Steve McDonagh

Steve McDonagh
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Steve and his partner Dan Smith learned their craft when they earned their living as caterers while pursuing acting careers in New York. When they moved to Chicago, their catering company took off!

Steve's Featured Recipe

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Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith, aka The Hearty Boys, have thrown parties in and around Chicago, with clients ranging from  from Hillary Clinton to Northwestern University.


The duo started out in New York as actors trying to pay their bills by working for a series of catering companies. They learned how to set up outdoor bars and buffets at the U.S. Open, trained how to set a formal table at the French embassy, and worked luncheons for royalty at the United Nations, soaking up all sorts of knowledge along the way.

Steve and Dan moved to Chicago in the 1990s and became full-time caterers with a comapny called The Hearty Boys. They quickly became known for their very smart, hip, urban parties. Reporters, writing articles on entertaining, often call them for tips.

The Hearty Boys opened a gourmet shop in the Boystown neighborhood on Chicago's north side and continued to grow happily and steadily…and then came the summer of 2005. They sent a tape into the Food Network to beat out 10,000 entrants to become The Next Food Network Stars. They launched their own show, called, Party Line with The Hearty Boys. They also opened a  restaurant, HB: A Hearty Boys Spot. And then they topped it off with the adoption of their son, Nate.

In 2007 Steve and Dan published The Hearty Boys Cookbook, Talk with Your Mouth Full. They have appeared on CBS’ The Early Show, and in Life, The New Yorker, the New York Times, and other publications.


They live in Chicago. Their website is


Cookbooks, etc

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