Owner & Founder
Benny Siddu is no stranger to hospitality. Food and goodwill is a passion and a way of life for him. After 35 years of dedication, hard work, and the act of being truly hospitable, Benny has emerged as one of the most respected, well known restaurant owners in Chicago. Barely a teenager, in a small town in Sardinia, he began his career in hospitality at a bed-and-breakfast owned by his aunt and uncle. At 15 years old, he moved to mainland Italy and began working at a hotel. It was during this time that Benny learned the value of hard work.
After several years of work in England, a nucleus of high service standards, Benny moved to service by sea. For nearly a decade, he lived and worked on cruise ships and developed into an adept manager. Benny settled in Chicago in 1984 and continued managing a successful French restaurant and several prosperous steak houses. In 1997, he began his own concept in 'Volare' (meaning 'to fly' in Italian) - and it quickly soared as Volare Ristorante Italiano in Streeterville has been one of the most popular restaurants in Chicago ever since the doors opened.
Chef Campagnini’s career has been a passionate pursuit of artistry and excellence in his craft. He is a native of Bologna, the gastronomic capitol of Italy, and he cooked in renowned kitchens throughout Europe before arriving in the United States in 1999.
"There was no question about what I was going to do with my life," Campagnini states. "My grandmother and mother were always in the kitchen preparing excellent meals, and I was joyfully included in the kitchen." At age 14, he started at one of the best culinary schools in Europe, Ippsar Alberghiero, Casel San Pietro Terme.
One of Campagnini’s mentors was Stefano Donegaglia. "Chef Stefano elevated my sense of myself as a culinary professional. I learned that I could really impact people through my culinary art as long as I put love into my food, and I also learned that artistry isn't enough. You have to run an efficient operation, as well."
After finishing school, he wanted to broaden his professional horizons and staged at a number of fine hotels on the Adriatic coast of Italy, at a time when there was a food renaissance in this part of the country. He continued cooking, traveling throughout Bologna, Paris, and London.
In 2002, he met Benny Siddu and has been with Volare ever since. "At Volare, when guests come back for their favorite dish and say 'this is just as delicious as it was last time,' I know that I've really accomplished something. Being consistent is not easy but it's what I strive for every single day."