Chef Curtis Hawk, a native of Muncie, Indiana, was influenced by his grandparents at an early age as he watched them cook and pickle produce sourced from their own garden. His first job in the restaurant industry was at the age of 21, where he served as line cook at Caragiulos, an Italian restaurant in Sarasota, Florida. From there, Hawk enrolled in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu's Orlando campus. Upon graduating in 2006, Hawk worked in the kitchen at Timpano Italian Chophouse (Orlando and Tampa locations). Over the course of six years, he worked his way up from lead line cook, to banquet chef, to Sous Chef and then became the executive chef of the restaurant's Fort Lauderdale property. In July of 2012, Hawk moved back to the Midwest and accepted the position of executive chef at ZED451 in Chicago.
He says it's "a dream to be working in a big culinary town" and that the experience affords him the "opportunity to get creative and explore interesting flavors, ingredients and world cuisine.