PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Local restaurant owners are still searching for the recipe to recover from the pandemic.

“You know there’s a lot of strain on business owners to make sure services were as there were at one point,” said Becca Hearn, the owner and executive chef at Untamed Chef in Peoria.

“Our original concept was to do educational- full cooking classes that are interactive along with private events,” said Hearn.

She opened her doors four years ago, not knowing half of that time would be spent operating amidst a pandemic.

“You could imagine we lost all of our Christmas parties and those are huge. Those usually go mid-November all the way through mid-January, so through that, we have lost those parties and had to kind of rethink our business structure,” said Hearn.

They expanded seating for dining, partnered with delivery services, and did everything they could to keep their doors open.

“We offered if it was over $100, and we were staffed, we would drive it to you, just not missing any opportunity to stay afloat during these times,” said Hearn.

Now, Hearn said it’s a new year but still a long road to recovery.

“It’s just a different time for us. Normally if I posed an opening out, I would be flooded with 15-30 applicants per day, and now I’m at zero,” said Hearn.

Taking her matter to Facebook the chef and owner posted her concerns.

“I will tell you the day before I made the post … there was a lot of scare and fear,” said Hearn.

However, she said, being transparent with the community was the best thing to do.

“One day after the post just seeing the response and seeing the phone ringing, seeing the fill-up, that gives me every bit of hope,” said Hearn.

Untamed Chef is open Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday are closed to the public, but open for private events, said Hearn.

To make a reservation, call: (309) 231-0906.