Starr’s passion for food started at young age growing up on the South Side of Chicago in Bridgeport. He loved to be in the kitchen whether he was cooking or taste-testing what his family was making. Starr began his professional culinary journey at Kendall College, which led him to the helm of a small steakhouse just over the Illinois border in Wisconsin before returning to his home state.
Starr takes a simple, minimalist approach to food, in order to allow each ingredient to sing. Fresh produce and the changing seasons are his driving inspiration when creating new dishes. “My motto is to not overcomplicate a dish,” said Starr. “I pride myself and my staff on using the freshest in-season ingredients that farmers and foragers are able to deliver.”
Starr will be introducing new seasonal, locally-sourced dishes to the menu at Filini Bar & Restaurant. New dishes include the Parma, Italy inspired Tortelli with Radical Root Farm rainbow Swiss chard, bufala ricotta, and Parmigiano Reggiano butter, which is made in-house daily; and Braised Veal Cheeks with foie gras, and Italian summer truffle.
“Chef Starr is known for his sophisticated approach to seasonal dishes, and we are ready to see what he brings to Filini Bar & Restaurant for our guests to enjoy,” said Robert Shelley, general manager, Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago.
In addition to taking on the role of executive chef at Filini Bar & Restaurant, Starr also owns a farm-to-table restaurant, Ad-Lib Geocafe, in Lindenhurst, Illinois. Starr enjoys playing hockey and spending time with loved ones in his spare time. He donates food and his time to local organizations such as Plates of Hope and the Farm to Table Lunch program at Prairie Crossing Charter School.