Cindy's x Gateway to Learning — Chef Christian and Daniel


About Daniel

As you walk the halls of Gateway to Learning, you may hear someone singing — it is likely to be Daniel. He loves music and uses songs to express himself, and he has been bringing his musical passion to Gateway to Learning ever since 2003. It’s here where he has been receiving lifelong learning opportunities through music education, maintenance and housekeeping, inclusive community experiences, and health and wellness programs. He also participates in culinary arts training and has proven to be excellent at following recipes and cooking for his fellow program members. Daniel’s life skills have grown tremendously through the interactions of his instructors and peers, and over the past 15 years he has become an instrumental part of the Gateway to Learning community.


About Our Chef

A native of Queens in New York City, Christian Ragano now considers himself a Chicagoan after having spent over a decade in the Chicago culinary community at restaurants like NoMi at Park Hyatt Chicago and Guildhall in Glencoe. His eclectic cooking style blends classic French training from the Culinary Institute of America with Italian and Spanish influences. He draws inspiration for Cindy’s from the changing seasons encompassing the restaurant and works with a passion to build creative, engaging menus that focus on the bounty of local farms, purveyors, and flavors of the Great Lakes region.


About Our Restaurant Partner

Located on the 13th floor of the historic, Chicago Athletic Association hotel’s rooftop restaurant and open-air terrace, Cindy’s, offers sweeping views of Chicago’s Millennium Park and Lake Michigan as Chicago’s front porch. Perched above Michigan Avenue, Cindy’s has an airy atmosphere reminiscent of a Great Lakes beach house, with its strung lights, communal, picnic-style seating, and indoor and outdoor spaces complete with fire pits and a terrace bar.


About Our Partner

Gateway to Learning Special Education and Training Center serves adults with intellectual disabilities in Chicago, IL. /Gateway to Learning’s mission is to provide lifelong learning for adults with intellectual challenges and developmental disabilities that promotes active inclusion at home, at work, and in the community./ The hallmark of Gateway to Learning is the provision of individualized programs which meet the unique needs of each participant. Today, Gateway to Learning serves over 80 adults with diverse abilities. Our participants represent every race and ethnic origin. To learn more about or donate to Gateway to Learning, please

To do whatever is necessary to allow individuals with disabilities to achieve their potential in their home communities.


Help us keep the doors of group homes and workshops of individuals with special needs open.