Preparing meals for family and friends has always provided comfort and joy to Rebecca Hearn. As a child, she and her aunt would spend entire days planning and prepping family feasts. “This is where my passion for cooking began,” she explains. She attended culinary arts school in the early 2000s, and later pursued a business degree and went to work at Caterpillar, where she stayed for 14 years.
But Hearn always dreamed of owning a restaurant, and in February 2018, she and her husband Bryce opened Untamed Chef—a restaurant/take-and-bake/interactive cooking experience rolled up in one. Her travels to Asia and the Middle East inspired many of her dishes, which she passes on to customers along with her motto: “Savor the untamed flavor.”
As head chef, Hearn helps her customers explore cooking techniques in a fun, participatory atmosphere, while challenging them to step out of their comfort zones. “I enjoy giving them the stepping stones to go beyond where they might have expected their culinary skills to take them,” she explains. “Our customers have repeatedly told us how at home and comfortable they feel creating meals with us.”
But you don’t have to cook when you visit—many people simply relax while Hearn prepares their meal, while others choose from an array of take-and-bake options. “These are becoming very popular for busy families that need a little help creating healthy and flavorful meals,” she adds. Untamed Chef also offers private classes and events, catering, delivery and more. Located at 7338 N. University Street in Peoria, it is open seven days a week. untamedchefcooking.com PM