Acclaimed chef Michael Taus is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York who began
his career working in the kitchens of Chef Pierre Pollin’s Le Titi de Paris, Chef Joachim Splichal’s Patina and Chef
Charlie Trotter’s eponymous restaurant. A Chicagoland area native, Michael Taus has always felt most at home in
the kitchen, even as a child, watching his Italian grandmother, a progressive-thinking cook and baker who nurtured
the youngster’s kitchen curiosity. Along with his grandmother, Michael’s father also held a love of all things foodrelated.
It was growing up in this cooking culture that continues to be the driving force behind Taus’s love of the
kitchen and is the crux of his newest concept, Taus Authentic.
Taus was fortunate to attend a high school with a considerable culinary program as well as an onsite student-run
restaurant, a formative experience that he now passes along to younger generations through extensive
mentorship. After completing his schooling and dozens of stages, Taus landed at Charlie Trotter’s and its
perfectionist kitchen of just eight cooks, where he gained tremendous knowledge and experience as well as the
close mentorship of Chef Trotter.
Wishing to fulfill his dream of having his own restaurant, at just 25 years old, Taus opened Zealous (Elmhurst, Il,
1993), which quickly garnered a “Best New Restaurant” nod from Chicago magazine. In 2000, Taus moved Zealous
downtown, and over the next 13 years enjoyed consumer and critical acclaim (Chicago Tribune 3 ½ stars, Chicago
Sun Times 3 ½ stars, “Best New Wine List” Wine Spectator and the prestigious four diamond rating from AAA).
Having closed Zealous on New Year’s Eve 2012, Taus spent the next two years consulting for a variety of
restaurant openings and traveling with his wife, Annette.
In February 2015, Taus opened Taus Authentic, a casual dining spot in Wicker Park featuring contemporary
American dishes with global flavors inspired by his Italian-Czech heritage, and global travels. Taus Authentic also
serves craft cocktails, 16 beers on tap, 18 beers in bottles, plus over 100 wines by the glass and bottle. A warm and
comfortable space, the restaurant is designed in a “rustic meets modern” style, with reclaimed wood, modern
lighting, a 37 foot quartzite-top bar, two fireplaces and an intimate lounge.
In it’s first year, Taus Authentic, has received numerous accolades including Chicago Tribune a 2015 Best New
Restaurant Top 50 Restaurants in Chicago, and 3 stars, Thrillist Chicago a 2015 Best New Restaurant, Time Out
Chicago The 100 Best Dishes and Drinks in Chicago 2015 CS Magazine The 50 Finest Restaurants, Harpers Bazaar
Chiceats: The Best Spots to Indulge in Fried Chicken to name a few.
Over the years, Taus has raised substantial funds for the Beard Foundation, the CIA Scholarship Fund, the March of
Dimes and Share Our Strength. Taus currently serves as the Vice President of The Trotter Project heading up their
programming initiatives which center around the culinary arts, service, education and excellence. He and his wife
Annette live in the River North neighborhood of Chicago .