Yari Vargas, is the executive chef & owner of Casa Yari Inc. & Catering by Casa Yari at the Logan Square area. A Chicagoan born & raised, in the Humboldt park area. Chef Yari is known for adding a unique flair to Latin cuisine and wowing her guests with her imaginative hand-crafted flan.
Mother's from a little town in Puerto Rico called Lares. Father is an immigrant identifies himself as a afro-latino from Honduras, family resides in progreso. Her culture shines as she elevates her parents recipes. She taught herself to be able to cook vegan & vegetarian to offer those options at her restaurant.
"I love that I'm a bi-cultural latina chef, born & raised in Chicago, for me is an amazing advantage to be able to get to know the culture and history of the gastronomy of Puerto Rico & Honduras and be able to elevate my family recipes, I tell my story thru food" - Chef Yari is passionate about bringing good people, quality ingredients and incredible flavors together.
She partnered up with Hector Ruiz to open up Casa Yari in 2013, both had the vision to serve quality food and provide great services. Chef Yari taking care of the back of the house while General manager/co-owner Hector Ruiz runs the front of the house making a perfect combo and Casa Yari was born.
Casa Yari has been featured in several magazines and has won numerous awards.
Chicago Magazine - Best Recommended Restaurants
Chicago Magazine - The 20 Best Desserts in Chicago (flan)
Eater - Best Puerto Rican VEGAN Jibarito
Latin Pais - #1 Best Caribbean Restaurant
Logan Square’s Best of 2018 - Best Restaurant
Logan squared Best of 2019- Best Restaurant
Chicago Magazine - Top Places to Visit in Chicago
VegNews – Top 10 Vegan Cities **national magazine featurette
Local Chicago viewers have been able to capture her love of food and cooking as Chef Vargas has been a special guest/host featured on Food Segments for the television networks Telemundo, WCI-U and Chicago’s Best TV Show, WGN-9 Adelante Chicago and Chicago Tribune-HOY.
Hector Ruiz General manager/co-owner of Casa Yari inc. Located in the Logan Square area. He is a Native Chicagoan from Humboldt Park and his parents are from Lares, Puerto Rico.
He partnered up with Chef Yari Vargas in 2013, to cover all aspect of the restaurant. With his managing experience of 25 years, he knew his experience will help break the stereotype of latin restaurant reputation of bad services.
Co-owner, Hector Ruiz is also a certified mixologist and has worked in food companies, understanding good food quality. He was encouraged to open up Casa Yari when she brought up what her experience can bring to the table and tell her story thru food. He then saw the necessity of good food quality & great services. He realized how much more in common they both had as Chicagoans. They both had struggled and his story could also be told thru her food. This made Hector Ruiz more passionate about opening the restaurant.
"It was frustrating when you hear people talk about Puerto Rican restaurants having horrible services and the place looking unappealing. My focus has been giving quality services & making sure our customers feel comfortable as if they were eating at Chef Yari's home. Making sure everything is clean and well kept, because our customer deserves that attention. Trusting Chef to tell both our stories, as Chicagoans raised in Humboldt park. The struggles were real and that she can elevate our cuisine is beyond amazing to me" - Hector Ruiz
Hector using all his knowledge, and experiences has made this possible. Under his management, Casa Yari in 2015, made it to best 200 hand-picked recommended restaurant published in Chicago Magazine. Then again in 2016 for best recommended restaurant as published in Chicago Magazine. Also voted 2 years in a row, through the community in 2018 and 2019 best restaurant in Logan Square - through Logansquarist. The love they both have for Casa Yari is what has made this small restaurant shine big.