Octavio Reynoso started his culinary career in the early 2000s, working under Chef Oscar Ornelas at Chicago’s Cite, located on the top floor of Lake Point Tower.
It wasn’t long before he fell in love with the upscale dining cuisine, and realized he wanted to take his career to new heights in the kitchen.
Soon after starting at Cite, Octavio found a second job working at RIVA Restaurant and Cafe on Navy Pier. RIVA is the flagship restaurant of Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants and Navy Pier. Octavio found his true passion at RIVA and decided to commit full-time to his new team.
Octavio quickly progressed from Pantry / Prep Cook to Line Cook, to Lead Line Cook, and then to Executive Sous Chef. In this position, Octavio helped take the reigns of the RIVA Kitchen, overseeing the main dining room of 170+ seats, three private dining rooms, and the first-floor cafe and patio that can seat 300+. At full speed in the summer, Octavio’s team can serve 1,000+ people per day.
As Executive Chef, he has successfully led dinners for President Clinton, Madam Secretary Clinton, Governor Pritzker, and many celebrities/entertainers such as Jennifer Hudson, Sheryl Crow, Bobby Hull, and many many more! His favorite dish to ‘WOW’ someone is his Lobster Diavolo, and he can truly customize the taste depending on someone’s desire or lack thereof for spicy!
Serving as a culinary leader on Navy Pier, one of the Midwest’s top tourist attractions, Octavio has found the perfect balance between catering to the desires of the locals, as well as pleasing the palates of all visitors from near and far.
RIVA has been Michelin Guide Recommended under the direction of Octavio for the last two years.
A longtime Chicago resident, Octavio enjoys playing on a local soccer team, and loves spending time with his wife and two young kids.