Born and raised in New York City, from a young age Michelle Duran’s grandmother, father and mother fostered her appreciation of cooking and encouraged her exploration in the kitchen. She recalls her first memories behind the scenes as a child in her grandmother's restaurant. These early experiences cultivated Duran’s deep interest in the restaurant industry. Since then, her passion and skill set have led her down a unique culinary path.
Duran originally attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, to be a pastry chef, but made the switch to start honing her ability to cook savory dishes. Having more than 10 years of industry experience under her belt, she has had the opportunity to work at some of the nation’s leading restaurants including Michelin-star rated Dovetail where she was the Pastry Sous Chef under Chef Vera Tong and Chef John Fraser. In this role she was given vast creative freedom and was tasked with creating specials and developing her own recipes. In 2010, Duran joined the team at Sushisamba in New York before moving to Sushisamba in Chicago where she jumped at the chance to see what other culinary adventures and culture she could find outside of New York.
Seeking a new challenge, in 2014 Duran became the Chef de Cuisine of Tippling Hall, and in 2015 she welcomed the opportunity to be the Executive Chef. In this role, she oversees the culinary direction of the restaurant and manages the day to day operations.
Duran specializes in using quality, seasonal ingredients to create comfort food reminiscent of that of her childhood. Bringing her technique and precision from her pastry background, Duran creates beautiful presentations that gives guests a one-of-a-kind, elevated dining experience.
Her extensive expertise makes her uniquely qualified to lead Tippling Hall, and she is thrilled to bring the dishes she loves to Chicago.