Growing up surrounded by the colors and aromas of his mother’s kitchen in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Guillermo Tellez realized his culinary calling. As a teenager he moved to the United States and worked his way up from a short-order cook at IHOP to earning a spot beside one of the world’s most acclaimed chefs, Charlie Trotter. Tellez cooked with Trotter for 16 years, becoming his chef de cuisine and opening Trotter’s C Restaurant in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Tellez then directed menu development for Starr Restaurants in Philadelphia and served as executive chef of Striped Bass before taking the helm at Kimpton Restaurants’ Square 1682 at Hotel Palomar and Red Owl Tavern at Hotel Monaco.
Tellez attended Madeleine Kamman’s Professional Cooking School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards in the Napa Valley and became the first-ever winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Felipe Rojas-Lombardi Award of Achievement for Hispanic Chefs.
In 2013, Tellez returned to Chicago as a Chef/Partner at Mercadito Hospitality. In this venture, he oversees the culinary direction of Mercadito Hospitality restaurants, incorporating flavors from both his childhood and the diverse palate he has built over the years through his collective culinary background. His extensive expertise makes him uniquely qualified to lead Mercadito Hospitality’s current and rapidly expanding culinary concepts, and he is thrilled to again call Chicago home.