Chef Joe Gaal,
Chef Joe’s culinary roots are firmly planted in his Italian heritage. His career in the hospitality industry started over 20 years ago in a small neighborhood diner where he ascended the ranks from dishwasher to head line cook. Through the years, Chef Joe has spent endless hours in local kitchens throughout the region honing his craft. After spending five years as the Executive Chef for the Grand Kankakee Restaurant and Lodge, in the Fall of 2011 he opened his flagship restaurant, Sage, in Chesterton, Indiana. With it’s fresh approach to classic Italian dishes, we feel Sage Restaurant has become the new standard for restaurants in Northwest Indiana. Sage Restaurant and Chef Joe have received the coveted Duneland Rose Award for Best Restaurant in 2013, as well as Trip Advisor’s Hospitality and Service award which recognizes the top 10 percent of all hospitality businesses nationwide. Adding to his list of achievements, Chef Joe was voted runner up for Best Chef in Northwest Indiana in the Times “Best of the Region” in 2013.
In 2014 Sage Restaurant was presented the opportunity to move it’s location from Chesterton to Valparaiso. Upon moving to Valparaiso, Sage has immersed itself into the community by becoming a member of the Valparaiso Downtown Dining Group. Sage has also worked with the Valparaiso Events through the Valparaiso Farmers Market, the Popcorn Festival and Beer Fest. Sage has partnered with the Chicago Street Theatre. Sage has hosted production after parties and has been involved in Shakespeare in the Park. Sage has also encouraged visiting the Valparaiso community by offering discounts to those staying at the Songbird Prairie bed and breakfast. One year into the new location in Valparaiso, this is only the beginning of Sage’s community involvement.
Joe and Melissa’s current goal is to continue the planting of their roots in Valparaiso, growing this restaurant, allowing them to one day hand this location and business to their children. Sage provides fresh Italian cuisine and exceptional service to the community, unique cocktails, giving guests the full Sage experience.