Ina Pinkney

Ina Pinkney is an entrepreneur ahead of her time, who found a recipe for success in compassion, exacting standards and sheer willpower.

Ina Pinkney

Ina Pinkney was the Chef/Owner of Ina’s, an American food restaurant, and a pioneer in the West Loop Market District, which closed at the end of 2013.


She is a frequent and welcomed guest on radio, local news, and cable TV,  has done interviews on shows in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, and appeared in a national Quaker Oats commercial as herself – the Breakfast Queen.


Articles about her have appeared in local, national, and international newspapers and magazines, as well as trade and in-flight magazines.  Her recipes have been syndicated globally and featured in many cookbooks.


Ina has been a guest lecturer on Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University,  DePaul University, and the University of Illinois. She has been the keynote speaker at food conferences and culinary school graduations.


She also speaks about breakfast trends for food companies.


In 2014, Ina was awarded the Golden Whisk Award from the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Organization for excellence in the kitchen. She lead a coalition of Chicago Restaurateurs and Chefs to support Chicago’s smoking ban and co-founded the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition for restaurants in Chicago for which she received Chicago Magazine’s 2011 Green Award.


She was named 2008 SBA Woman in Business Champion.


In 2013 she published Ina’s Kithchen: Memories and Recipes from the Breakfast Queen so that her stories and recipes would live in everyone’s home.

Besides writing a monthly column for the Chicago Tribune called “Breakfast With Ina”, a documentary about the closing of Ina’s screened in 48 film festivals around the country was on WTTW in Chicago and will go national in 2019.

Despite the awards and acclaim she has garnered in her career, the most significant title she holds is Polio Survivor.  Ina now speaks to Rotary groups about the late effects of polio in her effort to help Rotary and the Gates Foundation achieve their goal of the global eradication of polio.