Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. announces newly appointed Executive Chef Brian Kwak to lead both culinary programs of Lawry’s The Prime Rib (100 E. Ontario St.) and SideDoor (corner of Rush and Ontario Streets). Kwak takes his seven years of culinary expertise to new heights, while maintaining the group’s standard of classic twists on dishes centered around high-quality meats.
As a rising star in Chicago’s culinary scene, Kwak, 32, presents classic American cuisine at both restaurants located in the McCormick Mansion. Kwak’s culinary philosophy: “simple food, done well.” Kwak gained knowledge and discipline over the years in the competitive nature of fine dining kitchens, which perfected his passion for cooking.
“With the continued presentation of excellence, we’re thrilled to promote Chef Kwak to our new executive chef,” General Manager Max Maxwell says. “Now in his third year at our restaurants, we’ve seen him make great strides as a young culinary leader, and are looking forward to the opportunity to continue seeing his growth.”
While attending Kendall College, Kwak secured an internship in 2007 at Marie Elaine’s Fine Dining Restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he specialized in French techniques. Upon graduating, he began his professional career as Chef de Partie at Sunda in Chicago, a Rockit Ranch Productions restaurant. Soon after, he ventured to working as a line cook at Michelin-starred NoMI at The Park Hyatt in 2010. In 2011, Kwak took the position of Sous Chef at Chizakaya Japanese Restaurant, assisting Chef Harold Jurado with seasonal menu changes, new menu items, and weekly specials. When offered the position at Lawry’s The Prime Rib as Sous Chef in June of 2012, Kwak made the move and was promoted as Executive Sous Chef in May 2014.