CHICAGO — A Chicago chef brutally attacked while waiting for the CTA Blue Line train is on the mend and back doing what he loves most: cooking.

Preparing creative, delicious and culturally diverse gourmet cuisines as a chef at Schwa in Wicker Park, self admittedly brings 28-year-old Jose Duran lots of joy. But the chef’s return to the kitchen is nothing short of a miracle.

“I missed it,” he said. “You know, I cooked at home as much as I could but just being able to be back is nice.”

WGN News spoke to Duran days after the Nov. 29 assault that left him severely injured. The 28-year-old had just left work when authorities say 33-year-old Cory Patterson allegedly pushed him from the CTA Blue Line platform. Patterson has since been charged with attempted murder and attempted battery.

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“Being able to eat and even just being to smile properly is nice,” Duran told WGN News.

In addition to multiple facial surgeries, Duran was on a liquid diet for several weeks because his jaw was wired shut. The chef says his mom made him one of his favorite meals after getting the wires off. 

“Just some refried beans, eggs and a homemade salsa she makes,” Duran said.

Equally nourishing, Duran says, was his return to work on Jan. 16. He credited his family with helping him return to his daily routine.

“Having their support and just them just them helping me with what I needed and all of that was probably the biggest thing that got me through,” he said.

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After nearly losing his life, Duran said he now prioritizes letting others know how much he cares. 

“People are busy, you know, sometimes just five minutes to send somebody a message is great because you don’t know if you’re going to see that person again,” Duran said. “You just really never know what’s going to happen.”

Duran told WGN News that he would still like to thank the people who helped him when he was attacked in November. 

If you or someone you know helped Duran, please get in touch with Jewell Hillery at