchon and Taillevant in France, and Freddy Giradet at Hotel de Ville in Switzerland, Gabriel ended his European tour working with Michel Guerard and at San Domenico in Italy.
After returning to the United States, Gabriel became one of the Corporate Executive Chefs for Rich Melman's Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant group. He left to work as Sous Chef for Roland Liccioni at Carlos' in Highwood, eventually taking over as Executive Chef when Roland left to join Le Francais. While working at Carlos', Gabriel was named one of Food and Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs of 1991. He opened his first restaurant, Gabriel's, in Highwood, Illinois 1993.
In addition to being a successful restaurateur, Gabriel has a wine cellar construction business and has acquired and restored property all over Highwood. He is a spokesman for The March of Dimes and is the loving father of two boys. Having completed the Ironman Brazil Triathalon in 2007 and running a marathon on the Great Wall of China in 2008, Gabriel turned his attention to climbing mountains. In 2011 Gabriel summated Antarctica’s Mount Vinson Massif and became the 335th person to successfully climb the seven summits of the world.
Since his return, Viti has been back at the helm of Miramar Bistro, one of his two restaurants in Highwood, Illinois. He will be overseeing operations and serving as Executive Chef until he sets off on his next expedition to swim the English Channel.