Thomas Lents was appointed Executive Chef of Sixteen in January 2012. Since his arrival, Lents has been praised for presenting the most beautiful food in Chicago, pleasing diners with a personal culinary philosophy of sourcing the highest quality ingredients. Shortly after his arrival, Sixteen received a coveted star from the 2013 Michelin Guide and Forbes Travel Five-Stars designation. Lents then earned a second star for both 2014 & 2015 Michelin Guides and Five-Diamonds from AAA.
Born in Battle Creek Michigan, Lents found his way into kitchens at an early age and hasn’t left the stoves since. Continuing to cook while receiving a degree in philosophy from Wabash College, Lents strives to embody a sense of place and story into his meals and takes his role of teacher for the cooks in his kitchen to heart.
Chef Lents began his career at Chicago’s four-star restaurant, Everest. After a five-year tenure, he chose to broaden his culinary perspective in Ireland at the Michelin two star-rated Thornton Restaurant inside the Fitzwilliam Hotel.
In 2007, Thomas accepted a position at Joel Robuchon’s Michelin three-star, five-diamond restaurant, The Mansion in Las Vegas. In 2008, he moved to San Francisco & worked at Quince Restaurant, before Chef Robuchon reached out & offered an opportunity to be the first American to serve as chef de cuisine of his namesake restaurant - which Lents graciously accepted. Now back in the midwest, Lents continues to look at creating unique experiences at Sixteen.