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Chicago Gourmet - Bio: Thomas Elliott Bowman
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Thomas Elliott Bowman

Baume & Brix

Like many teenagers in his Oklahoma City environs, Thomas Bowman took a part-time job bussing tables at a local restaurant to make some spending money. He found himself spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen, and soon was working the line. Once there, Bowman knew this was where he belonged. The passion discovered then remains with him today.

Over the next few years, Bowman continued to learn; advancing to a sous chef position by the age of 17. Along the way he trained under many well seasoned chefs, such as Kurt Fleischfresser, absorbing all he could from these culinary masters. At 20, he spent a summer working in Tuscany, Italy, in Vico D’Arbia just outside of Siena. Bowman returned home in 2003, accepting an Executive Chef position at Cascata (Oklahoma City), creating classical Italian dishes with a modern flare.

In 2006, Bowman took the opportunity to further his wine and culinary education and relocated to Napa Valley. Bowman worked at the Michelin-starred Terra Restaurant under Hiro Sone, where they blend classic European country food with an Asian sensibility. At Terra, Sone served as a mentor to Bowman, instilling in him the importance of detail in all aspects of food conceptualization, preparation and service. While in Napa, he worked to expand his repertoire and enrolled in the Baking and Pastry program at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone. There he trained under the acclaimed Stephen Durfee, another mentor. Durfee taught him about the balance between sweet and savory, something that has become somewhat of a hallmark of Bowman’s. Upon finishing the program, he was intrigued by the rapidly accelerating food scene in Chicago and jumped at the chance of joining the culinary playground that is Moto.

At Moto, Bowman began working in pastry with Ben Roche, who exposed him to many new techniques and ideas. He also spent time conceptualizing menu ideas with Homaro Cantu, another mentor, who pushed Bowman to think outside the box. The following spring, he had proven his skills and accepted the Executive Chef position next door at Otom which he and Homaro later transformed into the world renowned iNG. Bowman’s menus reflect his eclectic training and can be described as intelligent food with a playful approach. He likes to walk the line between savory and sweet, and the melting pot of Greek, French, Italian, Japanese and American culinary influence shines through his menu. He frequents local meat purveyors, fish mongers, and farmers markets to hand select the freshest products available.


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