Robert Broskey is the executive chef at Chicago’s Beacon Tavern. He is self-trained and the first person in his family to work in the hospitality industry. Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Robert’s interest in cooking began at a young age. He recalls sitting on the kitchen counter as a boy watching his father prepare meals; additionally, his parents and grandparents were all excellent cooks.
As a teenager, Broskey got a job working at a small lunch café. The chef there was the son of his mother’s best friend; he was 14 at the time and worked there for several years. From the café, he moved to a much more challenging job at Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, one of Pittsburgh’s finest dining establishments. He spent his time there on the garde manger and grill stations.
Several years later, Robert took the next step in his culinary career and relocated to Chicago to take a position at the Michelin two-star restaurant Ria, in what is now the Waldorf Astoria. After honing his skills at Ria, Broskey went on to the highly-rated L2O, a Chicago Michelin award-winning restaurant that would give him the opportunity he desired: to work in a restaurant that showcased seafood. Nearly two years later, he accepted an offer to be the sous chef of Henri, the esteemed Michigan Avenue French restaurant from Gage Hospitality Group, which was recently turned into an Italian restaurant, Acanto.
In 2012, Broskey headed back to the East Coast at the request of chef Dave Racicot who called on Broskey to help open Notion, a fine-dining concept in Pittsburgh, which received great reviews. A year later, Broskey returned to Chicago after accepting an offer to become chef de cuisine at L2O under chef Mathew Kirkley.
Two years later, L20 closed and reopened as Intro, a concept centered around hosting guest chefs every three months. Robert became Intro’s executive chef, an exceptional honor and challenge as he would be tasked with overseeing a rotating series of chefs, as well as implementing a new menu with a new wine list and redesigned interior décor.
During his time at Intro, Broskey received Zagat’s prestigious “30 Under 30” award that is given only to select, remarkable young Chicago culinary professionals. After a worthwhile stint at Into, Broskey was tapped by Gage Hospitality Group founder, Billy Lawless, to be Executive Chef of his seafood-forward concept, Beacon Tavern. Since 2016, Robert has overseen the kitchen of Beacon Tavern bringing with him an incomparable affinity for seafood which is represented on the menu with his fresh interpretations of traditional tavern fare with a contemporary touch.
While overseeing the kitchen at Beacon Tavern, the venue has been recognized as a “hidden gem” with “stellar seafood options” by Chicago Tribune critic, Phil Vettel; was honored by diners of OpenTable.com with the “Diner’s Choice” award for two consecutive years; was awarded a “Certificate of Excellence” by TripAdvisor.com; and is a well-known favorite of local concierge including being named to Concierge Preferred’s “Top 50 Favorite Restaurants” list. Robert also created Beacon’s dining series, Blue Crab Boil, that remains one of the city’s most popular summer dining events near Chicago’s famed Riverwalk.
If you ask Robert about his cooking style, he will tell you: “it’s about respecting and sourcing the highest quality ingredients.” He wants his guests to savor simple flavors that are skillfully executed with integrity.