What's your theme for this spring? Pink? Yellow? Bees🐝? Butterflies🦋? We got them all.

About Us

Our Story

Lots of people re-evaluated their lives during the pandemic shutdown. After 27 years of corporate life, business travel, and raising kids, we had a real discussion on what we love & what our next phase of this beautiful life could be. What do we love? Great food. Cooking with friends and family. Nice things for the kitchen. Yeah, and a little good wine.

Our philosophy is that cooking should support a healthy lifestyle, but still be delicious and enjoyable. Learn something, have some fun doing it, and eat some delicious food. The items in your kitchen should make cooking easier and more efficient for the chef so the chef can spend more time enjoying the meal with family and friends. We believe in products that are built to last, that exceed your expectations. Items that are easy to take care of and fun to use. We want to bring people together and foster a love of food and cooking.
Come have some fun!

The Joyful Gourmet

At the corner of Milwaukee & School street in downtown Libertyville (the old Starbucks site). School St is a right turn if you are coming north on Milwaukee, where there is parking on the street. There is access and parking between Cook & School St behind the buildings. Overflow parking is behind the shops on the west side of Milwaukee – just a 1 block walk.

Left turns off Milwaukee can be tough during rush hour, if you are coming from the north. You can avoid this by crossing Milwaukee at Cook Ave, or turn left after the tracks at Newberry (at the Shell station)

Our Staff

Kim and Dan Schlicksup

Kim and Dan

Owners
Lots of people re-evaluated their lives during the pandemic shutdown. After 27 years of corporate life, business travel, and raising kids, we had a real discussion on what we love & what our next phase of this beautiful life could be. What do we love? Great food. Cooking with friends and family. Nice things for the kitchen. Yeah, and a little good wine. Our philosophy is that cooking should support a healthy lifestyle, but still be delicious and enjoyable. Learn something, have some fun doing it, and eat some delicious food. The items in your kitchen should make cooking easier and more efficient for the chef so the chef can spend more time enjoying the meal with family and friends. We believe in products that are built to last, that exceed your expectations. Items that are easy to take care of and fun to use. We want to bring people together and foster a love of food and cooking. Come have some fun!
Jenn Kaiz

Jenn Kaiz

Manager
I am a proud mother of two wonderful kids. One is currently a college student at the University of Iowa, while the other recently graduated from the same university in 2023 and has become a passionate elementary teacher. When I'm not busy with my family or having fun at work, I dedicate my spare time to fostering dogs alongside my husband for Reach Rescue. Over the past six years, we've had the privilege of caring for nearly 600 furry companions in need. My heart belongs to every dog we've welcomed into our home. As for my favorite things, well, it's constantly changing! My favorite item in the store is always the one I purchased last. I can't wait to share my latest discoveries with you. So, when you have a moment, please stop by the store, and I'd be more than happy to show you all my current favorites.

Liz Tinajero

Chef, Manager
I am a pastry chef currently working towards my bachelor's in food science while working as part of the culinary team here at The Joyful Gourmet. One of my goals in the kitchen is to make baking fun and approachable. As the evening store manager, I strive to make sure everyone has a great experience, whether it comes to introducing you to new kitchenware, sipping on a glass of wine or enjoying our cooking classes. When I'm not at work, I will either be working on my garden or nose deep in a book.
Judy McKennell

Judy McKennell

Chef, Manager
The ultimate goal for me as the Kitchen and Events Mgr is to establish a relationship with our Libertyville community, to develop a personal connection with everyone who walks in the door, and to create an experience for our guests that fosters great memories with family, friends and co-workers. As a teacher and chef my focus is to bring easy, flavorful weeknight meals to the table that put a spotlight on health and wellness, to inspire my students in creating flavors, experimenting with ingredients and encouraging creativity.......the recipe is only a guideline.
Becky Hoffman

Becky Hoffman

Staff
I worked in early education in both schools and libraries for more than 23 years. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three kids. I also enjoy traveling, running, and sewing. When my kids come home, I enjoy cooking and baking for them. Some of their favorites are pulled pork, enchiladas, creamy wild rice soup, lasagna, stuffed shells, chocolate chip cookies, and sugar cookies. I started baking when I was 5 years old, my Mom spent a lot of time teaching me how to read recipes and encouraged my desire to cook, bake, and sew. I was part of a 4-H group until I was 18. For many years my baking and sewing projects would be part of the state competition. The first cookies that I made were no-bake cookies, which is still something that I enjoy making for my family. Having a well-organized kitchen and quality tools definitely helps me learn new skills and make new recipes. I enjoy helping customers find the perfect purchase to add to their kitchen supplies or give as a gift.
Joan Spheeris

Joan Spheeris

Staff
When I started working at the Joyful Gourmet I was so excited to be able to help my good friends Kim and Dan achieve their dream. I love being in the kitchen cooking for my family and friends and entertaining and creating memories for them so working at the store was a perfect extension of that. My faith is the cornerstone of my life so I also spend much of my time in ministry and serving others. I’m a Mom to three great young adult sons. I love to garden, especially my roses and my husband and I love to travel and explore new places. I look forward to seeing you at the Joyful Gourmet so you too can see what a special place it is.

Marybeth

Staff

Nicole Biggerstaff

Staff
I've been with the Joyful Gourmet since June of 2022. I am a Reading Specialist for 5th and 6th graders full time in nearby Grayslake, but I've discovered that I also really enjoy teaching others about the different wines we serve at The Joyful Gourmet! My husband, Matt, and I have called Libertyville home since 2013, where we are raising our family. Our two teenagers and their sports and activities keep us really busy! In my spare time I enjoy cooking, traveling, reading, playing Pickleball, and visiting the dog park. Currently, my favorite wine is our Turley Zinfandel.
dave palek

Dave Palcek

Staff
After a decades long career in B2B Media and known by friends and business associates as the “guy you want to drink wine with” Dave now brings his passion for compelling wines to The Joyful Gourmet’s small yet carefully curated selection.
Kitchen staff photo

Kitchen staff

Kitchen staff
A team of high school students works hard to make the cooking classes and events successful.
Angie Fisher

Angie Fisher

Staff
As a longtime friend of Kim and Dan's, I'm excited to bring my enthusiasm for life to The Joyful Gourmet. I'm a person who seeks fun & adventure. Working in the retail area of the store allows me to greet the customers, develop my product knowledge, meet merchandise reps, and taste new foods when the chefs get busy in the kitchen. If you are looking for a gift for someone special, I would love to help you as seeing gift giving is one of my favorite things to do. I could also introduce you to the staff and offer you a free cup of coffee. Looking forward to meeting you!

Our Chefs

Beth Sage

Chef
Clay Champlin

Clay Champlin

Chef
Clay Champlin has called the Northshore home for most of his life. He trained at Kendall College as well as the Culinary Institute of America. Clay has worked and run kitchens at a variety of local restaurants and was the owner of Bespoke, an event space and cooking school in downtown Chicago. While he has been trained in classical French cooking, Clay has a passion for all cuisines he’s gathered during his many travels throughout Europe.

Lindsey Shifley

Chef
Lindsey Shifley of More Guts More Glory Pitching & Wellness and Compass Hiking and Yoga Retreats is an energetic MindBody chef and fastpitch softball pitching coach. In 2012, she began sharing her passion for “It all starts at home plate” as a Super Ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Lindsey is a certified MindBody Eating Coach from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating (Boulder, CO ‘18) with a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Language Pathology from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL ‘99). She is also a wife and mother to 3 high school and college aged children.
Matt Zagorski

Matt Zagorski

Chef
Chef Matt Zagorski is an award-winning chef and holds over a dozen national pie making titles. He is well known for his sense of humor, approachable recipes and his ability to break down complicated culinary techniques so that anyone can execute them. A food history and food science geek, Chef Matt brings his recipes to life with fun and interesting food stories and facts. A lover of international cuisines, Chef Matt received his culinary training at Kendall College and has been teaching culinary classes for over 15 years. He lives in Arlington Heights with his wife of 29 years, two sons and their dog.

Lee Kuebler

Chef
Chef Lee Kuebler is a long-time Lake County resident, growing up here and raising his family. He is a graduate of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, has traveled extensively picking up ethnic flavors and cuisines and owned/operated a series of successful restaurants here in Lake County. Chef Lee is the adoring dad of 2 super energetic and wonderful kiddos.
Chef Gale Gand

Gale Gand

Chef
Pastry Chef Gale Gand has two James Beard Awards, had the Michelin two star restaurant Tru in Chicago, owned Vanilla Bean Bakery, hosts Food Network’s “Sweet Dreams”, and authored 8 books. She worked with Julia Child, makes Gale’s Root Beer, went to La Varenne in Paris, is a Pie Contest Judge, and has Kitchen Sisters Cooking School. More info: www.galegand.com
Chef Drew

Drew Schreiner

Chef
Chef Drew is a creative, versatile chef with over 20 years of experience in restaurants, private homes, unique events, and on-board yachts. Chef Drew is an avid traveler who has an adventurous palette and flair for international cuisine. He has worked in kitchens in U.S., England, and Melbourne, Australia and has traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Caribbean, England, Europe, Colombia, Australia, and New Zealand. He developed a passion for cooking at an early age, often standing on a chair to help his great grandmother in the kitchen. His great grandmother, grandmother, and mother are/were all chefs. Chef Drew is a Chicago native and a graduate of the Culinary Arts School at Kendall College in Chicago, which included an internship under four-star Chef Paul Bartolotta of Spiaggia. Chef Drew loves to teach intimate cooking classes as well as cater large or small-scale dining events. He is innovative, well-versed in world cuisine, highly skilled in technique, works well under pressure, quick to improvise, always up for the challenge, and flexible to accommodate any special dietary preferences. He is passionate about supporting local farmers and utilizing only high quality, organic, healthy, nutritional, and sustainable ingredients.

Liz Tinajero

Chef, Manager
I am a pastry chef currently working towards my bachelor's in food science while working as part of the culinary team here at The Joyful Gourmet. One of my goals in the kitchen is to make baking fun and approachable. As the evening store manager, I strive to make sure everyone has a great experience, whether it comes to introducing you to new kitchenware, sipping on a glass of wine or enjoying our cooking classes. When I'm not at work, I will either be working on my garden or nose deep in a book.
Judy McKennell

Judy McKennell

Chef, Manager
The ultimate goal for me as the Kitchen and Events Mgr is to establish a relationship with our Libertyville community, to develop a personal connection with everyone who walks in the door, and to create an experience for our guests that fosters great memories with family, friends and co-workers. As a teacher and chef my focus is to bring easy, flavorful weeknight meals to the table that put a spotlight on health and wellness, to inspire my students in creating flavors, experimenting with ingredients and encouraging creativity.......the recipe is only a guideline.
Chef Meg Dehamer

Meg Dehamer

Chef
Born & raised in Lake Forest, trained at the French Culinary Institute, New York, I started my own catering company at 22. Executive Chef, Culinary Journalist, Owner/Creator of Pigtale Twist Dressings & Sauces and THE SECRET SUPPER CLUB (Private Culinary Services/Traveling Chef Services). Culinary Instruction/Philanthropy.
Mario Scordato

Mario Scordato

Chef
Went to the Art Institute of Colorado Culinary. 25 years in the industry. I've been teaching since 2009. Expertise in Sushi, Italian, and Regional American foods. I've worked in restaurants, hotels, boutique markets/butchers and recreational cooking schools.

Laura Claude

Chef
Chef Laura has a diverse background in cultural and culinary arts. Born in an Italian and Korean family, she has a degree in accounting. However, early on in her corporate career, she realized her passion for gastronomy which led her to graduate from Kendall College with a culinary art degree. She worked for various establishments including the Primehouse in River North, and was one of the opening team members of the first Virgin Hotel. Her love language is food and she passionately shares her abundance of culinary mastery with her students. Thanks to her diverse background, her depth in food culture knowledge is limitless. She has a dedicated group of followers who do not miss any opportunity to take her exciting and adventurous classes here at The Joyful Gourmet. When she is not teaching, you will find her in her garden or enjoying time with her children.
Chef Dave

Dave Marino

Chef
Food is my life! I attended culinary school at the College of Dupage, received a bachelor degree in Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and masters in Education from Kaplan University. After a restaurant circuit I’ve been executive chef for various companies and institutions. I am currently a director of Food Service at a retirement home and I still teach culinary arts at the college of Lake County - which I love. I’ve traveled extensively and love picking up cooking techniques and flavors. There’s almost nothing I can’t cook but my favorite is classical French. I love cooking, teaching and sharing a great evening with our guests!
Andrew Kelly

Andy Kelly

Chef
I'm originally from Rhode Island and went to culinary school in Boston. After graduating, I moved to Chicago to cook and my first restaurant I landed at was one Michelin Star, Everest under Jean Joho. After 2 and a half years there, I went to a farm to table restaurant called the Bristol where the focus was sustainability and being "farm to table". I stayed within these parameters of fine dining and locality for the last 12 years working at places like Local Foods, The Waldorf Astoria, Swift @ Sons, and Abigail's. Working under mentors like Jean Joho, Mike Gorman, Chris Pandel, and Matthias Merges, I've been fortunate to learn my craft from some of the best Chicago has to offer. Currently being one of the many chefs for Abbott Laboratories' food service has allowed me to join the team at Joyful and be creative and really share what I'm passionate about. I'm always looking for a new technique to try and recipe to master, in hopes I can share with our guests at Joyful.

Our Hours

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