About Us

About Us

535 W. Liberty Drive | Wheaton, Illinois 60187
(630) 784-8015


Adelle's Fine American Fare

Meet the Owner
Debbie Fitzgerald Williams

Still too young to head off to kindergarten, Debbie’s journey into the hospitality industry began when her older sister and brother were away at school all day. While passing the time at home, she would recite the menu du jour, take the order, “cook” and serve mom. Granted the menu usually consisted of cottage cheese with cling peaches (can already open in the frig), but it was her destiny. One of her fondest memories is helping Grandma Helen peel and core apples for a homemade pie when she was six or seven. It was very exciting to use a paring knife for the first time, and it was a delicious pie! Grandma Helen always made the best piecrust. A few years later, with mom back at work fulltime, Debbie and her siblings were responsible for cooking dinner. She loved watching the latest rerun of The French Chef and trying to recreate some of the dishes. Just don’t ask her family about the chicken croquette disaster of 1980.

Needing pocket money for her used 1976 “Levi Edition” Gremlin’s gas tank, legwarmers and a Flash Dance sweatshirt, Debbie began her food service career at Pepé’s hotdog stand, moved over to the candy counter at the local movie theatre, and threw in a few retail stints at The Gap and Eddie Bauer before going off to the University of Illinois. For spending money and sorority costs while in college, Debbie began working in the local restaurant/bar scene and eventually moved up to a fine dining steakhouse. There she began to expand her knowledge and love of gourmet food and growing interest in fine wines.

After college, she began her longtime employment under independent restaurateur Steve Byrne at the highly rated Bistro Banlieue, left for a short time to oversee Emilio Gervilla’s La Perla banquet operations, and returned to manage the Bistro in 1993, quickly moving up to GM. There she dutifully ran the restaurant’s operations until a little spot in Wheaton became available, and she and her husband Todd took the leap to open Adelle’s on February 29, 2004. Throughout those ten and a half years managing the Bistro, she took classes under Patrick Fagan at The Chicago Wine School, grew her huge cookbook collection, spent time entertaining family and friends, got married, and even squeezed in a vacation or two.

That brings us back to Adelle’s…everyone asks, “Where did the name Adelle’s come from?” “Are you Adelle?” Well, sort of…I’m the “D”. Adelle’s is an acronym of family members’ first name initials and it represents how Adelle’s considers its guests and staff dynamic. It is Debbie and Todd’s goal to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, with a staff of seasoned professionals of the industry, which serves delicious approachable dishes. Adelle’s varied menu includes some of the home cooking you remember from childhood but pumped up a notch, some dishes you may never want to attempt at home, and a few special occasion, holiday and wine dinner events sprinkled throughout the year. If you add up the staff’s years of experience in the industry, it totals into the hundreds, and it is everyone at Adelle’s desire that that knowledge shines through with each guest’s visit. Adelle’s family is ready and waiting to attend to your family.

Although opening an independent operation in a sea of corporate competition is challenging and worrisome, Debbie and Todd have added more guests who they now consider family, been able to host many special memorable banquets, achieved the highest ratings of the area restaurants, and more importantly, the respect and satisfaction of their clientele and community.

When Debbie and Todd can get a little free time, Debbie still enjoys cooking and entertaining friends and family, they relax at home with their two four-legged children, Taz & Dixie; or try the latest Chicagoland “hot spot” with friends. But these days when Debbie has a taste for chicken croquettes, she asks Adelle’s talented Chef to make them.
Chef John Anderson

Chef John Anderson developed a passion for food at an early age. Growing up in Goshen, Indiana he worked on family farms raising chickens, feeding hogs, and milking cows. He planted vegetables, canned fruit, and even made his own butter.

When he was 14 years old he landed his first kitchen job at Maplecrest Country Club followed by a job at the local Holiday Inn. He was advised to follow his heart and dreams and move to the big city and bigger kitchens of Chicago. In 1979 his culinary career began at Genesee Depot – a small neighborhood restaurant on the North Side of Chicago that specializes in homemade cooking – he had found his niche.

John learned his craft from some of the best chefs in Chicago. In the mid-1980s he worked as a Sous Chef at Monique’s Café. From 1987 through 1996 he received formal culinary and management training at the Hotel Nikko. It was there that he began to realize his cooking style as “East meets Midwest with a little French to boot”!

John expanded his culinary repertoire as an apprentice in a wholesale pastry shop that delivered to restaurants and private clubs in the Chicago area. He also worked as a Private Chef and catered social events. His resume includes Executive Chef positions at the Ambassador West Hotel and PJ Clarke’s Chicago.

Throughout the years John not only built business relationships, but also friendships – especially in the wine industry. He enjoys the challenge of pairing wine with food. With his keen sense of smell and taste, he does have the knack. He uses only the freshest of ingredients and marries food and wine with grace.

He has found his way back to that niche of a small neighborhood restaurant in Adelle’s where he has the freedom partnered with experience to bring the flavors and accents from around the world back to your table. Come join us for our wine dinners at Adelle’s to see and taste for yourself!
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