Chef David Chapman, a Midwestern native, had a passion for cooking at a very young age. David grew up regularly cooking for his family and experimenting with different types of foods. After beginning his education studying biology at DePaul University, David’s interest and passion for cooking took center stage. He then changed his studies to Culinary Arts and enrolled at the Chicago Hospitality Institute where he graduated in 2005.
David’s Culinary journey over the last 10 years has taken him across the country and across the world. He began his career in Milwaukee working for years under James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Bartolotta at his eponymous Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro. Here he was exposed to Bartolotta’s impeccable focus on ingredients and technique, while also able to learn from top visiting European chefs.
Ultimately, in 2008, Chapman was drawn back to Chicago where he landed a job at Sepia Restaurant under the tutelage of James Beard-nominated chef Andrew Zimmerman. A great chef and teacher, Chef Zimmerman furthered David’s cooking skills. David was exposed to the wonderful farmer’s markets of Chicago and seasonally inspired menu writing. Chapman’s two years at Sepia propelled him to a position with yet another James Beard Award-winning chef, Paul Virant, at Restaurant Vie in Western Springs, IL. There, David continued his education and delved deeper into the sustainable farm and market culture. He was able to visit the markets each week and truly become an integral part of Vie’s dedicated farm to table philosophy.
In 2012, Chapman was given a chance of a lifetime to be a part of an opening restaurant team in Mumbai, India. He was exposed to an inspirational culture that revealed both new and exotic ingredients, as well as a new approach to vegetarian cooking that drew him to Green Zebra – owned by James Beard Award winning chef Shawn McClain.
David brings to Green Zebra a decade of incredible experiences, focusing on his own cooking, while highlighting his skills in new and exciting dishes. His commitment to fresh, farm ingredients and his knowledge of vegetarian cuisine are an ideal match for Green Zebra.