Jo’s Seafood & Steak Grill

There’s something impressive and unexpected going on in a Pekin restaurant. Jo’s Seafood & Steak Grill promises if nothing else to up-end expectations for this spot that has in recent years been a changing array of Asian restaurants. Oliver Valenzuela, owner of Jo’s Seafood & Steak Grill, started his career as a chef in 1979 after graduating from the American Institute for Culinary Arts. He was chef at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and cooked for four presidents — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He opened his own restaurant in Chicago, Oliver’s Cafe, where he served many players from the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls, as well as other famous people. He was also the executive chef at the Women’s Athletic Club of Chicago.