A Chicagoland native, Key started working in restaurants at the age of 13, washing dishes and working the fry station at a Chinese restaurant in Palatine on the weekends. Key loved the kitchen and after high school attended Kendall College Culinary Arts School.
After graduation Key worked for well-known chefs including Bernard Cretier, Steven Chiappetti, Glenn Zamet and Jean Banchet. His first Sous Chef position was with Levy Restaurants at Arlington Park Race Track. Five years later Key opened California Café as Sous Chef. The Café was a unique restaurant that brought fine dining to a mall setting specializing in fresh local ingredients. After six years with the company, Key was offered a position with Weber Grill Restaurants. At Weber, Key learned the art of classic American regional barbeque and worked his way up to Executive Chef at the company’s downtown Chicago location.
In 2007 Key joined the team at Gibsons Restaurant Group. As the Executive Chef of Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, Key works closely with his fishmongers to obtain the freshest seasonal seafood for the Frog Bar. Key also works with his local produce companies to get some of the best seasonal produce that he uses to prepare specials daily with the fish that is flown in. Keeping everything fresh, simple and seasonal, Key executes great seafood dishes that are a must to try. Outside of the busy restaurant life, Key is a motorcycle enthusiast. He enjoys long rides on his Harley to get away from the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant. Key also enjoys gardening, growing various herbs, heirloom fruits and vegetables and chili peppers.